Thursday, July 18, 2024

Wenger trying to maintain competitive balance

Arsene Wenger has admitted that he was on the lookout for a new striker last summer, but says that the price vs quality of players available didn’t tempt him to splash out.

The Gunners only made one signing, £10m Petr Cech from Chelsea, and the Arsenal manager says one of the key tasks for any manager is maintain a competitive environment in his squad.

Speaking about the summer transfer flirtations, with a £50m bid for Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema mooted in many quarters, he said, “When I looked at the market there were players you had to spend a huge amount of money on and were they better than those four players? I don’t know.

“Firstly the demand for new signings is most of the time to calm anxiety for the fans. It is reassuring to have a big name come in and, secondly, the media put you under pressure to get a new name.”

Wenger then discussed the need to have a squad where everybody feels involved to the point where it’s a benefit to the team, not the other way around.

“You need competition and competition exists if the numbers are not too short or not too big. When the number is too big, there is no competition any more and it goes against the interests of the team.

“If a player is No26 in the squad, he needs three players to die before he has a real chance to play.

“That has an impact when he comes in every morning. He is down and he takes something away from the team. When the number is too short, he thinks: ‘No matter how I am, I play.’ And that is not good as well.

“I felt we have the right number.”

So far the decision not to spend on a striker has been more or less justified with Theo Walcott making strides in that position and Olivier Giroud with 15 goals to his name this season.

So the chances of a striker signing this January are slim, but it’s fair to say our needs lie elsewhere with two central midfielders strongly linked over the last couple of days.

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Media and Pundits like Owen (sic) wanted us to sign a striker, any striker. What They failed to realise was that over the last couple of years, Wenger has been careful about the additions He make to the squad. It’s either you’re very Good and exceptional, with mental strength and all (Sorry I had to add that ) or He won’t Buy. Monreal, Gabriel, Santiago, Cech have all been exceptional buys.

By the way, Three Points against Soton today please.



Price versus quality will be an ongoing problem though. Over £100 million on two decent players spent by Man City just highlights the growing problem in the game. Hopefully Arsene can snap up a couple of quick bargain buys. Be hard though chavski might want to out bid us then send them to Belgium for a few years.

Anonymous Physicist

It is a bit annoying to hear Wenger talking about looking for a good deal. I’m not part of the “checkbook out” brigade at all, but I’d much rather have a bad deal than no reinforcement. In my ideal world, Wenger would just give the board a list of the reinforcements he wants, and not worry about the cost. His ability to find a good deal has new crucial over the last decade, but it’s no longer needed and he needs to be careful not to let it hold us back. We can mock our rivals for spending 40 million… Read more »


Sounds like an ego trip for you and I don’t believe that’s how you would spend your own money

David C

Sterling and DeBruyne are decent going forward, but they really stink at chasing back and helping out at the other end of the pitch. 100 million doesn’t get you what it used to…

I much prefer our transfer purchases/policies even if many of the players are unknown to me when they arrive.

Anonymous Physicist

I’m happy to hear Wenger speak about squad size, because I think the disadvantages of having too large a squad are often overlooked. I would tend to agree with Wenger that our squad is the right size right now, except in that I think we should have brought in one extra player for cover when we knew Wilshire, Rosicky and Welbeck were all out for half the season. Any time someone says we should sign a striker I want to know who out of Walcott, Giroud and Welbeck they think we should sell.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

It all depends on ambition. You see, we have to eliminate Barcelona to advance in CL. You don’t want Welbeck to work hard to bring the ball to their box only to lose it. I like à Sanchez, Giroud, Walcott front in a good day but we are Arsenal and one or two of them are always missing due to injury. The ideal situation will be that Akpom turns into a golden boy and becomes a real option. I would play Walcott in the middle against Barcelona though.


Lol did he really say a fringe player would think 3 players must “die” ?

I’m sure that’s what Debuchy’s thinking 😀


Important points about squad balance, but makes what Joel Campbell is doing even more impressive as, arguably, the 7th choice right winger not so long ago.


If we win the league, so many people will say it was Ozil and Sanchez that won us the league (rightly so, because ozil is my favorite player in the world). But Giroud deserves all the credit he can get. He’s been immense this season. Not bad for a striker that is not “world class”.


Spend some fucking money on some proven quality, or it’s going to be 2007/08 2010/11 and 2013/14 all over again.
The money’s there.
Arteta’s a write off, Rosicky’s 35 and always broke, Wilshere can’t be relied upon, neither can Walcott or Ox.
You overplay Rambo he gets injured because he gives so much when he does play.
Another injury or 2 and all the squad harmony and cohesion in the world won’t help us.
This is not a time for penny pinching, this is a time for decisive action, I won’t hold my breath though.




Apparently Wenger is signing the Basel DM; that’s great news actually if true!


Ghana midfielders please. Hard and strong and fast.

Ger Scully

It’s all well and good considering the morale of squad players to the point of benefiting the squad, but ultimately if a player is good enough he won’t need three players in front of him to die. The effect of signing players like Sanchez and Ozil, and winning trophies has been more beneficial to squad morale and should be the way forward.

Andy Mack

If we never had any injuries and players didn’t need the odd rest, = we didn’t need some squad depth, then you’d be 100% right.
Maybe when Shad has all his procedures in place then we’ll be able to think like that.

Naija Gunner

Am sure nobody will die after January!

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