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Wenger’s unrivalled Midas touch

August 5, 2009

Liverpool’s Rafa Benitez may feel he got a good price for Xabi Alonso but he is in no danger of dislodging Arsene Wenger as the Premier League manager with the Midas touch.

Wenger has received criticism of late for not ‘spending big’ on replacements for departing first-teamers. He should be receiving credit for earning a huge pile of cash for players no longer in his plans. Does anyone in football generate as much money from transfers as Wenger?

The wily Frenchman has built a career on signing young prospects for small fees and selling them for gigantic ones when he feels the time is right.

Most recently Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure moved to Premier League rich boys Manchester City for a reported combined fee of 39 million pounds after being brought to Arsenal for much less.

They follow the likes of Nicolas Anelka, Emmanuel Petit, Marc Overmars, Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira in enjoying great success and form under Wenger before moving on to pastures new to the benefit of the Arsenal bank balance.

Success-starved Arsenal fans, frustrated by the absence of a trophy since the FA Cup in 2005, may look upon the departures of such players as a defeatist approach but Wenger has a bunch of hungry youngsters waiting to come in and yearning for success.

Between them they should be able to replace Toure, Adebayor and, if Everton get their wish, the Swiss defender Senderos, shouldn’t they?

LUCRATIVE SALE: Marc Overmars signs for Barcelona in July 2000, for a fee of more than $40 million. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino

Comments

I think is Wenger is practicing more of his inteclectual profession, which is in economics rather than his coaching profession. However, we the fans and especially the youngsters wants something as in trophies to be proud of as a footballer. Please, Wenger do us something good this season for is only the share holders of the club who enjoy the money from the sale of these experienced and world class players at the moment.

 

Nobody can argue that Wenger has done well with what he has, but from a commecial point of view, he has had to deal like this. The lack of big name stars precipitates the need to be a ‘selling’ club. Manchester United have used their success to gain a larger stake in the world market, generating massive revenues from fans across the world. Arsenal failed to do so when they had the chance, instead relying on Wenger’s fairly magical touch.We are now 4 years down the line. Roman’s roubles have propelled Chelsea up the pecking order, Man City have seemingly unlimited wealth and Liverpool aren’t doing badly in signing Aquilani to replace Alonso, a player who is arguably as good and netting £10m in the process. Villa are quietly working their way up under O’Neill and Arsenal’s youth team are in serious danger of finding themselves vying for a Europa league spot.Regardless of the quality of the youngsters you field, there must be experience as a backbone. Younger players may work harder, run quicker and be less likely to pick up knocks, but when the chips are down and you’re being beaten 1 – 0 away to league 1 on a cold FA Cup replay night in February, experience, grit and strength will turn things around. Older heads to keep the young players grounded, someone who remembers the kicking they got at the same point last year and how they won that match.Arsenal face the imminent and disastrous threat of becoming 1-dimensional: Playing quality football at the expense of all else. Just ask West Brom where that leads…

Posted by Adam K | Report as abusive
 

Thanks Adam. I agree that a couple of older heads would do Arsenal the world of good.. the return of Vieira would be great to see.I would say that Arsenal’s strength is that their style is not one dimensional. Their range of passing and movement is hard to defend against and with a natural finisher in Eduardo returning to fitness they may finally turn chances into goals this season.

Posted by Neil | Report as abusive
 

West Brom? Hardly a footballing example of quality!

Posted by Ryan | Report as abusive
 

The return of Vieira? What utter nonsense! A 33 year old has-been with one leg longer than the other. Must be Spurs supporters talking.

Posted by Matthew | Report as abusive
 

Neil: My worry for Arsenal is that they are in danger of becoming 1-dimensional. They certainly cannot grind results out, relying on youth and pace will not always work and it would be a massive shame to see them drop out of the top 4 as I cannot see the road back with the current business model. As for West Brom, they tried all season to play good football. Ok, it didn’t happen, but that was the intention – refusal to out-muscle opponents or to fight and scrap to grind a result against the Bolton’s, Stoke’s and other mid/lower level teams.Finally, Vieira wis the type of player Arsenal need. Fabregas is a decent captain but at 22 he is hardly an experienced player compared to the Liverpool setup of Gerrard or Carragher, Chelsea with John Terry or Frank Lampard and Man U with Neville/Giggs/Ferdinand. Vieira has been at Carlisle in the cup, he’s seen season after season of clubs coming up from the championship and either parking the bus infront of the goal or kicking their way through the game. There are better choices out there, but it is difficult to move that type of player.

Posted by Adam K | Report as abusive
 

I agree that Wenger has made some excellent signings for peanuts during his Arsenal career. However, the same can be said of Dave Jones at Cardiff. He has made a number of great signings (Chopra) and brought through the youngsters (Ramsey), then sold them in a couple of years for huge profit.However, this has resulted in Cardiff hovering around the top of the Championship. In a similar way Arsenal hover around the top of the Premiership. If either want to realise their ambitions and reach the top of their leagues it is the time to stop selling and keep hold of their best players. Or don’t they want to?

Posted by Chris K | Report as abusive
 

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