On Xhaka, Transfer Talk & Unai Emery’s KitKat Contract

Twitter went all Clive Dunn yesterday, working itself into a tizzy. I thought I’d end it there because the social media network is always in a tizzy. Outraged of Tunbridge Wells no longer writes to his local paper about potholes. Now, he takes to Twitter and within minutes, it’s a global issue.

Granit Xhaka’s knee-knack led to a righteous bristling as another ill-judged tweet from a bookmaker – no names, no packdrill but it was Ladbrokes – spurred some into a call to arms. Anyway, it blew over when knee-knack turned out to be nothing more than knee-whack. Xhaka will be fit for the World Cup and we don’t need to sign another midfielder.

Yacine Adli is joining Arsenal according to this morning’s media gurus, having rejected a contract offer from Paris St-Germain. His agent probably wants to get the deal done before Mr20% becomes Mr3%, which is how much FIFA believe agents should earn from deals. And no agent can represent club and player in the same deal. And players must foot the bill, not clubs.

Makes you wonder who is driving these changes…

The agents professional body – I know, contradiction in terms and all that – is holding a meeting next week in Barnet to plan their answer to this outrage. Probably in the phone box outside the chippy on the corner of Archangel Avenue.

This is all just the pre-amble though. The story of the day revealed itself with The Times declaring Unai Emery’s contract features a ‘break clause’. Or maybe it should be renamed ‘the Apprentice’ clause  because it covers the club when he gets fired.

Fatalistic or realistic? To paraphrase George Graham’s quote when he was appointed, the only thing missing from the manager’s contract is the date he gets told to do one.

Take a Break

The club is paying up the remainder of Wenger’s two-year deal which is standard practice with fixed contracts. Nothing untoward there, but in order to protect themselves in future, Emery’s deal has a break clause at the end of Year 2. If he is pushed, it costs Arsenal nothing.

As Arsenal contracts go, it’s forward-thinking. The new reality is coaches have a shelf-life of 3 – 5 years. We are unlikely to see a Wenger-reign again. It also means there is no need for either side of the debate to hire planes again, which I know comes as a blow to the light aircraft pilots but that’s life.

The move, the paper claims, reinforces the new management structure. The coach is no longer the base of power; all Arsenal must rely on now is not appointing a meglomaniac to one of the three key roles. It’s the same path every other club treads so we’re no different.

Real Madrid won’t have such problems as Zinedine Zidane gave an object lesson in how to leave at the top. The Scousers poked fun at it, imagining he resigned at the shame of Mo Salah’s injury in the Champions League final. Or, as the media tried to point out recently, how Salah injured himself by trying to foul Ramos.

Hats off to the Spaniard because turning it that way around really is sh*thousery of the highest order.

Of course, Arsène’s name immediately went into the frame, with some hoping he’d take the job and win the Champions League. Or maybe they just want Real Madrid to lose in the Round of Sixteen…

Zidane, knowing Deschamps is about to get the tin-tack from France played it cooly in front of the media, waiting until there were no prying eyes before headbutting Florentino Perez.

Money for Nothing

Elsewhere, Bayern Munich are having a clear-out and Thiago Alcantara is one of the names on the list. Which must be worth exploring although now Stan’s added another £20m to the transfer pot, we can amortise the living bejesus out of our list of transfer targets. Let’s get Lucas Torreira of Sampdoria! Come on, Corentin Tolisso!

And FIFA, get these agent rule changes pushed through. Now. Arsenal needs you.

’til Tomorrow.

34 thoughts on “On Xhaka, Transfer Talk & Unai Emery’s KitKat Contract

  1. Pete the Thirst says:

    The cards are starting to come up for Emery already:
    Comrade Roman looking to move on his Chelsea portfolio;
    Pochettino pursued by Madrid;
    Spurs’ stadium no where near ready.

    Does anybody else remember the ‘Save the Bridge’ campaign at Chelsea during the late 80s? Fronted by Dicky Attenborough, Seb Coe, Ken Bates and Stephen Hickmott.

    Things looking up.

  2. Limestonegunner says:

    Excellent stuff, YW. I think you have an astute suggestion of Zidane’s interest in the France head coach position. I think Deschamps will do well but still underperform given the incredible young talent available to him. Zidane would be perfect for that job. Motivate and organize them for the Euros and Qatar 2022 when the young crop are at their peak.

  3. Limestonegunner says:

    Pete the Thirst,

    Agree, the wheel of fortune might be turning to our favor. At least as top 4 challengers. We can add the hope that MU go in for Kane and that the managerial situation remains a saga at Chelsea. Rumours suggest Courtois might depart since he only has one year and won’t sign.

  4. Waz says:

    That made me chuckle as my Dad regularly complains to the local paper in Tunbridge Wells about potholes, parking and aircraft noise lol.

    Seems our signings are taking a while to get done, I thought we would have got rid of the slow negotion with the new team!?

  5. C says:

    Thiago or Tolisso, I’d gladly have either but can’t see Tolisso leaving only having just arrived.

  6. C says:


    Problem is, its a World Cup summer so clubs maybe stalling as well as having to deal with all these friendlies. Something is happening though, its WAY TOO much smoke for there not to be a fire.

  7. Borges Spinelli says:

    Hello ACLF World,

    For the first time since 2013/14 season, I can truly say that I’m excited for the upcoming season. Hence my revisitation of the blogosphere.

    Can’t wait for Unai Emery’s vision to begin to pan out on the pitch. While I do not expect us to lift the EPL trophy this season, I believe 2nd position is attainable by the end of 2019/20 season.

    Question for my gooners-in-arms, which of these two defenders should our head coach dispense with: Calum Chambers or Rob Holding? Assuming two new center backs are incoming? 😀

  8. Borges Spinelli says:


    Mustafi, no doubt, plus one out I was thinking.

  9. JonJon says:

    its been a long time borges

    personally i would keep all the young CBs, they are young enough not to have been wengerised and can be moulded into solid defenders.

    pers gone, koz is knackered so we’ve already technically lost 2 .

    mustafi would be my obvious sacrifice to recoup some coinage and use it to bring in some solid experience to steady the defensive ship until the young lads have finally been taught how to defend.

  10. fell says:

    YW at yer finest, take a bow for a wonderful read. Thank you

  11. Jonnygunner says:

    Dick Emery could almost be Dennis Wise in that shot….

  12. Waz says:

    Great post and comments.The question I’m left with is who do we think is a good DM, seems a lot of digression to other issues. If you need an anchor who would you buy? Rabiot isn’t one, nor seri nor others mentioned. Who genuinely would people want? If no one can come up with a name then perhaps shows either you need a player with attributes to adapt to the position or that we play 433 with no proper dm. The fact we apparently went late for Fabinho suggests the former, however, the squad as is suggests the latter.I think who/if we buy in midfield will give us a clear idea of the clubs ambition and desire moving forwards.Is emery allowed to state who he wants or who at least he wants to leave or is Sven in charge of who goes and comes in or is Raul. Raul is a negotiator but not a sporting director like Monchi who knows played to get or to sell based on footballing needs, sure the guy can do a deal but whose looking at the current squad and deciding who’s good enough!? Sure emery can improve played but who’s saying who has the right ceiling!?

  13. MesutsLeftFoot says:

    Pete the Thirst,

    I called the spurs stadium drama months ago. Also, the cost has soared from 300 million to around 420 million I believe.

    Say what you want about Arsenal but in terms of teams building a stadium and staying relevant there arent many of them for the reason sours are experiencing. Athletico were similar almost got into real financial trouble and bought out in last minute but they still have a lot of debt.

    Tbh if they lose potch, they’re is a chance they’ll lose Ali and Kane as well. Eriksson as well I mean 5 seasons and he’s won nothing.

    I hate that it’s a world Cup summer. Firstly because I’m Scottish and secondly because transfers are always lagging due to teams not wanting to sell pre World Cup and everyone wants to see who’s going to be the new must have player.

  14. MesutsLeftFoot says:


    I actually think Mustafi is solid. Watch his games for Valancia etc. I honeslty think how our team is set up exposes him. Kos has lost a yard of space as well always served him well which also doesn’t help. I get feeling Mustafi was in a rut most of this season but I think he’s good enough with correct coaching.

  15. MesutsLeftFoot says:

    Surprised no one has gone for Golovin…. Solid against us. Good passer tricky and can play anywhere across midfield. If have taken him as a Ramsey/Wilshere replacement.

    Alacantra…. Is he consistent for Bayern… Seen him destroy teams in champs league bilut why get rid is he’s consistent…

  16. lari03 says:

    Seri or N’zonzi ? Which would we prefer to see next season. Emery’s worked with N’zonzi at Sevilla, and he has a release clause according to wikipedia of 30million euros and his contract expires in 2019.

    Thanks to the mirror’s spin mill, my mind is suddenly occupied with a new fantasy!

  17. lari03 says:

    Nzonzi’s taller than Seri and he has got premiership experience with Blackburn and Stoke. He’s a feisty character and is about to become 30.

    He could be our new Vieira. The height, premier league experience and knowledge, of how to play in the new coach’s system makes him good for Arxenal.

  18. C says:


    He’s been really good for them but I imagine moving him has something to do with the return of Alaba who might be moving back into midfield, Javi Martinez moving back into midfield, James still there and likely Bayern buying him along with a couple other German midfielders.

    Would gladly have him though.

  19. C says:


    As much as I love Nzonzi and he is brilliant, I would actually prefer Seri. He might not offer the height but I link his engine along with him only being 26years old, I think he would be brilliant for us and give us everything we need and have been lacking.

  20. Limestonegunner says:


    We could really use Alcantara—that would be a massive coup. Surprised Pep isn’t trying to pick him up but I guess he needs more of a Fernandinho replacement/backup in Jorginho.

  21. Limestonegunner says:


    I don’t know if he is cut out for PL. says he hates cold weather which makes him ill. He’s very skillful as a passer and energetic. Maybe he and Xhaka as pivots might work but I would prefer a genuine defensive mid.

  22. Limestonegunner says:

    I absolutely love the Nigeria home kit. And the tracksuit is outrageously cool. But you have to be a Nigerian rapper or something to get away with it.

  23. Patrick O'Neill says:


    I agree but he has had no coaching since he joined Arsenal. Watch him go next season with proper coaching.

  24. lari03 says:

    If he hates the cold, he will not like London.

  25. C says:


    Thiago would be massive for us, better than any of our current pivot options and most certainly a step up in quality. Pep needs more of the Jorginho (Napoli have come out and said they rejected 55m bid from Citeh).

    Seri says he doesn’t like the cold and Nzonzi has said he isn’t necessarily wanting a return to the PL. Think a truer DM would be great and I wouldn’t mind Tolisso but I know there are no truth to Bayern letting him go.

  26. Michael says:

    There you go Bill, Ozil (can’t do umlauts) scores for Germany.

  27. C says:


    Remember, Ozil doesn’t score goals and he’s not good enough for Arsenal

  28. Thethreewisemen says:

    About Wenger today: News report that he was spotted punting on the river Cam in Cambridge. To us in Highbury who visit Wenger’s Totteridge, this is not surprising. His daughter graduated in Veterinary Science from the Cambridge University and does her research in biological science in a famous research institute in Cambridge. Wenger and his daughter are close, and one can see her sitting with him in the boat. Whatever one says about Wenger, he is singularly exceptional among football managers as an educated person, ad would have easily become an academic.
    Will be interesting if Real Madrid manager chooses him, but will be unlikely.

  29. Thethreewisemen says:

    Should be ” if Real Madrid president chooses him”

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