A Hard Life Being An Arsenal Fan

By Iain Culverhouse @UKVampire

Well it has been another very very long Summer for us Arsenal fans, the usual end of season promises were amplified with the announcement that we had a war-chest of £70 million to spend, this was met with sniggers from the media and anticipation from Arsenal fans.

There was a huge change this year however with 22 players leaving Arsenal and I don’t think there is any complaints with who has left the club because it has cleared around £13 million on our wage bill compared to the same time last year. I was amongst the fans who were expecting us to get some business done early in the transfer window so that we could have a settled squad going into the new season, however we all now know that hasn’t happened.

Since 2007 – The summer transfer window has been especially hard for Arsenal fans as we have released the likes of

  • Thierry Henry
  • Jose Antonio Reyes
  • Freddie Ljungberg
  • Kolo Toure
  • Cesc Fabregas
  • Emmanuel Eboue
  • Gael Clichy
  • Samir Nasri
  • Robin Van Persie
  • Alex Song

This year we’ve not really got rid of anybody that the fans can say we should have kept because lets face it they were pretty much all deadwood. What has been the hard bit so far has been the lack of incoming transfers which has had made ridiculed by the media and opposing fans. We should realise that Wenger prefers to do his business at the last possible moment but there is no excuses when we lose our opening game of the season 3-1 at home to Aston Villa, regardless of how terrible the referee was.

I don’t proclaim to know what is going on in Arsene’s head and all Summer I’ve flickered between “we are going to sign people” too “are we going to sign anyone?” Now you ask any Arsenal fan and they will give you 100 different reasons as to why it maybe that we that we wait until the last minute but it could be something as simple as money.

Take for example if we had decided to sign Cabaye at the beginning of the transfer window on around £50,000 a week we would have paid him £500,000 in wages before the season had kicked off, now knowing Wenger like we all do he doesn’t like spending money but saving money seems to be his thing.

I will be the first to admit I am probably miles off however I thought it would be worth looking into to see the kind of saving we have made in the case of the 2011 with Santos, Mertesacker, Benayoun and Arteta. Based on the players wages we would have spent an extra £540,000 in wages if we had signed them just 2 weeks sooner than we did, which is quite a substantial amount when you take into our financial restraints that we have had in the past. The problem with that kind of approach is that generally you miss out on players which we have done.

Whether this was based on the lack of funds and wanting to clear our debts or just bad management by the club will be debated for years but we have qualified for the Champions League every year despite losing the players listed above which is a huge achievement. I’m not for a second saying that qualifying is as good as it should be for the club because I want trophies just like everyone else. Maybe..just maybe that we will do our usual trick of signing 4-5 players in the remaining 7 days and be able to grab a trophy this season it is far to early to write us off despite what some will say on twitter.

I’m hopeful that Arsenal have finally turned a corner, get 4-5 decent signings in and hopefully we can put ourself into a position where we can win the FA Cup / Capital One Cup and still manage to qualify for the Champions League and if we can do that then I for one will be happy and it will give us a platform to build on.

Iain Culverhouse

Follow me on Twitter : @UKVampire

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