The Arsene Wenger Blame Game
With the imminent transfer of Juan Mata to Manchester United, Arsene Wenger has claimed it’s unfair that Chelsea are able to sell a star player to one of Arsenal’s main rivals. More than just Wenger throwing his toys out of the pram, this statement shows his lack of faith in his squad to maintain their title challenge.
January 24th, 2014
Acting like a petulant child who wasn’t able to be the car in a game of Monopoly, Arsene Wenger today claimed that it was ‘unfair’ that Chelsea are able to sell Juan Mata to arch rivals Manchester United this January. The reason why this is unfair, he states, is: “Some teams have already played twice against one opponent and some others not.”
Oh, I’m sorry Arsene, I didn’t realise that’s how it worked! Teams play each other twice? And some might not have already played each other twice by January? Golly gosh.
Of course he’s referring to the fact that Chelsea have now played Manchester United twice, whereas David Moyes still has to take his side to the Emirates, as well as hosting fellow title hopefuls Manchester City and Liverpool in the coming months. In the most blindingly obvious statement of the season, the Frenchman continues: “I can understand completely what Chelsea are doing. They could have sold him last week.”
Well yes, they could have. But that would have meant disrupting their preparations for a crucial game, as well as handing their opponents a key player before the match. There is no doubt that this was a shrewd piece of business by the Special One. Mata, despite being player of the season for the past two years at Stamford Bridge, has largely been deemed surplus to requirements by Mourinho. Manchester United are desperate for talented midfielders, and are willing to spend big. Chelsea don’t have to play them in their run in for the title, and as we’ve previously alluded to, United have to play their main rivals. It’s a win-win-win. Chelsea win because they get a large sum of money, and a large profit. Manchester United win because they get one of the most talented, and crucially most creative, midfielders in the world. And the fans win because we get to see Mata stay in the Premier League rather than go abroad.
My point is, it makes perfect business sense, and is a perfectly legitimate move, for Chelsea to sell Mata. It’s their prerogative. If Arsene doesn’t like that, well then he should have tabled a bid for the midfielder himself. I can understand his worry though. We’ve all seen what one player can do for a team’s fortunes. Before the arrival of summer signing Mesut Ozil, Arsenal fans were despondent after an opening day defeat which left them wondering just where they might end up. Enter Ozil after his move from Real Madrid, and things were suddenly looking very rosy for the Gunners. They have climbed their way to the top of the table, one point ahead of Man City and two ahead of Chelsea.
Fast-forward to January however, and it would appear old habits die hard for Wenger, with his only target appearing to be Auxerre youngster Paul-Georges Ntep. The Ligue 1 player isn’t quite the standard many fans will have been hoping for. Of course in Wenger’s mind, his lack of transfer activity is because the world is out to get him. How can he do business when everyone else is, you know, doing business?
What we must remember is that it was his decision to sell the likes of Nasri, Fabregas and Van Persie. They are the type of players who attract other top talent to your club. Had he spent more money when they were around on top players, they might not have been in this trophy-less predicament for the past eight years. He can be his own worst enemy, and his unwillingness to sign a top class goal scorer this January could cost them the title – not the fact Manchester United have flexed their financial muscles and signed a player who could finally bring them success this season. If they do lose the title, Wenger will no doubt blame it on Phil Dowd/ Jose Mourinho’s left big toe/ global warming/ anything other than his own mistakes.
My message to you, Monsieur Wenger, is to stick your dummy back in your mouth and sign a striker before you throw the title away.