Football Maths: Contracts + Fair Treatment = Better Use of Funds

It’s probably been the best four days of the season. The bar, I admit, has been set low for an underwhelming 2017-18, but Tottenham’s defeat to Juventus set us up nicely – along with Wojo’s antics of pouring a salt mountain on their gaping wounds – before an excellent win in Milan.

And it was; you can’t argue with that. We had a couple of moments where things might have gone pear-shaped in the early stages. We weathered the storm and imposed ourselves on the match; a good European away performance. You can’t ask for anything more in that 90 minutes.

Thursday night football means Sunday lunchtime kick-off. Troy Deeney brings his cojones to the Emirates and they are due a good kicking; we owe them that.

Despite this, the clouds remain over the club. The manager’s future is intrinsically linked by some to the next 90 minutes, even though that’s not the case. Our issues are the same as a relegation-threatened club who need to save their status; our problems run much deeper than that.

If you believe some, it is the next 90 minutes even though we all know he isn’t going to resign during the season nor be sacked. The reaction to Milan leads me to believe that the next club crest will not see a return to a heraldic design but a pair of crossed flip-flops.

The media this morning are giving Arsène a break. Instead, it’s Jack Wilshere’s contract situation which is vexing the denizens of the back pages. Arsenal, according to reports, offered Jack a £20k per week pay cut and want performance-related bonuses instead. This is the same Arsenal which rewarded the manager with a £2m pay rise while handing out big contracts to three new players.

That’s Neat

Little wonder Wilshere feels like he’s funding others pay and rejected the deal. In his words, he is “no closer” to signing a new contract putting the ball firmly back in Arsenal’s court. I have no issue with the club putting bonuses into contracts, it the norm anywhere in the world. However, it seems we’re not doing it for everyone.

Ramsey and Welbeck have played similar numbers of Premier League games to Wilshere in the past couple of seasons yet there’s no talk of reducing their basic pay. It’s not about treating Jack differently, just the same.

Will the club cave in when the crunch comes? Only if we have the transfer budget to replace him.

Nor is the manager fighting his corner. Wenger stepped away from talks, readying the “His departure is nothing to do with me” defence. It’s with Fahmy and Sannelhi – “We made him a good offer but he turned it down” – in a game of footballing pass-the-parcel.

The question is whether there’s a regular place in the line-up for Wilshere and Ramsey. Both their contract situations are reduced to that binary equation yet we saw in Milan that it works. One game does not a season make and they need to perform consistently, but put a defensively sound midfielder into the mix and there’s a winning combination on paper.

I Really Love Your Tiger Feet

We need more than three players this summer and a seemingly diminishing transfer budget. Some fancy financial footwork is needed to ensure compliance with whatever regulations others see fit to flout. At least we’ve got the moral high ground, eh?

Where we can improve and make better use of our money is in a cohesive recruitment policy. New backroom staff surely means an end to the mantra of “we can win the league even though we’re three players short”? We shall see.

’til Tomorrow.


22 thoughts on “Football Maths: Contracts + Fair Treatment = Better Use of Funds

  1. Good morning all, even though it’s late afternoon here.

    So Jack is holding out for a better offer, I do hope his agent has a steady stare as the first to blink will lose out.

    We’ve lost too many good players through really bad contract negotiations and Wenger’s stupid policy of restricting over thirties to a one year renewal.

    By the way, I like the post Yogi, thank you.

  2. I’ve just read Wenger’s comments on Chambers’ injury “Calum Chambers had cramps because he played in a position he is not used to for a centre back. He should be OK though”.

    Am I missing something? Or does that comment look like utter bullshit?

  3. Orson Kaert,

    I hear the sound of marbles rattling down a staircase. Arsene with two pencils up his nose, handkerchief on his head muttering “Wibble!”

    Yup, I’m afraid he lost the plot a long time ago.

  4. Afternoon,

    Given that players would normally expect a raise when negotiating new deals, is it any surprise that he is baulking at the idea of a reduced basic? If the view in the club is that they want to keep Jack, wouldn’t it make more sense to offer him the same basic but with appearance related bonuses? We’re not saying he won’t get the pay rise, just that he won’t if he isn’t playing.

    I’m not sure how we are doing on matching the home grown quota, but that might well be a factor in final negotiations.

    If there are tactics against the high price, then United are using them. It seems fairly straightforward. Get the ball from front to back quickly.

  5. Been at a funeral for a couple of days.

    I come back to discover that Arsène is reborn as the greatest manager that we could hope to have and that our problems are due to the fans and the players and not a manager who has lost his marbles.

    This now blindingly obvious correct revelation, made through the miraculous appearance of St Nicky and St Els, has been long held by some fans who were previously thought to be deranged but are now shown to be just very clever.

    For about the 20th time in the last few years, I now admit once more that, yes, Arsenal’s problems are due to me and those of my ilk.

    Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

  6. Good stuff Yogi.

    Jack, Ramsey and Welbeck should all be offered the same type of contract: same or minimal pay with reachable bonuses for appearances and what not.

  7. It will be interesting though this summer should Jack or Ramsey not sign to see who we bring in. We need a DM, thats the biggest problem facing us right now in midfield.

  8. Kind of funny that a couple of my United mates are all saying that we got the better of the Mkhitaryan/Sanchez swap especially with the wages that Sanchez is on.

  9. Afternoon,
    When you offer somebody a salary reduction , it never goes well. This isn’t quite as bad as the +£1 to Liverpool, but close.
    Too cute by half. It would be clear to LJW and indeed anybody , that the club isn’t really keen to keep him. I accept his injury history is an issue, but at least offer the same coin. Any increase via a bonus could be linked to his health and games played.

  10. Wenger always complains about the cost of local players, but given the requirement of home grown players, he might need to ensure that LJW and Ramsay stay. Personally, I think Jack needs a strong manager / mentor to sort himself out. Stop the histrionics and lead from the front . Tough in the tackle, – giving and receiving. ( so to speak).

  11. From memory I seem to recall that the squad can consist of 25 players over the age of 21, having turned 21 before the season started.

    Of those 25, 8 have to be “local”, and by local they have to have met certain criteria. Fabregas met the criteria, as did a few others who weren’t British.

    I’m open to correction on my facts, it’s just from memory, so I could be wrong on one or more points.

    However, if the squad are allowed 17 “foreign” players, and as many u21s as they like, considering we only really use about 14 of the squad, why bother with “local” players at all if they’re so expensive and problematic?

    I’ve never been a fan of attempts at social engineering, they always end up with unintended consequences. (The road to hell is paved with good intentions), so I’d look at ways to incentivize local development in simpler and more “carrot like” ways than what is currently in place.

  12. Mike

    Given you need 18 players on match day, it’s a bit daft to hamstring yourself by not having a deep enough squad. There’s no way we can go through a season with 14 players.

    We know from painful experience that u-21 players who are consistent enough to play in the PL are few and far between.

  13. consolsbob,

    I think some people on this site just fail to see the interest in just berating AW and being disrespectful

    C may want Wenger our now but try’s to discuss what is in front of us instead of just calling AW an idiot

    For instance re Chambers

    That was just a simple explanation for cramp which seems just an honest answer

    He has not played many full-on games at this level at RB. He is a CB

    Why does that get crow barred into AW being mad?

    You complain about the media yet you behave sometimes like fanatics

  14. Good post thanks YW
    Wilshire situation has become rather interesting
    I think we all agreed he was washed up at Bournemouth and I personally have been amazed at his physical results thus season
    I did not expect so many back to back games
    I think the club need to reward that luck or impetus by paying up
    Ramsey is injury prone but he does have unique skills energy and knack of scoring important goals but I really fear he is set on leaving for a huge pay day elsewhere
    Really problematic as he will want Ozil like wages to stay and as you all say he misses so many games injured

  15. Arsetralian,

    I think that ‘washed up’ is a bit harsh. He went to get games having been injured pretty much for the previous two seasons (five appearances in total). He did okay, was Bournemouth’s player of the month for November and December, then picked up a fracture in April.

  16. YW,
    I’m not advocating it, but considering that you can have unlimited u21s, then 18 players for match day wouldn’t be an issue.

    I was just pondering whether one or other teams wouldn’t start just leaving “local” spots empty rather than try and fill them.

    I seem to recal Citeh and perhaps Chelsea(?) at some point having fewer than 8 local players?

    I’m not a fan of social engineering attempts.

    As I stated, it invariably leads to “gaming” of the situation.

  17. Arsetralian,

    What’s in front of us is a manager who has failed to get a very wealthy club to compete whilst other clubs have spent less and been more successful over several years.

    There is a clear pattern of decline and inability to get the best out of a very expensive and talented squad.

    Instead of trying to adapt and learn, he has dug his heels in and alienated those who have tried to move the club and team forwards.

    At some point “respect” is no longer warranted.

    To many of us, that point was passed some time ago.

    In my opinion, Wenger’s intransigence has been about him for some time, and has not, for a long time, if ever, been about the club.

    As such, IMO he needs to be fired if he doesn’t leave voluntarily, and all this pussy-footing and making excuses for him is entirely misplaced.

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