View From The Sphere

Arsenal’s top TEN transfers – When Wenger Got it Wrong


Jermaine Pennant

Pennant was signed at the age of 15 by Wenger in 1999 for £2 million (a record fee for a trainee at the time) from Notts County. He endured long spells on the bench at Highbury and unfortunately the Englishman never lived up to his potential. Instead, the winger suffered from major disciplinary problems which affected him from settling into the club. Pennant had a couple of loan spells at Watford and Leeds United before he was let go by Arsenal and was sent packing to Birmingham City in 2004.

Igor Stepanovs

Possibly the worst signing Wenger has ever made in his managerial career. Why Stepanovs was bought to the club is beyond me and possibly most of the Arsenal fans reading this. The 6’ 4’’ centre-back was absolute garbage and the 6-1 battering at the hands of Manchester United at Old Trafford proved this testament. Wenger paid £1 million to Skonto Riga (a Latvian club) in 2000 for Igor Stepanovs services. The defender made 17 appearances before moving to K.S.K. Beveren in 2003. Stepanovs was a complete and utter joke for Arsenal, and that’s me being nice!

Francis Jeffers

Jeffers was playing his club football for Everton and impressed so much that Wenger opted to sign him from the Toffees in 2001 for a surprising £8 million. Everton must have been laughing all the way to the bank when they sold the striker for as much as they did. Jeffers spent 3 years with Arsenal, making a total of 22 appearances and managing to only score a measly 4 goals for the North London club. The English striker was ultimately sold to Charlton for £2.6 million in 2004, as he was forced out by better forwards in Thierry Henry and Sylvain Wiltord. A fox in the box? More like a frog in the bog.

Richard Wright

Richard Wright Joined Arsenal in 2001 from Ipswich Town for an estimated £6 million, after a countless number of splendid performances for the Tractor Boys impressed the French manager. Wenger brought in the English goalkeeper as a successor to David Seaman, but failed to make an impact for the Gunners. His calamity against Charlton Athletic which led to a home 4-2 defeat for saw the fans question the goalkeeper’s ability. Wright also suffered a long-term injury which saw the keeper drop to third choice behind Stuart Taylor. Wright’s only year at Arsenal was below average, but the goal-stopper was also plagued with a number of injuries and only managed to make a total of 22 appearances for the club…he was later sold to Everton.

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  • tarith says:

    all the signings (mistakes) happened when we used 2 win titles…
    all signings are before 2004

  • mic says:

    Couldn’t it be that wats happening now was wat happened then? With all these fans shouting buy buy buy. The media has taken advantage of it to link us with every tom,dick and harry. Fans must have been happy with wenger when he bought those players with some at expensive prices. Thats wat u hear now…wenger needs to spend on ‘world class’ players without thinking if we re going to ve another stephanov,cygan,jeffers,etc. True,the manager will not get it right everytime but allow him do his job even if u won’t support him.

  • Mutua says:

    Sebastian Squillaci and Maroune Chamakh.wat a waste

  • arsene nal says:

    arsene’s a human. when u make so many signings as a manager, not to say the excellent ones that matter like henry viera etc. there are bound to be a few that end up not well. same like for investment u win u lose sometimes

  • Silverose says:

    What about sylvestre,denilson,almunia and squilacci?

  • Hadley says:

    Only Reyes and Jeffers actually cost anything more than pennies and even in those cases we got a substantial amount of it back.

    Wreh actually scored some incredibly important goals in the 98 double year – 3 winners when we won 1-0 during the title run in. Any true Gunner would know that.

    Get your bloody facts right and show some support for your club. You bunch of fair weather cry babies should be ashamed of yourselves, we could still win the league this year ffs and all you do is come out with this negative sh***. No wonder the players have no confidence. F***ing grow some balls

  • Michael C says:

    Your list to me read’s

    Richard Wright – won League and FA Cup with us.

    Francis Jeffers – almost a goal a game at various international levels.

    Oleg Luzhny – Fa Cup winner

    Pascal Cygan – Kept 11 clean sheets in 20 games one season – bought for 1 million, sold for 2 million.

    Jose Antonio Reyes – How the hell did he get on your list? Look at performances in Champions league v Real, Juve, Villareal and even in the final v Barca. Most assists in league, won league and cup whilst here and beaten finalist in champions league.

    Luis Boa Morte – Won FA cup and league

    Christopher Wreh – Won FA Cup and League

    Senderos and Pennant were bought as potential stars – both still in premier league, so cant really argue with that.

    Stepanovs was terrible, simply terrible.

    Thing you have to look at is that many of the above players are players who at the time were performing very well – Reyes, Jeffers and Wright – and at time of purchase we all thought they were great buys aswell, sometimes they just cant perform at a club and they are branded as a poor purchase. For example, would you class Bergkamp as a poor buy? Inter did and sold him to us – hourses for courses mate.

    When you look at the above and complain about his poor buys, I prefer to look at his good buys and the way he has almost single handedly revolusionised not only our club, but english football in general.

    Tell you what mate, why not write a new article tomorrow on his buys, what he bought them for, what he got out of them and what we sold them on for? Please also mention facts, all the facts, not just ones that prove your point of view. I.E we have not won anything for 5 seasons, but in that time we have been to x amount of finals and been 1 game away from winning the league in that time.

    Sorry for the rant, but articles about what he has done wrong just pisses me right off – he is human and will make mistakes.

  • K says:

    Calm down guys, this is only the writers opinion. Although you may not agree with his selection, he still has right to express his views whether they are right or wrong

  • echezona chukwuma says:

    i really liked the guy Francis Jeffers and can’t actually tell why he didn’t make a huge hit,but didnt deserve to be on that list.
    Jose Antonio Reyes????!!!!!
    are you nuts?!!!!!!!
    whats ur standard for evaluating a flop?
    cos am suprised Sebastian Squillaci, denilson,almunia, didn’t make ur list. jesus you didnt even mention Sylvestre

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