Arsenal have no choice but to ride out the storm…

Date published: Tuesday 16th July 2019 9:26

Send your thoughts in for the afternoon Mailbox:


Arsenal mess
I thought Stewie Griffin made a number of valid points in his mail about the mess at Arsenal so I was surprised that so many people basically told him to shut up. Granted it was harsh on Cech but he always only ever had 2-3 seasons in him anyway. The rest is a mixture of bad purchases, under investment and a willingness to keep average players and give them new contracts. For comparison look at Utd with Smalling, Jones and Young.

Not selling Sanchez to City for £60m was stupid and I think needs to be put into context. It wasn’t completed as at the time there was a lot of angst amongst Arsenal supporters due to a lack of investment and selling the only player who actually looked world class (although was currently sulking) would probably have meant rioting outside the Emirates. It was also a function of poor planning and I got the impression that Arsene was just going through the motions for the last 5 years of his tenure. He wasn’t good enough to succeed but was too emotionally attached to the club to give up. This is also reflected in the squad where many of these players knew top 4ish and an FA cup was satisfactory. Sorry to state the obvious but Arsenal should not be aiming for satisfactory.

Ramsey was always going to leave Arsenal for a massive payday and should have been sold last summer. I have no idea why he wasn’t, particularly when his contract offer was withdrawn anyway. Getting £25-30m for him is better than nothing yet clearly no lessons were learned from the Sanchez debacle.

Swapping Sanchez for Mikhitaryan was madness in hindsight but again it was making the best of a bad situation at the time as there was a feeling that Mikhitaryan was good it was just that Jose didn’t rate him and he needed somewhere more in tune to his personality and style of play. Plus linking up Mikhitaryan with Aubameyang again wasn’t the worst idea in the world was it ?

Ozil getting a new contract for £350k a week when only Fenerbahce wanted him was only because the board were so concerned about losing an asset for nothing. Well look what happens when an asset becomes a liability. I think in today’s climate it is actually okay for players to leave on a free. It’s not ideal but if a club gets into a certain situation they need to consider the opportunity cost of not giving them a bumper deal. Imagine how Ozils £20m salary could have been re-invested.

I think what is happening now just has to be allowed to run. Kroenke isn’t happy mediocre players are on big money so until half of this squad are jettisoned either by allowing to leave, selling cheaply, loaning them out, letting their contracts run down, Arsenal will just have to get on with it. It sounds mad but letting Koscielny go for the sake of £5m seems okay too.

For me it’s up to Emery to get a tune out of what he has. Aubameyang and Lacazette are clearly the biggest assets and playing them both up front should be a priority.

Whether you like it or not Emery has to get Mikhitaryan and Ozil playing again. Their combined wage is almost £30m a season and you can’t just leave them out and ignore them for 2 more seasons.

Kolasinac and Bellerin are good going forward so surely need to be wing backs and with such a dodgy defence 3 central defenders has to be employed.

No matter how bad people think Arsenal are they got to a Europa final and should have finished 4th. Emery tinkered last year in formations and personnel, it’s time he settled on a team, formation and did his best to mend player relationships and get Arsenal firing again before he gets fired himself.

With bids in for Saliba (I think), Tierney and a typical Arsenal negotiating mess up over Zaha it will be interesting to see how Emery starts the campaign. Away to Newcastle and home to Burnley isn’t a bad start……

As an aside if Utd do make a bid for Aubameyang and it gets accepted then that would be utter madness trying to buy a decent winger in Zaha but selling a world class striker in Aubameyang to make it happen. But then that seems to be Arsenal these days…..
Ian (just moved to Hong Kong) LFC


He’s written it too well
Just wanted to say I really enjoyed Clive Tyldesley’s missive on the site. It’s always nice to be reminded that there are people out there who can enjoy sport and what it represents at its best. Much more interesting that arguing about VAR or Brexit.

To paraphrase Andy Townsend: For me Clive. For me.
Pierre, LFC, Bristol


Villans off the hook
Having read the letter from Tim Harrington (QPR) and the questions he raises about the wisdom or folly of Villa’s transfer dealings, He is making the point that we are spending a lot of money for a team only 12 months away from administration.
I would just like make a few points of my own
1. Is Tim aware that we now have new eye-wateringly rich owners?
2. The Mings fee issue has already been answered very well in an earlier article by SW. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and pay the man – rather like Bournemouth themselves did.
3. Not quite sure why Tim thinks we would automatically look (or need) to sell players in the event of relegation.
4. Boro paid 12.8M for 27 yr-old Alves – nearly 12 years ago. He managed 10 goals for Boro in his only season. Such is inflation
5. We had no choice as to the number of signings we are making. we reduced the playing staff by 14 (as stated in the DS article – 5 loans – 3 of whom were converted to deals – and 9 players whose contracts were not renewed/were bought out and who were all over 30.)

All clubs gamble – especially in the chasm that is the PL/Championship divide – a divide that is minimal in playing terms, but huge in reward terms. Villa now are in a position to take that chance. What would Tim’s opinion be of Norwich’s transfer action so far – 2 loans and a free transfer. They were very good last season – but isn’t that also a gamble?
Steve (USA)


Equal pay
Ok anonymous – you wanted facts, here goes. I’ve even provided citations, seeing as you don’t trust me (I didn’t provide them 1st time as didn’t fancy clogging the mailbox with links to external sites). Assuming you trust CNN a little more than the US President…

Or how about The Wall Street Journal instead, then, seeing as we’re talking. finance.

I’ll even throw in an article from a sports website – just for good measure.

I should just make clear again to everyone, as this point is seemingly always being missed the women are suing US Soccer for equal pay as their employer. The women are not suing because their clubs are paying them less than male MLS clubs pay, or because of NWSL having smaller TV rights or sponsorship deals – they understand how the commercial world works; so most of your cited facts are irrelevant to the argument I’m afraid “Anon”.

However, they equally understand that when they make their employer more money (US Soccer is their employer – so only money made by US Soccer actually matters!!), but get paid significantly less by that employer because of their gender; that’s simply not right!!!
Paul (Spurs) T.Wells


…I’ve often thought of this conundrum when it comes to the idea of the women’s game and Anonymous’ mail on facts indicates exactly why.

The central problem is this; the women’s game does not generate as much money as the men’s game, our society holds your productivity in creating money above all else ergo female footballers should earn less than male footballers.

The issue for me is that while I get the logic of this (disagree with the stance of society but that’s a far too political mail) what I think it lacks is an appreciation that the women’s game has been held back deliberately or otherwise by men. So how do you balance this against the reality that market forces will not allow the same levels of investment into the women’s game until it has grown far larger/more profitable.

The only way is through subsidy, and I can see the argument that the subsidies are too low. This is also chicken and egg, because you need more investment/higher wages to drive up the number of women playing, the quality of the game and subsequently the number of people watching in order to increase the investment/wages.

So really the question of whether the should be more subsidising of the women’s game comes down to whether you think women should always earn less than men in this field or whether you believe they should present the same quality of football and earn the same (I think the latter). The one resource we can’t beef up artificially is the time taken to establish the sport, and therefore while that time is building up we need to find the additional money through forced means rather than the market.
Dave, MUFC, Leeds


Rapinoe compromise
Just a quick thing on Rapinoe. Is it not OK to believe she’s doing great things for the LGBT community, great things for woman’s football, woman in general, but also think she’s a bit of an arrogant prick at the same time? Why do I have to be in one camp or the other?
SERIOUS JOHN (Serious about all things)


Neymar should be picking splinters
Am I the only one hoping Neymar will stay at PSG this season and rot on the bench?
Andreas (wouldn’t want him at my club even if he made us champions!) Brussels


When does the season start?
Can I just say after reading the mailbox for the last few days and seeing mails about Donald Trump, equal pay, expectation managing, reviews of every player in pre-season friendly, Ed the red, fantasy transfer funds (ffs!!) etc etc etc etc etc……

I can’t wait for the season to start and we can get back to knee jerking!
Howard (Jurgen needs at least 4 signings, not) Jones

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