I’m inclined not to read too much into this ‘Arsenal probably won’t spend’ stuff coming out of the Arsenal chairman.
It’s possible that there could be outside financial pressures that we don’t know so much about – the flats at Highbury for example. But I think there could be an element of trying to knock prices down too; trying to dampen down expectations.
By talking down our spending capacity, it may be possible to strike better deals. It seems to be an open secret that two or three clubs need to sell this month, but if they think Arsenal are awash with cash, it might not be helpful for our cause.
Take Man City for example: Everyone knows they are awash with money, so any players they are linked with will be 25% more expensive. As a club, there’s hardly any point in saying “We have £40m and Wenger will spend it”, because prices will be adjusted accordingly.
I still think we will boost our squad by a couple of players. I’ve got a suspicion that deals will be tough and prices lower for most teams – the financial climate will be having more of an effect than we might care to think. But there are no dissenting voices when it comes to needing to strengthen the team. It’s patently clear it needs to happen.
Will we sell? It’s going to be interesting, isn’t it? Gallas is not happy, Toure is apparently not happy, but we can’t afford to let both go. There’d need to be like-for-like replacements lined up. The club would be nuts to weaken the squad further unless there was someone to come straight in.
And I’m not talking about “internal solutions”… Our solutions need to be external.
I don’t know what the story with Toure is, but I do know he’s not been the Kolo of old for some time. It’s a great shame as he’s got a magnificent attitude, and in his prime he’s one of the best defenders there is. On top of that he’s one of the few players we have who has any experience of challenging for (and winning) the title.
But it is true that every player has his price, and that if he wants to go, it’s better to do the deal than to dig your heels in.
Hold onto your hats…