Blimey, you have to look at the state of play with our contracts and wonder if – when Arsene Wenger asks:
‘What does a Director of Football do?’
He’s being deadly serious.
We’re in a hell of a pickle when it comes to player contracts. For me, there’s a mix of things at play here. We’ve suddenly gone from the club that knows how the make the last 16 of the CL, to one that’s fighting in the Europa League. We’ve also neglected to be assertive about who we buy and sell. Because we’re in a state of transition (again), players don’t want to commit.
Arsene Wenger has let the club slide into a very worrying position. It sure does sound great to hear the club put their foot down and dictate that Alexis and the rest of the ingrates they have to stay, but the upshot of that next summer is we’ll have lost out on £60m-£100m because we’ll lose Sanchez for nothing, and we don’t have a bold owner who can counter the issue by dropping some of his own cash.
It doesn’t stop there. As we don’t have a DoF overseeing wage structure and planning, we’re either in a situation where we’ve failed to sell players at the peak of their valuations. Or we’re in a situation where we can’t sell players for proper valuations because we pay them too much
We should have sold Aaron Ramsey at the peak of powers last summer when we’d have landed £40m for him
We should have sold Jack Wilshere last year when he’d finally regained fitness for £20m. Very clear he was broken and uninterested in being a star.
Chezzer was a £20m player last year. We put him out on loan which indicated he was a problem. We’ve only been able to recoup £10m for him from CL finalists (partly due to £90k a week wages he wasn’t worth)
Club can’t shift Jenkinson – a really weak player – because he earns a salary Palace don’t want to pay
Kieran Gibbs, a player everyone at Arsenal knows is a bottle job, is 27 years old and somehow on £70k a week. A number he’d struggle to make anywhere else, unless we have to take a massive hit on his fee.
As it stands, unless we act now we stand to lose the following next year.
Matt Macy: Errr?
That’s quite a lot of dough we’re leaving on the table and it’s not very smart that we’re letting these guys either go on a free, or leave for nothing.
We’re losing 3 of our keeping roster in a single year. How have we not planned more for more stability?
Arsenal desperately need a DOF. Someone who can plan more than 6minutes ahead of time, someone who can offer up instant tiered solutions to player issues. We shouldn’t have let the Sanchez thing drag on this year, we should have acted early to clear out dross when it was at peak price instead of constantly loaning and hoping, and we should be securing players earlier.
It’s all an Arsene control thing and the staggering thing for me is that Stan doesn’t seem to care that his star man is literally hemorrhaging money these days. The Arsenal wage bill should be nowhere near that of Manchester City. It should be Spurs level. We could have raked in £50m+ for the British project that flopped, instead, we’re now looking like we’ll lose there. We should never be in a situation where we’re letting our star man leave when there’s £60m on the table and solutions like Auba available who could step in.
But to be blunt, a good DoF takes care of these things so the manager doesn’t have to.
I’ve written this before, but when I worked with a successful sports club in London, their CEO would plan transfers three years in advance. He’d understand the weaknesses of the manager and he’d build strength around those issues and problems. He’d be deeply connected to clubs all around Europe, able to spy out potential opportunities.
Wenger demands that he’s put in a situation where he’s the one controlling all the details, so it’s mostly his fault we’re in this situation. But a massive chunk has to sit with our spineless CEO who doesn’t simply demand a DoF is brought in. It wouldn’t be difficult to plot the cost of not having a DoF.
- Cost of players we’ll lose on frees
- Cost of players we can’t shift
- Cost of dross we have trapped in our MASSIVE squad
- Market rate for players contracts vs what Arsenal pay for contracts
- You could probably work out what Sanchez would have been worth if we’d tied him down last year, vs the premium we’ll have to pay this year
- Cost of missed opportunities in the transfer market
- Loss of commercial deal value
We are a club that’s pretty much hit the same points total for 10 years running. What’s the shot in the arm that’ll change that? A Performance Director? Please. A guy from the SKY cycling team? Please. We need to think about the bigger picture. Someone needs to be given this brief.
Brief: Modernise Arsenal without Arsene Wenger realising you’re doing it.
Our season will now be judged on how well Wenger dealt with the summer of turmoil he created. It’s mad.
Anyway, I’m back in NYC this week. So more footballing goodness on regular from me.
SEE YOU LATER