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Premier League managers' poor transfer tactics painfully highlighted

By Rob
Friday 2nd September 2011
The transfer window is a bone of contention for many, but there's no denying it delivers drama (just look at the excitement Sky Sports News' Jim White brings to August 31st) and makes teams focus on building a squad through the season.

However, it seems some managers are getting their tactics wrong when it comes to the transfer window. From personal experience (based entirely on years of Football Manager addiction!!) you'd think the best plan of action is to think about areas of the team that need strengthening, which of your players might want to leave the club over the Summer and who you want to get rid of once the end of the previous season arrives. And at some point, when you know full well certain players will want to leave, you might consider the option of replacing them appropriately.

Nicely leading onto the example of Arsene Wenger. Every man and their dog knew Cesc Fabregas would be leaving the Emirates over the summer, and the persistent rumours of Samir Nasri's intentions to leave the club were so widely publicised that even my Gran knew he was on his bike. So you would imagine that surely the manager of the club would know there was the distinct possibility the player would be leaving.

Alas, with both Fabregas and Nasri having departed, along with Gael Clichy, and with a defence as sturdy as the Titanic's bow,  Arsenal left it until the very last day of the window to bring in reinforcements. This begs the question of what exactly Wenger was doing all summer. While his biggest adversary Sir Alex Ferguson was swift in securing the services of Phil Jones, Ashley Young and David De Gea early on in the window, enabling the new signings to seamlessly gel into the side from the off this season, Wenger was seemingly making the most of his summer downtime.

Yes, Arsenal have made additions to the squad, but it remains to be seen how long it will take for the squad to gel together with the huge amounts of ins and outs at the Emirates. The 8-2 drumming at the hands of Man United was a clear demonstration that there's no backbone to the Arsenal squad, so Wenger faces a mammoth task to not only build a team ethic but build morale at the club.

But Wenger is not alone. Other Premiership managers have suffered the indignation of seeing a host of players leave without having replacements in position. The main losers being Everton and Tottenham Hotspurs.

Everton saw Mikel Arteta depart for Arsenal, along with Yakubu (who admittedly hasn't delivered at the top level for some time now) move to Blackburn and Jermaine Beckford leave for Leicester, a move that doesn't seem to make a lot of sense as he was their top scorer last season and was showing plenty of promise last season. This leaves the Merseyside club in real trouble, with a hugely depleted squad only bolstered by Royston Drenthe, an unspectacular left-sided player at Real Madrid, and a totally untested striker at the top level in Denis Stracqualursi, who failed to impress on a trial at Leicester despite an impressive scoring record in his homeland.

Tottenham's problems are less severe, but the departure of Peter Crouch, Wilson Palacios, Alan Hutton and Jermaine Jenas on transfer deadline day, while not disasterous and without any real bolstering (Emmanuel Adebayor doesn't count) must have Spurs fans worried. Although retaining Luke Modric's services may feel like a new signing.

The transfer window has been around for some time now, so you'd think Premier League managers would have wised up to the fact that it is open all summer (yes, Arsene, you can buy players in July) and plan ahead so they aren't left disappointed come September 1st.

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