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Wenger: People Want Big Names

Wenger: People Want Big Names

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has candidly spoken out about the pressure he is under in the transfer market, as well as the more competitive nature of scouting on the continent.

Speaking about signings, Wenger said, 'It's very difficult because the level of expectation is very high. People want to see Lionel Messi. They don't want to see a promising guy.'

"First of all the name gives hope. When a guy has no name people are already sceptical. So it's much more difficult for us."

With specific reference to Sunday's opponents Swansea and their capture of Michu for a paltry £2m, Arsene expanded, 'We have some clubs who are doing very well and sometimes when you are at a big club your scouts are a bit more cautious because they think, 'Oh, it is Arsenal so it has to be a top-four player'," the manager said.

"Naturally they look less at players who play at smaller clubs, which Swansea can afford to do. You`re always scared that if he [turns out to be] a player who does not do well, the scouts are looked at as responsible.'

The Arsenal manager has recruited Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski and Thomas Eisfeld in the last 18 months and he suggested that Germany, along with Spain, is a bigger hotbed of talent than France, one of Arsenal's scouting strongholds.

'The competition is high on the scouting front. The country where we were really, really competitive was France. They produce less players than they did 10, 15 years ago at top, top, top level in France.

"The emerging countries that are producing players look to be Germany and Spain and they have many good young players. They have taken over."

But he did suggest that one of his previous countries of residence, Japan, was becoming a burgeoning market for talent, 'We are trying to diversify much more where we are looking," he said. "In England you are a bit limited.

"I find that a new market that is very interesting and very competitive is the Japanese market. Look at the number of Japanese players who play now in Germany for example."

So, when are we signing Messi then?

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Tim Stillman
Date:Friday January 4 2013
Time: 9:44AM


Sounds as though he's having a bit of a pop at our some of our scouts not casting their nets at different levels. He's right though that we're more excited by recognisable names than we are by unknown potential. Just think back to the excitement when we signed Arshavin and the failure that proved to be. Similarly with Reyes. By contrast very few took the signing of RvP as a mark of ambition. There's a good piece on that whole issue of expectation here:
04/01/2013 10:01:00
Not being funny, but who's asked for Messi? I was excited about Podolski, Cazorla i'd seen a few times and he excited me, Mertasacker i was pleased with as a signing. Arsene don't half spout some nonsense at times, like when after the fulham "spend some ucking money" game he gave it the "we can't spend 50m on one player" - well no one's asked you to Arsene!
04/01/2013 10:04:00
Right on cue shewore and the sort of reaction my link refers to! :)
04/01/2013 10:09:00
A few people went nuts when we signed Oxlade... "we don't need another youngster"... I remember it well. That's what he's talking about, Shewore. 50m is easily spent on a player if you offer them whatever wages they want as well as having to pay a big transfer fee; 25m fee +100k/wk for 5 years = (over) £50m.
04/01/2013 10:13:00
Yep, people want big names when they're paying big money. Seems reasonable enough to me.
Wyn Mills
04/01/2013 10:14:00
Damiano don't bore me with that, it was a direct reference to the Torres transfer. Amos, just had a butchers mate (difficult with all the effin pop ups on this site), mildly interesting, doesn't really tell you anything you don't know does it? A Wenger disciple absolving him of all criticism then rounding up with a nice "Wenger is not exempt from critique", just to balance it up. We pay the highest prices in the world, we want to see proven quality joing us. Another thing that gets my goat is the amount of defeatism there appears to be with transfers "oh well! we couldn't sign him cos Chelsea wanted him", we're officially a bigger club than them, aren't we? Do Chelsea and City sign all of the top players possible in the world? We've got more wrong than right over the last few years in the transfer market, just look at who we're trying to shift out. And the times we have got it right we've had to sell them cos they won't wanna be surrounded by the dross they've had to endure playing with.
04/01/2013 10:25:00
I think AW is over-exaggerating to prove his point. Of course every single Arsenal fan would love to see Messi in the red and white, but not one single Arsenal fan would ever, EVER expect him to be able to sign him. Ridiculous. Be we do expect some big name signings, maybe unfairly so in some cases, but when the tickets prices are as high as they are, the team under-performs as often as the do and the pile of money continuously sits in the bank doing nothing it's not too bad for Arsenal fans to want some marquee signings. Of course they don't always work out .... but you know what, sometimes they do. See Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud.
04/01/2013 10:35:00
and the immediate thing that struck me with the article (didn't make the point above) is how damning the strap line is "Arsene hasn't changed, we have", well, guess what? So has football, so has Fergie, so has absolutely everything. Evolve or die.
04/01/2013 10:39:00
You need Adblock to get rid of the pop ups. I don't think it sets out to tell you things you don't know just some perspective on the things you should know. The fact that he's supportive of Wenger doesn't make him wrong. It's the argument you should be dealing with not the personality. If you read it as absolution you probably need to read it again as he says, quite rightly, that Wenger has always made the same mistakes just that the circumstances around them patently aren't the same. The defeatism on transfers only concerns those aching for recognisable names. If we'd wanted Torres we couldn't have signed him. We apparently wanted Mata but so did Chelsea. Unfortunately they didn't want Arshavin.
04/01/2013 10:41:00
No need to guess that football has changed as that's exactly the point made in the article. You're taking the word 'we' too literally. The grasp of nuance and complexity referred to still seems to be evading you. ;)
04/01/2013 10:45:00
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