On Alexis, Yaya and Questionable Morals

OK, so just the small matter of Alexis’ contract this morning. According to Flip-Flop Cross, he’s off to Bayern for £40m, becoming their highest-paid player in the process. £350k per week since you’re asking.

All of which is plausible, if you believe that kind of story.

We know the Alexis situation is the biggest problem facing Arsenal this summer and it will set the tone for the next couple of years. Ivan’s words about competing with Bayern Munich are once again coming back to haunt him.

While keeping a player of Mesut Özil’s quality is important, keeping Alexis is vital. He is the attacking fulcrum of the side and effectively requires two players to replace him; one for the left, one for the goals. Please don’t try to tell me Giroud or Walcott will perform either of those roles.

While we have options for the notionally left side of attack in the 3-4-2-1 formation, none are convincing in front of goal. It’s the football utopia; a free-scoring striker and two or three midfielders who chip in with 10+ league goals per season.

Mesut Özil could grab more goals; we’ve seen how good his finishing is but like Robert Pires, he finds more satisfaction in the creative side of the game than scoring. That’s the way some players are and there’s not a great deal the manager can do to change that situation quickly.

Which heaps a lot of pressure on him in terms of being ready with a replacement before selling. Which may or may not be the thinking behind the recent trip to the south of France; we’ll find out soon enough whether it’s a new addition to the first team squad or the ‘nearly signed’ squad.

Give Us A Sign

Alexis, at the Confederations Cup with Chile, made it plain that for the moment, the situation is in the hands of his agent. You can read into that what you want. It could mean the issue is just about cash but that seems too simplistic.

If that is the situation, then it’s a lot better than being about football. If winning trophies is the objective, we’re screwed when it comes to the Champions League.

Few believe wholeheartedly that Alexis will stay. Most of us lean toward a departure and there’s been precious little to hang your hat on as far as remaining is concerned. We could be pleasantly surprised; the past twelve months revealed a topsy-turvy world with Brexit, Trump and last night’s UK election result. The improbable is possible.

However, if he is leaving, it puts Arsène in a bind, both with the squad and PR-wise. It’s not the sort of start he wants to a new two-year term and unless things go blindingly well, it’s likely to see the discontent resurfacing.

Equally, it presents the club as having taken a huge backward step. We’d be back to the summer when Cesc and Nasri left to win trophies while we stumbled along searching for nothing more than a top four place. Those days are supposed to be behind us.

We can’t even call on Yaya Sanogo; he’s one of four players released by the club this month. Things must be bad if he’s decided to leave. *

He’s Not Alexis, He’s Just A Very Naughty Boy

There are some things the club gets right before you think this is just another opportunity to bash them. A very big one is their treatment of injured players. Think Santi, Tomas Rosicky, Per, Abou Diaby and Mikel Arteta. Compare that to how Manchester United have released Zlatan this summer.

Financially, it makes sense for them and the player won’t suffer any hardship in that sense. However, the decision is morally questionable – and yes, I know that most things in football are morally questionable.

However, leaving the player high and dry to recuperate from a serious injury isn’t something I find admirable in a club. Sentimentality, they will argue, doesn’t win silverware but it strikes me as a very ‘Mourinho’ type of thing to do: you’re no use to me so leave. That’s the public image of the man, and typically there are plenty who point you in the opposite direction for the private individual.

Sometimes, it’s the small things, the conduct which gives you hope that inside the cash cow, the beating heart of Arsenal FC hasn’t quite given up the ghost.

Waiting On A Song

Finally, this week’s Record of the Week on Dad’s Jukebox is Dan Auerbach’s Waiting on a Song is here. And, I’ve got to say, it’s utterly brilliant. Take time to listen and enjoy.

’til Tomorrow.

* Yes, I know he didn’t decide to leave…

46 thoughts on “On Alexis, Yaya and Questionable Morals

  1. Nice clear election result enabling all parties to claim a massive success and vote of confidence, – lets have another go in October.

    Hard to see how AW can put a positive spin on it if Sanchez does go.

  2. Afternoon YW, love that pooh pic 🙂
    Puts thing in perspective nicely which ever side of the fence you sit.
    If Zlatan were 5 or 6 years younger in the same position I’m pretty sure Man U would have have considered renewing.
    Bye bye Sanogo you weren’t as good as we hoped or as bad as many said I bet, good luck. Congrats to Reiss Nelson on the promotion to the 1st team too, hoping he can continue to kick on.

  3. Good stuff Yogi

    Sanchez needs to be kept but so does Ozil. Keeping both is massive, losing one or both sees us go backwards.

  4. One of the most gruesome comments during a Transfer Window by a much-needed star is “the situation is in the hands of my agent”.
    The need to transfer, the fee involved and the new wage structure, all mean extra money for the agent.
    The trouble is that the top echelon of professional footballers, not the brightest of sportsmen, now earn so much that the percentage deducted for agents’ fees mean little to them.
    The leeches spread jealousy, envy and dissatisfaction in the dressing rooms in order to line their pockets. Football clubs should band together and refuse to deal with them. Unity is strength. 😉

  5. Talk about developing and finding yourself, Nzonzi is now apparently on the radar of Juve who want the talented midfielder should they lose one of Pjanic or Lemina.

  6. sup peeps,

    C, from last night, I am slightly wondering now. Yes Sead is a top left back, but having read a piece on him on arseblog news it appears we’ve brought a dude who finds it hard staying fit. Being on a free softens the blow a little, but it smells of ‘more of the same’ in terms of bargain recruitment.
    That said, an upgrade on gibbs has been well overdue (whats new) and Jonny posted a great link on our loanees last night which enlightened me to marc bola. Seems all our defenders have done well.

  7. Afternoon,

    All the fun of the transfer window. I’m trying to avoid discussions about targets and new players coming in, as I’m always disappointed by the lack of ambition we appear to show. I know we have signed player like Ozil and Alexis, but it always seems that we aren’t able to complete the line up. We are still crying out for a ruthless striker who is going to offer up 20 PL goals a season and have been since RVP’s departure.

    On the subject of Alexis, when its in the hands of the agent it must be all about money. If Bayern are offering £350/- a week I’d guess that’s Alexis’ destination. I’d rather he heads somewhere like that rather than staying in the PL to be honest. Not sure why we would let him go for only £40m though. I know he’s in the last year of his contract, but I would have thought that we should be getting at least £50m for him. If I believed we were going to use the money to buy a striker I would probably accept that we are losing Alexis, but I don’t see that happening.

  8. colts,

    I read that piece and then did some digging myself because injuries wasn’t anything that I had read or heard about before and I found that he really hasn’t had the injury history. I don’t knock players for Cruciate Ligament Rupture because it can be such a flucky injury, the more you look into it, while he has picked up knocks, he doesn’t miss much actual match time. The other thing is that he hasn’t played teh extra 9 full 90 matches but I’m not concerned given the fact that he is only 23 years old and turning 24 this month, I’m not concerned.

    The biggest thing is that he is an upgrade over Gibbs, was widely considered a top 2 or 3 LB in the Bundesliga only really behind Alaba I am more than happy. Marc Bola is certainly one that is built for the future and the good thing about him is that he can and has played both FB positions but I don’t factor him in this year or next and want him to go out on loan similar to the way that Chelsea did with Ake.

  9. Mourinho is working fast, released Ibra (tend to agree with Yogi on the treatment) by working on a deal for Morata. That would be a MASSIVE coup and the biggest thing is that he and Pogba were quality for Juve and already have quite a connection.

  10. colts,

    Reading the article, it was more flagging the potential for ongoing niggles given the serious injury he has had. Some players recover from cruciate injuries and never look back. It appears from his form in the season just gone that he hasn’t had too many issues, barring the injury which kept him out right at the end of the season.

  11. Hi Yogi, if it is just 40m we would recoup, I suggest we keep the player. Alexis is a competitor and would play hard in his final season. Make a big push to win the title. Enhance the squad, try to convince him to stay but if he doesn’t sign at the end of the summer, he still has to stay and try to end his contract as a league winner. Of course AW And AFC are probably not inclined to put sporting ambition above the 40m loss (though if we do win the league or even get back into the CL with Alexis playing his part, it will be worth that much) or being capable of managing the player to stick it out for a season. I’m not predicting but I do feel keeping Alexis is the better decision even if he won’t sign this summer. We need him for sporting reasons and to reverse the image of the club and to attract new signings. Maybe he can yet be convinced. If he can’t, so be it. That fee isn’t worth sacrificing what he brings and we have plenty of money to enhance the team without selling him.

  12. Wavey,

    He was suspended at the end of the season for yellow cards if I’m not mistaken. But I do agree with you, he tore his ACL but given last season he started the season on the bench the first couple of matches due to Baba Rahman’s loan from Chelsea, Schalke started to play better once the change was made permanent to Sead. I’m not worried about injuries.

  13. I said the same about the RvP situation and am much more convinced we should keep Alexis. He’s more productive, younger, plays many matches and is such a competitor who loves to play that I have no concerns about his unwillingness guess to give proper effort.

    AFC need to try to win the league and reverse the decline of our standing in sporting terms. Selling Alexis damages the image of AFC further and on our chances on the pitch. It says we are not serious and prioritize 40m over a real chance to win.

  14. If we were willing to sell him, the time to have done that was last summer when he had 2 years remaining. At this point, it is better to keep him since 40m does little to replace him and makes us even less attractive to recruits.

  15. Limestonegunner,

    That’s a very good point. Keeping Alexis represents our best chance of returning to the CL in the season after next, whether its through getting back into the top 4, or winning the Europa League (one can dream). Even if we were to sign a top quality forward, keeping Alexis would make us better than letting him go. Would the club consider the potential of getting back into the CL over the known of £40m hitting the bank account? They decided to take the cash when it came to RVP. He was at the very peak of his game, as shown by his subsequent season at United, and would likely have significantly narrowed the gap between us and Manure. He may not have won the league for us, but it was certainly more of a possibility. United scored 14 more goals than us.

  16. C,

    Morata is class but if he does join I wouldn’t be surprised if Martial starts agitating for a move, i expect he doesn’t want to be playing on the wings so much.

  17. A dreamily whimsical Post, Yogi, and all the better for it. 😉

    I did not vote last night – and that is not just non-political decision – just pragmatic for a number of reasons.

    First, I couldn’t as I am a foriner, second I am having a Pooh and piglet evening ce soir, altho I should clarify that when I said I am having a Pooh evening I did not mean ….. well you geddit, and finally, still keeping strictly apolitical, I do not give a stuff about either party leader, anymore than I do for Trumpet, but May should never play poker, and Corbyn sure knows how to party when he loses.

    As for the 4 guys leaving this month, I feel a tad sorry for Yaya, but the injury writing has been on the wall for a while, but I am a whole lot more sorry for the other three, as they impressed me on the rare occasions I watched them in the U 21s, especially O’Connor, who I thought might have been a contender.

  18. Hiya, C,

    We have been linked with Morata a lot over the past couple of seasons with no luck. I think he would be a quick, strong goal-scorer and mature, so would suit is very well.

    The thing is, it is not just a question of money – says he bearding the elephant in the room – doncha just love mixed metaphors – but if Bayern or Manure bid £60m for him, and Arsenal matched that – as if – I would bet tonites Big Mac on it that he would choose one of the other two, rather than Arsenal – and I am not a careless better with a Big Mac at stake.

    Same thing with Sanchez. If Arsenal match the salary promised to him by Bayern (allegedly) he would prefer the German giants. That’s life.

  19. silvergunner,

    He is class, I thought we should have bought him or at least taken him on loan when Juve did irregardless of the buyback clause that they inserted as Juve wanted Higuain so they were “happy” to let him leave after putting up a fight from what I understand.

  20. I know mourinho is not a very pleasant man,but zlatans salary works out to 367000 euros a week .thats 1.4mil euros per month and considering he is out for atleast until January works out to nearly 8 mil euros.thats a lot of money down the drain for a player who is not in Action.yw mentioned some names but none of them were on zlatans wages.so I don’t think my club is not wholly wrong in this matter

  21. HenryB,

    Hey mate!

    Yea we have been linked to him and its a shame we didn’t go get him (or Jese for that matter) but I actually agree with you, if it came down to us and Manure, I think he chooses Manure not just because of Mourinho but because of the success he had playing with Pogba.

    The real shame is that I feel its what Arsenal has become and I know its really early in the window but it sort of feels already like last summer: chase Vardy and end up with Perez who was criminally under-used and Arsene bangs on about Welbeck and Giroud being quality strikers. Only difference this season is swap Vardy for Lacazette and Sanchez might bolt.

    I still have a feeling of optimism and hope but that feeling is ever present.

  22. Well, history does have an impact on transfers as much as anything, and we have had some very strange TWs, C.

    I am keeping toes, fingers and eyes crossed C in the hope that we will not be disappointed this summer. We will see.

  23. HenryB,

    Your not the only one mate! The other thing is that so many young strikers want match time and surely we should be able to find ONE! I mean there has been talk of Aubameyang, Dembele, Jese, Lukuka, Dolberg, Andre Silva, Sandro Ramirez, Belotti just to name a few that would instantly help us and bring the quality we want in the Cf.

  24. I didn’t vote yesterday either as I’m in Italy at the moment, but I did cast my vote two weeks ago by post.

    Like all transfer window “news”, Sanchez to Bayern is just so much bull shit at the moment. I think he will stay and sign a new deal.

    But then I thought Mrs May would get a landslide victory.

    And I’m backing Murray to win the fourth set tie breaker.

  25. Great post Yogi.

    I would be very happily surprised if Alexis is playing for us next season and I would be totally shocked if he signed a new contract. I think the chance of the of new contract is almost nil.

    If/when we buy a new striker it needs to be a player who is established as a scorer and not someone with talent and potential. If we opt for the latter then we will likely get the next Vincent Jannsen or Michy Bacahuyi and we will be no better off then Welbeck

  26. Oh well, Murray didn’t win the tie breaker or the fifth set. I guess that means I’m probably wrong about Sanchez too. Hope he learns German quicker than he learnt English. So long Sanchez.

  27. C, Wavey

    thanks, i’m probably just over thinking given our luck with players and injuries. I do think he is a good get based on his physicality, age and rep.

    Regarding Alexis, it would be really silly to sell him, but if they did (shock, horror) it would be madness not to rebuild the forward line, so either way i’m not to worried, IF we keep a back three.

  28. colts,

    I get it, but he looks a good get and only being 23 years old, things like his passing and dribbling can continued to be developed.

    I don’t care if we play a back 3 or 4(my preference is back 4) we need to keep Sanchez AND rebuild our front 3.

  29. Bielik looks set to go on a season long loan to Norwich as he has confirmed things are being finalized now. He is certainly one for the future either as a CB or DM.

  30. Very interesting reports from Spain saying Arsenal and Inter have put in bids for James Rodriguez. Not what we need at all but would certainly add quality. If he came I would be interested to know what is next for Ramsey and Jack as surely one ia leaving. It would also mean Ox can forget a central midfield spot.

  31. Tories teaming up with DUP – truly it’s beyond parody.

    Well I am settled nicely in Minneapolis – interesting little city. Plenty of culture for its size.

    Great AirBnB too – apart from the boards beneath bathroom ceiling collapsing last night, that is.

    Again I welcome recommendations especially for food, libation and music.

    Or just any hidden gems.

  32. Jonny,

    Only been once, so do tell us what’s good or interesting in that city, besides of course the Prince pilgrimage sites!

  33. Jonny,

    Only been once myself, went to the Mall of America and then Northeast Minneapolis, plenty of shops, breweries, sites, history, arts and plenty of good food.

  34. Jonny:
    Tories teaming up with DUP – truly it’s beyond parody.

    Well I am settled nicely in Minneapolis– interesting little city. Plenty of culture for its size.

    Great AirBnB too – apart from the boards beneath bathroom ceiling collapsing last night, that is.

    Again I welcome recommendations especially for food, libation and music.

    Or just any hidden gems.

    You can actually do things in Minneapolis? I thought the only thing one can do there is freeze their ass off 🙂

    Just kidding, I’m sure it’s a lovely city. I’m not one to speak …..Since I’m burning my ass off in Phoenix. 🙂

  35. Yogi – I try not to get too sentimental about squillionaire football players (who obviously got their agents to squeeze every last drop out of clubs). Nor do I get sentimental about squillionaire football clubs. They all deserve each other. It’s the battlers I worry about.
    The only hope Arsenal had of keeping Alexis was if Corbyn won and he offered Alexis a knighthood – and even then he probably wouldn’t stay. Alexis has put up with three years of bullshit from Arsene and is desperate to go. He’s seen the not-so-great manager up close and knows he can do a lot better.

  36. Hi
    Take a walk along the river in Minneapolis downtown and go to st paul if you have time. There are pretty some pretty good eating places in Minneapolis

  37. colts,

    A new signing and the blogettas has started whirling up the negatives…. Have you done your own research about his injury record? …. Sead was Bundesliga LB of the season for 16/17 season. Give the team a break and let’s support, rather than allow the media create a profile for a player who’s yet to kick the ball for Arsenal.

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