WELCOME TO THURSDAY.
Let’s jump right into some more stories about our wonderful club.
The Sun wrote a piece about players that could be exited this summer. A real non-story likely not fueled by any intel… more likely someone just looked at when players deals are being signed off and mashed that with things Raul has said in the past.
LACAZETTE, AUBA, OZIL COULD BE SOLD
Yes, absolutely. Not really news. I suspect the fact that Auba and Lacazette have not signed deals is a pretty good indicator of that and I would imagine that Ozil wants to land a big deal with more than a year for a safety net (probably also sick of being threatened by gangsters in London).
There is no doubt the club is going to enact some aggressive surgery this summer.
Here’s how we stand for clarity:
5 players enter the final year of their deal (Mustafi, Luiz, Ozil, Auba, Sok)
3 loan players deals expire (Mari, Soares, Ceballos)
6 players are down to 2 years (Kola, Chambers, Matteo, Eddie, Martinez, Lacazette)
There’s 14 players that have their futures up in the air. Raul explicitly said players with 18 months on their deals will be sold. No chance of that in January, so we either tie the above down to new deals or move them on sharpish. There’s a good £130m to be had in that pack and a lot of money.
Arteta needs those players to have value this summer. He also needs to see who is worth keeping. What I highly doubt is that anyone in the backroom team is leaking that the manager is unhappy with his players. I just don’t buy it, that would be a suicidal leak 6 weeks into a job and it just doesn’t jibe with anything Mikel has been trying to implement.
You can piece that together from additional stories.
David Ornstein said on his podcast that the players are totally bought into the philosophy of the new manager. Mikel has been working on behavior on and off the pitch, apparently showing players when they throw their hands up in disgust at something – asking them to curb the behavior to bring more unity.
He also has the wider club behind his ideas, everyone is absolutely sure he has what it takes to succeed at Arsenal, people feeding back that this could be a special journey.
… but if that wasn’t enough, David Luiz, a player notorious for his ability to split a dressing room, went on a PR push for his new coach.
“He knows football, he knows inside the pitch,”
“He loves football, he loves to work, so this enthusiasm is contagious for everybody.
“What Mikel is trying to build is something big and I really believe in his philosophy, I really believe we can do something big this year and in the future, so I’m really, really happy because we have our way to go. This way, is it going to be a hard way? Yes. Is it going to be difficult to achieve? Yes, but it’s possible. Yes, it’s possible.
“The first thing is to believe. If you don’t dream, and you don’t believe, then your dream is impossible. To do something, I think the first thing is you have to dream, and then you believe you can do it, then after to study how to do it, and then to understand during this process you’re going to have some good moments and some difficult moments but you can never change your mind, you can never change your mentality and you will always have to come back to the beginning and understand.”
You could write this off as a puff piece, I normally would, but this feels a little more from the heart than Auba telling the cameras with a sullen face that he was happy under Emery. This is a 6 minute video that goes well beyond basic platitudes and it’s coming from a guy that has won a Champions League, 2 Europas, league titles in 3 countries, and countless cups. He doesn’t need to say the above words, but he’s out there trying to get the fans onboard with the journey.
… and that’s what it is. What we’re undergoing isn’t a quick managerial bump from a table-thumping ‘experienced’ leader. It’s something more thoughtful, something more ambitious, something more exciting.
It’s going to be a process. Results need to come. They will. We just need to trust that this is the correct direction for the club.
If Ornstein is hearing great things and David Luiz is prepared to back a ‘novice’ manager with such aggressive positivity, then we should too.
I also liked hearing that Arteta blew everyone away with an incredible speech before the United.
It was also interesting to hear that Kia, super-agent extraordinaire is also a massive Gooner. I’m sure he’s not giving us mates rates, but maybe, just maybe, he’s going to unlock something special for Arsenal this summer. I feel gross saying that, but when you’re in bed with these people, you’d best hope the rogering you are about to receive is a memorable one… amirite? Yeah, I’m right.
Key thing for me about all of these interviews is that the energy is ticking upwards. There’s a different vibe with the staff, the players and the fans. That positive energy takes you places. That comes from knowing where you’re going combined with strong leadership. It’s the sort of thing that allows you to outperform your talent and move to a higher level.
Fingers crossed it starts to translate into results.
Ok, I’ll see you in the comments. x