News from around the Arsenal camp isn’t good heading into the tour of America.
The big news is club captain, Laurent K, skipped the flight with the first team. Arsenal uncharacteristically put out a press release that read more like a ‘GOTTA GET IN THERE FIRST’ piece than anything else. It gave no context and it just felt a little lacking in class.
As for the player, I’ve heard this has been brewing for a while.
A few things to note. Laurent isn’t exactly captain material. Whatever you might think from looking at his on-pitch persona, he’s not a real leader by any stretch. He’s not a talker and he can apparently be quite difficult. This type of move isn’t par the course for him, but I don’t think it’s totally unexpected from what I hear.
Going on strike isn’t cool however you chop it up. But if you reframe it through his selfish eyes, he’s just come back from a major injury, he’s 33 years old (34 in September), he could break at any point and then any chance he has of retiring to the south of France goes up in the puff of an Achilles. He wants out of Arsenal, he’s getting very little love from a club on terminating his deal because we need all the pennies we can get, so he’s forcing the move.
It’s unprofessional, but at his age, firstly, why would he give a fuck? What is there to play for under Emery? Some players extend for greatness, but he’s not getting that here.
Secondly, should it really matter to any elite club that a 33-year-old is going on strike? Our best defender should be 25, not 9 years older.
There are additional ramifications to this. Arsenal has next to no leaders at the club at the minute. Petr Cech was the main guy last season, he’s at Chelsea. Aaron Ramsey has gone. We’ve lost other characters like Lichtsteiner and WELBZ. A lot of the spice in the side has gone. I hear that it’s not good at Colney, no real energy, no good vibes, just flat as a pancake.
Factor in that we’ve told Mustafi he’s surplus, Chambers has been told he can go, Jenks has known his fate for 3 years, Kola might also be up for sale, Ozil, Mikhi, Xhaka rumoured to want out… we are in really big trouble here.
We have one decent defender that will start this season, with a partner that won’t be interested when we line up against Newcastle. To make matters worse, the Premier League window closes, but the one in Europe doesn’t. There could be 4-5 players starting that first game that could have their minds on other clubs. It’s an absolute disaster.
There is no leadership at the club whatsoever and that’s why issues like the above are happening.
I thought an excellent point was made yesterday. We are in a poor situation financially, and we decided not to make tough squad decisions to remedy our reality. We have two 20+ goal a season strikers, one that is 29 and at the peak of his powers. Liverpool would have sold one for £80m and used the cash to bolster with youth. We decided to up their deals. There seems to have been no plan for a £40m budget we’ve known about since last November.
The biggest worry for me is that this season is all about Emery. There’s no new manager boost incoming. The players don’t care for the man, we saw that towards the end of last season, and we’ve made little effort to bring in names to counter that problem. The true averageness of what we’ve hired is going to come to a head this season. The lack of vision in his hiring will bite us really, really hard.
Wilfried Zaha would liven the starting 11 up, but he has a 5 year deal with Palace and I’m hearing that the valuation Palace have on the player is real and I don’t think it takes a genius to see that the options we’re sending their way are pitiful when it comes to part exchange deals. He’s on a 5 year deal, so they are in no hurry to move him on. So maybe hopes and dreams of them caving are far fetched.
This season is careening off the road before a plane has left the tarmac, and that’s before Xhaka is given the captains armband.
Arsenal is chaos, it’s staggering how badly we’re being run at the minute.