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Deadline day drama at Arsenal HQ

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Dan Roan | 13:17 UK time, Thursday, 1 September 2011

It was 2100 BST on Wednesday at Arsenal's Highbury House headquarters and club officials were exhausted following the most frenetic few hours in transfer window history.

In the chief executive's office, Ivan Gazidis had spent the day making phone calls to agents and officials at other clubs as he tried desperately to complete the spending spree that the summer sales of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri had enabled and which the humiliating 8-2 defeat by Manchester United had subsequently made a necessity.

A few yards away, club secretary David Miles, chief accountant Stuart Wisely and head lawyer Svenja Geissmar were working furiously, filling out registration documents and ensuring they were emailed to the Premier League. In all, 20 officials from the club's finance and legal departments were working harder than they could remember.

As medicals were completed, the club's communications department, led by Mark Gonnella, were informed and player interviews for Arsenal's official website conducted at the club's London Colney training ground. A hundred yards down the road, news teams from the BBC, ITN and Sky were all broadcasting live updates into deadline day programmes.

Deals for German Per Mertesacker and Brazilian Andre Santos had already been concluded, following Tuesday's acquisition of South Korean Park-Chu Young. But then there were the outgoings. Heading for the exit were Gilles Sunu and Joel Campbell to Lorient in France, while Henri Lansbury joined West Ham, moves that took hours of negotiations to conclude. Nicklas Bendtner's move to Sunderland and Yossi Benayoun's loan from Chelsea were yet to be completed but the signs were positive. Both would eventually be sealed in time.

Yet despite such a frenzied last few hours of the window, the mood inside Highbury House was one of frustration. The marquee midfield signing the club's fans craved had slipped through Arsenal's grasp. Bids of £5m and then £10m for Mikel Arteta had been rejected by Everton. The void left by Fabregas and Nasri would remain unfilled.

Mikel Arteta

But then came hope. Arteta had apparently told Everton manager David Moyes that he wanted to join Arsenal. Everton decided not to stand in his way, so, with the deadline of 2300 BST fast approaching, the move was back on. Would there be time to complete it?

As the administrative team, led by the club's principle deal-maker, former scout Richard Law, leapt back into action, Gazidis rang Arsene Wenger immediately and told him the good news. The Arsenal manager was at a Uefa coaches conference in Switzerland but had been in contact with Gazidis all day. At this stage, neither the club's majority shareholder, Stan Kroenke, nor the club's board members were involved. There was no time for consultation. Decisions had to be taken - and fast. Shortly after 2300 BST, Arsenal announced Arteta's arrival. But how should the club's last-minute scramble to rejuvenate a depleted squad be viewed?

Pete Wood, the man behind the respected fan website Le Grove, believes deadline day was something of a reality check for the club. "On the face of it, Arsenal made great progress considering the self-imposed time restrictions we placed on ourselves," he said. "Yesterday has given me hope that a top-four finish is realistic. But does it feel like a successful summer? No. Does it look or feel like progress? No.

"However, with teams like Manchester City and Chelsea spending hundreds of millions, maybe it's time to accept that competing for the league is no longer a standard Arsenal fan expectation. That doesn't excuse the elephant in the room, though. Arsenal and Arsene Wenger have been negligent this summer. All of the business completed over the last two days could and should have been completed in June."

Tim Payton, of the Arsenal Supporters' Trust, is even more critical. "Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesaker are fine signings, but the truth is that Arsenal missed out on their preferred players in both midfield and defence, Juan Mata and Phil Jagielka," he says. "One puzzle is why the club drove through a 6.5% increase in ticket prices earlier this year, raising £4.5m in net revenues that hasn't been used."

Arsenal fans are certainly entitled to ask why, with Kroenke and Alisher Usmanov, two of the richest men in the world, as their majority shareholders, the club are now failing to compete when it comes to wages and transfers.

Arsenal's deadline day was undeniably exciting, provided a boon for their traumatised fans and has enhanced their squad with the arrival of some fine talents. The combined attacking potential of Arteta, Benayoun, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Robin Van Persie and Theo Walcott is formidable. But ultimately, despite the sterling efforts of the Highbury House team, one senses it is still too little and too late, judging by the expectations of the fans and set against the players the club have lost.


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  • Comment number 1.

    first - good business for them

  • Comment number 2.

    How much did Arsenal, City and Chelsea ultimately spend compared to Manchester United? Come May, it'll be interesting to see the comparison of money spent to league position.

  • Comment number 3.

    These deals are not 2 months late. They are 2 years late!! Imagine we made these signings last year, while we still had Fabregas and Nasri! We may not have fallen off so dramatically towards the end of last season.

    And lets not get carried away, Arteta and Benayoun are not class A players, otherwise they would ave been playing regularly for the likes of City and United already....

  • Comment number 4.

    I actually think that Arteta will be a great signing, he shines for a team in which he'll get far less touches of the ball than he will at Arsenal, and I think he will really thrive.

    I still can't understand Wenger's thing about only playing what he believes a player is worth. Surely a player is worth what the market is willing to pay for him. His valuations seem to be basted on 10 year old prices.

    Worrying about the signing of Gary Cahill for the sake of £5mil more or whatever they wanted is just not worth it. So you pay £12mil for a player who only has a year left on his contract, he'd almost certainly turn into an asset worth double that... maybe helping you to trophies along the way. When you add that to the whole thing of refusing to up their price by £2mil for Phil Jones last Jan and you've got to wonder what's going on.

    I still think Wenger is an outstanding manager, but the board need to get hold of a list of the players he wants and make it happen!

  • Comment number 5.

    That they left it so late to buy so many players smacks not only of an acknowledgement that the club's previous policies have failed (and on last Sunday's evidence, failed badly) but also shows gross negligence given that everyone and their dog could see investment was needed, even before the tonking handed out at Old Trafford. Having raised ticket prices even higher and made a fortune in player sales over the past few seasons, as well as having Usmanov and Kroenke on the board, the old 'we don't have money' excuse is wearing very, very thin. I'm pleased about Mertesacker and Arteta and cautiously upbeat about the other three, but I'm sorry, does it really look like that will be enough for a top four finish? Had business been conducted earlier and with a better grip on reality (sometimes you have to pay over the odds, look at the London housing market!), then one suspects that more quality could've been brought in. This whole farce shows huge levels of incompetence by the board and it really does seem like Wenger has lost the plot as well. And as an Arsenal fan and Arsene admirer, that is really very sad.

  • Comment number 6.

    These deals might be a bit late, but I think they are exactly what the club need. For a while now, everyone has been complaining that Arsenal don't have any leadership and experience, and these signings will bring that - and I think they will work brilliantly with the youth of the squad. I am confident that Arsenal will now go on and surprise a few people in the league this season. We still have lots of money to spend, which hopefully will happen at January or next summer. Champions League qualification is vital though.

    The club really needs to sort out it's injury problems though, it is not normal how many injuries the players have!

  • Comment number 7.

    Arteta and Benayoun are not even Happy Shopper equivalents of Fabregas and Nasri. Mertesacker is about as mobile as a lamppost. These are very poor signings for a club of Arsenal's stature.

    The club should've foreseen the need to strengthen these positions right at the start of the summer, and if they'd done so they could've been in the market for a much higher grade of player - especially given their finances.

    These transfers smack of clumsy desperation and that is not the way any of us would expect Arsenal to do business.

  • Comment number 8.

    Good players but Mata might have been an additional necessary purchase so I can understand the scepticism of Arsenal fans about the spending policy of the club in recent years. If they are looked on as mainly stop gap signings it might work for them but MA in particular really needs to stay injury-free. The pretty football may be set to continue but I'm not sure Arsenal can continue their Top 4 position if they don't also make stronger player investments in January. Liverpool made some very good additions to their squad and are looking stronger on paper than Arselona.

  • Comment number 9.

    Same old ARSE-Nil, buying average players hoping for the impossible. Arsene Wenger to go and a sixth placed finish is my bet for this season

  • Comment number 10.

    All just panic buying as a result of the weekends humiliation by Man Utd. Had Arsenal not had this heavy defeat inflicted on them, I just wonder if there would have been any last minute activity.

    That being said, Arteta is a great purchase; not in the class of Nasri or Faregas though and how is the purchase of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain worth a more than Arteta justified.

    Arsenal are just plugging gaps after being lame from the day the transfer market opened.

  • Comment number 11.

    Even though the management might have been able to prevent the frenetic atmosphere surrounding the first team by getting some new players in during preseason, I applaud Arsenal for at least trying to stay a sensible club.

    There is a disease in English football which is called super-rich owners. The outrageous spending wrecks smaller clubs and will eventually kill football.

    Somehow I quite liked Arsenal for not falling in the senseless-spending-trap, but that seems to be slowly changing now as well.

    I do think that the club needed to work more on team building in stead, as the 11 on the pitch last Sunday were anything, but not a team.

  • Comment number 12.

    The only pragmatic thing to do was go and spend after the massacre of Sunday. The time window was short and most quality players had been already taken. The club could have sulked about the missed opportunities of the summer but when the egg is broken you try to find another egg, not fix the broken one. With Fabregas and Nasri gone, the aim was to save the season, not invest for the future. So Santos and Mertesacker are a huge improvement over Koscielny/DjourouTraore/Jenkinson. Benayou, Arteta and Park over Arshavin/Rosicky

    Obviously the team looks short on star power after the departure of Fabregas and Nasri but the squad looks stronger, deeper and more balanced.

    Hopefully, Arsenal will conduct their business a little better next summer. To learn about how to conduct transfer business in the summer, just take a look at Liverpool.

  • Comment number 13.

    Arsenal fans in the diaspora are not impressed one bit. Clearly, Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal Board are still the same miserly people who has brought Arsenal, our beloved Arsenal to its knees. True Benayoun is a great player but that was then, not now. What with all those injuries, and now at 31, what more can he offer? Remember in Chelsea he could not garner more than 10 appearances in a year. This signing though loan is no different from bringing back Campbell. Arteta is not even in the Spanish national team. To be brutally frank, all Arsene and co has achieved on the last days of the window is to scrape for fringe players nobody really wanted anymore. This is a real shame. It is the negligence I spoke about last week. It is the reason Arsene must go. He has done his best. He should not be permitted to destroy the little that is left.

  • Comment number 14.

    I think Arsenal will surprise many doubters this season....still top4 for my money!

  • Comment number 15.

    I watched Deadline Day with Interest yesterday being a Spurs fan I am disappointed that we didn't sign either Gary Cahill or Chris Samba. As for signing Adebayor I don't see how he will improve the squad he is just the same as Crouch in my opinion. Arsenal's signing's were interesting they signed players for the positions they needed, however in my opinon Mertesacker isnt really that great and a bit error prone. Mikael Arteta great player shocking Injury record but again isn't really fit to replace either Fabregas or Nasri. I think both Arsenal and Spurs fans have to face the fact that the 2 clubs will be battling for 5th and Europa League football as on the evidence of yesterday the 2 Manchester clubs, Chelsea and Liverpool are miles a head an i fully expect that to be the top 4 at the end of the season.

  • Comment number 16.

    Oh Dan Roan damned of you do and damned if you don't. We needed to do soemthing-shouldn't have been left till the last day but its happened.
    The fans I know are happy with Mertesacker and Arteta-Benayoun good deal-lets see what happens they have bought experienced and ready to move players.

  • Comment number 17.

    I dont agree that the deals for Juan Mata should have been done in June because there is no way he would have come not sure of Champions League and to say that Per Mertesacker is a cheap version of Phil Jagielka.. this is just another moan by the english for english players, who are all over priced anyway, no wonder Gary Cahill is still sat at Bolton... Arteta is a massive signing for Arsenal and he fits the bill perfectly, defenders are meant to complement each other and what is important is not Mertesackers pace but an understanding with Vermalean.......Having said all this, Arsenal football club is at the end of the day a business that needs to declare profits and unfortunately the fans are at the receiving end of it, expensive doesnt necessarily translate to performance.........and for everyone that thinks because United smashed a weakend arsenal team they are gonna win the C'league and Premiership, take a look at the statistics and think again, Arsenal had 13 shots on Goal, more corner kicks and please when was the last time Arsenal scored two goals at Old Trafford.... am looking ahead to the season and IN ARSENE WE STILL TRUST

  • Comment number 18.

    Um... reality check for Gooners coming up. Having been beaten 8-2 by the champions, and with City obviously being brilliant, and having just lost your twpo best players, you need to appreciate that the worlds top players are not attracted to Arsenal no matter how much you want them to come. Juan Mata?! Come on, get real. Journeymen like Arteta and Benayoun are as good as it gets until you prove to the world that you are serious about not getting thrashed by better teams.

  • Comment number 19.

    How can Arsenal fans think that Benayoun is a good signing? Considered a decent sub at Liverpool, considered a waste of space at Chelsea and he is now the saviour of Arsenal along with a slow German defender and and 2 unproven players from lesser teams in Europe and an impluse buy from Everton.

    What i saw on Sunday at the game was an intense lack of depth in the squad. What happens if Arteta gets injured? What happens if Mertesacker and Santos get injured? Then you are back to the same old Arsenal, still without quality or depth.

  • Comment number 20.

    Finally !!!

    Arsene finally dipped into the cash and has now at least attempted to put things right.

    He certainly has left it to the last minute which I am convinced would not have happened but for the 8-2 so in the end maybe a good old fashioned humiliating flogging was what was needed to spur old Arsene into action.

    So in a way, thankyou Man U and Sir Alex, finally the penny dropped for Wenger that Djourou in particular is not good enough.

    Good signings too I think.

    Mertesacker – Love it. He’s massive at 6’ 6”, a German mainstay International with 65 caps which ain’t half bad coz you don’t play for Germany that many times if you’re rubbish. He’s only 26 and......he’s a dead set Gooner too, which is best of all.

    Arteta – Love it as well. He generally works his socks off and will now get Champions League football and probably get his first full Spain cap now. And that is great for him and for us.

    Benayoun – Pretty happy. I do rate him he just needs to crack into life and he might just do that now.

    Andre Santos – Never heard of him to be honest but I will trust Wenger on this one.

    Park Chu Young – Am pretty happy about this one too. I picked him in my FIFA 09 team and he was pretty awesome for me so I have big hopes, and I reckon that Park is going be the one that gets the fans buying No.9 Arsenal shirts again.
    Good to get rid of Bendtner I think. I think he may have caused disharmony so thanks but see ya.

    I think I would still have liked to see another central defender but I will hope that Gibbs/Santos Vermaelen / Mertesacker / Sagna will be the back four when it counts. Because if it isn’t, we are looking at Djourou, Koscielny, Squillaci so I would say that I am only cautiously optimistic.

    At least Arsene has tried, if we fail, I can now say that we should keep him round to build a new team and forget the Fabregas kids era.

  • Comment number 21.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 22.

    I find myself in general agreement regarding the criticisms aimed at both Arsenal FC and the manager. Yes there have been errors made, and mistakes endured that could have been avoided. However, and as the article underscored, managing a world class sports enterprise in such a tumultuous market place is commerically and operationally daunting. Little room for error here!

    Management teams screw up - in all business fields. Rarely though, are business failures so in the public eye as in the Premiership. So perhaps the majority of us who would have difficulty running a burger stall should now begin to moderate our ranting at AFC and its officials, and move toward giving the manager and players our fulsome support during what is likely to be an extremely tough season.

  • Comment number 23.

    "Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesaker are cheap versions of Juan Mata and Phil Jagielka, who Arsenal failed to buy."

    Don't agree with your view on Mertesacker at all, Mr Payton. Anybody who has watched Bundesliga football for the past few years will know Mertesacker is probably the finest German defender of the last decade. I think Arsenal have a bargain with him.

  • Comment number 24.



    Oh dear. The last manager that phrase was used on is now unemployed

  • Comment number 25.

    Why is the first half of this blog written in the style of a low grade Dan Brown thriller?

  • Comment number 26.

    spurs fan in peace. arensal made 2 good signings in metersacker and arteta, a decent signing in benayoun and i have to say i dont know anything about park. the problem is, man city and utd have completely pulled away so all arsenal signings look average by comparison. same principle for spurs. we got adebayor who's good and parker who's also good but they just dont compare with aguero, nasri, young etc etc etc. will be a 2 horse race unless chelsea can stay there. arsenal and liverpool will be fighting for champions league entry. and the rest, spurs included, will be fighting for scraps. depressed.

  • Comment number 27.

    Could anyone other than Arsene Wenger watch Sunday's larruping and come up with Benayoun and Arteta as part of the answer? Mertesacker makes Sol Campbell look like Usain Bolt.

    If I was an Arsenal fan I would feel justified in asking the club just where my season ticket money is going, because if Arteta, Benayoun, Mertesacker and Santos are the best they can afford then something's wrong. Why they lowballed Bolton on Cahill is a mystery.

  • Comment number 28.

    Lets compare the main INs and OUTs.
    Santos in-Clichy Out-Verdict: Still debatable but averall there is an improvement there.
    Jenkinson In - Eboue Out- Verdict- Jenkinson might be better in the long run but we lost expirienced cover there.
    Arteta In-Fabregas Out. verdict- Not exactly the same quality to be honest, but lots of experience, cheap, though injury prone. good option.
    Gervinho in- Nasri Out- Verdict: they dont play in the same posistion, gervinho played well in the champions league qualifier but still Nasri is better. He may turn out to be good though if we remember where Nasri was when he joined.
    Young Park in- Bendtner Out- Verdict-Improvement. Park will give his all to the team, if his interview is anything to go buy, unlike bendtner who thinks is all that but couldnt deliver.
    Mertesacker in- nobody out. Verdict: Improvement to the team.

    It doesn't look so promising if you compare the ins and outs. But we have a bit of experience and most importantly the players who we have had but whose hearts were elsewhere have gone. We can start building the team going forward. Cahill and one young creative spark in January and we will be up there somewhere in May.

  • Comment number 29.

    The Arsenal squad now is weaker than the one that finished the league in May. This surely can't be down to Wenger being stubborn and not wanting to spend money. There must be outside influences at play here.

  • Comment number 30.

    Not brought a ball winner - Parker £5 a bargain and perfect for you.
    Until you buy someone who can tackle or you teach the young kids to tackle properly you'll just keep ending up with ten players on the pitch.

  • Comment number 31.

    Arsene has not dipped into the cash. Arsenal have sold around £72mill worth of players this summer and spent £51mill. So in fact they have accumulated a further £21mill.

    I don't understand why the Arteta signing has blinded Arsenal fans from this. The club needed real investment in the team if they wish to remain title contenders. This means buying some experienced marquee signings. You can't expect to buy this sort of player at the 11th hour on the last day of a 3 month long window.

    Don't get me wrong, he is a great player but I don't think he is a leader on the pitch and neither is Yossi. They both have the experience that Arsenal have been craving, along with Mertesacker, but do they have the leadership and mental skills to get Arsenal a top 4 finish?

    Only time will tell I guess but I think that all this signing has done is buy Wenger some time until the January transfer window.

    I know he's not spent ridiculous amounts on players but had he conducted his transfer business earlier in the summer, I'm sure he may well have got players that he actually wanted and not a panic buy. He should have also got someone like Alcantera as part of the deal for Fabregas.

    The usually wise transfer dealer seems to have made wise purchases and sales in terms of cash amounts, but are they really what the Arsenal squad need?

  • Comment number 32.

    Actually quite proud to support a team which is brave enough to retain a degree of restraint. Everyone'e been very very quick to judge the new signings, I say lets see how they play first. There have been calls for an older, more experienced leader for years, who's to say Arteta won't be that player, I think he just might. Also, looking at some of the transfers, Mata for example, and everyone at Man City, can any of them honestly say they moved for footballing reasons? They all went for money, everyone knows it, and its pathetically self serving, Arsenal don't want or need people with that attitude, and I think we should applaud that; do we really want a team of pre-madonnas like man c? have fun Nasri, enjoy the north!

  • Comment number 33.

    Le Grove? Are you joking?

    Nothing written on there should ever be read by anyone, ever.

  • Comment number 34.

    "In all, 20 officials from the club's finance and legal departments were working harder than they could remember."

    I'll bet that is completely true , as they have never worked at all by the look of it. Arsenal are finished as a champion contender, I think Wenger needs a fresh challenge he has gone stale, I think Arsenal need fresh ideas if they are to remain a champions league team beyond this year. They are sliding toward midtable anonymity. The made a couple of signings, but they need to bed in, adapt to a completely new style of playing, or Wenger has to invent a new way of playing to allow them into the side. I doubt they will ship 8 again for a very long time. However if Wenger pulls this out of the fire, I'll be the first one to be very surprised.

  • Comment number 35.

    Oh dear oh dear. "respected fan website Le Grove". That site is the worst of the Anti-Wenger sites, they claim to support Arsenal but never have a good thing to say and remove posts arguing against their views.

    Oh Mr Doan, "one senses it is still too little and too late, judging by the expectations of the fans and set against the players the club have lost." You should have tried reading some of the other blogs, your statement is far from true.

  • Comment number 36.

    A little dubious of the notion that a 26-year-old German international with 75 caps including two World Cups is a cheap version of an English international with nine caps. And supporters who have suffered at least since the heyday of Sol Campbell and Kolo Toure have had just about all the mobility we can stand at the back, thank you very much! Given the impossibility of replacing Fabregas with like genius, I think Arteta was an excellent buy, and that the side top to bottom is probably better than it was last season. But I'm an optimist.

  • Comment number 37.

    Looks to me like Arsene's youth policy / no extended contracts for older players is now defunct. Nothing like a U turn eh! Good on Moyes who doesn't want anyone who doesn't want to play for the club - and 2 loan signings that might be better than anyone thinks (top Argie goalscorer last season and Drenthe who is 5 years younger than Arteta and an International for the world ranked No 1 country....)

  • Comment number 38.

    I think all in all good business for the club. I'm a bit shocked with the reaction to Mertesacker. 75 caps for Germany, rarely booked, 6 ft 6. He is exactly the type of player we have needed for a longtime. Alongside Vermalen they will make a formidable pairing. It also demonstrates the lack of value for money and reality in the British market. Gary Cahill as good a centre back as he is was more expensive and without the pedigree and experience that Mertesacker has.

  • Comment number 39.

    Mertesacker, a cheap version of Jagielka - the AST should think before they spout such nonsense. He's three years younger and vastly more experienced at European and international level and came at half the price.

    For those saying we didn't spend enough, the transfer fees mean absolutely nothing to me. Mertesacker would have been a lot more had he had longer on his contract and so would Arteta if he was 5 years younger, but then he wouldn't have as much experience. Most Arsenal fans wanted players who could hit the ground running and could help bring our younger players along - we got two proven PL players and three others with 150 international caps between them, and all aged 26-31. A good bit of business I'd say, but as always with any transfer (irrespective of the fee involved) the proof is in the pudding. Let's wait and see shall we rather than writing the new players off before their first training session?

  • Comment number 40.

    At 14:44 1st Sep 2011, Chad Secksington wrote:

    ...........Mertesacker makes Sol Campbell look like Usain Bolt.


    I really laughed at this ............ wonder how many false starts mertesacker will have

  • Comment number 41.

    Excuse me but 'errornose' the comments you made are unfounded and basically unfair. These signings are not poor but they add natural balance and experience to a team

    There is a strong growing arrogance with many Arsenal and English fans in that just because you do not know a player does not make him a bad player.

    The simple fact is English players are unfortuantly over priced, I mean seriously £17 mill for a Cahill. I would have loved him but for a player with several england caps and 1 year left on his contract it's a tad bit too much.

    Additionally a great team does not necessarily need great players. They need 11 men to play well togather as a team and the players that Arsene has signed has brought a great deal of balance to the team. Arteta will be a good signing and will help the younger players to develop and also has the English premiership experience so in theory he can slip right into the team and also coming from Everton he will now how how to fight for a win. Add to the fact he took a paycut to play for Arsenal shows that there are some players who more about playing football rather then just the money (Nari take note). I would rather have Arteta then a mercenary footballer with alot of talent (which there are too many off). Also another point Arteta is not there to replace Fabregas most Arsenal fans will tell you that is why Ramsey was brought in however due to his injury this has hampered his development and also Fabregas left a season too early. However give that boy some time and once he get confidence he will be a forced to be reckoned with.

    Benayoun will not be first team he is there for depth and experience, I mean he has skill on the ball so if your struggling to break a team down then throw him on for 20mins and see what he can do

    Arsene will never sign players out of desperation, the man spends the money like it his own so he would not waste it

    I desperatly hope Arsenal do well becuase in the world of corrupt politicians, bankers and these super rich owners making a complete mockery of there clubs (Chelsea) Arsene stands for someone with strong morals and principles

    In Arsene we trust

  • Comment number 42.

    Last week, it was 'Wenger has lost the plot, he must buy, buy, buy to save his season'. now he has bought, bought, bought, bought and borrowed, and here we go with more Wenger bashing, not good enough indeed. remember most clubs are holding on to their biggest assets, and what's gone is gone. Let's watch him and see.
    Funny enough, i remember when Veron and Beckham left, everyone was saying Ferguson had lost it, and he must go, bought Djemba djemba and Kleberson and they failed woefully, and the calls for his head increased, that was the beginning of Wenger's foray into youthfulness, and everyone was saying his policies showed more promise and was more likely to succeed. now how many years on and the Youths haven't developed (Djourou), or have left just when he needs them most (fabregas). Leave the man be, his is the 2nd best around and doesn't need our mock sympathy, empathy or advice.

  • Comment number 43.

    Thanks Steve Bruce! You are a saviour!

  • Comment number 44.

    first - good business for them


    Really? Can anyone else remember many Gooners saying 'in this transfer window I hope we get rid of Fabregas and Nasri and replace them with Arteta and Yossi Benayoun'. Seems like more budget signings from Wenger to me.

  • Comment number 45.

    To 'cherryoh' by Arteta handing in a transfer request it meant Everton did not need to give a loyalty bonus when they sold him hence he saved Everton more money

    Moyes is not a stupid person

  • Comment number 46.

    #7 errornose

    You shop where you can afford to. Cesc wanted to go home so no problems there, and Na$ri went for the money. Again, who can blame him?

    I'm not quite sure where you get the idea that Arsenal have zillions in the bank. They are not owned by a Russian or Arab sugar daddy; in fact, they're not owned by any one person at the moment and that may be part of the problem. You cut your cloth according to your circumstances. At least that's what sensible people do - on the evidence of the nation's finances, though, there aren't too many of those around.

    #19 downwithstevenage (not sure what you've got against Stevenage, but never mind).

    You are obviously a star at Championship Manager so please apply for the Arsenal job forthwith. Mertesacker has played 75 times for Germany so can't be that bad, and don't forget he wasn't troubled by England's or Argentina's finest (including a certain chap called, um, Messi - that's it) last summer. EHJT isn't Linford Christie, either, and neither was Tony Adams. Typical nonsense from somebody who's never been to Old Trafford.

    #30 greenmarkfo

    £5 for Parker? Now that is a bargain...

  • Comment number 47.

    1428 FOOTBALL: For some insight into Arsenal's deadline-day deals, read BBC sports news correspondent Dan Roan's behind-the-scenes blog from the Emirates Stadium.
    Yep , sorry DAN haaha SOME insight.... just kidding.....

  • Comment number 48.

    Although Arsenal left it very late, the signings they eventually made look surprisingly quite good :

    Andre Santos : Brazil's first choice left back ahead of Marcelo, a good player with speed you is not terrible in defence.

    Per Mertesacker : 75 caps for the German national side at the age of 26 says it all really. A strong player who, although prone to the very occasional mistake, is a few steps up from Koscielny and Squillaci

    Mikel Arteta : A fantastic signing for Arsenal, exactly what they need. He has bags of Premier League experience and has performed for everton week in week out over the last five or 6 years. Yes, he hasn't played a full international for Spain but that is because Xavi , Iniesta, Fabregas and alonso are all ahead of him seeing as they are some of the best players of our generation. And at 29, he will bring that experience that arsenal need.

    Yossi Benayoun : Another good signing by the gooners. A severly underrated player who seems to perform at every oppurtunity he gets . At Arsenal he should play more than at Liverpool and with my team Chelsea so he should be able to prove his true worth.

    Park Chu Young : To be honest, I don't know enough about him, but this is by far Wenger's worst bit of business. Arsenal need players that can add to the team and 5 million pound on this lad seems an awful lot, but we shall have to wait and see.

    At the end of the day, Arsenal were battered at the weekend and should find it hard to make the top 4. But with these signings, that should be just about possible.

  • Comment number 49.

    Not the most exciting signings but only 2 or 3 of them will go into the first team and we might find that the Vermaelen/Koscielny partnership is favoured over Mertesacker.

    Sagna Vermaelen Mertesacker Santos (or Gibbs)
    Wilshere Arteta (or Ramsey)
    Walcott VanPersie Gervinho

    Does not look bad to me, Santos has kept Marcelo out of the left back position on the Brazil national team and I think he might surprise a few people. Given a chance Park and Benayoun could have a positive impact. Although many could see it already last season, Rosicky and Arshavin are in poor form and I would rather see Benayoun, Park or one of the youngsters coming off the bench than either of those two.

    No doubt, Arsenal were incompetent in transfers this summer. One problem is being stuck with over-paid average players that nobody wants to buy. The other problem being the wages structure and loss of reputation. Not to worry, by most estimates Arsenal made 15M from transfers this summer. How much did Chelsea, Man City, Man U, and Liverpool make?

  • Comment number 50.

    I think Mertesacker was a great buy but even though I like Arteta and Benayoun they are not of the same calibre as Fabregas and Nasri.

    I really don't understand some of the business done on deadline day. Certain parties seem to fail to understand simple rules of supply and demand. Meireles to Chelsea is the best example. liverpool did not need or want to sell, yet they did so for basically the same as they paid for him. He had a long contract, a great season behind him, proven in the EPL and we all know Chelsea had money to burn. LFC should have held out for more like £20-25M and Chelsea being pretty desperate for quality midfielders should have paid that happily.
    Arsene Wenger despite finally being forced into spending some money still seemed reluctant to really splash out. I know he likes to buy low and sell high finding the foreign gems that he has done for years and years but surely he could have gotten a £25M midfielder that Arsenal could really do with.

    I get the sense that something is a bit wrong at Arsenal that no-one has really put their finger on yet. The reports that Viera turned them down to work at Man City then talked Nasri into joining (Tapped up?) struck me as odd. I was under the impression Viera left on good terms.

  • Comment number 51.

    These new signings haven't even played for Arsenal yet, and the knives are out already! Unbelievable.

    Utd defeat aside, Wenger should have splashed the cash before the season started. He didn't - but we've finally got some players with experience.

    'They are sliding toward midtable anonymity'.

    There isn't any proof that this is going to happen - just another inane comment you'd expect from these insightful (!) Arsenal blogs.

  • Comment number 52.

    Disagree with the cheap version of Jagielka sentiment, Mertesacker has 75 caps for Germany at the age of 26, impressive. At 6' 6 he's the imposing centre back they've been crying out for.

    Interesting the kind of signings Arsenal have made - a shift from promising teenagers/early twenties to established players who will fit into the side straight away. This surely isn't the strategy they came into the summer with, but it's been forced on them as the summer has gone on. It's been forced on them, but it may be a blessing in disguise, combining a brilliant youth system with additions such as Mertesacker each summer is the plan they always needed.

    Will Arteta/ Benayoun plug the Nasri/Fabgregas gap, not completely and not long term, but they'll need no adjustment to the demands of EPL football and are quick fixes in a bid to keep Arsenal in the top 4.

    Santos, by all accounts a great attacking wing back, not so great defensively. Regular in the Brazil squad and excellent competition for the treatment able bound Gibbs.

  • Comment number 53.

    Decent signings for Arsenal, not sure if they are top 4 material though.

    One thing though. So this transfer deadline was one of the most important for Arsenal in recent history. All the lawyers and deal makers were called in and it was a very busy day by all accounts. So what the hell was Wenger doing at some coaches conference in Switzerland?????????????

  • Comment number 54.

    Usain Bolt!!! hahaha. very good!

  • Comment number 55.

    As a life long Gunners fan it frustrates me to understand why did we not go back in for Gary Cahill & Phil Jagielka, why did we not try for players like Ashley Young and maybe even Joe Cole ? It is a good thing in one respect to see clubs being cautious with the amount they are spending after so many clubs get themsleves in financial pickles but with 2 incredibly wealthy owners in Kroenke and Usmanov backing the club, with the £80 odd million the club has made from the sale of certain players and Champion League qualifying why was this money not spent more wisely and quicker ? If it was perhaps we could have avoided the derrier whooping we were dealt on Sunday ? As much as I have huge respect for Mr Wenger I am in the frame of mind of thinking perhaps a new man needs to come in, especially if the trophy cabinet remains bare again this season.

  • Comment number 56.

    #46 Bass_Man

    Actually, my friend i was at the game on Sunday and witnessed first hand Arsenal's downfall. You make a good point about Mertesacker though.

    And Stevenage beat my home team York a few years ago, hence the name.

  • Comment number 57.

    #27 Chad Secksington (really? I doubt it)

    But you're not a Gooner, so not sure why you're so bothered. The players you mention are all internationals and experienced, which I seem to remember is what all the armchair generals like you were calling for AW to invest in. Still, why worry with the real world when you can be the next Mourinho on a computer game, eh?

    And as for Gary 'Carl Lewis' Cahill, good player I grant you but I find it ever so interesting that here we are on TTD+1 and he's still at the Reebok. I wonder why?

  • Comment number 58.

    Cant believe I read that Arteta is a journeyman, He's been at Everton since 2005..... get your facts right alf!

    Good signings I think, Arteta has carried Everton through many a game and can give us the creativity and work ethic needed.

    As for Mertersacker, great signing who will provide the height that we have missed across the park for many years. He is not the most mobile but paired with Vermaerlen, we will have the combination of speed and strength in both of them. 65 caps for Germany and in the team that gave us a footballing lesson, he should fit in just fine.

    Arsenal and Arsene Wenger will never compete for the top players in the world as the strict wage structure puts many players off wanting to sign. However, I think this is what keeps me supporting Arsenal as they are not willing to line the pockets of greedy players and ever greedier agents who care not a jot for the club they play for.

    Football has changed, extravagance doesnt quite cover some of the fees payed for players and the wages paid to them for kicking a ball. The new rules will hopefully put an end to these crazy days and bring footy back to the fans who as ultimately paying for it!


  • Comment number 59.

    All these negative Arsenal fans, have no hope..Shows whether their a true supporter or not!! Be happy with who we've got..Benayoun might be aged but is still good, same with Arteta. Mertesaker is quality alongside Santos..Arsenal never looked like they would win the League without Fabregas pr Nasri, but the Experienced signing will get us into Champions League next year, which for me is the main focus for now!! Everyone starts small and gets step at a time, not a leap!

  • Comment number 60.

    Mertesacker is a great astute signing. After all who else in Arsenals ranks will be able to compete against the Rory Delap throw-ins to Peter Crouch

  • Comment number 61.

    Wow, amazed at some of the negative feedback here. I'm an Arsenal fan, and a good part of me wanted to see them outplayed at OT, to spur on this exact flurry of activity. Arsene was never going to change short of a miracle or a disaster. 8-2 was a bit much though...

    On the signings themselves though, I think that some the criticism is a bit harsh. Per Mertesacker's caps for Germany and reputation in the Bundesliga speak for themselves, and concerns over mobility are strange as at 6'6 and coming from another physical league he provides the foil to our otherwise technical, mobile defenders (Squilacci aside, who possesses none of these characteristics). If he can live up to his billing, or even close to it, we have an imposing prospect on our hands. And on this subject, Arteta getting slated for not being in the same league as Fab and Nasri... I think just give the guy a chance. If he flops, then berate him. You have to remember, the guy hasn't had a shot at a truly big club in his career since not making it at Barca. If we can keep him fit there's every chance he could really step up. Maybe not to the tune of Cesc, but in terms of where he'll fit into the team he could be a more than acceptable replacement. And with the others, time will tell I guess

  • Comment number 62.

    At 15:06 1st Sep 2011, Fantasyfootballbroughttolife wrote:

    Sorry mate but you have the bottom 3 the top 4 and the rest is mid table in my book. I firmly believe Arsenal is going the same way Pool went under Benetez, and maybe for the same reason. I think Wenger has lost his way completely. 6 years without a trophy, a disastrous finish to the season last year and not a great start this year.. plus the attitude of all and sundry to do with Arsenal on or near the pitch. I will say this, the best thing about Arsenal is the fans.

  • Comment number 63.

    Yes, he hasn't played a full international for Spain but that is because Xavi , Iniesta, Fabregas and alonso are all ahead of him seeing as they are some of the best players of our generation.


    So in other words, the player Arsenal have brought in isn't anywhere near as good as the player that left.

  • Comment number 64.

    I must say that I am happy with Mertesacker. I don't understand why people here are moaning that he is not a quality player. Surely having 70+ caps for Germany means you have quality. Yes he may be slow but that was the same for Tony Adams. He can read the game well, be strong in crosses at set plays both in defence and attack.

    Arteta is a decent replacement for Fabregas. Someone mentined he wasn't even a Spanish national player. Well Fabregas wasn't until recently and also Fabregas only gets bit part games with them and comes on as sub. This also means that he will be fresher as he doesn't play internationals.

    So Benayoun's loan deal won't be wow signing but we need experience players and he's been around the premiership for a few years.

    I have to point out to you Dan that you have a few facts wrong. So what if SK and AU have a few billions. This club is run on a sustainable way. Also AU might be a shareholder but that's where it ends. He has a very limited hand in what he can see or do with Arsenal as he is not a member of the board or has over 30% of the shares to see the clubs books.

    Maybe we need to look at changing the board members as apart from Gazidis they are all in their mid sixties and seventies. There is no one that is young with plenty of drive to bring things forward.

    Maybe it's time the board took away the financial information from Wenger and basically ask him for a list of players and for someone else to worry about the salaries and performance pay of players. Just like some Man City players Arsenal are in some cases paying too much money for some of their squad players. I mean £52k a week for Bendtner!!! No wonder there's a stumbling block when other teams come and look at him to sign for them. AW is too close to the players to give them salary increases.

    I still think like most fans that winning the league although a lot harder is still acheivable goal for us to think about. The top 4 is a must every season as well. I just wish that all you reporters would get off our case because we might not have won anything or don't spend money we don't have and look at how well everything is done. When the financial fair play comes in I'm sure there are clubs thinking of ways around it but you can't see the likes of Chelsea being able to afford the transfer fees and salaries they pay.

  • Comment number 65.

    well i am quiet happy with our recruit.true i wish we would have sign a "big signing" but still now i am more confident we finish above pool who have sign similar player for far more money.
    people who say jagielka and cahill are way better than mertesaker really know nothing about football the other two are 4th-5th choice for a poor england team and have play mid table team all their life or lower,the other one is number one (with hummel who i think is better) cb of the exiting national german team, title winner and champions league experience

    while now the donkey of gartside face loosing cahill in 12 month for nothing (or a very small fee in january)because he ask for way too much .even spurs wasnt ready to put the asking who is laughting phil

  • Comment number 66.

    I´ve been travelling for the last week and missed out on what has been going on including the Man Utd massacre so forgive me if others have already commented on this issue.

    I cannot believe that Arsene Wenger does not have enough self-respect or respect for Arsenal fans (of whom I am not one) to resign.

    This last-minute runaround, signing up players by the dozen shows there is something badly wrong at Highbury. I only hope the Arsenal fans get something for their money.

  • Comment number 67.

    He's still a good player is he not ? Is nani as good as Cristiano Ronaldo? Is Tom cleverly as good as Paul Scholes ? Is Chris Smalling as good as Gary Neville ? the answer is no, but they are all still good players, Arteta will do a job for arsenal, I was just pointing out that's why he doesn't have a full spanish cap

  • Comment number 68.

    The lateness of the deals done really concerns me. I can't help but feel a few judicious defensive signings 18 months ago along with an attacking signing could well have prevented the departure of certainly Cesc if not Na$ri. It's interesting both have commented negatively on the Emerates and I wonder whether that's about the lack of money spent since the move on obviously needed reinforcements. All we've effectively done is partially replaced what we've lost so we're no further advanced than July. Is there the possibility of a lack of money being made available despite Wengers insistence to the contrary? It makes no sense that someone who is obviously talented would be ignoring what seems to be blatantly obvious to everyone else. Or is it just that Arsene needs a better advisor on matters defensive?

  • Comment number 69.

    #66 John Fitzpatrick

    Methinks you have been away for more than a week, good sir. Highbury hasn't been around for quite a few years...

  • Comment number 70.

    @17. - most level headed comment of the day.

    Arsenal fans cry out for experience and leadership and in Mertersacker, we have it. European experience, international experience and he's only 26. Granted he might not be a speed demon, but neither was Adams, Steve Bould etc. Come on. I think we did need to get Mertersacker +1 more (someone versatile, Jagielka / Vertonghen).

    I still think they missed a trick to show a bit more direction. M'Vila doesnt play Champions League with Rennes and for creative players Arteta is an Arsenal style player and could be a little gem, but I feel without additional bodies for rotation I still feel disappointed.

    @18 There are plenty of top quality players out there which aren't at big clubs. Nasri and Fabregas started somewhere and Arsenal nurtured them. Montolivo + Douglas Costa + M'Vila along with Arteta in my opinion would have been a nice stepping stone to patching up the cracks.

    On a positive note, Santos looks decent going fwd and the back line looks relatively solid in Sagna, Mertersacker, Vermaelen, Santos.

  • Comment number 71.

    Sorry but I thought that I read the line "the respected fan website Le Grove,". The website is seen as a dirty tabloid full of poorly written rants. Le Grovel may indicate supports feelings but hopefully not their intelliegence.
    Arsenal untold (pro wenger) or ANR (anti wenger) are two better blogs. There are a thousand others you can find out there too.

  • Comment number 72.

    In my view people still moaning are being a bit pessimistic..
    I think what they have is quiet good though not excellent...
    In short..I would rather have a well balanced team with enough cover for injuries and what not, rather than have 2-3 excellent players without any cover when they dont play..overall the team in view is much more balanced..
    with Cesc and Nasri we did not win anything, so might as well try and see what the new signings bring to us now....
    As they say in maths (out of 10 for 5 places) 9+9+5+5+5 equals 33 (which Arsenal were before) and now its more like 8+8+8+5+5 equals 34 ( as I see them now);
    much better...

  • Comment number 73.

    #63 we all follow united (from Surrey)

    And who was it who replaced Ronaldo? Maradona? Pele? Djemba-Djemba?

    Just because somebody isn't quite as good doesn't mean they still not very good. I hope you can understand the nuance of this.

  • Comment number 74.

    On a positive note, Santos looks decent going fwd and the back line looks relatively solid in Sagna, Mertersacker, Vermaelen, Santos.


    But who's going to hold in front of them? And track back on the wings? You can have the best back 4 and goalkeeper in the World but if you're not defending from the front as well, you will ship goals!

  • Comment number 75.

    The whole last minute transfer window activity just shows how inept the business managers are who run football clubs really are. Any good business manager would conclude this type of activity way before prices rise artificially and to ensure that people and plans are in place and settled before the start of the season. It pains me to say it but Man Utd have taken the sensible approach and their league position and start to the season proves the worth of this.

  • Comment number 76.

    Comment 41 - hear hear!

    Mertesacker is exactly what Arsenal need, 6'6, solid performer and very experienced, He was my choice over Cahill, Jagielka and Samba and that's not even considering the fact he came much cheaper. You pay a huge premium on english talent.

    Yossi is there for squad depth and as a loan deal Arsenal can't really lose in adding him to the squad.

    Arteta could be great for a couple of years (I wish he was a couple of years younger). Hope he can stay injury free. He will see alot more of the ball at Arsenal and for 10 million he could prove to be a very very good signing.

    Honestly I think it is a two horse race in Manchester for the title, (I am tipping city). If anyone saw the MOTD analysis of Chelsea's backline the other day, they certainly appear vulnerable. Despite the hype, Liverpool are an injury to Suarez away from being very average again (though bellamy may solve this potential problem).

    I am quietly confident Arsenal will get a top 4 finish, they have a good track record of it...

  • Comment number 77.

    Arsenal have done pretty well in my opinion. You cant force a team to let go of there top players, Eden Hazard, if the team dont wanna let him go, then what can AW do? Kidnapp him??

    JUST liek Snjeder (Spl) for Man Utd, Inter wouldnt let him go in the end.

    Mertersacker is a very good defender, alot better than Cahill (cant even get in the england lineup), Samba (coming from a BB Rovers fan), Jagielka (same as Cahill).. Who else out there is an estalbilsed Centre Half, at a young age (26) and is in the German side as a first liner??

    Personally, Arsenal have done well, OK, not perfect but neither did Man U/Chelsea

  • Comment number 78.

    it's also pretty shocking to see a bloke take a pay cut from Everton to Arsenal, that is just unbelievable.

  • Comment number 79.

    Metesacker will make Koscielny seem like Nemanja Vidic to the Arsenal supporters. That is how stationary and techically poor the German is.

  • Comment number 80.

    Le Grove respected? Are you mad? It's full of snivelling newbies.

  • Comment number 81.

    I'm quite happy with the business Everton have done yesterday £15.5m into the club and two loan players is good sense. Yakubu and Beckford weren't up to scratch and Arteta is pushing 30 and injury prone. I can't understand though why Everton didn't consider Nicolas Bendtner as he's been loaned to Sunderland...he's a proven Premiership player, I know the Arteta deal was completed late on but they were umming and arring all day - he must have come into the conversation somewhere between Wenger and Moyes. I hope this Argentinian lad hits the ground running as we're very short up front now, Saha plays 1 game and misses 3 and Anichebe is very hit and miss.

  • Comment number 82.

    He's still a good player is he not ? Is nani as good as Cristiano Ronaldo? Is Tom cleverly as good as Paul Scholes ? Is Chris Smalling as good as Gary Neville ? the answer is no, but they are all still good players, Arteta will do a job for arsenal, I was just pointing out that's why he doesn't have a full spanish cap


    I'm not saying he won't 'do a job', just that the players Arsenal have brought in are nowhere near the quality of the midfield players that have left. On another topic, how many more games will Jenkinson get this season? He's looked massively out of his depth so far, put him up against Ashley Young on Sunday was almost cruel.

  • Comment number 83.

    Snjeder to Manu was the biggest Media Myth of the summer, so big he started to believe it himself. Ferguson said mid summer it was rubbish and the journos insisted still.

  • Comment number 84.

    Too little too late is euphemistic to the nth degree. One wonders how the final few hours before the transfer deadline would have been spent had Arsenal not humiliated themselves at the 'feet' of Man Utd on Saturday.

    To say events since the 'Old Trafford obfuscation' have been reactionary would also be far too generous towards Wenger's (and the board's) 'summer of sorrow.' It all depicts an organization scantily endowed with leadership, prescience and communication...sounds like most governments!

    Of course the five major signings in the last 24 hours will increase Arsenal's chances this year. I now no longer fear relegation and am quite confident that the Gooners will be able to mount a challenge for European competition...albeit of the Mickey Mouse variety reserved for the team finishing in a Mickey Mouse position in the League or winning the Mickey Mouse competition that Birmingham currently holds.

    Regarding the already confirmed slots at the pinnacle of the Premier League, each club has differentiated itself from Arsenal in chiefly two areas: spending and ambition. The financial side of the argument is more contentious. Some would argue that successfully competing against the oligarchic magnates of Man City, Chelsea, Man Utd and Liverpool is simply illusory; others would claim that Arsenal could too be a part of this over-leveraged elite. However, on point of ambition, the salient characteristics are well defined. Naturally Wenger would refute this accusation - he refutes absolutely every ounce of criticism thrown his way - but unarguably, the 'rebuilding' methods he has employed since 2005 have been completely devoid of the most important perception there is: Reality.

    I am an Arsenal fan, and have been one for nearly 30 years. However, I realized about 2 seasons ago that Arsenal would not compete at the very highest level for a long time. There was a degree of inevitability to this, mainly due to the influx of foreign financing. But I have always maintained that Wenger had a small window of opportunity between roughly 2005 and 2008. With bold, decisive and proactive transfer tactics to add physicality and experience, especially to the spine of the team, he could have probably avoided the exodus. In the period that has lapsed, Arsenal would surely have won a league trophy, maybe an FA Cup, certainly a Mickey Mouse Cup and possibly even a European. All of this would have radically changed the landscape at Arsenal; but alas, the window was slammed shut a few years ago now.

    So get used to it, fellow Gooners! Embrace the prospect of getting excited about qualifying for Europe or maybe a Cup run. The sooner you forget the Premier League title oasis, the more you will enjoy being a football fan again. Consider the idea of consulting either Blackburn, Leeds or Newcastle fans - demographics that have collectively reorganized their thinking and now accept football without silverware.

    Good luck!

  • Comment number 85.

    #78 collie21

    Why? To me it shows good business sense from the club and ambition from the player. Are you in the habit of paying more for your copy of the Daily Star than you have to? It's people like you who have got this country into the financial mess it's in.

    #79 Russeljones

    Your opinion would be more credible if you could spell.

  • Comment number 86.

    Out with the world class, in with the average.

    Not exactly a good strategy eh?

  • Comment number 87.

    @greenandpurple - the only club to spend more than man utd this transfer window were City. Man Utd bought de gea ashley young and phil jones all in the region of 20m (give or a take a couple of mil) meaning they spent £60million. Arsenal really only spent the Nasri/Fabregas money and Chelsea only really went big on Juan Mata. Work it out before you make stupid comments.

  • Comment number 88.

    There are some seriously misguided glory hunting eegits commenting on here. Firstly with reference to no.66 you call for Wenger to resign, on what grounds? He has created and Arsenal FC that is globally recognized for its quality of football, overseen the transition to the new stadium, The Emirates is where we play and have done for a few years, muppet!, and has bought players in the bracket that the club can afford. The media and some fans wonder why our board have not dipped into their own pockets? Isnt that the point of the new UEFA rules on financial management of clubs, to try and get away from this. Arsenal are attempting to compete whilst maintaining a sensible financial approach that will maintain the club as basically self sufficient for generations to come. Yes Arsenal can not compete with the profligate spending of City, Chelsea, Man Utd, and Liverpool, but then we never could. I admire Wenger for sticking to a policy of spending what is an appropriate amount of money on a player rather than an inflated fee. Its not been easy this summer or for the start of the season for Arsenal, fans and club alike but it is what it is. Lets not slaughter Wenger, rather lets be more realistic in understanding that our beloved Arsenal, is doing a good job whilst those around them are throwing money hand over fist at a negligent level.

    As For our signings. Well if we look at Artetta, he actually created more assists than Nasri last season. We had one half of a good season with Nasri last year and he had shown periods of quality before that, but he wanted out. Everyone is blaming wenger for letting the contract negotiations fail, but if the player wants out he wants out. Fabregas wanted to go back to his home club. The length of time to sort out, Fabregas is based on the fact Barcelona do not have the pots of money they used to and Arsenal wanted the best price in a one club negotiation. I think Fabregas is wordclass, but i also think he had a stinker of a season last year. So all in all Artetta might not be the worldclass player of Fabregas but i think he will provide a more critical and consistent performance level for the club. Santos, and Mertesacker are quality and will, in my opinion, shore up the back. Mertesacker is a better defender than Cahill or any of the other defenders we were linked with, and ended up being cheaper too. I also think Benayoun will provide quality to the squad. World class players, well i think our keeper, V.Persie and wilshere are there, and the squad depth is stronger.

    Finally can i just say, the pot of money we had to spend, has to included sign on fees, agents fees, wages etc. It is not just there for the Transfer fee. Also would you be happy if wenger had spent £50 million on a player and he turned out to be a duffer. Say like Torres?

    Seriously catch a grip and get behind the club if you support them, and if you don't look at your own club and see if your board is handling the club professionally then comment!

  • Comment number 89.

    Why O why did wenger leave it so late to buy some players we all knew in july that clichy,nasri and fabregas were goin to go. Not only did we need to replace them but in my opinion to compete with the best we needed a goalkeeper 2 centre backs and a tough tackling midfielder. Shay given,jose enrique,gary cahill and scott parker along with mertesacker and arteta should have been signed earlier in the summer.

  • Comment number 90.

    Sorry forgot to add to my comment(which is still now showing here)...
    Ashley Young (Gooner fan) 16-18 mil or Chamberlain 16 mill
    I know which I will pick....Arsenal board needs to sort out this problem
    who ever was heading their scouting division (its for sure not Arsene) is not fit for the job and I would like him/her to offer his/her job to David D. along with the free tickets they are offering to away fans

  • Comment number 91.

    I always thought Wenger didn't have any money to spend but after this last day panic buying it's obvious , as foolish as he is, he thought he could get away by not spending at all..the 8-2 proved otherwise. He bought some average over-the-hill players because he had no idea what to do.

    I have joined the Wenger out club now. He has no clue.

    How he could ever gamble on the likes of Gibbs, Ramsey, Rosicky is a mystery.


  • Comment number 92.

    @greenandpurple - the only club to spend more than man utd this transfer window were City. Man Utd bought de gea ashley young and phil jones all in the region of 20m (give or a take a couple of mil) meaning they spent £60million. Arsenal really only spent the Nasri/Fabregas money and Chelsea only really went big on Juan Mata. Work it out before you make stupid comments.


    United actually spent around £51 million, De Gea £18.6m, Young £17m, Jones £16.5m. The same £16.5m that Arsenal would have spent if Jones hadn't snubbed them. The total is less than they earnt purely from the Champions League.

  • Comment number 93.

    I don't understand how any of my fellow Gooners can be happy with the signings. We've lost Nasri and Fabregas. Those are two of the best midfielders in world football and we've replaced them with a second rate Xavi and a guy who didn't even make the grade at Liverpool. Yes we needed bodies and better them than noone but when you see teams on our level (Juventus, Roma etc...) getting players like Elia and Diego you have to wonder what the hell Wenger and the board are playing at. We needed players like Hamsik, Elia and Willian. Our squad is now officially second rate. I'll stay on the fence with Park and Santos as I haven't seen enough of them but for Metersacker for 10 mil is a terrible buy when we could've signed Cahill for 15 mil. Metersacker is no doubt a quality CB but mark my words he is too slow and immobile for the Premiership. Any team with pace and quality will cause him all kinds of problems. Cahill is tailor made for us as he's pacey, good on the ball, a leader, young and most importantly he knows the Prem.

    We desperately needed at least one top quality WINGER but yet again we're bringing in central midfielders with the intention of playing them out wide.

    Bye bye top four and we'd best enjoy the CL this season because we won't be seeing it for a few years

  • Comment number 94.

    Thank goodness Bendtner has gone, at least for the time being. Hopefully it will become a permanent move OUT.

  • Comment number 95.

    I do understand why Arsenal is panicking after the 8-2 result but if you look more closely its not as bad as the scoreline suggests. Out of the 8, 3 were from set-pieces which on a good day could have been saved, 2 were stunning curling shots (Ashley Young) which could have gone out any other day. Welbeck's goal was bad marking. So the Nani and the Park goals were were plain dumb luck. Any other day they could have shot over the bar. Its just one of those day. Nothing goes right for ya! The positives are that Arsenal made a dozen or so shots at target (2 went in), which on a good day could mean 4 up or more. Against a lesser team this performance could have led to a commanding victory. Sure you were missing Fab and Nasri, Arteta and Benayoun will fill that gap. Not the same quality but effective nonetheless. And you do have Wilshire. He's pure quality. Once he's back it will be different midfield, better than almost 18 in the league. The defensive loopholes are plugged and you have players coming back from suspension as well. Bottomline!! Its not as bad as it looks! Its just 3 matches, 35 to go.

    P.S I am a Man U fan but i love watching the Gunners. They are awesome!

  • Comment number 96.

    To use stats to verify a midfielder's greatness is nonsense. Cameron Jerome moved for what £4mill? He had 7 assists last season to Arteta's . Leon Osman had 6 for heaven's sake!

    Fact is Arsenal fans are now wanting trophies. They failed last year yet have sold their two best players and have bought in ones regarded nowhere near as highly. They finished 4th. They've made a net profit of £21mill on this summer's transfer activity yet Arsenal fans are happy that they can still make 4th place despite just conceding 8 goals at the weekend. Put the transfers in the first team and it looks half decent. But we know Arsenal's injury record means that team will feature at a much lower percentage than most and the squad depth is not good enough for a team with 4th place aspirations.

    Of course I may well be proved wrong but if I am, it will most likely due to the likes of Villa, Spurs and Liverpool not stepping up to the plate which is also entirely possible.

  • Comment number 97.

    I can´t believe there are people here saying that Arsenal have done badly out of this. They managed to strengthen defence, midfield and attack considerably while adding depth and experience to the squad. Let´s look at this in another way:

    Arsenal added Gervinho, Mertesacker, Santos, Benayoun, Park and Arteta, a mix of experienced international players (plus several captains for those looking for leadership) for the price they received for Fabregas.

    That leaves the Nasri money still to be invested, in January with Cahill´s contract running down, you really think Bolton won´t be forced to sell cut price, say for 6million? Another quality quality player can still be added and I think Arsenal fans should be very satisfied with the business done.

    Biggest losers, sorry - Tottenham. A thin(ish) squad just got considerably thinner, you´ll have to hope that no major injuries come around or that Modric plays well. I can´t believe you refused 40m for him ....

  • Comment number 98.

    I think Arsenal made some some good signings. Were they GREAT signings? Well lets see...I also think 1 or 2 others should have come in - including one more defender. Would have loved to see Adam Johnson on the right for Arsenal but i hear he wasnt interested. Cahill would have been a great buy too. PLus you have players like Frimpong and Gervinho to come back...

    Before the signings i thought Arsenal definitely wouldnt get Champions league this season. Now i believe slightly more that they might. I think the battle is with Liverpool or Chelsea to get that spot and at the moment because of lack of transfer activity, i fear Arsenal will still miss out - just.

  • Comment number 99.

    Overall I'm very happy with these signings.

    We needed a tall, commanding Centre back. We got one.
    We needed a decent left back to replace the disastrous Traore. We got one.
    We needed someone who could cover central midfield in the absence of Song. We got one.
    We needed a player to cover for Van Persie's inevitable injury. We got one.

    The result against Man U was a freak, caused by a defensive line missing 3 first choice players and a midfield missing both Song and his deputy. Yes it was embarrassing to watch but despite playing incredibly badly, the stats show that Arsenal had as many of chances to score as United.

    If you look at the 8 goals conceded, one was a penalty, two from fantastically taken free kicks, two from simply sublime finishes from Ashley Young. One was offside (not given) while two were down to defnsive errors.

  • Comment number 100.

    I can´t believe there are people here saying that Arsenal have done badly out of this. They managed to strengthen defence, midfield and attack considerably


    Replacing Fabregas and Nasri with Arteta and Benayoun constitutes 'strengthening the midfield considerably'? Really?


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