On Pre-Season Tours and Exit Doors

The focus switches to pre-season and the tour of the Far East. Hopefully, the club is more diligent in its’ travel arrangements than the commercial department allegedly were when it came to sponsorships…

Mesut Özil’s participation is confirmed and he will join the squad before they leave at the weekend ahead of next week’s match against Atletico Madrid. The pre-season tours used to see Arsenal face local clubs, give them a good battering in thanks for their hospitality and then play a tournament.

Money dictates we now face teams who we play regularly at home or in European competition. Football, far from spreading its’ wings far and wide, is becoming more of a closed shop at the peak of the club game. ICC hosted the infamous ‘Dorchester talks’ where Arsenal brought up the subject of a European Super League.

Pre-season used to be about getting ready for the league campaign and having a bit of fun. Not anymore; it’s big business.

At least Arsenal are involved. We’re not the snotty-nosed kid with his face pressed against the shop window, awestruck by the wonders inside. We’re in the warm, enjoying the riches on offer. It’s not the way I’d like football to operate, but this is the modern game.

It’s interesting to see the photos of the club’s training sessions. The emphasis is on fitness; action photos including one which must be giving palpitations as Aaron Ramsey flew into a tackle. Red card offence, too; both feet off the ground and a ‘welcome to the first team squad’ reducer. Steve Bould was nodding in the background, sepia tones flooding his mind with all his ‘victims’.

Except for Limpar; he never tagged Limpar as Mickey Thomas took delight in recalling on an end-of-season video at the time.

The Exit Door is Thataway…

Among those squad members not travelling are David Ospina and Danny Welbeck. This morning saw an awful lot of speculation about their futures, emanating it seems from the Telegraph, with both earmarked as departees. Which is the media catching up with most people’s thinking, it seems.

We have a top-heavy squad and it wouldn’t come as any surprise to learn Unai Emery knows whom he does not want to keep. Lichtsteiner’s arrival signalled the end of Carl Jenkinson’s time at the club, although whether they can sell him is another matter. I wonder if he regrets not moving to Crystal Palace when he had the chance? Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Only Joel Campbell seems to be attracting any attention and Lazio seem to have lost interest pretty quickly in him. His is a signing which haunts the club, a spectacular waste of effort and money in landing him at a time when we had to be clever how we spent. When we got it wrong, it went horribly wrong in the transfer market post-2011; Park, Campbell and Lucas Perez is in the same boat.

That’s in the past and we’ll make mistakes in the future. That’s the nature of football transfers: risk. However, you hope the new structure and personnel will mitigate the risks moving forward.

Aaron Ramsey’s contract came briefly into the spotlight with his agents shooting down claims on social media. He hasn’t agreed a new five-year, £140k per week deal. I’d guess they are aiming a lot higher than that wage; I don’t know but given the way Mesut Özil landed his contract, you’d think the same tactics are being employed.

The question is will he sign before August 9th? I don’t think so; my guess between now and Christmas. Inside track, huh…

’til Tomorrow.

 

42 thoughts on “On Pre-Season Tours and Exit Doors

  1. Michael says:

    Morning All

    Damon, your boom woke me up 🙂

    I can see Ramsey leaving, for me a guy who thinks he is better than his returns.

  2. andy1886 says:

    Michael,

    I guess that’s what happens when you score twice as many goals and have a higher assist rate per minute than the £300k+ p/w ‘superstar’ in the team?

  3. Yiannis says:

    Andy1886,

    what happened with Mesut Ozil belongs to the previous era. The Ramsey “saga” it’s an opportunity for the club to put things right. It shouldn’t tolerate any kind of blackmailing. Not just with Ramsey. No player should be allowed to enter into the final year of his contract. Either sign or be sold!

  4. C says:

    Now that the World Cup is over the window will well and truly begin. Whats interesting is that the PL thought, ‘right lets close our window early despite every other country leaving there’s open longer. We will show them we are still too smart for them!’

    Except, say our window closes and a player then leaves without a replacement purchased🤔

  5. Adam Singh says:

    Yogi. What was the result of the World Cup prediction? Who won. What’s the small prize you promised.l? 😁

  6. Silly Sausage says:

    Wasn’t there talk a short while ago of Welbeck going to Turkey?
    Maybe that’s still a thing.

  7. Wavey says:

    Afternoon,

    That’s a disaster just waiting to happen for any team, but I think it will be worse for the weaker teams trying to hold on to a star player. There may be a point at which the Board decides to take the money, but that could well be a very short term view given that the absence of said star player could mean the difference between a club staying up or not. Any player throwing a paddy to get a move post August 9th should be put in front of a firing squad.

  8. Wavey says:

    Was meant to be replying to C. Not sure what happened.

  9. HenryNorrisDialSquare says:

    andy1886:
    Michael,

    I guess that’s what happens when you score twice as many goals and have a higher assist rate per minute than the £300k+ p/w ‘superstar’ in the team?

    Hear, hear!

  10. HenryNorrisDialSquare says:

    Damon, can we have a Sonic BOOM!

  11. C says:

    Wavey,

    I agree but for instance, all this talk of Hazard to Madrid and clearly he wants to leave and say Madrid comes in with a massive amount for him August 10, would Chelsea be able to resist if Hazard starts disrupting things like he has been known to do (see Mourinho’s 2nd season when he got sacked and last season). I don’t understand why the PL would do it but there is a chance it could go to shit.

  12. HenryNorrisDialSquare says:

    C

    Do you think Welbeck will even be here when the season starts? I wonder if Emery would rather Nelson or Nketiah

    Welbz may well still be here given the lack of suitor’s. Let’s face it our contracts have been above market rate. So we won’t be able to shift player’s who would rather sit out their contract than playing football for a lesser wage. The manager might say, you don’t feature in my plan’s son. But that won’t help him if nobody gives him a better offer. I’d certainly wait out my 20-50k a week contract (not sure what Jenk’s and Welbz are on. Can someone enlighten me?) Than trying to impress in a trial, then being offered half that amount! So I’m guessing not many more will come in and Unai will find himself top heavy with squad players.

  13. Bill says:

    Great post yogi.

    We don’t really need Ospina now that we have Leno and good luck to him if he leaves. I think he has done as well as any back up could. He was always ready when called on and while he wasn’t great he was professional and I think he did was certainly very competent. He helped save 4th place when we had to drop Wojo after the cigarette in the shower incident and he helped us win a couple of FA cups.

    I am not a fan of Danny Welbeck but we need an experienced forward to fill the back end of the squad in case of emergency. If we sell Welbeck that leaves only Joel Campbell or Lucas Perez and while Danny is certainly not very good I think he is the best option of those 3.

  14. YW says:

    Adam

    I’ll look at it in the next few days. Results by the weekend…

  15. C says:

    HenryNorrisDialSquare,

    I could see a reason for Welbeck to stay and for him to go. I think in a high pressing style Welbeck on the flank would be really good with his workrate and ability to fumble a goal in every now and again. Personallu, I would sell or loan him because I think Nketiah and Nelson offer more and have so much more to show.

    I think Ospina wants to leave and Arsenal are more than happy so I would imagine that a middle ground will be had with him. Welbeck, Jenks, Campbell I would get what I can.

  16. nicky says:

    Liked your response to Michael at 1244. I’ve always regarded Ramsey as one of those rare players who can often score a goal from nothing. Not always on song but then who is?
    Having captained his country, I hope a new contract and the Club’s armband awaits. 😉

  17. nicky says:

    Should have addressed my comment to Andy 1886. Careless. 😉

  18. Michael says:

    Yiannis

    I agree, they are separate negotiations entirely. What is a midfielder of Ramsey’s ability worth a week? I understand 140k is on the table already, if he stayed fit for a season could maybe offer a bit more, but that doesn’t happen.

  19. Bill says:

    C:
    HenryNorrisDialSquare,

    I could see a reason for Welbeck to stay and for him to go.I think in a high pressing style Welbeck on the flank would be really good with his workrate and ability to fumble a goal in every now and again.Personallu, I would sell or loan him because I think Nketiah and Nelson offer more and have so much more to show.

    I think Ospina wants to leave and Arsenal are more than happy so I would imagine that a middle ground will be had with him.Welbeck, Jenks, Campbell I would get what I can.

    We can’t start the season with Eddie, Nelson and Iwobe as our back up forwards. Didn’t we learn anything from throwing players like Yaya Sanogo, Iwobe, Calum Chambers into high squad spots before they are ready. How many times do we have to do the same thing before we finally learn a lesson

  20. Bill says:

    We have been watching these scenarios play out for 14 years and throwing a teenaged player into a high leverage squad spot has not been good for the team or for the player. Its been a consistent lose/lose for everyone involved. These players have plenty of time and rushing them befoe they are ready has always been a mistake. We can’t just ignore the lessons that history has taught us because we don’t like the answer that it gives

  21. C says:

    Bill,

    I think we can use them as wingers with proper directions. With proper coaching and directiom, having them as an option wouldn’t hurt. Is Welbeck that much more of a goal threat than either Nelson or Nketiah at this point?

  22. AK says:

    C,

    Nketiah and Nelson are a risk, as any youth players would be irrespective of coaching regime but i would like them to stay and get runs in EL and EFL cup. Welbz should leave, he has had two managers in his career with no return, he offers very little in any part of the pitch

  23. GoingGoingGooner says:

    I think the young guns have a higher up side than Welbz but Danny has a broader skill set. As was mentioned by others here, he always puts a shift in, even when he has missed a couple of sitters. He has worked through adversity like a professional and as such is a better back up, right now, than NKetiah, and Nelson. Give the young fellows some time, though, and they will come good.

  24. C says:

    AK,

    Exactly my point, I get Welbeck brings experience and all but if he is no more of a goal threat than Nelson or Nkeitah then I would take the youngsters and bleed them in slowly and let them play the early round FA Cup and CC matches.

  25. C says:

    GoingGoingGooner,

    I have no problem keeping Welbeck as I previusly stated but if given the choice, personally I say Nelson and Nketiah as back-ups is nota bad option because we aren’t counting on them to score double digit goals, play heavy mins, etc….we are talking essentially CF3 and winger behind quite a few.

  26. C says:

    Sky reporting Chelsea may want Cech, mine as well sell.

  27. C says:

    Courtious to Madrid is interesting when you consider, if reports are true naturally, Alisson to Liverpool will be double the price.

  28. Bill says:

    C:
    Bill,

    I think we can use them as wingers with proper directions. With proper coaching and directiom, having them as an option wouldn’t hurt. Is Welbeck that much more of a goal threat than either Nelson or Nketiah at this point?

    If we sell Welbeck then Eddie, Riess Nelson and/or Iwobe are the only options we would to play forward if Lacazette, PEA or Mkhitaryan get hurt or have a run of poor form. We always complained about Arsene leaving the squad a few players short and now we asking the new manager to do the same thing. That can’t be an acceptable situation for a team whose objective is to climb back to 4th place. Welbeck is not a great option but at least he will work hard and play defense and he won’t hurt us if we need to use him.

  29. Bill says:

    Its the same conundrum we have always had. If we buy a good player then it blocks the path for this years heavily hyped U21. However, if we don’t buy someone and we have a couple of injuries then the U21 is not as good as we had hoped or they are not ready then we end up with a squad that is a couple of players short and we drop a lot of points.

  30. andy1886 says:

    I see there is a big, long interview with Wenger out there. Of all the comments he made I’m puzzled by one small obscure part:

    Yes. David Dein, who brought me to Arsenal. January 2, 1989, I was in Turkey and had to fly via England. At the time, men and women weren’t allowed in the same stand at Arsenal, which is unbelievable to say now, the women sat with the visiting fans. I was still smoking back then and got a light at half-time from David Dein’s wife.

    Am I losing the plot or is AW having memory problems? Men and Women not allowed in the same stand at Arsenal?? Maybe in 1889 but certainly not in 1989, or ever in my living memory. Just weird.

  31. YW says:

    Andy

    I think he’s referring to the boardroom. It seems a mistranslation to me.

  32. andy1886 says:

    YW,

    Yeah, I think you must be right. Some interesting insights in the article but at the same time I had a feeling that I shouldn’t be reading it, things had moved on.

  33. Damon says:

    At the time, men and women weren’t allowed in the same stand at Arsenal, which is unbelievable to say now, the women sat with the visiting fans.

    The female board members have to sit with visiting fans? Think this is bit of a reach to say it’s a mistranslation, coupled with it being in the same stand?

    Perhaps a windup or a misquote, but I struggle with saying it’s a bad translation

  34. YW says:

    https://wp.me/p3nJ9V-7dG

    Morning

    Damon

    Female board members would be with other VIP guests – the opposition dignitaries, etc. As I say, it’s a probably out of context/mistranslation.

  35. jabberwocky says:

    Bill,

    I totally agree with you about depending on youngsters being high risk, as we’ve been burned more than a few times with that – however that does need to be balanced somewhat against providing at least some opportunities (not a starting berth, but more than 2-3 carling cup appearances) to our youngsters, as otherwise the sole point of the academy is to just sell to mid-table/championship sides with a big sell-on clause (obviously that’s how academy pays for itself, but there is still a model for having 1-2 genuine talents making it through, with vast majority released or sold).

    In an ideal world, if we sold Welbeck (and Perez/Campbell or whatever) I’d like to see a decent winger brought in – that way we’d have fewer barriers to first team opportunities for the likes of Nelson and Nketiah, but still in no way rely on them apart from the odd injury crisis (however with PEA/Lac able to play up top, and both of them as well as Mkhi, Ozil, Iwobi, , Ramsey (not to mention Perez/Campbell etc although I think they should prob be sold). Obviously not the deepest squad ever – but have pretty much 2 players for each of the front three positions, and so I dont think it would be a massive risk to have some youngsters as back up to that.

    What we used to do, and got burned by doing, was relying on these youngsters to play in the first team week in and week out, and some of them crumbled. This is more (in my head anyway), a chance to get minutes at the end of games where we’re already comfortably winning – rather than lining up at Man Utd with Nelson & Nketiah leading the line (like that fateful game where they knocked 8 past us and we had coquelin and the ox making a debut and god knows how many other young players).

    Anyway we’ll have to wait and see – but yes I’d quite like a winger brought in if we ship Welbeck out – but by all sounds of it our summer business sounds complete. If Welbeck’s contract is running out in a year, and he’s not central to our plans, then cashing in might be best for everybody. But yeah if we do, we should bring in someone else, otherwise we might end up relying too much on youth, which I agree with you is unwise

  36. jabberwocky says:

    jabberwocky,

    That lineup of our squad was meant to include a ‘new winger’ in between Ramsey and Iwobi but i stupidly used the wrong symbol and wordpress clearly thought iw as trying to use HTML

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