Despite all of the changes in English football this summer with Jose Mourinho returning, goal-line technology debuting and Sir Alex Ferguson retiring, some things never change. Arsenal are still finding it hard to make any significant signings. Chelsea and Manchester City have spent over £100million between them while Arsene Wenger still believes his side can challenge for the title with or without new signings.
Arsenal’s commander in chief must deliver this season or face the reality that was once the unthinkable – departure from his empire. Many will disagree and say Wenger is Arsenal. On being appointed to the club back in 1996, Wenger radicalized everything from diets, personal lives, how the club would be run and its ethics. He developed a philosophy that has been recognized and admired worldwide. Arguably one of the football managerial masterminds, Wenger still has not hit the heights he would expect of himself. He has used excuses from building the stadium and developing talent. However, this season Arsenal must mean business.
Forbes magazine recently published a list of the richest clubs in the world with Arsenal in the top five. Yes, they have financial might, but the reality is that they’re far down the pecking order when it comes to success. No silverware in eight years is too long for a club that sees itself as one of the biggest in London. Wenger has brought Arsenal from an above average club that played careful long ball football into arguably the most exciting football club in the world on their day. During his tenure, he has overseen the onslaught of Inter Milan, two emphatic victories over Real Madrid and Juventus. Even Barcelona were humbled by the mouthwatering waves of Wengeresque play. But victory is nothing with an empty trophy cabinet.
This season must be different. Arsenal must buy. With a rumored record breaking sponsorship deal signed and sealed with Puma, money is ready to burn and if rumors are true, Wenger has made some record bids. But bids are nothing if they cannot be backed up with genuine interest and a modern day deal to entice the player that Arsenal want him and will pay what he requires. The deal for Gonzalo Higuain reportedly fell apart because Arsene (and I say Arsene because it is clear he makes these calls) wouldn’t part with a few extra million pounds, and wanted to put Higuain on pause to concentrate on Suarez. People will question the phrase a few extra million but in football it should be nothing to the top clubs like Arsenal.