Brede Hangeland

As the season is drawing to a close I needed a distraction from the ‘Wenger Out’ campaigns so I thought I’d take a look at our last 4 years of transfers.

I know, I know! How can I get bored with the Arsenal fans who are crying about the prospect of not finishing in the top 4? It’s like listening to one of the royal family complaining about how much work it is to go to all the state banquets… My heart bleeds for them all.

Let me disappoint you right at the start and say this isn’t going to be an in-depth look at every player we’ve signed since we won promotion to the Premier League in 2013. Not only are there so many players to review but the further back I went, the more depressed I became at the memory of them playing.

We really have come a long way during the 4 years that we’ve been in the top division!

We’ve gone from signing players we’ve never heard of, in the hope they will be a success but ultimately turn out to be failures, to signing players we have heard of and knowing they are failures!

We might have come through that storm now into the area where we can attract big name players who need to play regular football rather than need a bigger salary.

I accept Big Sam has only signed four players so far but what a four they seem to be! Compare Big Sam’s winter transfer window to either of the two predecessors who had a winter window and he blows them out of the water!

I hate to say this but (if we stay up) I have not been this optimistic about a summer transfer window since that Judas bastard Terry Venables was appointed the second time around. In that case it wasn’t so much about money, because Goldberg turned out to not have any, but in the names he might be able to attract and his scouting knowledge.

So, I thought a brief recap with my opinion on if a player has been a hit, a miss or if I am on the fence about them.

Note:

  • Loaned players are in italic.
  • A player who signs on loan and then becomes permanent is credit to the manager who initially loaned the player rather than the manager who signed them permanently.

Ian Holloway

Player  Price Hit or Miss? Reason
Stephen Dobbie
Dwight Gayle
Jerome Thomas
Jose Campaña
Elliot Grandin
Marouane Chamakh
Jimmy Kébé
Jack Hunt
Adrian Mariappa
Barry Bannan
Adlène Guédioura
Jason Puncheon
Cameron Jerome
Undisclosed
£4,500,000
Free
Undisclosed
Free
Undisclosed
Undisclosed
Undisclosed
Undisclosed
£500,000
£2,500,000
Undisclosed
Miss
Hit
Miss
Miss
Who? Miss!
On the fence
Miss
Miss
Miss
Miss
Miss
Hit
Miss
Didn’t make the squad
Showed promise
Words fail me
Words failed him
Words failed everyone
Was bad, good then injured
Just not good enough
Just not good enough
Just not good enough
Inconsistent
Just not good enough
Has become a mainstay
Did okay, not enough goals

Tony Pulis

Player  Price Hit or Miss? Reason
Scott Dann
Wayne Hennessey
Joe Ledley
Thomas Ince
Frazier Campbell
Brede Hangeland
Martin Kelly
Undisclosed
£3,000,000
£700,000

£900,000
Free
£1,500,000
Hit
On the fence
Hit
Miss
Miss
Hit
On the fence
Has become a mainstay
Has been awful, turned corner?
Solid if unremarkable
Ego bigger than ability
Tries hard not enough goals
Solid Scandinavian defender
Not played in natural position

Neil Warnock

Player  Price Hit or Miss? Reason
Zeki Fryers
James McArthur
Andrew Johnson
Wilfried Zaha
Kevin Doyle
£1,500,000
£5,500,000
Free
£6,000,000
Miss
Hit
Miss
Hit
Miss
Not made the step up
Solid and dependable
Past his sell by date
No words needed
Past his best before date

Alan Pardew

Player  Price Hit or Miss? Reason
Jordon Mutch
Shola Ameobi
Pape Souaré
Chung-yong Lee
Yohan Cabaye
Alex McCarthy
Connor Wickham
Bakary Sako
Emmanuel Adebayor
Freddie Ladapo
Yaya Sanogo
Patrick Bamford
Steve Mandanda
Andros Townsend
James Tomkins
Christian Benteke
Jonathan Benteke
Mathieu Flamini
Loïc Rémy
£4,750,000
Free
£3,000,000
£1,500,000
£10,000,000
£3,500,000
£9,000,000
Free
Free
Undisclosed


£1,500,000
£13,000,000
£10,000,000
£27,000,000
Free
Free
Miss
Miss
Hit
Miss
Hit
Miss
Hit
Miss
Miss
Miss
Miss
Miss
Miss
Hit
Hit
Hit
Miss
Miss
Miss
Just not good enough
Just not good enough
Slow start then became solid
Just not good enough
Inconsistent but class
Had promise, not given a chance
Needs more goals, promising
Just not good enough
Just not good enough
Just not good enough
Just not good enough
If his ability was like his ego
Not sure his head is in right place
Inconsistent but better now
Has become a solid performer
Needs to be more switched on
Just not good enough
Best days are behind him
Sick note, not shown ability

Sam Allardyce

Player  Price Hit or Miss? Reason
Jeffrey Schlupp
Patrick van Aanholt
Luka Milivojević
Mamadou Sakho
£9,000,000
£10,000,000
£11,000,000
Hit
Hit
Hit
Hit
Seems solid in def and att
Seems solid in def and att
A younger Jedi, solid
Legendary and heroic defender

Of course, it is debatable how much a signing is down to a manager and how much is down to scouts, etc.

For example, Neil Warnock signed James McArthur and Wilfred Zaha. We all know Wilf wasn’t his signing so should he be credited with signing James McArthur?

When it comes to managers who have been in the game a while like Pulis, Pardew and Allardyce, you’d think they know people who know people but it seems Big Sam’s contacts are of a higher quality than the other aforementioned managers.

Let’s not even discuss Holloway’s or Warnock’s contacts even though I think both managers get stick they don’t deserve.

So, do you agree with my assessment of our signings over the last 4 years? Would you grade any player differently?

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