Hard to know what Wenger makes of this transfer pandemic, isn’t it?
The great man has kept radio silence over the last week, presumably either because he’s off on business or because he’s staggering around Blackpool half cut wearing a Kiss Me Quick hat.
But we can guess: For a man who has long (and correctly, in my view) espoused common sense in the running of a football club, this mayhem must be deeply discomforting.
Live by your means, that’s his maxim, and he has always done that.
Real Madrid’s claim that these transfers pay for themselves is hard to believe with the eye-watering numbers that promise to change hands – Â£140m thus far. I mean, if an Â£80m transfer made financial sense, why don’t all clubs do it?
I suppose the answer to that is, for Madrid, it just does. Their fanbase is truly global, and with all due respect to the great Italian and English clubs, nothing touches them for glamour and history. Nine European Cups says it all.
Doesn’t make it right, though. In a summer when Wenger is presumably working in the Â£5m-Â£15m range, these kinds of deals will not help one jot. The market is further skewed by petro-dollars and dinars. This is going to be a tough summer for Wenger, I suspect. Not so much because his targets will be snaffled – he always manages to pull a relative unknown out the bag (Nasri, Sagna, the list goes on). But more because the sheer greed of footballers and agents will doubtless fuel the demands when there are millions being spent across Europe. Britain’s tax changes and the weakness of Sterling add to that, when you’re buying outside the UK.
For what it’s worth, on some issues I agree with Platini. The Champions League is horrendously predictable at times, principally to satisfy the wealthy clubs. He’s done something about that – and even though it might affect Arsenal, I’m not opposed to the early stages being shaken up a bit.
But I don’t see how he can realistically do much about the money being spent.
We can of course fall back on the fact that money does not buy success. That comes from having a great manager, a sensible board, and with the allowance of time to get things right (and make mistakes).
As Romford Pele said today on the Arsecast, there’s nobody better than Wenger for Arsenal at the moment. if anyone can battle the tide of money sweeping Europe, it’s him.
One more thing:
For those of you who access this on an iPhone, Android or BlackBerry Storm, I am playing around with a specific mobile template. I remain unconvinced as to whether it’s any better or more usable than accessing the standard web page, so if you have any feedback do let me know. My email is eastlower AT googlemail.com or you can get me via Twitter.