Five things Wenger got right this summer

WTTGT Writer: Jay James Waller

This summer was arguably Arsene Wenger’s most challenging at the helm of Arsenal football club. Key players left, and the doubts continued to grow over whether the Frenchman can produce a winning formula in his ongoing experiment. But despite all the events of the past few months, he continues to be regarded as one of the very finest managers in world football. So what exactly did Arsene get right this summer?

5. Allowed Cesc Fabregas to leave

Many have claimed that holding on to Cesc Fabregas this summer would have proved something of a point, even Arsene himself. But, in reality, it was always conceivable that his time at Arsenal would not last forever and every transfer window brought with it even more uncertainty concerning his future. However, despite all the rumours and doubts, Arsene still managed to not only hold on to Cesc, but also produce the best from a player who was just as important as a captain as he was a role model to the next generation of young guns. Ultimately, however, Cesc was a man who wanted to be elsewhere and while of course no one would have wished him to depart North London, this summer was arguably the ideal time to let go of the Catalonian. Of course if there is indeed an ideal time to sell your best player.

4. Sold Emmanuel Eboue

Emmanuel Eboue was rather something of a cult hero amongst Arsenal fans. While his attitude was unquestionable, the quality of his performances were arguably often the opposite and it would be more than fair to say that the Ivorian never endured the best of times under Arsene Wenger. His Arsenal career could be typically epitomised by that infamous afternoon against Wigan Athletic, which saw him brought on as an early substitute only to be taken off again later to a chorus of boos and whistles from the home support. Now, although no one can begrudge Emmanuel for always having a smile on his face and a song in his heart, a move away from the club was always going to be the best solution for himself and everybody concerned so to bring in £3.5m for the much scapegoat 28-year-old was undoubtedly a smart move by Arsene.

3. Signed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

In terms of signing up and coming prospects, Arsene Wenger has to be lauded as the very best. Time after time he has brought up young talents and engineered them into world class players. The likes of Cesc Fabregas, Thierry Henry and Nicolas Anelka are but three of the dozens of players who have him to thank for forming their career and so it came as no surprise when highly rated 18-year-old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made the move to the Emirates this summer. In his debut season as a professional player Alex scored 10 goals for Southampton and earned 3 assists after coming on as a substitute for England’s U21 side, not to mention winning a penalty. But, while many will feel that the £15m transfer fee should have been put towards proven players, you can’t deny that Arsene has plucked himself another very exciting youngster to be molded.

2. Made Robin van Persie captain

With the departure of captain Cesc Fabregas, Arsene Wenger was required to appoint a player who would lead the team into the 2011/12 season. Candidates included the likes of commanding Belgian captain Thomas Vermaelen, Russian skipper Andrey Arshavin and even Frenchman Bacary Sagna who was in with a chance for the vacancy. But with a squad lavished in international captains, the armband was awarded to a truly natural leader in frontman Robin van Persie. While the appointment of the Dutchman in itself was a great decision, the way that Arsene didn’t delay in his selection was just as positive for the team and for the club as a whole.

1. Brought in proven players

Arsene Wenger once rather ironically asserted, “about Fabregas leaving, Nasri leaving – if you give that message out you cannot pretend you are a big club”. So, for Arsene to have watched both players exit this summer must have been deeply frustrating, but ultimately it was down to him to make ammends and react accordingly. Wenger found himself in a race against time to bring in players who were capable and experienced enough to come straight into the side, and before the transfer window slammed shut he delivered the signatures of Mikel Arteta, Yossi Benayoun, Per Mertesacker and Andre Santos to fill in the gaps. And, while it would be difficult for anyone to argue that these players are world class, these players are precisely the type of which supporters have been pleading Arsene to sign for so long now.

Following on from: Five things Wenger should have done this summer


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5 Responses to Five things Wenger got right this summer

  1. Gunner_4_life September 27, 2011 at 9:47 am #


    Interesting article however slightly misguided:
    1. If you honestly believe that Wenger had any choice in keeping Csec then you really are deluded. He was going to go no matter what. Keeping him would have made no sense it was not a choice for Wenger but more of a need to get rid of a player that clearly wanted to leave. It was not something he got right it was something that any manager would have done under the circumstances.
    2. Agree getting rid of this player was a right decision but maybe this should have been done a few years ago.
    3. Since you can tell the future I'll accept this point aswell, however if he is as inconsistant as Theo in a few years time I would have spent the money on a an established player now….defender perhaps.
    4. Van Persie is our best player but he is no way a captain. I'd prefer Vermallen to be captain granted he does get injured a lot. Making someone captain because there on their last few years of contract makes no sense.
    5. Agree with this point however I have been struggling with why these particular players could not have been brought in way earlier then on the very last day of the TW. None of these guys are playing for top clubs except for Benayoun who was a fringe player anyway.

  2. [email protected] September 27, 2011 at 10:27 am #

    I don't like to write nice comments.

  3. [email protected] September 27, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    I understand, but of course Wenger had a choice. Granted he wanted away but just look at Modric this summer and how Levy kept him at Tottenham. We could have done that if Arsene wanted. I disagree that Robin isn't a captain though as he is the most leading player at the club, always talking to players and doing everything a captain should do. Vermaelen is more of a quiet type. Also Alex is a compleyely different type of player to Theo. I think he will do well, 🙂

  4. [email protected] September 27, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    Van Persie deserves to be captain because this is a club that he loves. Plus being vice captain for over many years may indicate that he was going to be our captain when the chance came. He is also one of the most experienced player in our squad and was moulded in the Henry, Bergkamp, Pires, etc era. Even if he plays up front and strikers apparently arent good captains, its only natural that Van Persie takes the armband.

  5. Alan September 28, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    not sure as to many points on this article, writers on pages like this should ideally be going to games week in week out, not part timers, Sorry Jay, just my opinion

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