Arsenal Transfer News: Emmanuel Frimpong Speaks Sense in Arsene Wenger Criticism - Having fallen victim to the Emirates Stadium's transfer merry-go-round himself, former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong has offered his own insight into manager Arsene Wenger's shortcomings at the club.
The Ghanaian international, now at Russian Premier League side Ufa, hasn't always used his words with care. In the wake of the Gunners' last-gasp comeback against Anderlecht on Wednesday, Frimpong took to his Twitter account to air his frustrations:
Clearly an Arsenal fan at heart, it's admirable that Frimpong should still feel so passionately about the club that raised him despite being officially cut loose from their ranks in January of this year.
And while the manner in which he stakes his point isn't the most succinct argument, the former Fulham, Wolves and Charlton loanee sets the basis for some accurate criticisms.
With injuries mounting and dwindling options starting to tell, the north Londoners find their campaign in some doubt, having taken just 11 points from their first eight Premier League games this season.
Speaking at the club's annual general meeting earlier this month, Wenger admitted that more business should have been concluded over the summer, per The Guardian's David Hytner:
"I agree we could have bought one more player. We didn't find [him]. We will try in December to rectify that because we are a bit short with the injuries we have, and overall, I think we will rectify that on the transfer market in January."
In truth, though, "one player" might be an understatement. As Frimpong suggests, improvements were made in areas that didn't necessarily need them while the departure of Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona was permitted without a direct replacement.
ESPN's Miguel Delaney questions why sufficient reinforcements weren't made, perhaps not just in 2014, but dating back for several years now:
Defensive midfield is the other area in which Arsenal are lacking, and with Frimpong on the money once again, he notes the similar playing characteristics of players such as Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta and more.
Captain Arteta is the closest thing Wenger has to an accomplished anchorman. Mathieu Flamini and Abou Diaby may be natural players in defensive midfield, but the latter is constantly under injury duress while Flamini simply isn't good enough for what the Gunners should be aspiring to.
And yet the £35 million spent on Alexis Sanchez was made available quickly, and even in the absence of an injured Theo Walcott, one could argue it wasn't urgently required.
Arsenal are now finding out that such luxuries would have been better off replaced by acquisitions closer to the defence. Frimpong's past at the club may not make him an expert on such matters, but his recent assessment of the club's transfer failures is spot-on.
12 Transfers from 2014 Summer Window Destined for Failure - If the memoirs aren't already being penned (they very well might be), someone should think about securing a book patent for The Wacky Adventures of Emmanuel Frimpong, whose mazy career path took him to Russia this summer.
After just four months with the club, Frimpong was released by Barnsley upon their relegation to League One, and of course F.C. looked at his potential signing with a salivating grin.
The once highly tipped Arsenal prospect and cousin of grime artist Lethal Bizzle has always been a character of intrigue, whether it be due to his outspoken social media presence or booting things in the face of Rafael van der Vaart.
Perhaps the Russian Premier League recruit will prove us wrong, but it's difficult to imagine the midfielder really getting to grips with language in the Republic of Bashkortostan, not to mention the other dozens of hurdles before him.
B/R - Soccer (World Football)