It’s A Dog’s Life For Alexis With Contract Talk

I am what I drink and I’m a bitter man. Or at least that’s what Claudio Bravo wants everyone to believe about Alexis Sanchez. Sadio Mane’s studs resurrected Bravo’s Manchester City career but he’s making sure he gets a pundit role when he hangs up his boots; his gloves were hung up long ago.

Anyway, the Chilean claims his compadre is bitter over the deadline day disaster when his whole world collapsed. No, the dogs weren’t ill; his move to Manchester City. You know, the one which was not going to happen all summer unless the board decided it would, according to Arsène.

It didn’t and all his woes were forgotten as Atom and Humber bounded up, wagged their tails and slavered all over him. Alexis was happy again. And then he returned to training. And Alexis knew how a significant percentage of the world feels about going to work; it’s a bind and you’d rather be somewhere else like playing online pokies NZ. In the sunshine for a start.

But he didn’t. He’s here and I can’t wait until next summer when the excuses are trotted out that we’ve got no money to spend because we didn’t sell him. And no-one will renew their contracts because they don’t know what Arsène is doing with his. Because that proved decisive in Alexis, Mesut and Alex’s case, didn’t it?

The only one who signed unhesitatingly is Olivier Giroud and he would have left in the summer for Everton had his wife not put down her foot – probably a stiletto into his forehead for emphasis – about not wanting to live on Merseyside. Then again he’s merely following the manager’s lead and showing ‘loyalty’ when other clubs come courting.

That will make another chapter in the book, I’m sure.

There’s A Club…

Speaking to the media at the weekend, Arsène broached the subject of the move to Manchester United mentioned in Martin Edwards book. He stayed because he preferred Arsenal’s values to those at Old Trafford. It’s hardly surprising; the United board displayed the ruthlessness missing from Highbury in getting rid of Moyes and Van Gaal. The latter must look at Wenger and wonder why the Arsenal board haven’t sacked him after winning the FA Cup.

When Wenger renewed for two years, the problem of seeking his replacement went away for two years. If we’re to avoid the complete shambles of the last season again, his future has to be resolved next summer at the latest. The logic goes that players won’t sign for us if they know Wenger is leaving. Well, we don’t have a stellar track record of signings with him here; we always go into the season at least one good player short of a title challenge.

But that’s an issue for another time. This week sees the European campaign begin and the insufferables take it upon themselves to prove how far behind the elite leagues the Premier League has really fallen. Far be it for me to wish ill on their campaigns but I expect Tottenham to drop into the Europa League before Christmas. Liverpool may be the other ones to join them.

The fringe players are the ones who will benefit most from this week. The likes of Walcott, Chambers, Mertesacker and Holding are likely to take their place in the starting line-up with a smattering of youth. A “Premier League team”, Arsène said he’d field. He left out the bit about “if we were in the middle of an injury crisis”.

…If You’d Like To Go…

Can any of them change the manager’s mind about the starting XI? It’s a tough job. The only player who has fallen foul of the manager so far is Rob Holding. With Saturday’s result, there is probably a tendency to look at Ox’s departure as the reason we’ve improved; anything other than look too closely at themselves.

For someone like Theo Walcott, it’s the chance to impress upon the club that talks about his contract need to be concluded by next summer. It’s the first time the cards haven’t all been stacked in Team Walcott’s favour and right now I’d say he’s unlikely to ‘sign da ting’. Another hole in the bucket.

I’m beginning to think that Stan or Ivan has found the leprechaun’s pot of gold at the end of the rainbow to fund all these purchases.

’til Tomorrow.

56 thoughts on “It’s A Dog’s Life For Alexis With Contract Talk

  1. Has anyone ever asked Wenger what those values that keep him at Arsenal are?
    Apparently paying the London living wages to all club employees is outside of those lofty values.
    Also, if you take a meeting with a direct rival to discuss a possible switch of employer, do you still get to take credit for staying loyal?

  2. yes it true a dog life lets us look at it a game of two half giroud switch welbeck ozil with sanchez and take out bellerin remember the fans is all about winning and the players must support that

  3. Afternoon. Good stuff YW.

    It’s going to be an interesting ol’ week – culminating in a big trip to Chelsea.

    Saw this tidbit of tabloid gossip…should anyone give a cold damn.

    “Arsenal are believed to be in a seven way battle to sign Valencia midfielder Ferhat Cogalan. The 15-year-old wonderkid is obviously in very high demand but Arsene Wenger is believed to be very determined win the battle to sign the highly rated midfielder”.

  4. Palace sacking De Boer might be seen as a bit hasty, but if the stories are correct to replace him with Hodgson would be utter madness.

  5. Palace have agreed a three year contract with Wenger, he takes over tomorrow…what’s that ringing sound? Oh, it’s the alarm clock. Damn spoilt a lovely dream.

  6. andy1886,

    Why? Perfect sort of situation and club for Hodgson.

    Provided his faculties are still in tact he’s a decent mid-table club manager – which after 4 losses and no goals is probably all they dare aim for.

    TBH I am not sure why anyone would want to work for these hucksters – FDB was sold down the river before he even began.

  7. Afternoon,

    I thought the sacking of De Boer was a bit rash, but they haven’t scored a goal in 4 PL games under him. Amazingly Bob Bradley managed to last longer at Swansea.

    Orson Kaert,

    Waiting to hear Wenger explain why he turned Parrish down.

  8. Jonny,

    Not sure about that, he’s a 70 year old manager who hasn’t managed in the PL for five years and seems to be part of the past rather than someone who has some bright ideas for the future. For me Palace need someone with a vision and a lot of energy, it’s looking like a difficult job and at his age Roy may not have the energy or desire to turn them around. If I were a Palace fan I wouldn’t be very excited by that appointment.

  9. Good stuff Yogi.

    Sanchez is here, he looked like he gave a shit against Bournemouth so lets get him and Lacazette playing together shall we, those two together can rival any other duo in the PL full stop. Who cares if he was pissed his move fell threw, nothing new at Arsenal in the last decade with the only difference this time being he can leave for nothing next summer. If anything, it will be interesting to see how his mood changes come January when he can sign a pre-contract with a non-PL club.

    Europa will be interesting and I think we will see almost whole-sale changes. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a line-up something like:

    Ospina
    —-Holding—Mert—-Chambers
    ?——-Elneny—–Maitland-Niles——-Nelson
    —-Theo—–Giroud——Iwobi

  10. andy1886,

    de Boer getting sacked I wonder if its more the style or play or something going on in the backroom where his philosophies don’t align with that of the club.

  11. C,

    I suspect it had more to do with being outside the Ajax comfort zone. He only lasted about three months as Inter Milan’s manager and has no experience either as a player of coach of the Premiership.

  12. C,

    Looked a lot like the players weren’t buying in to it. While I suspect that Roy will be more easy going sometimes the players just need a rocket up the arse. Allardyce was tough enough to keep them in check and I suspect that Palace will rue letting him walk.

  13. Wavey,

    Cut from a similar cloth aren’t they? Although Hodgson would struggle to match AW’s BS output and inevitable opinion on every single global issue known to man.

  14. Orson Kaert,

    I tend to agree with that, I also wonder if part of it is that the style of play he wants you really have to buy in and have the players capable. I wonder what he would do with Arsenal and our current squad.

  15. andy1886,

    I agree, the style he plays is a style you have to buy into and you have to have the players to play it; the problem with it is Palace doesn’t have those players and at Inter, well they are Inter which is both a good thing and a bad thing.

  16. Good read, YW.

    I do not think the EPL has fallen behind all the other leagues as you claim, actually — but I do think that until the PL falls in line with all the other major leagues – that means the one club Bundesliga, the two club La Liga and the Italian lot – with an extended break of up to two weeks at Xmas, the EPL clubs will never win the CL.

    OK, perhaps I should have added ‘again’ — but it was implied as we are a forward looking bunch.

    Not that I care too much, as at the moment it does not look like we will be playing too much of a role in next season’s CL or the one after that as things currently stand – why? Well, there are undoubtedly 4 other clubs better than us to grab the qualifying slots [and maybe others too].

    Chelsea – Manure – Citeh – Puddle – Spuds – Huddersfield?

  17. Hi ya, C,

    You said “they are Inter which is both a good thing and a bad thing.”

    Did you miss the other state, by accident or design? — ‘And the inbetweeny thing’ — that way you have covered all the possibilities and cannot by definition be wrong. 😀

  18. HenryB,

    Hello Henry,

    Yea I guess I should have included the inbetween thingy, but yea with Inter its generally a good thing or a bad thing, very little inbetween 🙂

  19. HenryB,

    Yup and its not just the players but the supporters and the Ultras make Gooners and their comments look like we are the happiest lot imaginable.

  20. I thought it would be a good idea to take a break and have a few days away in the sunshine — and having had a look back at the predictable bloodshed following the Liverpuddle fiasco, I think that was the right decision – and now there is just an occasional, desultory little cannon fire at Wenger from the irrepressible Andy, it might be safe to get back in the blogging water! 😀

  21. Very much looking forward to Thursday match lineup and the game itself. Hoping to see squad members and sprinkling of youth in there ahead of Chelsea.

    Maybe Alexis some minutes to get fit. DW to feature? I hope to see Iwobi and Nelson playing. And then the possible return of the Jack now that Coquelin is injured. All very intriguing.

  22. Limestonegunner,

    Ditto for Thursday. I’d love to see JW back in an Arsenal shirt.

    I was not sure we’d get the chance during the summer – obviously it’s a big ‘if’ but if he can stay fit for any length of time I think he could contribute hugely to our midfield.

  23. Thanks for the post Yogi

    Given our lack of depth of firepower in front of goal and our miserable away form, if we had sold Alexis or if he sleepwalks thru this season we might be looking at a fight for 6th or 7th instead of a fight for 4th.

    I am not sure why everyone is dismissing Koln and treating this game like an early round league cup game. We should be the favorites but the Bundesliga is a strong league and I assume they finished in the top half of the league to get into this competition. Its not like they play against English league 2 level of opponents on a weekly basis.

  24. Jonny,

    We could use super Jack Wilshere. We are so thin in the position that it would be a serious boon if he could play regularly and effectively even just in Europa group games and the like for a few weeks to get into form. More than that I dare not count.

  25. We need to give jack some minutes to see what if anything he really has left to offer but I am not sure why we would expect him to be any better then he was when he played last season for Bournemouth.

  26. Bill,

    I am not talking about a youth side. But OG, Welbeck, Iwobi, Walcott, Chambers, Holding, Mertesacker are all good players who don’t always get as much playing time as needed. Rambo will be injured soon if we play him twice a week and Coquelin’s injury means Elneny at least has to come in with Jack at least making the bench along with Nelson.

  27. Bill,

    I don’t expect him to be back to 2011. But he might be able to play some minutes in Europa league group games. It is a start. People are excited to see if he can get back into form. I hope he can. Since we have not addressed the glaring problems of CM, what can we do but hope JW might be able to play reasonably well at least in the Europa league?

  28. Orson Kaert,

    And?

    That was to get him match fit, he’s still in the Europa squad and the paper-talk is that we will see him on play on Thursday (along with Theo and Giroud).

  29. I’m more interested to see how well Nelson plays, that lad has it all going for him and he has end product. I think the othet thing is that he playa in a position on the flanks where he can use his youthful ‘want to’ to get up and down the flanks and has end product in him to offer a key pass or goal. The other thing is that he will run at anybody and I do mean anybody.

  30. I expect Koln to be motivated for this. That’s part of the reason I’d prefer players competing to get into the first 11, players with a point to prove, and a couple of young players like Nelson and maybe AMN to come in and fight hard.

  31. C,

    Me too. They are now my official second team. My friends think their manager is my double. Alas, younger double.

  32. Limestone @ 8:32 and 8:36

    Fair enough on both both comments. I have never believed the conventional wisdom that we over use our players and don’t rotate enough. We probably rotate more then almost any big team in the world. That said, even I realize that we can’t use the same 11 in the league games and the Europa league and we will have to use the squad players a lot more in the Europa league. Getting back into the CL next season is far and away our highest objective this season and the Europa league might be our best shot at achieving that goal. Last season Spurs were statistically the best team in the PL and they were a much better team then we are right now or United were last season and they bombed out of the Europa league and the best explanation is they considered it a lower priority. We can’t go into this thinking it will be easy to win.

    With regard to Jack I agree that we have to give him as many minutes as possible. Europa league is a good chance to use him and see what happens. Football is filled with hundreds of examples of players who don’t have Jack’s injury issues but still never replicate what they are able to do in their first season. Hope springs eternal but we can’t expect Jack to be someone who can stay healthy while playing regular minutes. At this point in his career, I don’t think we can expect Jack to be more then a squad player even if he could somehow stay healthy.

  33. Bill,

    I don’t disagree with any of that. I think Europa group games should be manageable with the squad. The knockouts are a different story–CL 3rd place teams and the other decent Europa teams make it a genuinely difficult competition at that stage.

    As far as Jack, I would never have relied on his fitness or form but the window has closed. We have a chance to try him out and hope he can perform and stay fit at least to take pressure off the first choice midfielders who have to perform in the league.

  34. Bill,

    He did at least once it was clear that top 4 was out of reach. I’m not sure he was fielding his best 11 in the group games every time.

  35. Limestonegunner,
    Sorry for the delay, been down The Feathers for the weekly quiz got second place four free pints, luvvly jubbly!

    I was referencing Wilshire’s fitness, he’s probably ready for a run out against Koln.

  36. Look at this little nugget from Pulis:

    “I just thought Gibbs was too expensive,” he confirmed. “The £12m that Arsenal were talking about at the beginning of the season was too much.

    “To get him for £5m over a period of time now is a good deal for us.”

    Read more at https://www.expressandstar.com/sport/football/west-bromwich-albion/2017/09/11/tony-pulis-confirms-arsenal-sold-kieran-gibbs-to-west-brom-for-5m-after-initially-asking-for-12m/#5Ht504opP6xMZAgg.99

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