Same Old Arsene – Never Spending

17 07 2007

A lot of Arsenal fans are getting a little worried, looking at all the signings going on this summer and seeing Arsene do his usual thing. Whilst I was very much in favour of seeing the likes of Torres, Babel or Tevez at Ashburton Grove, looking at the inflated prices paid for the two Liverpool signings, and what I’m sure will be a huge fee for Tevez, I’m actually pleased we didn’t sign any of them. Whilst they are very good players, all three, not one is worth what was paid for them, in a summer where transfer fees have reached new heights of insanity.

If Owen Hargreaves is worth £17 million, then Cesc Fabregas is easily worth £60 million (although, considering the fact we just sold Thierry Henry for a million less than Hargreaves cost, we’ll probably sell him to Barcelona in a year, in exchange for Ronaldinho’s toothbrush and the phone number of whoever does Rikkaard’s perm). Whatever Chelsea paid for Malouda it was way too much (when isn’t it?). Normally, however, they buy good players at over-inflated prices, now it seems they’ll buy distinctly average ones for too much as well. He’s certainly no better than Sidwell, where for once Chelsea actually did some good business (for free he’s a fantastic signing). We should have brought the boy home.

However, in amongst all the madness, there have been some good deals that, for whatever reason, Arsene has decided against. Opting to pay £7.5million for Eduardo Da Silva (a good player, admittedly) when we could’ve had Voronin (a better player) for free seems odd. In fact, I’ll go on record now as saying I think Voronin on a free may be the best piece of business done by any major club this summer. He was one of the players of the tournament at the last World Cup and was also one of the most sought-after players in Germany. He may not settle in England, but for free, it’s worth a punt. Interestingly enough ex-Arsenal player Arturo Lupoli has now replaced Voronin at Leverkusen.

Equally, Scott Parker for £5 million is a pretty good deal for West Ham, especially having just sold Reo-Coker (who is good, but not as good as Scott Parker) for a cool £7.5 million. Clearly Scott Parker is far too technically gifted for Walrus-face, who has decided to replace him at Newcastle United with Joey Barton. Can Sam Allardyce ever manage a team that isn’t a gang of thugs? I suppose Barton will be his new Kevin Davies, a scummy little git who’ll boot you up in the air sooner than you can blink, but the moment you dish some back, goes crying to mummy. Signing Viduka just confirms that Sam Allardyce will turn Newcastle into another Bolton. Well, Newcastle fans have been saying for years that they’d rather play ugly football and win, than lose trying to play good stuff, so here’s their chance to do just that. And become the most hated club in the country as a result.

If only Arsene was willing to sacrifice those standards a little too (I can’t be the only Arsenal fan who is sick of playing some of the best football in Europe and doing nothing every season). You see, there are few certainties in the transfer market, but there is one thing you can be sure of. Arsene Wenger will sell off a big player, buy in some kids, safe in the knowledge that he can just talk about building for the future. He knows there will always be fans whose faith is blind enough to accept yet another season of transition.


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