I did think Arsenal jumped the gun with that weird press release about Laurent K going on strike. Seemed a little defensive for something that should have been dealt with in-house like it would have under Arsene.
Anyway, the counter-attack is underway and I was told that there’s more to the story than Laurent bombing preseason because he’s a brat.
Apparently, when he signed his last deal with Arsenal, there was a final year clause that changed things up. Now, don’t hold me to contract details, but the gist was he was paid more than is reported up front, and now he’s in the final year, his salary has dropped to Jenks levels and it’s heavily performance related. I think this is a Huss evolution of doing deals.
He’s going to be 34 in September. He knows he won’t be played much. Holding will come back into the mix, Mustafi and Sokratis are ahead of him, Mavrapanos might come good and even if they’re all out, he’s massively injury prone these days. He thought there was a gentleman’s agreement that he could leave. He has a 3 year deal on the table to head to the south of France. He feels betrayed and is going to gun to get what he wants.
I don’t know why anyone believes in gentleman’s agreements or holds people to account for things they say in the corridor. I don’t know why he signed a deal that moved to performance related in his last year. I don’t know what’s going to happen. But… you can kind of understand why he’s gunning hard to exit here. He’s looking to max out retirement and he’s insecure about his body being able to last another year in the Premier League. He’s also been with us for 9 years and I’d imagine under Wenger, he’d be leaving the club without a fuss.
Again, I’m not sure why we’d hold onto him. He’s not really a big voice at Arsenal, he’s never been a leader and we shouldn’t be depending on someone with his injury record at his age. This isn’t us keeping John Terry behind. However, I guess Arsenal are looking at his as value for money if he’s on £45k a week.
It’s also an interesting contract evolution. Pay players more in the upfront, then make sure the final year isn’t pleasant. You either resign to get more money, or you give 100% focus and don’t mail it in so you make up the lost revenue. Clever on paper for sure.
I do worry about the culture at Arsenal and what all of this says about us.
We’re trying to move the club into a space where kids can learn their trade and grow into elite performers.
What are they learning at Arsenal? Who is guiding them?
You have 3-5 players who are here because they love their contracts.
Our captain is on strike.
The next in line for the armband is Xhaka, a player everyone knows isn’t good enough.
The biggest player at the club hates the manager, doesn’t turn up for big away days and is very publicly digging his heels in to stay.
Is any of this inspiring for young people? Does any of this look like good education? Are we creating the right environment to grow the best athletes?
In a game of paper-thin margins, these things matter.
Never mind that we’re a total shit show right now, the bigger concern for at the minute is how rotten our culture is and much hard work and future planning needs to be implemented to course correct us to a Champions League final in 5 years time.
Right, see you in the comments. x