Leeeet’s start with a bang.
SIX Arsenal players are back in the mixer for Arsenal.
That is great news. I mean, you kind of have to discount Ozil, he’ll be back on the medical table at the next rumour of being dropped, but the others will all help us.
I’m intrigued to see what the plan is with Mavrapanos. I remember when he was signed above Wenger’s head, there was a lot of concern the manager wouldn’t like him… then the story was that he was very impressed and he started giving him games. He looks a good player. He’s absolutely huge, he’s pretty quick from what I remember he knows how to play the ball from out from the back.
Is the future him and Holding? We’ll find out.
Matt and I speak at length on the podcast about the reality of Arsenal and how we tackle the rest of the season.
The true reality of Arsenal is we’ve emptied out the piggy bank by making incredibly short-sighted decisions over the past 5 years, which were further compounded last year when we decided our strategy was a short term BURST for the Champions League spots. We didn’t sell Ramsey in the summer, we tied Ozil down to the most outrageous contract of all time, we gave Mikhi £170k a week despite him playing like a Championship player for years, and we amped up everyone’s deals.
The reality is that now we have the highest wage bill in the Europa League by quite some margin. That’s not sustainable by any stretch. It’s so unsustainable, we had to pull the Aaron Ramsey deal and let him go for nothing.
To make things worse, it’s clear we’re very unlikely to make a go for the top 4 this season. So that gives us one route out of this mess. We have to greatly reduce the wage bill. To put things into perspective, our wage bill is 260m euros, the next richest Europa League side is Milan on 163m euros! Now, we don’t have to drop that low, but it gives you a little perspective as to why we’re strapped.
As Matt said, we’ve experimented with what a ‘no wage cap’ looks like, and it’s a bit shit (because it’s been poorly executed).
So that opens up a scenario for the rest of the season. Do you gun for the top 4 positions and chop in players that don’t have a future with us in the hope something miraculous happens (CFC looking decidedly toothless of late). Or do you write the season off and see what the kids can do?
Maybe it’s a blend of both. But simply put, our strategy moving forward has to look smarter than the half-baked thing we have going on now of buying in some young talent and peppering it with ok experienced players.
I also think it’s that time of the year when we call for real solutions for the defence.
Yep, I’m gonna say it… GET STEVE BOULD ON THE JOB!
He knows how to organise a defence. He’ll literally tie them together with electrical cable, everytime Mustafi dives into a challenge that might not even exist, BOOM. They all suffer. We do that in advertising when we’re practicing a pitch.
‘Thanks for reaching out’ ZAP
You gotta learn ’em good people.
Harry Kane took an embarrassing tumble to win a penalty and take Spurs within spitting distance of their first trophy since time began (if you were born March 2008). I’d love to see them lose again.
PETA France has bantered Franck Ribery by sending him a basket of vegan snacks coated in gold after he dropped a £1000 on a salt bae steak. Good work. I think the player was also fined heftily after he went nuts on people criticizing his choice on the menu. Bellerin is a vegan… you know who isn’t? The bellends that protested outside Greggs because they lauched a vegan sausage roll. Imagine being the kind of person that’ll march for something like that.
Finally, before we go. Myles Palmer, I thought we were buddies? The fireside chats at AGMs? The casual exchange of e-mails about the Gooners?
IT WAS ALL A LIE. How could you give a regular column to a resident crazy over here that sends me actual hatemail? This is the biggest betrayal since Wenger told us he had a surprise signing we’d like in 2008.
I would love to share some of the contents of the e-mails I have, but I’m not that mean. But damn, does this guy cover some topics. Rape, Zimbabwe genocide, hatred for millennials… quite the roster of topics let me tell you.
Anyway, the whole thing has cut deep Myles, you were my blog hero. Tears all over the keyboard.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE, listen to the latest podcast from me and Matt (EKB).