Mails: Wenger will be better for Mkhitaryan than Mourinho

Date published: Wednesday 24th January 2018 9:28

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On Chelsea’s spending
I sincerely hope Antonio Conte understands the irony when he says that Chelsea cannot compete with the Manchester clubs in the transfer market, given it was, arguably, Roman Abramovich who started the inflationary cycle in the first place, when he bought the club in 2003. Reading the story, I spilt my coffee, then checked another paper just to make sure he had actually said it. Or maybe Conte is throwing down the gauntlet to Chelsea to compete in the market.

Despite my general pessimism that we are heading towards a situation that the Big 6 will become the Big 2 or 3, I hold some solace in the fact that a lot of the money spent will be wasted. As a Man United fan, I could easily reel off a list of players that cost a fortune but turned out to be useless, whether through ability or not being able to handle the pressure.

So looking at all purchases (not net spending) from Summer 2010 to the end of last season, thought I’d look at who in the big 6 had spent what, and how much of it was wasted. Sure, it will be a bit subjective, but at my age it is easier not to be too one eyed. (Used for source info)

– They all waste a lot of money.
– Man City nearly wasted what Arsenal spent.
– The average age of players signed by all clubs was around 23.
– Spurs and Liverpool wasted nearly all the money after the windfall from Bale & Sanchez.
– Chelsea like buying lots of players, 51 of them.
– United spend by far the highest per player on average, £24m, but given their waste, got overcharged or cannot scout properly.
– If you team can wisely spend around £50m less than the Manchester clubs, then you still may be able to compete. (That was the glass half full thought of the day).

Arsenal, spent £400m, wasted £202m, which is 50% wasted
Chelsea, spent £731m, wasted £345m, which is 47% wasted
Liverpool, spent £576m, wasted £302m, which is 53% wasted
Man City, spent £868m, wasted £382m, which is 44% wasted
Man Utd, spent £697m, wasted £309m, which is 44% wasted
Spurs, spent £387m, wasted £208m, which is 54% wasted
Ged (miss the brackets some days) Biglin


Hello irony
Mildly amused to see Antonio Conte bemoaning the vast wealth of City and United. ‘Seriously dangerous for other teams in the world’. ‘ If you want the best, you have to spend a lot of money’.

Valid points, serious concerns. Teams being bankrolled by billionaires do have a massive advantage over other sides. It unbalances the league and it does make it harder for the rest.

What a pity Chelsea have never had that advantage…
James, Liverpool ( and yes, I know, we’ve not exactly been shy with the cash ourselves over the years…)


PLANET SPORT EXCLUSIVE! Andre Agassi talks about Djokovic and the women’s game (Tennis365)


Sanchez just played for Arsenal at the wrong time
I’ve been on stadium strike due to #WengerOut for a while. Near zero impact but I feel my convictions are correct. The byproduct is that I’ve not really had the chance to get to know the players. Not like I used to. So when I read Sanchez wasn’t as Arsenal as RVP I feel it’s, partially, down to our fading relationship with Arsenal more so that anything else.

As fans we haven’t really taken to our new home, no because it isn’t any good, but because it has become a symbol of the arrogance and priorities of the senior management at Arsenal (those priorities being both the moral high ground and a healthy increase in shareholder value over winning). Equally, our revolutionary has become a dictator. Don’t they all, of course.

An aloof owner based overseas has further stressed the relationship, money over trophies and all that. Corporate share value and asset growth to be leveraged elsewhere. We are a commodity.

And so back to Sanchez. He was brought in as yet another sign of false hope set against a continued background of profit-led Arsenal PLC, by a manager who has betrayed his oath to the club at a time where the gap between player and fan is as profound as it could be. He might’ve been MR Arsenal circa 2004 but Arsenal 2018 has nothing to do with that any more. RVP would’ve left under the same shroud.

Time to wave bye to him and move on. The hurt wasn’t RVP or Sanchez. It’s a Wenger hurtfest we are really feeling.
Alexander T


Mkhitaryan may enjoy Wenger more than Mourinho
Mkhitaryan is a very good player there’s no denying there. His success in the German league is evidence of that. However, there too he has struggled with confidence and inconsistency. Different managers have different styles and Mourinho’s in your face, siege mentality may be very successful with players like Ibrahimovic but can be ill suited to players like Mkhitaryan.

Arjen Robben perhaps best described it when talking about Mourinho: “It was very good to work with him at that age because I was young and with Mourinho you have to be mentally very strong. You have to jump on the train with him or you’re off. So it was great for my development.”

Certain players thrive in such sort of pressure, while others can wither and need an amount of loving and care which can be in short supply with Mourinho particularly for players performing under par.

Things can be different at Arsenal. There, he will find in Arsene, a more fatherly figure, who perhaps can better understand how to deal with a player of the mould of Mkhitaryan. The spotlight will also be less at Arsenal than at his former club.He already has a season and half in the Premier League and Mourinho has nonetheless significantly helped his adjustment and development during this time. If Arsene can complete the job, Arsenal can have a player which could be the envy of other clubs.

This is not a criticism of Mourinho in any way but just an admission that different managers have different styles which can suit some players better than others. Sanchez, for instance, I feel is a more Mourinho player than Arsenal player.


And the last word on this one
Ozil has attached himself to the club more than Sanchez?? Because the fans have sang about him a bit more? B*llocks.

The two are comfortably the two best players in the team and have been since they arrived. That is surely, objectively a fact. However, it is also surely an objective fact that (as documented on F365 amongst others) Ozil has received far more criticism than Sanchez. The last few months aside, Ozil has been the lazy £42m flop who just doesn’t turn up etc. etc. etc. compared to Sanchez blood and thunder dragging Arsenal through the season. And that’s not just a media onslaught, that’s from fans message boards too.

Secondly, we’re not in the 70s anymore. Teams aren’t made up of 14 local lads and one foreigner who is a cult hero because he lives down the road from your nan. There are almost no players who are “attached” to their clubs, certainly not in the fabled top 6. (OK, maybe Harry Kane but he’ll leave in the summer after a stonking World Cup).

I am really struggling to see what Van Persie did that was so much more noble than Sanchez – it’s arguable he owed the club a debt of gratitude for sticking with him through years of injury but shoved that in Wenger’s face as soon as he had a chance to jump ship. Hardly the action of someone who’s really revelling in playing for the jersey.

If you sound like a dejected Arsenal fan who is claiming you didn’t fancy her anyway, maybe it’s because you are a dejected Arsenal fan who is claiming you didn’t fancy her anyway.
Alex, Ayr


An idea on agents’ fees
The NBA limits the agents to 4% of the total value of the contract, the NFL limits it to 3%. The agents have no choice but to accept that fee and they then fight to get the best players because there is no cap to the fee they charge NIKE or Adidas for the marketing deal.

If UEFA implemented a % cap on the wage bill that would keep more money in the players pocket. Now teams like Man United might then negotiate a rights deal but that would only impact the very top level players and they would most likely make more money by going directly to Nike. You won’t have the drama of a deal being done except for the agent fee as they always get the same %.
DJ, Boston


Liverpool have their priorities wrong on set pieces
Not sure whether this is the exact point that Slaven Bilic was trying to make after the Liverpool Swansea debacle game last night but there was a curious approach from Liverpool when “defending” the corner at which Swansea scored. Replays show that at the moment Van Dijk heads the ball virtually all Liverpool players look as if they are starting a counter attack rather than ensuring that they clear the ball.

The only guy who belated reacts is Oxlade Chamberlain but the rest (Gomez, Can, Firmino in particular) are already turning away as the ball lands from Van Dijk’s header. I’m sure it’s linked to the desire/instruction to counter attack but of the 8 outfield players in the box following the first header 1 is landing, 1 is reacting to the ball and the other 6 are running away like the Knights in Monty Python’s Holy Grail.

Overall, I believe it’s a slightly unlucky goal and these things happen so I’m not losing my shizzle over it but I was struck by the way that our boys seemed to scatter away from the ball rather than to it and I wonder if they’ve got their priorities wrong on set pieces.
Adam Reep (LFC)


Doing the Can Can
David Wexford, I share your sentiments completely. My thoughts on Can’s general performances of late, culminating in last night’s horror show;

Can Can? Can can’t. Can you c**t.
Dom Littleford


Lots of swears about Wenger and spending
Can anyone else not see that Wenger has just directly told Arsenal Fans to go f*** themselves with his statement about Deloitte and Arsenal spending? – We stick to within our means…

Basically it is entirely about risk assessment. I appreciate that I do not have a Masters in accounting/business management but this is football, not a f***ing business (I know, I know). You have to stick your neck out on quality players and say “they will bring me success, which in turn will bring in more money”.

Ok, Wenger brought in Ozil and Sanchez in the first place, and now presumably Aubameyang (although any other gunner not holding their breath?) but that was probably only after squabbling over the loose change of a couple of million. Of course it is insanity looking at the facts and figures that are daily spewed out by red tops (and respectable publications alike) in regards bonuses, wages and transfers; but it doesn’t mean that you can just ignore the fact that mediocre players cost more and great players cost a national f***ing budget.

What about a serious midfield enforcer? What about replacements for Mustafi and improvements on players Mohammed El-f***ing-Neny. Perfect example as recently published by this fine website (I think) was the big spends by clubs according to their budget. Ferguson spaffed out an inordinate amount for Veron, and did it work out? F*** no, but it didn’t matter because he took other risks that paid off.

If you stick within your lane then that’s exactly what you’ll get – a second time our best player was sold to one of our most hated rivals and a first time exit in the FA cup with only the league cup and Europa league our chances of silverware.
Adam L. (sorry bit early for that) Gooner in France


Enjoying the Bhutia feature
Please give my thank you to Will Unwin on his piece on Bhaichung Bhutia. This just made my day.

Before there was the u17 world cup, before the glamsham of ISL, before India’s slight success in any sport other than cricket there was Bhaichung Bhutia, carrying the Indian football team.

As shameful as it is, I can name you the entire United squad that won the 1999 champions league, but I can only remember Bhaichung from that Indian team in the late 90s and early 2000s.

I remember him signing for Bury and him coming back, embarrassed that our best footballer couldn’t even make it in a second division side.

However, what is important is that he paved the way for others like Suni Chhetri (another great footballing hero) and Subrata Paul who in turn are helping the next generation. He may not have been a success in Europe but is having a big influence on any Indian who does.
Shivam, Singapore


The good old days
AMH (THFC) clearly doesn’t know many Liverpool fans. We’re everywhere and we click on everything, no matter what.

A while back there were a series of polls on this very website where it seemed that the answer to nearly every question posed was, “Dani Pacheco”.

I still wonder whether the answer is Dani Pacheco in a parallel universe (since it’s become increasingly clear that it’s not the answer in this one).
Minty, LFC

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