Over the past few months I have looked at our reported transfer targets. These reports may not be accurate but the specifics do not really matter in this case.
So we are linked with Yann M’Vila, a good player with some promising performances this season, Clint Dempsey, who has scored 23 goals this season and came fourth in PFA Player of the Season and Diego Lopez, who has vast experience to his name. We have already confirmed the signing of Lukas Podolski, another very talented player, not many players can score 18 goals for a team who has been relegated.
So looking back at the last 100 words or so, the average Arsenal fan would be happy with those signings, especially if Robin van Persie stays.
However, the truth is that I very much doubt, even with those potential acquisitions, we will win a trophy next season.
In the last five years the combined number of winners’ medals of those players equals a grand total of zero, nada, nothing. In fact two of them have suffered relegation, so how would signing the abovementioned players’ help us win trophies? In short, it will not. Even quality players like Fernando Llorente or Seydou Doumbia won’t help. Arsenal has never been short on quality; even in 2010/2011 we had a fantastic squad. Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Andrey Arshavin at his best. How many trophies did we win that season? None, where did we finish? Fourth.
Look at Manchester United for example; they are without a doubt title specialists. Only once have they finished outside the top two in the Premier League’s history and even up against Manchester City’s riches, they only lost out on a 20th league title on goal difference. But how many of their starting XI players would get into the Arsenal team? I’d say five – Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Wayne Rooney. Based on that, one could argue we have a better line-up. In my opinion we do, and yet somehow we lost 8-2 to, some would say, the worse United team and finished 19 points behind them. It’s because United and Sir Alex Ferguson are natural winners, they can play badly all season long and win titles because winning comes naturally to them. While we can be the best team in the country for six months, play amazing football and get to finals, then suddenly panic and kick the ball straight to Obafemi Martins.
I’m not saying we should spend £30 million on unproven youngsters from Everton, I was annoyed enough by us spending £12 million on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. However, I think mentality needs to be considered more when choosing our targets; after all we have a lot of quality in our side. Take Olivier Giroud from Montpellier for example. He won the Ligue 1 last season and he was the best striker in that division by a clear mile. But would you call him a natural winner? I’ll put it this way, the season before the one just passed (2010/11), Montpellier finished 14th and they had Giroud back then. Before that he was playing in Ligue 2. To me he doesn’t sound like a natural winner.
Here is the list of players I think would bring success to Arsenal: Diego Milito from Inter. With six major honours including the Serie A and the Champions League to his name, the Argentine is a proven striker.
James Rodriguez from FC Porto. Aged just 20, Rodriguez has already won three major trophies at Porto including the Europa League and Portuguese Premier League.
Paulo Henrique Ganso from Santos. Touted as the Brazilian Zidane, Ganso has won the Copa do Brazil, Liga do Brazil and the Copa Libertadores at the age of just 22.
Christian Eriksen. Some of the best players in the world are coming from Ajax at the moment and Eriksen is no different. He has bossed the midfield in the Eredivisie for Ajax and as a result has won two consecutive titles and one Dutch Cup. His ability makes Aaron Ramsey look like a fat bloke playing pub league football, and has been rewarded with numerous individual awards. This is one player Arsenal should not miss out on signing.
Esteban Cambiasso. One of the ultimate trophy winners and is apparently available as Massimo Moratti and Andrea Stramaccioni want to ‘revolutionize’ the squad this summer. In his career he was won seven league titles, four domestic cups, a Champions League, a UEFA Super Cup, five domestic Super Cups and a FIFA Club World Cup. That’s 19 trophies in a 14 year long career and he still has a couple more trophies left in him.
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