Bellerin’s New Deal A Sign Of Things To Come?

If he’d had a mischievous side to him, he’d have changed the ringtone on his phone and every time Arsène was within earshot, Peter, Paul and Mary’s Leaving On A Jet Plane would belt out.

But Hector’s not like that; straightforward talks, sign, bosh! It’s done; the first important contract renewal of the year signed and talk of interest from Manchester City or Barcelona can be left swirling around the rim of transfer rumour bin, before settling with a comforting thud as they make their way down the bin.

It never occurred to Hector to leave and why should he? He’s first choice on the right and not under any genuine threat from a young usurper, although as he’s only 21 a younger challenger would be a little more than an embryo at this stage. Bellerin said of it all:

“I wasn’t thinking about anything else other than staying here and continuing my development here. This is where I’m happy. I’m just very grateful and pleased to have signed.

“Arsenal is not only about being a footballer, you have to be a good person to play here. That’s what everyone transmits inside the club. You represent more than just a football club.

“Now I’ve just got to keep on progressing, keep working hard to be the best player I can be, and hopefully help the team to be where its got to be, to win some silverware. That’s what everyone wants and that’s what I’m working towards.”

Good chap, carry on as you were.

There’s no doubt that Bellerin is a key player to tie down to a new deal although we all know that football contracts are rarely worth the paper they are written on. If a player wants out or a club decides to sell, there’s nothing to be done about it.

At the moment, Arsenal are in a ‘golden age’ as far as full back partnerships go. Rice/McNab, Anderson/Sansom, Dixon/Winterburn; add Bellerin/Monreal to that list. The latter’s suffered a dip in form but you tend to notice it when players set a high bar. Nonetheless, there’s a strong argument that we have the best full backs in the English game. The Middlesex Pub Team might claim otherwise but to be honest, anyone who holds England internationals as shining lights in football, is on a sticky wicket.

It’s a defining time for the club. There are all manner of positive noises about Mesut Özil’s new deal whilst Laurent Koscielny’s deal is expected to be signed shortly. No news of Santi Cazorla’s new deal but you have to wonder how that is being influenced by his injury woes of the last year. What would previously be thought of as a no-brainer is probably being re-assessed, more in terms of contract length and there a divergence between what the two parties think, has no doubt emerged.

As the dominoes fall, you get some idea of where the players mindset is. They all respect Arsène but do they believe that they will win – or have a chance to win  – the silverware they tell us they desire under his stewardship?

Each player has a different motivation. Some want money first, others recognise that the financial rewards are at a level where winning is more relevant to them. Medals don’t pay the bills but with the obscene amounts paid to players at the élite clubs, money shouldn’t be the only consideration.

Importantly, you wonder if this will prompt others to tie up their deals? It’s a strong statement that he is happy at the club and we all know he could quite easily move elsewhere and be first choice. Maybe that’s his longer term aim but only Hector can answer that.

With the relative freedom of movement, football has become a sport where you enjoy the best players whilst they wear your club colours. You then hope that the directors don’t sell to a direct rival. Those days are over, they claimed when we moved to the Emirates, and maybe they are.

For the moment, we’ll see if these mega-riches which the clubs enjoyed are being invested in the squad or when the ubiquitous Management Fees will start appearing once again in the accounts.

’til Tomorrow.

72 thoughts on “Bellerin’s New Deal A Sign Of Things To Come?

  1. Great news about Bellerin.
    Santi’s injury woes have definitely hurt us we miss that deep lying playmaker at times although Xhaka might prove to be an adept replacement. Some hard questions need to be asked about Ramsey and Wilshere. Ramsey has struggled to replicate the form he showed 3 seasons ago or for his national team. Wilshere seems to have already decided to move on. There is a real likelihood of both Ramsey and Wilshere wanting to move on as they can’t play in their preferred positions enough with us.

  2. silvergunner,

    Agreed on everything you say-I would put my neck on the block and say with the ideal set up for the team,that both Ramsey and Jack are surplus to requirement.

  3. We need a quality left back-one with pace.
    Monreal has been a revelation since joining us,but,he has been found wanting for speed sometimes.I think we need to draft someone in in readiness.Gibbs is not the answer-but he is quite a tidy player as a left sided midfield/winger.

  4. According to this morning’s Telegraph, Bellerin has signed until 2023 with a his wages set at around £100,000 a week. Good luck to the lad. At sixteen I started work on four pound seven shillings a week, but I could get a lunch in the canteen for one shilling a day.

  5. Congratulations to Bellerin and well done to Arsenal for signing him up long term. The one thing that I like about Bellerin is that unlike Cesc, you never hear him speaking about returning to Barca, now surely it can change, but since his youth days its always, something like: I haven’t a desire to return to Barca.

    Tend to agree though, we certainly have the best FB partnership in the PL and its not even as if Nacho is playing poorly, just not getting any help.

  6. I started at £1. 15 shillings in 1941, which had to cover digs and travel. The canteen food was pretty grim and each Friday when the cooks had a day off, we were served cheese sarnies and chips…….it soon became our favourite! 😉

  7. Wailesy,

    I was a trainee telephone engineer with the GPO, and it depended on which exchange I was working out of on the quality of the meals, there was always a hot option and most were very good.

  8. “Arsenal is not only about being a footballer, you have to be a good person to play here. That’s what everyone transmits inside the club. You represent more than just a football club.”

    I love this statement.

  9. Orson.
    May I ask, if you was at the GPO for a period of time did you get your pension ok?
    It’s just my neighbour paid into the GPO pension for over 30 years and never got a penny.
    It wasn’t a proper pension or something like that but some goverment scheme and he left 2 years before the law changed on paying out.

  10. Arsene gives the team news and Perez is back in training (though not full training) so I wonder how that will factor in moving forward, especially on the LW:

    “Everybody has recovered from Saturday,” said the manager. “We had Ramsey and Walcott in recovery, but they should be both ok for tomorrow.”

    There was also an update about Lucas Perez, who returned to light training today.

    “Lucas is back,” he said, “and he us ahead of schedule, but not yet training full time with the squad.”

    Wenger also said he has yet to decide if Olivier Giroud will start against PSG, or if he’ll continue with Alexis Sanchez up front.

    “He has recovered completely,” he said of the Chilean, “he had the bandage [against United] because he had a bit of tightness.”

  11. Bellerin signing though is massive, with reports that Kos and Ozil are set to sign; the only one left is Sanchez and I wonder if he will sign based on what Ozil does as well as him continuing on at CF.

  12. knobby,

    I was only employed by the GPO for four years, two as a trainee and two as a technician 2A U. The U was for un-established, which meant I was not eligible for pension rights. I left at that point and moved into the private sector where the pay, while not quite Bellerin’s level at least earnt me a little over £20 a week.

    While the GPO pay was poor the training was excellent and allowed me to walk into what turned out to be a very good job.

  13. Yogi

    Great post. Very happy to hear Bellerin has signed. Counting on U21 year old players is always a crapshoot and 95% of the time you lose but as long as he can avoid recurring injuries, I think its safe to say that Bellerin has made it.


    Great call on Bellerin. I remember a full years ago you were talking him up before most of us knew much about him. Your record for making correct calls with our academy players is now 1 out of 100 which I think is probably better then most prognosticators given the completely unpredicatable nature of trying to predict such things.

  14. I haven’t had the opportunity to post even though I have been reading the blog. So, a few thoughts about what has been going on.

    1) I remember some time back I was in the camp of those who suspected that once Ramsey recovered from his injury, he would be reinstated to the starting 11. Lo and behold, it has happened! In my view to the detriment of the team.

    2) After the NLD, I didn’t think Xhaka would ever be dropped again barring an injury. That he was for the Man U game was an absolute shock for me. He is the real deal and the sooner he nails a starting berth, the better for the club.

    3) Bellerin signing is massive. Now we move on to Ozil, Kos and Sanchez. I just can’t see someone like Sanchez leaving Arsenal for a team like Juve. What would be the point? Realistically, there are only a couple of teams above what Arsenal offers. Financially, maybe not so, but footballistically, he already has a team willing to build a team around him. Can it get any better than that? What do I know?

  15. @Wailsey,
    In WW2, I don’t actually recall the quite pointless cucumber. Hopefully they were in short supply!
    What I DO recall is visiting a chippie while on fire-watch and ordering (as well as chips) a bottle of what I presumed to be Vimto.
    Outside and in the darkness of the black-out, taking a swig only to realise it was vinegar and not a soft drink.
    I remember thinking “I hope the war ends soon and we can get back to street lighting.” 😉

  16. Bill,

    Well thank you my friend. I think I’m 2 for 100, you forgot Iwobi.

    Seriously, Bellerin signing and already making himself one of the best RB’s in Europe. The fact that Mustafi, Bellerin aren’t even in their prime while both Kos and Nacho are in the midst bodes really well for our back 4 moving forward.

  17. Bellerin signing is very smart business, he is cheap at those wages and the fact we dont need to enter the market….hope jenkinson kicks on and stays around as well.
    Good to hear mourinho obsessing about arsene again…he is feeling it…he’s not even taking man utd seriously, who lives in the lowry ? and more importantly how badly run are man utd that they allow such a carry on. he is now a media puppet who is cashing in, no love of football or contribution to it just an endless white noise of bile and nothingness. but am more than happy to watch his reputation being flailed like it was in the path of a combine. he must be really worried that arsene is going to win the league this year….

  18. Highbury,

    Completely agree about Xhaka, he was superb in the NLD, if he doesn’t start against PSG, then some questions need to be answered. Its not as if Le Coq is playing poorly, but Xhaka is a different class.

  19. C

    No one predicted anything about Iwobe until last season. He surprised everyone which is another example of the unpredicatability of U21 players. Iwobe has had a nice run but he has not made it yet. The entire English core played lots of minutes and looked great for a while but for various reasons they have all fallen down the pecking order. I don’t think Iwobe’s long term future is at forward and while I think he has a lot of potential there are lots of things that can happen which might derail his ascension to starting midfielder.

    Just to highlight how completely unpredictable it is look at our youthful mostly English core from a few years ago. Is there even one of us who would have predicted that right now it looks like not even 1 out of Ramsey, Ox, Jenks, Gibbs, Wilshere, Wojo would turn out to be regular starters or impact players for the team? I think we all believe that those players were all on their way to maturing together and building something special. Its almost impossible to predict who might succeed. The only way to get it right once in a while is to predict all of them will become impact players and then when one of them does you will be on record as saying they would make it. On the other hand you can be right nearly all of the time if you predict none of them will make it and you can be pleasantly surprised on the rare occasions when you are wrong.

    IMO the lesson from all of this is that its a huge risk to give high leverage squad positions to a U21 like Ox before he is a proven entity. We have carrying him now for 5+ years and I don’t think there is any doubt that one of the reasons we have not bought more goal scoring forwards during that time was because every year we thought this would finally be the time that Ox comes good. Unfortunately, he has gotten tons and tons of high leverage minutes that could have gone to a more experienced and proven player. Last summer there is not much doubt that Arsene had already pencilled in Iwobe as a starter at LW. It looked like a good decision for about a month but predictably its beginning to look more like it was a mistake to give him the position instead of buying someone.

  20. I hope xhaka gets a run of games in the Cazorla position instead of Elneny.

    We need to be starting Giroud at CF and Sanchez at LW. If Arsene persists with Alexis at CF then I hope Ox starts on one wing instead of Ramsey.

  21. I have probably said this dozens of times over the last few years but I was campaigning for selling wilshere 3-4 years ago when were hearing rumors of $40-50M from Man City and a couple of other big teams. We should have tried to sell Ramsey this summer when his value was so high after Euro 2016. We probably could have bought a couple of pretty good forwards if we had sold one or both and used that money wisely.

  22. Bill,

    With Milan and Madrid allegedly interested in Wilshere and Ramsey respectively selling them could free up that sort of cash.

  23. Bill,

    The thing with football is, you can never be absolutely certain about these things. Rarely do teams sell players playing at a high level and at the time, these two were putting in decent shifts. And as Wenger keeps pointing out, it was only at 26 that Drogba really came into his element. I am not a fan of Ramsey, but even I wouldn’t go so far as declaring him unuseful to the Arsenal cause.

  24. None of us like the idea of selling our home grown players that we have a strong emotional investment in such as Wilshere or Ramsey or Ox but selling and using the cash to buy other players is a time proven strategy. The best recent that I can think of is Jose Mourinho completely rebuilt a dysfunctional Chelsea squad and won the title 2 years ago without a huge net spend because he was able to balance his purshases by selling some of the players who were not going to be difference makers for him. Mostly the same squad Mourinho built is top of the table right now so the quality was still there despite last seasons debacle.

  25. Nicky, All that vinegar does not seem to have harmed you at all! In fact, you should contact Wenger to suggest an additive to the teams diet.

  26. Highbury

    Fair enough. I did not really think we would sell Wilshere or Ramsey when I said that but the retrospectoscope which is always 100% correct certainly suggests that it would have been highly controversial but the right thing to do for the good of the club to sell when their value was highest. The only caveat is that we would have had to use the money to strengthen the squad rather then put it into our cash reserve funds.

    I am not sure that either Ramsey or Jack will be sold next summer becauase the value of both will have gone down and I think Arsene still has an emotional investment. I think the reality is that both still have the potential to be useful squad players, but I doubt either will be a long term starter or an impact player. Squad players are still important and what would be the point of selling if we can’t get an inflated transfer fee.

  27. Silver

    Selling either player would still be controversial. My hope is that one or both see the writing on the wall and they recognize that a spot in the starting 11 is unlikely and push for a move away. That would make it easier to sell either or even both. Hopefully we can find someone willing to pay over the odds.

  28. @Two Owls,
    Never thought of vinegar as a source of longevity……..but just celebrated my 93rd………carefully. 😉

  29. Orson

    That might be a good enough reason for Jack to stay.

    I think we have a decent squad but we definitely need some upgrades upfront and those could be very costly. I think a new manager would not have the emotional investment in the current players and a specific system and style of play and he would be able to make more cerebral and less emotional decisions on the best way to strengthen the squad. Give someone like Conte or Klopp or Simeone our squad with our cash reserves and bank account, the cojones to sell players like Wilshere or Ramsey and reinvest the money and I think he could really build quite a team.

  30. Managers are humans just like fans and they develop attachments to certain players or a style of play and they tend to do the same things over and over and just like us its hard for them to see the downside of certain players or tactical strategies when they have a strong emotional investment. That is why very few managers not named Fergie can stay on top year after year for long periods of time and top managers move about as much as players. In today’s world its best to change managers once in a while or the club tends to stagnate. IMO.

    Credit to Arsene that he has been able to keep us in the top 4 for this long but if we really want to take the next step, I think the best thing that could happen would be for him to retire and we bring in someone like Simeone or Klopp.

  31. silvergunner,


    Saw that, and started laughing, because that is a very British thing to do. I mean Benzema was prancing around most of Europe with MAdrid during both of his cases, yet Aurier can’t get into England because of his.

  32. Bill,


    …if Simeone/Klopp were ever in that position they would not sell either Ramsey or Wilshere, betcha’…they recognize high level talent when they see it and form around it…Wenger has the first ability, not the other – playing Aaron wide so often is absurd, joint MVP at the Euros when he roamed centrally and scored goals. We have to reconfigure. As for Jack, fussing over fitness issues will halve any selling price. We would be better served getting him match fit, Bournemouth, then pencilling him in here for the one thing he alone can do which is to drive at a bus parked defence and when they retreat do what he did for England 18 months ago, 2 goals in 15 minutes, both from outside the area.

    S and K would start them both. And count themselves lucky.

    No more fags, Jack!

  33. Bill,

    I think Iwobi was a surprise to those that don’t follow the youth, but I remember having quite a few conversations with Henry, Moe(where the hell has he been), CA and a couple others about the potential of Iwobi and how he wasn’t always scoring the goals, but was just as if not more impactfull than Akpom who at the time was scoring for fun.

    The thing with the British core is that even when they signed there was still so many questions. Jack and Ramsey were in and out of the line-up with injuries; Ox was still the raw potential and Jenks and Gibbs weren’t ever first team locks. Funnily enouhgh, they were kind of the last members of that “youth movemnt” but it was the group that came after them that have actually made the most impact. Think of the youth that have come through after them: Bellerin, Iwobi, Le Coq (even though he was set to be sent out) and even in brief spells Adelaide. Yes youth are unpredictable, but I think the biggest difference between a player like Bellerin and a player like Gibbs, is that there was true positional development from the player and now just relying on their physical gifts. Take a look at a player like Le Coq who was actually a box-to-box player coming through the ranks and even when he first burst on the scene in the first team but his ability to not just adapt his style but also grow positional has allowed him to not just be a key figure for the first team but also one of the best DM’s in the PL.

  34. silvergunner,

    I saw that report about Ramsey to Madrid, I think that is the height of media talk. It makes absolutely no sense at all especially when you look at their midfield: Kroos, Modric, Casermo(most don’t know about him in England but he is quality, we were linked with him and I talked about him prior to him going on a season long loan last year to Porto), Isco, Kovacic and James Rodriguez.

  35. I think one of the reasons Fergie was so successful for so long is he changed his coaching staff alot and he delegated a lot so there were always a new set of eyes looking at the various parts of the club. Arsene on the other hand keeps his staff very stable because once he gets a group of people that he likes working with he does not want to change. I don’t think he likes anyone questioning what he wants to do and he does not have to worry about that if he keeps the same people working under him.

  36. Blazon

    I don’t think jack will ever be as effective as we thought but even if he is is, what is the chance of him staying healthy for any period of time? The reality is that there is almost zero chance of that.

    For whatever reason Ramsey has not been a difference making player no matter which position he has played for us since the 13/14 season. He played central midfield most of last season. That is a rather large sample size of nothing but meh. The way he is used with Wales is unique and not something most big teams would do. He is not going to take Ozil’s position and there is not really anyway he can fit into our system that will take advantage of the best parts of his skill set. IMO

  37. blazon,

    Letting Ramsey play that free role, then what do you do with Ozil; the other thing is that you can’t really compare what Ramsey did at Euros for Wales and he and his role for Arsenal, completely different. For Wales he is big fish small pond, at Arsenal he’s small fish big pond.

    You talk about Klopp and Simeone, but the one thing that both of them demand is a positional sense and discipline which is exactly the opposite of what you have said made Ramsey the player that he is, or am I mistaken?

  38. C

    Ox was the highest rated young talent at Arsenal in this decade and if there was ever a player with can’t miss talent he was it. The British core was put into a better situation and should have had a better chance to succeed then the Cesc generation. You just can’t predict how things will work out which is why its always such a risk to commit high leverage squad spots to players like Ox or Iwobe.

  39. Against PSG:

    ——–Xhaka——Elneny or Le Coq

    Though I know Arsene isn’t going to pick that team, but that’s who I would start and would start the match with a bit of high pressing.

  40. nicky:
    I started at £1. 15 shillings in 1941, which hadto cover digs and travel. The canteen food was pretty grim and each Friday when the cooks had a day off, we were served cheese sarnies and chips…….it soon became our favourite!

    Well Tricky Nicky, your 1941 £1:15 per week (or £1:75 in decimals) would be worth approx £62 per week in today’s money or approx £3,000 per year today.

    A prince’s ransom? I think I know what your answer would be! 😀 That’s just the math — because of the war the relevant living standards would have been appalling anyway, still you are still with us, and Orson was doing something with a GPO and he is still here too. 😀

  41. So as I understand it, the only manager worth a can of beans was Ferguson?

    The fact that Manure spent an absolute fortune in the 1990’s and the 21st Century, and he had a running start before Chelsea and Man City, as well as PSG and other foreign clubs got their share of non-football money and started to gobbled Manure up – but of course, Ferguson was smart enough to get the hell out of dodge before City really started to catch Manure and Chelsea.

    As a parting shot he screwed up the Pogba contract and eventually that cost United the best part of £100m.

    Does any of that count in the scales of judging the best manager? Probably not – I suppose.

  42. C,


    health…we must remain optimistic and…we’ve got him for nothing, if we had to sign the cheque maybe not.
    Ramsey…ok then…a sub/rest for Ozil, until he matches his output from the same position. Had it been him there Saturday, disappearing, there would have been a few moans, right?
    No cheque needed for him either but honesty compels me to say anything over 50M comes in , call me.
    My problem is i’m a romantic – hate giving up on that level of inspired talent…Ramsey 13/14, Jack for England. Theo leaves me cold for some reason.

  43. Blazon

    Nothing wrong with a fan being a romantic and having favorite players. Romanticism does affect judgement when you evaluate certain players since your mind tends to see what you want and expect to see when you watch the game. Thats all part of the fun for fans and since we don’t make decisions it has no effect on the team. The only time romanticism is a problem is when Arsene won’t believe the right answer such as “Ramsey is not a the best option at wide forward” because its not the answer he wants to hear and he makes squad building decisions based on emotion rather then logic.

  44. Regarding Ramsey to Madrid –

    I believe it mostly nonsense, but I can see how someone, agent/friend thought it made sense to raise the possibility. My suspicion is it comes from a party more concerned with Gareth Bale than Ramsey.

    Bale just signed a massive long-term contract and he is the heir apparent to Ronaldo – obviously Madrid loves him charactor-wise as well as his game – they will build the team around him.

    Ramsey made a great impression at the Euros which disguised his club form has been indifferent for an extended period. It surely has occured to numerous parties, if Ramsey coud be nabbed for a fair price it would be interesting to add him to the Madrid squad and see the Bale and Ramsey could duplicate the form shown for Wales.

    Regarding the sale of Ramsey and Wilshere at ‘peak’ value – agree 100% – hindsight notwithstanding. The loyalty simply feels stubborn and I think the squad for years has had a stale streak running through it, one aspect underlining the other. Stale vision and tactics, stale players.

    It is not simply the freeing of cash but the excitement, energy and potential new players can bring to the squad.

    However, I no longer subscribe (and haven’t for years) to the idea that Wenger is particularly loyal to his players. He is loyal to his ideas rather than the player. Post-Invincibles, Wenger has experimented with numerous ideas to establish himself as a football intellect, as a man apart, and whilst he has produced a level of consistency, he has not replicated the Invincible era.

    When Wenger wants to freeze a player out he can be ruthless, dismissive and petty. I think there is little reason for Campbell to be down in Portugal other than he was a player the fans championed and needled Wenger for not playing.

    Wenger sees Ramsey is not performing on the pitch as he hopes, yet Wenger persists to the detriment of the team. It is perverse, but I do not think it due to some blind devotion to Ramsey, but due to the fact Wenger cast him as The Second Coming and he can’t let it go.

  45. seems Tottenham want to drop back to their Thursday night football which is their level…. and what da fuck is happening between Dortmund and Warsaw… both seems to say “fuck the defence, let keep ripping the nets ” …7-4 already

  46. Even Hoddle and Old ‘Arry said how poor Spuds were tonight. As crap managers they should know a crap side when they see one.

    Thursday night football, back to their rightful level.

  47. blazon,

    I get it mate, trust I battled the world last season when it came to defending Theo. The thing though is that if he is unbalancing the team with his style and lack of positional discipline than he goes and has a seat until he cane figure it out. Same for any player.

    The other thing is that, unlike futbol of yesteryear, modern futbol because of scouting and all is about what have you done for me lately. Yes Ramsey and Jack have had brilliant seasons in the past, but since, given numerous chances, have they been able to replicate that, no for various reasons. I’m not saying sell either, never have because both have potential to be brilliant impact subs; the thing I’m saying and have saif is that they shouldn’t be bang on starters when fit nor should they be shoehorned in because this Arsenal side is much more talented and dynamic than when Jack and Ramsey had their best seasons to date.

  48. C, Bruce Arena has left LA Galaxy to takeover as manager of the national side after Klinsmann was sacked.

  49. My greatest worry is the continued involvement of Nacho in this team. hey, the Spaniard is just poor: limited speed, limited stamina, always late to tackle, God have mercy!

  50. We’ve managed to get ahead with a very dodgy performance so far, so why are we still playing like a bunch of arse. We just have to support the defence and look to catch them on the break. For some reason we seem happy to let them walk through the middle right on to our defence instead. We need to be in control, but we seem to be inviting trouble.

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