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.