As readers of yesterday’s post will know, I did not get to see the weekend draw between Arsenal and Birmingham. As a result I encouraged readers to let me (and the other readers) know what they thought of the performance. The general feeling I got was that although Arsenal’s efforts were a little flat they still created more than enough chances to win the match. Alas, they couldn’t take them and the game ended in a disappointing draw.
What surprised me about the discussion was the alarming amount of people who suggested that Arsene Wenger needs to bring in some fresh faces while the transfer window is open. Karim Benzema and Micah Richards in particular were talked about with great enthusiasm by a number of people who left comments. And although I left some of my own thoughts in the comments over the past day I’ve decided to go into some more detail on the topic.
In short, I don’t think bringing in either player at this stage of the season would help Arsenal win the title.
While Benzema is showing himself to be a fine player this season with Lyon there is just no reason to bring him to a club that already has four top strikers in Robin van Persie, Emmanuel Adebayor, Eduardo da Silva and Nicklas Bendtner. To add a fifth, regardless of who they were, would undoubtedly see one of the strikers phased out completely and given the form that each of the current Arsenal strikers have shown at times this season I would not want any of them to leave.
The same goes for Richards. A great young player he may be but the simple fact is that once Kolo Toure returns from African Cup of Nations duty he would be nothing but a bench-warmer. People seem to think that bringing him in for the six weeks that Toure is away will help the side but I think this couldn’t be further from the truth. Rarely does any player fit in at Arsenal from the first day and the likelihood is that if Richards was brought to the club he is only likely to start playing his way into some form just as Toure is set to return.
A loss of faith
The biggest problem about a potential Richards transfer is the timing. I would love him to come to the club, I really would, but halfway through the season is just not the right time. So much of the success that Wenger has had in his time at Arsenal has come about because he instills great belief in his players. To bring in a new player now when the side is still on the top of the league and have done so now would represent a big loss of faith. He has never done it that way and he’s not going to start now. Neither should he.
If at the end of the season Wenger thinks adding Richards to the squad would help the side then he should do what he can to bring him in. But for now I think the likes of Philippe Senderos and Johan Djourou as well as Justin Hoyte deserve the chance to show what they can do in Toure’s absence.
Most of the players in the squad have done so well this season, exceeding the expectations of nearly all Arsenal supporters thus far. They deserve the chance to go on and win the title and there’s still a strong possibility that they will.
After the game against Birmingham Wenger made a very interesting statement about his feelings towards bringing in new players that I strongly agree with:
“I don’t look for anybody and I feel that last excuse to find when you don’t win a game – with a team who has won so many games since the start of the season – is to say ‘let’s go out and buy’. It’s a little bit too easy and it’s not a way I want to go.”
As supporters of the club I think we need to get behind the players we do have rather than worrying about the ones we don’t. After all, they’ve got us this far.
What do you think?
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