Arsenal crisis as injuries mount and Wenger calls for calm
This summer Arsenal have offloaded 17 players and recruited one – and the fans are worried
COULD it get any worse for Arsenal? The club that began the summer looking as though it was about to embark on a huge spending spree will start the new season with one new player on its books and Arsene Wenger (above) begging for calm as he tries to overcome an Emirates injury crisis.
So far this summer Wenger has offloaded 17 players, but recruited only one – striker Yaya Sanogo on a free transfer. The Gunners go into their opening game against Aston Villa with resources already stretched after injuries to Thomas Vermaelen, Mikel Arteta and Nacho Monreal.
The Daily Mail summed up Wenger's position by noting: "The Arsenal manager has come in for criticism from fans over a lack of activity despite possessing vast cash reserves – and faces the prospect of having only 11 fit first-team players for the visit of Aston Villa tomorrow".
However, Wenger has been putting a brave face on things and insisted he would not be panicked into buying substandard players. He also urged fans to stay calm and said he fully expected to make some signings before the transfer window closes on 2 September.
"I understand every frustration," he insisted. "There are so many frustrated people. But what is important is the quality of what you do on the football pitch, so let's not create a crisis out of nothing."
Wenger must now be praying that his team perform well against Villa and that he manages to finally land one of his many transfer targets.
"But true quality, the sort that Wenger feels would genuinely improve his squad, appears to be thin on the ground," notes the Daily Telegraph.
There is no denying that the fans are restless. "The reality is we've been sitting on a pile of cash all summer, which could have been used to make our team better, and we have singularly failed to do that," lamented the Arseblog website.
As the Mail puts it: "If Arsene Wenger has not pushed the panic button yet, then surely his finger is poised over it. A summer that promised so much, has, as it stands, produced so very little." ·