Posted on Thursday, 26th January 2012 by Iain Culverhouse
Ex-Gunner Alan Smith firmly believes that Arsenal’s transfer policy is wrong and they are paying the price for it.
Speaking to the Hawksbee and Jacobs Show on talkSPORT, Smith spoke about Arsenal’s pursuit of Gary Cahill and how their failure to meet the asking price cost them the Englishman’s services:
‘We don’t know exactly how it happened but we do know Arsenal made a bid which Bolton rejected, so why not go a bit higher, pay the asking price and get the player?
‘Now he’s gone to Chelsea and he’s a good signing for them, and he would have been a good one for Arsenal, and better than Per Mertesacker, in my opinion.’
Now this annoyed me. I do agree that Arsenal should have signed Cahill for the money that Bolton were asking for because he would have been a great acquisition, However, there is nothing to say that the England international will be a success at Chelsea.
We are all familiar with people getting big money moves to other clubs in the Premier League, you only need to look at Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll who are prime examples of players who went for much more than they’re worth and have done nothing.
‘Once it became clear Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri were both going, that’s when you’re looking for the manager to make adequate replacements, to get some quality in and not have to do something at the last minute as he ended up doing.
‘They did seem like panic buys at the 11th hour. Arteta is 29 with an injury record, something Wenger looks at; Benayoun is 31 and won’t make a huge difference to the first XI at the Emirates; Mertesacker has 80 caps for his country but doesn’t look a player who has that. Ask him to run and he looks slow and it’s worrying. He’s a good solid character, but that’s not always enough.’
Now for me, Mikel Arteta has been our best signing this season. I am already a huge fan of his, so for Alan Smith to come out and knocked on about three players, one being Arteta, and complained at Arsenal for not getting Gary Cahill, is extremely disappointing. It seems me he is seeking attention, as his comments are not supportive of the club in anyway shape or form.
However, I do agree that Arsenal need to change their transfer policy so that we can compete with the big guns in signing the best talent, not just selling them. I just think that there are better ways for ex-Arsenal players to voice their opinions and I think Smith’s comments are more of a dig at the club than constructive criticism.
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