Wenger Finally Breaks Into the Piggy Bank

Blimey. It seems after my blog last week asking Arsene Wenger to splash the cash or send some down to the Essex coast to my little club Southend United, he has taken my advice and gone into spending overdrive. Of course being hammered 8-2 by Manchester United on Sunday may also have something to do with it (I don’t want to take all the credit).

In the space of 3 days he has bought in Santos from Fenerbahce, Chu Young Park from Monaco, Mertesacker from Werder Bremen, Arteta from Everton and Benayoun from Chelsea on a season long loan.

Mertesacker, in my view, is an excellent signing. Strong, powerful, built like the proverbial brick outhouse and, at 6ft 6, dominant in the air, he will bring much needed solidity and experience to a shaky, leaky Arsenal defence. Alongside Vermaelen I expect these two to become the 2011 version of Tony Adams and Steve Bould.

However the last two signings intrigue me the most.

Arteta would seem to be a like for like replacement for Fabregas – a creative midfielder with an eye for goal. In my opinion he had probably had enough of treading water at Everton and, at 29, feels this is his last shot at winning some silverware with a ‘top four’ club, especially now Arsenal are in the Champions League proper.

However £10 million for a 29 year old who spent much of last season out injured does seem a tad excessive. We’ll see who got the best deal there come May 2012.

Benayoun is a strange one. Presumably a like for like replacement for Nasri, he left a regular first team spot with Liverpool to sit in the Stamford Bridge treatment room. A flair player with creativity yes, but lightweight and injury prone, which was reflected in his handful of appearances for Chelsea. Will he fare better at Arsenal?  Time and a few crunching tackles will tell.

Although a supporter of a League Two club, Arteta is one of my favourite Premiership players and as one of my best friends is an Arsenal season ticket holder, I will enjoy hearing what he has to say about these new signings after a couple of weeks once they have ‘bedded in’. After Sunday’s humiliation at Old Trafford he wanted Wenger’s head on a plate – hopefully he has calmed down now that some cash has been spent and will give The Professor and his new students time to gel (although knowing him as I do, about a week).

In Southend news we sent back Palace’s useless lump of a loanee, and re-signed Timlin from Swindon on loan, after having him for 6 weeks last season. So not so much out with the old and in with the new, more like out with the rubbish and in with the familiar.

Lee Morgan @Leem_007

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *