There are some Arsenal fans who have expressed the view that we will not become successful again until Arsene gets his chequebook out again and spends big. Some blogs believe its as simple as 2+2=4 and find it hard to believe that Arsene won't do it.
Whilst it is just about possible to buy your way to success, it took Chelsea about £400m of Abramovich's money to do it, the suggestion that splashing the cash on about £50m worth of players is going to make any differenbce whatsoever, is stupidity of the highest order.
As an example, lets take the complete circus that has been in progress with our dear friends at Shite Hart Lane. Big fat Martin Jol's Spudders finished 5th in 2005/06, having had a Champions League spot nicked from them on the last day of the season after the famous lasagne incident. Ha Ha.
Since then, I am aware of the following "major" signings (all figures press related approx):
Woodgate - £8m
Kaboul - £8.2m
Zakora - £8.2m
Corluka - £8.5
Dos Santos - £8.6m
Hutton - £9m
Bale - £10m
Pavlychenko - £14m
Valencia (tbc) - £14m
Modric - £16.5m
Bent - £16.5m
Bentley - £17m
Total - £138m
Now, to be fair to Spurs, they have lost Berbatov, Carrick, Keane and a couple of others in the meantime, but the net spend is still about £80m. Yet, since 2006 Spurs have gone backwards very fast in terms of their Premierleague positions. Yes, they won the Carling Cup last year, but big deal - my 10m swimming badge is at home somewhere.
Obsinho, our resident corporate analyst, has found Spurs' finances difficult to fathom. Where is this money coming from and how much more is there in the pot? These are tough questions to answer and its quite possible that even members of the Spurs board do not know the full answers. Much of the problem with modern financing is that there is so many smoke and mirrors, securitised and factored, that often no-one knows what the real situation is.
Now, in any event, if the theory that spending lots of money improves a team, then a net spend of £50m on 5th place Spurs must have propelled them into the top 4, right? Of course not.
The message is that the ability of a footballer is not measured as simply as his transfer price. I have absolutely no idea how the directors of Spurs justify this kind of spending to their shareholders, but there is absolutely no quality control on their cheque book. It should also be remembered that this massive spending has not led to a single player staying loyal to Spurs when a big club comes knocking - Spurs put up a brief fight over Berbatov, Keane and Carrick, but they ultimately took the money. And wasted it on Darren Bent and David Bentley.
Arsene Wenger refuses to play this game and he is damn right to do so. Some people have mentioned that we should have cashed in on Adebayor. Well the popular replacement was Roque Santa Cruz, who has been crap all season, and Blackburn now want £40m for him. That is idiocy.
There are other managers quietly doing a good job on a shoestring, such as Martin O'Neill and David Moyes, who understand how to motivate players and build a team, rather than reaching for the cheque book whenever anything goes wrong. But make no mistake, the ability of these managers is to take players from the sidelines of obscurity, like Arteta or Young, and make them look world class. They are following in Wenger's footsteps.