Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri forced their way out of Arsenal during the club’s ‘Summer of Sam,’ and Giles Grimandi says it chose quantity over quality when it came to replacing its prized assets. According to comments Grimandi made to the Daily Express, Arsenal was left with no time or money to buy big names, so it chose to strengthen the squad with a flurry of signings, including five that were confirmed on the last day of the summer transfer window.
“We have some quality and have to believe in our work.” Grimandi said. “We were left with little time to act in the transfer window and we opted to pad out our squad in terms of numbers. There are no proven big stars currently on the market.
“Besides, we are not competing on a level playing field with Manchester City and Chelsea. Our means are limited by comparison and our pay structure prevents us going crazy when we sign players. The fans want us to bring in star names, but they don’t all grasp our economic limitations.”
Arsenal famously collapsed at the end of last season after losing the Carling Cup final against Birmingham City. Injuries and poor form ravaged the team, as it won only three of its final 14 games.
The malaise carried over into the 2011-12 season and it is off to its worst start in a half-century. It is in 15th place in the English Premier League standings after seven games and is in danger of missing out on next season’s UEFA Champions League for the first time in 15 years.
Manager Arsene Wenger overhauled his squad adding midfielders Yossi Benyoun and Mikel Arteta. He supplemented his forward corps with Park Chu-young, Gervinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Defenders Per Mertesacker, André Santos and Carl Jenkinson were brought in to stabilize a creaky defense.
“We are convinced we have a good team, which can play a spoilsport role in the league this season.” Grimandi said about the club’s prospects for the season.
Grimandi played for Arsenal between 1997-2002. He is now its chief scout in France.