It’s fair to say Arsene Wenger has come under a lot of pressure over his spending this summer.
As we all know, the Gunners have only spent big on one player, Granit Xhaka, and have a defensive crisis threatening to end their title hopes way before their annual February cock-up.
Wenger has been forced to put new signing Rob Holding straight into the first team, as he scours the transfer market for another centre back before the deadline passes at the end of the month.
But it’s not good enough for Paul Merson, who used his weekly Soccer Saturday slot to absolutely hammer the Arsenal boss:
The Man United centre half looks like a centre half. You look at Eliaquim Mangala last year and you thought ‘£30 million, that was a bit strong!’
But I just look at the Man United lad [Bailly] and I think ‘why haven’t Arsenal gone for him?’
When Merson played for Arsenal back in the 1990’s, he played alongside the likes of Tony Adams and Steve Bould, with the Gunners were famed for having one of the best defences in the world.
Chants of ‘1-0 to the Arsenal’ were commonplace, thanks to their ability to shut out almost any other team in the league, as they regularly challenged for the title.
But Merson can’t understand why Wenger can’t build another defence like the one of days gone by, and it’s really pissing him off.
Wenger went to that club and inherited one of the best back fours of all time. I’ll give him [Laurent] Koscielny and the other was Sol Campbell who was a no brainer.
Since then you can reel off 20 centre halves who don’t even make up one player.
What’s the problem?! He’s sitting next to one of the best centre halves Arsenal have had in Steve Bould!
Merson is no stranger to ranting on TV shows, and most of the time you can make a case for him talking absolute shit, but this time he definitely has a point.
Since Wenger’s been in charge, Arsenal have fielded the likes of Igors Stepanovs, Philippe Senderos and Johan Djourou in their back line – three players who are hardly comparable to Adams, Campbell and co.
Arguably the best they’ve had at the back since then has been Kolo Toure, and while he’s as loveable as anyone, he was never truly a world class defender like Merson eluded to.
Bould has been on the Gunners coaching staff for 15 years, and Arsenal have always struggled defensively, and this season is no exception.
And unless Wenger gets busy in the transfer market quickly, this is another season that’s about to go down the shitter.