“Lure”. No matter in what context the word is used, there’s a seedy inference. Aston Villa want to “lure” Jack Wilshere to the Championship, making it sound a small step up from seeing the non-existent puppies in the wood. Which, with John Terry’s presence, is exactly what it is.
Transfer talk dominates the skyline. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain wants £150,000 per week to go to move to Stamford Bridge, although many believe he should take a leaf out of Elvis Costello’s book and declare, “(I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea”. In a no way planned but opportune moment, a new post on Dad’s Jukebox about rock stars and their books, this time the fall out which ruined New Order.
Back to football. Contracts. Always brings some piety to proceedings when Arsène’s around. Never broken a contract, y’see. Not through lack of trying but his then-chairman refused to release him and waif-like already, Wenger couldn’t make anyone take his hunger strike seriously.
Football and contracts. Not a relationship which is taken seriously as Neymar Jr. can attest. So far, Alexis and Mesut Özil are ‘honouring’ theirs with no forced move taking place. This late in the day, Arsenal can’t afford to allow either to leave; the current squad needs them if it is to return to the hallowed ground of the top four.
Wenger’s insistence that the pair will not be sold is morphing into a “promise” in the media. He’s done no such thing, of course, and the words of anyone connected with football carry a hollow ring. From the terraces to the pitch to the boardroom; “We’ll support you ever more” through to “I was a childhood Arsenal fan”, ending with, “We’re custodians of the club”. All hollow; all perverted by power, corruption and lies. Did I mention New Order…
Little Arsène Horner Sat In His Corner
I know what you’re thinking: “Such cynicism in one so young”. And it’s right that we are cynical about contracts; they aren’t worth the paper they are printed on in the real world and in its’ own little bubble, football is far, far worse. Chairman, managers, players; contracts are ripped up every day of the week.
I wonder if Arsène’s stance on Alexis started as a negotiating ploy before morphing into something else altogether. Namely, pinning the board into a corner. If the Chilean is sold, it’s against Wenger’s wishes. They are the bad guys, or in this case, the fall guys.
Yesterday’s papers regaled us with tales of how Manchester City are preparing a £60m bid for Sanchez. Presumably, it’s being counted by hand as they have been doing it all summer.
Throughout this, Özil is getting a free ride. Stringing the club along with astronomical sums talked about for wages and keeping his options open. Talks were taking place when everyone “was back in London”, I seem to recall him saying when the squad was Down Under. Is that now a literal things? “Can’t talk today, we’re in Stoke”? “Ah, not in London, in Hertfordshire”.
Are these the opening salvos in the death of transfer fees? Wenger mentioned recently that he expected us to see more and more players entering the final years of their contracts, a by-product of which is more leaving on free transfers to take the coin into their own pockets. I’m surprised its taken this long for the issue to arise.
Open The Door & Let ‘Em Out
The next progression is a player chucking in his ticket, the same way the rest of us do. A season-long notice period? At some point, Bosman will become a thing of the past, mentioned only in history books in the same way George Eastham is. You forget sometimes just how much Arsenal has played in changing the face of football; not always for the best, either.
Wenger stressed earlier this morning that Alexis’ contract talks aren’t progressing. I doubt they will while there is a glimmer of hope that City may turn the board’s heads. The Chilean walking next summer is a “consequence” of not selling him this time around. That’s well and good – I guess – so long as the decision isn’t then held up as depriving us of transfer funds next summer. If Arsenal know that is going to be an issue, then a sale earlier this summer was obligatory.
It’s Arsenal so naturally, the worst case scenario is assumed. It always seems to happen to us, frequently of our own making.
Elsewhere, Wenger stated this morning that Lucas Perez is on his way out. Another peculiar signing in the long list of “Why?”. Deportivo or Newcastle are thought to be his destinations du jour although there were stories last week that he’d signed for the former so god knows what’s going on there.
Arsène declared that selling players keeps him as busy as signings and he “expects to be busy” during the remaining fortnight or so that the window is open. Plenty of deadwood to shift on, he didn’t declare…