Arsenal Message Board
We're a little over two weeks before the start of the Premier League season, rivals have strengthened, the pick of the talent has been hoovered up by ambitious clubs. And the team beaten by Blackburn and Bradford before squeaking into the Champions League has stood still. Again.
There have, of course, been bids - big bids. But one by one, targets have slipped away when Arsenal were laughed out of the negotiation room. Bullied, out-muscled and outfought. In some cases, they weren't even outbid, yet still lost out.
Stevan Jovetic, flirted with, bid for, negotiated over... then watched move elsewhere. Gonzalo Higuain, the same. Wayne Rooney, Jackson Martinez, Edinson Cavani, Radamel Falcao, Robert Lewandowski are all or have all been on the market this summer. So too was Yaya Sanogo, but luring an out-of-contract, injury prone Under 20 international from the second division in France is a very different ball game.
Even Tottenham have managed to spend £50m.
Then they turn to the problem child no one else dares to, Suarez.. Ah, the 'and one pound'. It didn't even trigger the clause it was supposed to! No wonder Anfield chief John W Henry questioned the soundness of mind at Emirates when the offer arrived, no doubt by carrier pigeon. If it wasn't so important to get it right, one would have to laugh at the schoolboy tactic.
But should we really be surprised? This, after all, is a regime that allowed Samir Nasri, Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie to all get into the final 18 months of their respective contracts.
As a selling club, rivals are all too aware that a firm hand is all that is required to get the better of Arsenal's negotiating team. The sale of three captains in five years at staggeringly derisory amounts is testament to that.
- 2 Replies to Eric Cantona
We can win the league he says but we cant even win the emirates cup. Trust in wenger, eventually hell win something and then hell be proved right, that is the mentality we deal with here day-to-day.
Thierry Henry was sold for £16m a year after a then world record bid of around £50m had been rejected. Patrick Vieira left for shy of £14m, when the previous summer the club had turned down almost twice that. And most recently Cesc Fabregas' sale for £36m may have represented a stunning profit but Barcelona know the hammer went down at below the market value.
Lessons simply haven't been learned, not even from two years ago when the Supermarket Sweep dash in the aftermath of the humiliating 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford yielded two hits and three misses.
'At least we tried this time, they just wouldn't sell. But I am happy with the belief in my squad,' says Arsene Wenger in early September. Probably.
Arsenal didn't win the lottery, the vast transfer fund didn't just suddenly appear overnight. So why the poor planning? Why the scattergun approach to centre forwards? Is there a good enough support network to Wenger? Or is he perhaps blind to the shortfalls in his squad having seen them go 10 unbeaten at the tail end of last season? Sadly, for Arsenal fans, it is a perfect storm of the two.
And until something, or someone, changes in the dugout or the boardroom, expect little different. And certainly don't expect Suarez.