Arsenal are going totally contract crazy at the moment. Walcott is in talks, Gibbs is being offered new terms, the Ox is negotiating another deal and now attention has turned to Jack. The club are interested in tying him down for the rest of his life. According to the Daily Mail, there’s also the standard bribe of eventual captaincy. If I were the club, I’d have that little trick in my back pocket for when Darren Dein joins the party… which can’t be that far away.
I have no idea what the terms of the deal will be. Apparently Podolski is the highest paid at the club at the moment on £90k a week (behind Wenger by £50k per week), so I’d imagine he’ll go up to £70k then £90k, then wherever he wants from there if he hits his KPIs which I’d imagine consist of playing more than 10 games a year.
It’s difficult to moan about tying Jack down to a long term deal. Certain players you can comfortably predict will grow into their contracts in terms of value. There’s no danger in dishing out new deals to people who deserve them. The only trouble is, when they’re so young and you’re a club that’s so tight, it doesn’t take long to hit the wage ceiling. Still, if we’ve bumped up our commercial deals to £55million extra, plus the additional TV money, we should be in a pretty good position to offer him whatever he wants when he hits superstar status.
I’m hoping the next two years will see us chop out a lot of the fat we currently have within the squad. Nothing players like Djourrou, Chamakh, Bendtner, Denilson and Squillaci will find their contracts expire and the hope is that Gazidis shows a bit of back bone when Arsene insists on tying down average players down to mega deals. He has to really, Wenger won’t last another 5 years here, if we keep tying players down, they’ll be the next managers problem. You want to give them as much room to manouvere as possible.
Our strategy on contracts over the next few years should be to increase the gap of the lowest and the highest. Making the best well paid and the lowest paid at a level that leaves them aspiring become better. For me though, money shouldn’t come into it, if you’re the type of player who is only motivated by money, you’re never going to be elite. We want players motivated by mastering the game. Dennis, Thierry and Paddy spring to mind. When you’re only goal is becoming the best you can be, the money follows. That’s the same in most occupations or passions.
One player who has a contract issue that is so far being ignored like a Jimmy Saville complaint at the BBC is Bacary Sagna. Now, I know that this tends to be a bit of a pattern at Arsenal like many other predictable sagas. Sagna has come out and complained about the direction of the club, Arsene Wenger won’t have liked that, he has a young right back he’s just tied down for 5 years… the mathematics are simple. Cheerio experienced French international right back. Hello 10 games Jenks. For me, this is huge factor in our decline. We don’t hold on to top quality experience. The top quality experience that led us to glory back in the old days. For me, we should do whatever we can to sign Sagna up for another 3 years, even if those years aren’t all with him as the first choice. Jenkinson looks a solid back up, but he’s not top quality and he’s not shown sustained consistency to merit binning one of the best right backs in Europe.
Still, what you can’t say about Jenkinson is this… ‘he doens’t know his sh*t’… look at the below headline.
Hell yes we do Jenkinon, hell yes we do.
It’s a massive game for us tomorrow evening. It’s a 6 pointer according to our keeper, it’s a must win according to Jenkinson and it’s a ‘we need to be decisive’ game if Gibbs is to be believed. Amen to all three of those comments. I totally agree.
I just called Denilson and Johann Djourou, all they had was ‘this team will do better next time’… obviously they hadn’t received the same pre-game media training the above have. What can you do eh?
Anyway, it’s a great chance for the boys to bounce back from the Villa game I haven’t seen yet. For me, it’s a question of motivation. How can you convince the players that every game is as important as the last one? How can you make a team click every game? Well, I think a big part of that is instilling a fear into the players. I think you do that by insisting that 1st place is the only barometer for success over a season. I’ve said it many times before, people psychology is a fragile art to master. The default position for most people is one of laziness. If you give them an excuse to take their foot off the gas, most will take it every day of the week… I think this is most certainly true of footballers. How do you stop them doing that? Give them purpose. Make them feel part of something special. Build a winning machine they all want to be part of. A machine that doesn’t tolerate lazy cogs. A machine that doesn’t accept players on apprenticeships. A machine that has one purpose that all the players can believe in.
Anyway, tomorrow is hugely important for the side. A loss there heading into December could be disastrous There has to be some point in this season when the team clicks and we build a winning run, Everton is a pretty good place to start that run.
One final thing, am I the only one who finds Arsenal.com an extremely dated website considering how much traffic they must receive on a daily basis? I find it amazing that in the digital age we don’t have a fully functional mobile website and I find it even crazier that it looks so haggered and dated. Come on Arsenal, what are you playing at? That site is your global shop window… I’m sure you can do better! (I know there is an Arsenal app, but the percentage of people who use apps that aren’t social is pitiful).
I’ll give a fuller Everton preview tomorrow. Have a great day!