Sunday Supplement: The panel blames Arsene Wenger for Arsenal's lack of signings

Last Updated: 18/08/13 3:42pm

Arsene Wenger could walk away from the Arsenal before the end of September, according to The Sun's Shaun Custis.

Arsenal endured a torrid start to the new Premier League season as they lost 3-1 at home to Aston Villa, in a game in which Laurent Koscielny was dismissed after receiving two yellow cards.

Wenger is desperate to bolster his squad but admitted he has been frustrated by the summer transfer market, having signed only one player - Yaya Sanogo on a free transfer from Auxerre - while 17 have left the club.

But the Sunday Supplement panel agreed that Wenger was to blame for Arsenal's lack of summer signings after the Gunners missed out on deals for Gonzalo Higuain and Luis Gustavo. And Custis believes the pressure on Wenger could increase to the point that he decides to walk away from the club.

"The fans might be so on his back and it might get so bad that he has to walk away."

Shaun Custis

"I don't think any of us are that surprised," Custis told the Sunday Supplement, when asked about Arsenal's defeat to Villa. "That was the thing about that game: you saw the score and you went oooh, but when you think about it you're not that shocked.

"Wenger said on Friday that they are a little bit light and everyone around the country was going, 'you're not just a little bit light, you are so light it is unbelievable'. Some people have pointed to the fact that he has sent 17 players out but actually if you look at that list of 17 there is no body there who you think it was vital to keep.

Walk away

"It is just, what are you doing to bring people in. He is saying he is trying and trying but as a top manager he should be able to do it and he is not doing it.

"He has got the Champions League qualifier against Fenerbahce coming up. They look light for that one and if they go out of the Champions League imagine, I am not sure Arsene Wenger would last through September. It could reach that point where everyone goes, it really is time for a change.

"The question is who would you bring in of course. The fans might be so on his back and it might get so bad that he has to walk away."


The Sunday Mirror's Andy Dunn agreed that Wenger has only got himself to blame for leaving his side short of options.

Dunn said: "He has to share a certain amount of culpability in this because quite frankly when Arsene comes out and says, 'who do I buy?' Well actually that is what he is paid for. Many major clubs have signed players over the summer so the players are out there that major clubs want so why isn't Arsene Wenger in with them?

"The way they have gone about their business seems a little bit amateurish to be honest."

Insulting bid

As well as targeting Higuan and Gustavo, Arsenal reportedly launched a £40,000,001 bid for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez in an attempt to trigger a release clause in the player's contract. But the Daily Telegraph's Henry Winter says that move was a damning indictment of Wenger's approach to signing players.

"The moment they made that bid you realised that they weren't serious players because that was insulting," he said. "It was insulting to Liverpool if you are only going to deliver or offer one pound more of this punitive fee.

"One pound sums up Arsenal's approach to transfers and it also sums up Wenger's approach to it. He is a ditherer in the transfer market and we have seen this for years.

"Ultimately this is down to Wenger and his inability to force a deal through. If you put Higuain in that team yesterday, giving them a sharper cutting edge, Arsenal would have been a much better force. If you put in Luis Gustavo and if Arsenal had moved strong and confidently and with more muscle, the money is there."