Arsene Wenger is about to enter what could well be his final season at Arsenal. He should either be ensuring that he goes out with a bang, or making efforts to warrant being offered a new contract. At the moment, it looks as though he may disappear with a whimper.
Once again the Frenchman has been notoriously stubborn in the transfer window, clutching the purse strings while Arsenal’s main rivals splash huge wads of cash on lavish new additions. With under a week to go until the season begins, Arsenal lag behind Chelsea, Manchester United, and Manchester City in the football betting, at 6/1 to win the league. It is frustrating for Gunners fans who desperately wish Wenger would go about his business as ruthlessly and effectively as the likes of Jose Mourinho.
This summer, Mourinho identified four weak spots in the Manchester United team and set about acquiring his desired targets for those positions. He has completed his task and is ready for the season ahead.
Last summer, it was clear that Arsenal were in need of a new goalkeeper, a defensive midfielder, and a striker. Wenger signed Petr Cech and concluded his business. A year later he has added Granit Xhaka, who looks to be a shrewd singing, but what a difference the Swiss could have made to the team a year ago when Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin were out injured. With still no sign of a striker on his way to the Emirates, will it take another year for this weakness to be addressed?
Caption: Santi Cazorla was missed last season
It’s almost as though Wenger is teasing the Arsenal fans. He attempted to bring in Jamie Vardy early on and failed, but this was a promising sign and an indication that there would be attacking reinforcements on the way. Then there was the Alexandre Lacazette issue. The 66-year-old attempted to prise the player from Lyon with an offer of £29million for the star striker.
The French club quite rightly thought this figure was laughable for a player who has made such a huge impact in Ligue 1, and Arsenal are yet to go in with an improved bid. This may be another deal that the London club have left too late, as reports from the Telegraph now suggest that Lyon have offered the 25-year-old an even bigger contract to entice him to stay.
Many hoped that Wenger would have learned his lesson after lagging behind his competitors for so many years, and then missing out on the title last season when it was in touching distance. This season the league looks as though it could be tougher than ever, and there is no place for stubbornness. The Frenchman should look to his rivals and emulate them if he wants to challenge them.
If Wenger doesn’t bite the bullet and make the signings that the club require before the window ends, Arsenal may struggle this season. And if the Gunners achieve anything less than the Premier League title, it may be time to finally say goodbye to the Frenchman and seek a more forward-thinking manager.