Tuesday 23 January 2018

Wenger must make transfer window count to end Arsenal trophy drought

Arsenal' s manager Arsene Wenger. Photo: Reuters
Arsenal' s manager Arsene Wenger. Photo: Reuters

Alan Smith

The transfer window will be fascinating this summer for Arsenal because there are question marks in plenty of different areas.

We don't really know how much Arsene Wenger has to spend but the number one priority must be central defence.

Sol Campbell was Arsenal's best player against Tottenham, but he is not a long-term answer and there are doubts about William Gallas with his contract due to expire.

If you want to compete for the title, you also need a better 'keeper than Manuel Almunia. When you compare him with Edwin van der Sar, Petr Cech, Pepe Reina and Shay Given, he is not at their level.

He has made mistakes this season at crucial times and it is hard to understand why Arsenal didn't go for Given last year.

In midfield, a common theme has been the need to buy a strong and imposing player, but the emergence of Alexandre Song has negated that. Song will continue to get better and, with Cesc Fabregas and Abou Diaby, the midfield is not a priority.

Up front, it seems that Marouane Chamakh will sign from Bordeaux, and he will bring something different.

Publicly, Wenger is very supportive of the team but privately he has to have doubts about one or two. Nicklas Bendtner has a lot to do to prove he deserves a place up front every week, while Denilson is just short of what is required.


Theo Walcott can give the team something different as a wide man but, at the moment, he is not good enough to start.

Injuries have been a big factor this season. We have seen what Manchester United are like without Wayne Rooney and, in many ways, Arsenal have over-achieved without Robin van Persie for most of the season. They have lost key people at different stages -- players such as Van Persie, Fabregas and Song.

Even so, they were nine points better off after 33 games than last year, so that is an improvement.

However, there should be some regrets about the cup competitions.

With the teams they put out against Manchester City and Stoke, they gave away those competitions too cheaply. Not having won a trophy for five years does become a millstone. The players feel the pressure and the FA Cup or Carling Cup could have made a difference.

As for Wenger, he still holds the place together. There is no one really to challenge his thoughts and that seems to be how he likes it.

  • Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas, Manchester United striker , Chelsea striker Didier Drogba and Manchester City ace Carlos Tevez have all been shortlisted for the PFA's player of the year award. Rooney and Fabregas are also nominees for the young player of the year award.

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport