Prima Donna Contracts: Time For Arsenal To Cash In?

Joe Strummer and Mick Jones nailed it: this indecision’s bugging me. To be honest, melodramas with prima donna footballers tire me. There’s humour to be found in most situations but when they drag on and on and on and on and on and on…

We lurch from one crisis to another, with mismanagement that is the trademark of Arsenal Football Club; the Arsenal Way 2.0, if you like. I believe the whole situation could be resolved quickly if there were willingness on the part of both club and player to do so: a quick shout of, “1, 2, 3, 4, I declare a thumb war!!”, and it’s a winner takes all, best of three contract decider.

Knowing Arsenal, we’d become embroiled in six months of negotiations about the rules.

This morning sees contradictory rumours about his future. The Mirror, as is usual, doesn’t know whether it’s coming or going with someone called “Football Spy” claiming we won’t sell while the equally unreliable Steve Stammers asserts we will for £80m.

That’s a fee which, for me, shifts the ground. It’s the sort of money which allows us to sign a replacement and kick on without him. Lacazette is being pushed as that; well, that means we haven’t strengthened our squad so what the hell have the club been doing? The squad leaves for Australia soon and we can guarantee that there are no new signings until they come back.

I don’t subscribe to the view Lacazette is replacing Alexis, before you ask. I think he is the striker we’ve been craving for sometime. Lemar, on the other hand, is most definitely Alexis’ heir. Reports that we’re hopeful of getting a deal done remain speculation at present. We’ll see how ill-informed it is by the time the window closes.

Wishing On A Star

Martin Keown’s view suggests that the close bond never formed with Sanchez on Wenger’s part. Certainly, last season’s public criticism of the player supports that view. It lends itself to playing hardball with the Chilean and Team Alexis:

Sanchez will be the one now which everyone talks about – and let’s see how Arsene Wenger handles that. He [Wenger] has his contract [extension], and I don’t think Wenger will be in any rush, he will want to keep the player.

The question is whether Alexis wants to stay. The absence of any public affirmation of love for club is widely interpreted as a lack of attachment. I don’t think he is a player who gets attached to the clubs; he loves Chile and his pueblo but a career which has needed him to fight to the top lacks room for sentiment.

I’d agree with Keown that he won’t “go on strike”,  mainly because he can’t sit still for five minutes. However, Keown’s belief that Wenger is thinking of leaving in two years has to be challenged. Right now, I don’t think that’s entered into his thinking for the same reason he renewed; he believes in himself and has nothing else in life but football. Unless he can set himself as a director of a football club somewhere, he’s not going to willingly leave Arsenal.

That’s not the issue here. £80m, in my view, is the best fee we’re likely to receive for Alexis and should not be rejected. Sanchez is a fabulous player but unless he is committed to the club, we need to be taking that money and investing in the squad.

I believe he will be staying unless we land a replacement. Mahrez is a squad-level solution, perhaps with Lemar as the latter adjusts to the pace of English football?

Ö-zil, What Can The Matter Be?

Which brings us to others aboard the good ship Lolly’s Popped. Mesut Özil’s free pass, to my irritation I confess, continues. I can’t remember the last time his commitment to Arsenal was questioned yet he is in the same boat. Silence is not golden, mein herr. When you think the shabby rolling contracts we offered Dennis Bergkamp toward the end of his career and his acceptance, this stand-off has some sort of karmic feeling about it.

But I can guarantee that this pair won’t be held in anything like the same esteem when their playing days are over. The same stain which blots Cesc and Van Persie’s copybook is flying through looking for a new resting place.

What an absolute clusterf*ck Arsenal’s contract situation is. Huss Fahmy was brought on board to “help” with that; good luck, Hoss, you’re going to need it.

Finally, there’s a stonking playlist at Dad’s Jukebox with the songs Primal Scream covered; a wide variety of ballsy tunes to blast into the airwaves.

’til Tomorrow.

40 thoughts on “Prima Donna Contracts: Time For Arsenal To Cash In?

  1. Afternoon,

    I can’t see us getting anything like £80m for Alexis and it’s interesting that City do not appear to have come knocking on the door yet. It would be a clever move for them to wait until late in the window to put in a bid we can’t refuse with Alexis working the other side through grumbles about wanting to go all summer. That may leave us with a healthy chunk of change, but not enough time to spend the money. As per usual, our transfer window activity is hampered by waiting on contract rebels. I still cannot understand why we would allow ourselves to be in this situation year after year. I can’t imagine we were waiting to see how Alexis would perform over a couple of seasons before offering him a new deal, so why wasn’t he given in ultimatum last summer when the ball was in our court? Surely he would have been less pissed then as well, so would likely have been more inclined to sign a new deal if we had pushed him? Much as I’m looking forward to Alexis and Lacazette playing together, this idea that we can let him play out his contract seems crazy, especially if we allow Ozil to do the same.

  2. I would get shot of both Sanchez (too expensive and not committed enough to Arsenal) and Ozil (too often a passenger against the best). £50 mill for Sanchez and £25 mill for Ozil would be good business, no matter where they go. Time to move on. Get Lemar and put in an offer for James Rodriguez. Keep Giroud and the Ox and we should have a squad capable of challenging for the title. Starting line up: Cech; Bellerin, Holding, Mustafi, Koscielny, Kolasinac; Ramsey, Xhaka; Rodriguez, Lacazette, Lemar. We can also go 433 with Le Coq or Iwobi coming in for Holding.
    And we can freshen it up with Giroud, Ox, Theo, Wellbeck, Cazorla (when fit), Iwobi, Coquelin, Elneny etc

  3. There’s absolutely no worry Sanchez will down tools if Arsenal make him stay for the final year of his contract. You don’t get £400k per week, if that’s what he’s really asking now, based on what you did two seasons ago if your last season was below par.

    Wenger has an interesting decision to make here though.
    Sell Sanchez to City, and half of Arsenal fandom will go bunkers.
    Keep him and lose £50m plus , and the other half will criticize, no doubt.

    As for Wenger leaving in two years, the only way I can see that happening is, if Arsenal don’t make it back in to the top four of the PL.

  4. “I still cannot understand why we would allow ourselves to be in this situation year after year.”

    Wenger is in charge of all transfer and contract extension negotiations, and judging by his own approach to his contract extension he probably thinks every Arsenal player loves the club the way he does and wants to stay, so extending is just a formality which will get finalized when the time comes no matter how late in the original contract, since money isn’t the issue anymore( don’t kid yourself, City will not give Sanchez £400k per week either) and Arsenal can match any club’s wages for a selected player or two.

  5. The sky never fell upon our heads when Van Persie was sold. I expect it won’t when Sanchez is sold. As YW stated, 80 million pounds is a lot of money and I would take that in a split second and sell Sanchez.
    I appreciate Sanchez but then it makes no sense, when 80 million is flashed by Man city, to keep a player who wants away, apart from Neymar there was a reason Barcelona sold him and they were able to win the La Liga after that, so if the bid is legitimate please accept it by all means when and if it comes in.
    Another thing is what if Sanchez never hits the same number of goals he scored for us last season? his stats were after 2 seasons of settling in. What’s to assure City that he will settle in Manchester and prove to be a good return on their investment in the first season. A good player Sanchez is, but he is not RVP. He will not be the main star at the Etihad, neither will the team pander to his strengths, so he may as well go. In life and football, no one is irreplaceable, except we just wish to be sentimental.

  6. Great write up sensible analysis of the “Sanchez situation”.if the quoted fee is £80 million.bite there hands off.they (citeh)can deal with his tantrums when he’s poss subbed every other wk or simply rested or simply not picked.thats the situation when u have to shoehorn aguerro,sane,Jesus,Stirling ,de Bruyne etc.good luck with that one.he will not be the main man & for his ego that may not sit too well.he will soon be 29.constantly back & forth with chile……the £80 million could go towards mbappe (if there is the remotest chance) one even towards a poss 2/3 top players.take it.or worst case less dosh & he can sod off to the continent.

  7. If Lukaku is worth £75M, Alexis for £80M is a huge steal.
    We should sell for no less than £50-60M plus a player (Aguero or DeBruyne).

  8. Can’t stay long cause I have loads of homework but quality stuff Yogi.

    80m for Sanchez, I would take it IF it was immediately used to bring in another goal scorer, Aumbameyang or Dembele for starters, otherwise we didn’t strengthen we just replaced. Sanchez won’t hold out or not train or any of that, he will play because he loves to play and can’t sit still because of where he comes from and how his career has gone. I could honestly careless about his storming out of training or gesturing at players if they screw up (it was a regular part of the Invincibles, gesturing and demanding better).

    The Ozil situation is interesting because he is a creator, for the past 3 years we have all said Giroud isn’t good enough to be the CF1 yet Ozil is damned for being a luxury (the whole big match thing, well I can’t name a single player that has played well for Arsenal in most big matches including Sanchez, though the 2x last season we beat Chelsea Ozil and Sanchez were nothing short of brilliant, aren’t those big matches?), lets see how he does with a proper striker who isn’t a target man who spends most of the match on his ass crying to the officials.

  9. We won’t get the big money as Alexis has just one year left. So why sell? If we do, we need Lemar and one of the top CM’s to maintain a chance to contend or at least get back into CL standing. Goretzka, Keita, Seri types of young and talented players. We should make these signings anyway and then try to induce Alexis to sign an extension. Do the business we need anyway, I say. Lemar is a versatile player, bring him in no matter what. We need a top CM, no matter what happens. Xhaka/Ram is decent but could be improved and we are one injury (always the case with Rambo who misses at least 15-20 league matches routinely) or a suspension away from some dire midfield combinations. Our struggles last season really were down to problems in midfield.

  10. A little snippet that seems to have escaped the attention of most — a worrying financial news item says that Mark Zuckerberg, he of the $$70bn fortune, is considering buying the Spuds from Levy for a straight $1bn – petty cash to him.

    He is worth more than Kroenke, Abramovic, and Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

    Horrible if that deal goes thru — it would make our concerns over how to deal with Sanchez/Özil etc look like chicken feed. Anyone but the Spuds — pleeeeeeeeeze.

  11. A secretive multi-billionaire backed investment fund wants to buy club from a secretive multi-billionaire backed investment fund. 🤔

  12. Tom,

    Amazing how he didn’t learn after Cesc and Nasri (claimed they weren’t leaving) and then RVP (he will sign a new contract). He is one of the most naïve football managers on the planet because he assumes he has complete loyalty from his players when every season they demonstrate anything but. It’s a money game for players now and Wenger seems to get caught out every time.
    I’d be happy to take £80m for Alexis, he’s a much better player than Lukaku so must be worth more. Unfortunately the 12 months remaining on the contract count against us and there are those who will wait for him to be a free agent next summer. If he shows no signs of fading in the next season they will be queuing up down the street. The good news is that we get a top player who will be playing at his very best for Arsenal. I know what C is saying about Ozil and I agree to some extent, but I think its crazy to have both leaving on a free next summer. If Ozil won’t sign now, then we should sell him now because I think Sanchez is off on a free unless a foreign club comes in with the money this summer.

  13. HenryB,

    Is Zuckerberg a football fan, or is this another American owner who sees a potential cash cow? Would he be injecting money into the club after the acquisition? US owners have been a very mixed bag in the PL.

  14. HenryB,

    Just checked it out. Not Zuckerberg, but a multi-family office he has investments with. They specialise in private equity, start-ups and turnarounds. Not sure I’d want one of those owning my club.

  15. do most of you on here realise that it was gazidis job along with dock law to sort out contracts so why keep blaming wenger.
    aslo we cant just go out and sign players without looking at the PL wage bill rule which means we are in a tight position re adding to the squad unless we get rid of players.
    i would let sanchez go we have lemar coming in, laca is the froward we need and i would not let giroud leave don’t understand why fans hate him he’s a nightmare for defenders most say so.
    as for ox other then the last 4 months he’s been a on off players so we should sell him and buy marez instead
    I’m excited about this season i just hope that some sections of our moronic fan base behave themselves and support the team lets make the emirates a fortress like highbury used to be instead of turning on our own players which only undermines the team.
    i have been a season ticket holder since 1976 the current set of fans at the emirates are the worst i have seen in that time.
    if you think its bad now you have no idea how bad the 80’s were and even though graham won trophies his footballing style was diabolical and boring as fuk
    wenger has changed our club and put it on the map before he came we could never sign big players they just would not come, and for all those wenger haters you will realise hi pulling power when he’s gone if we don’t get a manager of high status.

  16. If we are in for either Marcelo Brozovic or Kovacic of Madrid, they would be brilliant signings especially since both seem to be able to be able to leave for about 20m. Sit them next to Xhaka and you have a quality CM that is really good defensively but also have the quality going forward to replace Santi, whether its with the quick link and transition passes or the ability to get out of a situation and then drive the team forward dribbling. There is a reason why Modric rates both so highly and they play next to him in the Croatian squad and in Kovacic’s case for Madrid and Marcelo Brozovic for Inter.

  17. YW,

    If I could understand what you had written I would ask what you had posted, too. 😀

    C, would be OK, he understands everything, so he could help out.

  18. Actually, thenry, we’ll chat. It might be shit, but we’ll chat it nonetheless:

    >aslo we cant just go out and sign players without looking at the PL wage bill rule which means we are in a tight position re adding to the squad unless we get rid of players.

    We’re going to so it’s a spurious argument.

    >i would let sanchez go we have lemar coming in

    Really? Who’s your source because we haven’t even agreed a deal in the back pages

    >i would not let giroud leave don’t understand why fans hate him he’s a nightmare for defenders most say so.

    They only say that because they know he will go ten or more games without scoring. Same kind of logic which had opposition fans begging Wenger to stay

    >our moronic fan base

    Going all out to win friends, eh?

    >i have been a season ticket holder since 1976

    Everyone has

    >the current set of fans at the emirates are the worst i have seen in that time.

    We haven’t been at the Emirates since 1976.

    >if you think its bad now you have no idea how bad the 80’s were and even though graham won trophies his footballing style was diabolical and boring as fuk

    You haven’t been a season ticket holder since ’76 if you claim that. No-one over the age of 12 spells “fuck” as “fuk”

    >wenger has changed our club and put it on the map before he came we could never sign big players they just would not come,

    Dennis Bergkamp *cough*

    >you will realise hi pulling power when he’s gone if we don’t get a manager of high status

    If he’s the reason they join, he’s the reason they leave. Can’t have it both ways. So, if we’re losing players because of him, Wenger must leave to stop destroying the club.

    >do most of you on here realise that it was gazidis job along with dock law to sort out contracts so why keep blaming wenger.

    1) Who’s dock law?

    2) Because he has the last word on contracts and is famed as a procrastinator of the highest order.

    And frankly, his own contract behaviour was no less than disgraceful, contributing significantly to the brinkmanship we’re seeing among players.

    Other than those minor errors, a good contribution. Well done.

  19. Hi ya, Wavey,

    It wasn’t that secretive an investment company as now we all know it is a secretive investment company – which tells us next to nothing – except they are secretive. 🙂

    I do not care to be honest, whether or not secret squirrel buys secret X’s toy club – these things will happen – or not – whatever any of us think about it.

    The ownership of the club does not bother me one jot – I cannot change it and therefore don’t fret it — so I would not like to be mistaken for someone who can differentiate between the virtues, or lack thereof, of Kroenke, Usmanov or Secret Squirrel, but anyone who lets me be a fan cannot be all bad – tho some may disagree with that. 😀

  20. C,

    Perhaps but neither is going to be good enough or reliable enough to challenge over the league season.

  21. thenry,

    Amazing that you can be a ST holder since 1976 and still not understand how to use (or even acknowledge the existence of) capital letters. So you’ll understand if I don’t take your comments too seriously.

    I will however question either your memory or sanity (it has to be one or the other) if you really did attend matches in the 80’s and can seriously make the claim that:

    “>if you think its bad now you have no idea how bad the 80’s were and even though graham won trophies his footballing style was diabolical and boring as fuk”

    Come on, let’s be honest here. You didn’t go to matches then at all did you? Were you even a glint in your father’s eye back then? Or maybe you were blind? Or deaf? Probably both?

    Fact is that GG’s teams prior to circa ’92-’93 were just as entertaining as any Wenger side. Unless of course you think that the true way to play football is to endlessly pass the ball tippy-tappy style with zero end product, which incidentally is the true definition of ‘boring as fuck’ (correct spelling btw).

    Anyway, I’d much rather have knowledgeable fans who want the best for Arsenal FC than blinkered fools that cannot even string together a coherent argument in defence of an individual employee who for some odd reason they seem to believe is bigger than the club they claim to support.

  22. If Rooney can get 18 million for 2 year contract on a free, Sanchez could easily get 50 million, if he doesn’t sign soon he has to go,

  23. Hola Mes Amigos que tal. On the beautiful Island of Mallorca. A successful concert Friday night and now a few days of RnR before heading home.

    The Addition of Lacazette is welcomed.

    If We think we Re going to Challenge for the PL this season with the current midfield occupants We had seriously think again.

    We need a mid field player in the mould of Renato Sanchez or N Keita players of that ilk.

    Sanchez has not had a good time at Bayern. He has everything we currently lack in midfield. Xhaka assets are not his ohysical prowess. We’ve seen tackling us. It his best forte. If We think Xhaka and Rsmsey can ” Do it ” for Arsenal over a season better to think again. Ramseys injury is there for All to see.

    We know theimitstions of Le Coq and El Neny. Santi is way off playing and will be the same again? Ramsey as we know is not Bkeased with pace and is not defensively minded. So where dies that leave us? The Ox is. It the answer.

    If the issue is not addressed mark my words it will be the same as previous seasons. Our midfield has not been functional.

  24. Wavey

    I did wonder at the time how much of it was Wenger actually believing those players you mentioned were staying and how much was brinkmanship on Wenger’s part to extract the maximum price for letting them go.

    He didn’t do too badly in case of RVP, considering he was in his last year, but Cesc , well, that’s another story.

  25. Szczesny has been left out of the Australian tour in order to work on a move to Juventus.

  26. C
    The gesturing and storm offs were not part of the Invincibles era(not from memory)-it was more Henry after that time when we’d plummeted and he was surrounded by players like Song,Denilson etc.
    I don’t think it shows a player cares or is ‘passionate’ about the team-I think it shows he’s a cock and doesn’t give a toss about showing up other players for all to see.The place to do that kind of stuff is in the changing room away from others.
    Think William Gallas

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