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Arsenal’s transfer window disappointment continues, but why?

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Modified 01 Aug 2013, 10:37 IST
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Arsene Wenger the Arsenal manager watches from the touchline during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Wigan Athletic at Emirates Stadium on May 14, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

The Gunners have had a severely disappointing transfer window so far. Arsene Wenger’s inability to close deals has left Arsenal in a transfer limbo.

At the start of July, Arsenal fans were experiencing a time of excitement, with the signings of Higuain, Fellaini, and Rooney looking imminent. Things haven’t quiet gone according to plan for the North London club; the appalling inability to close out transfers has really hurt Arsenal and their ambitions for the future.

There was a lot expected from Arsenal in the transfer window this time around, with a reported budget of around £100 million, together with the board’s open endorsement of big money signings, giving the fans and players a lot of hope.

The biggest disappointment so far for Arsenal is the failure to land Gonzalo Higuain. The former Madrid striker openly expressed his desire to leave the Spanish capital, with reports going around of his arrival at London for a medical. This wasn’t to be, Madrid and Arsenal failed to reach an agreement over the transfer fee for the striker, and eventually Napoli took advantage of the situation to hijack the move and take Higuain to Naples. This failure left a hole in the hopes of the Gunners faithful; they were left asking the question, “what happened?”

What is going wrong at Arsenal? Honestly, I don’t think there is one stand-out cause. In my opinion, there are a lot of factors that affect Arsenal’s ability to hold their own in the transfer market.

One main cause of the struggle is the fall from grace Arsenal has suffered in the past eight years. Players don’t see Arsenal as the superpower it once was, which is mainly due to the fact that there has been no new silverware at the Emirates for the past eight years.

Yes, its all well and good that there is a new stadium and all the debt has been paid off, but isn’t football more about what happens on the pitch? The on-field performances by Arsenal haven’t been at the standard it once was; during the days of Henry and Bergkamp, Arsenal could go for any player and be able to wrap up the signing in no time.

In my opinion, it isn’t the sheer financial power that is in question with Arsenal; it is the fact that the Emirates don’t seem like the most attractive destination for players around the world. If Arsenal want the big players, they should step up their ambitions beyond the top four, chase silverware with strong intent, and give incoming players an assurance of success.

A great illustration of this is the more recent transfer failure of Brazilian youngster Bernard. Everything looked set for completion, but in came Porto and Shakhtar, and in a matter of hours, Bernard has ended up overlooking Arsenal. With reports going around that Arsenal themselves pulled out of the race for the midfielder, it hardly seems like a financial issue.

The fact of the matter is that the other clubs seemed like a better destination for success. It wasn’t about the money in this case, it was the matter of the player choosing to go elsewhere, in search of success, and Arsenal did not seem like the best place to go. This is the harsh truth, and it’s a hard pill to swallow, especially for an Arsenal fan, such as myself.

Published 01 Aug 2013, 10:37 IST
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