On Laughing, Crying, and Emptying Pockets

This morning’s headlines show the media in full cry against Jose Mourinho. While other managers celebrate youth, he decries it as United’s shambolic pre-season continues. Without a win and not scoring more than once in any game; the lack of depth in their squad is staggering.

I can’t bring myself to feel sorry for them or him. It’s the curse of Mourinho’s third season. A chorus of “We want you to stay, we want you to staaaay…” seems an appropriate serenade.

He and Pep got it in the next from the sponsors of the wretched International Champions Cup. Their complaint about the absence of the star players underlines how they shouldn’t be involved in football. They don’t know the product.

The word ‘traditional’ was heavily used during the commentary of the stream on which I watched the games. There’s no tradition in the friendlies; indeed it was a faux tradition, the sort football loves to invent nowadays. When the European Super League happens, you’ll be told our matches against Bayern Munich are traditional. So long as that doesn’t extend to any more 5 – 1 gubbings, I don’t mind.

But it’s not traditional, is it? Clubs make no bones about playing these matches. It’s all about money; they take their fees and the organisers do what they want with ticket prices. I understand tickets for this week’s match against Chelsea are comparable in pricing for the Premier League match three weeks later. That’s madness, especially with the XI mentality both sides will show.

Arsenal’s opening match against Atletico in Singapore was half-empty. Just over 23,000 hardy souls paid to watch the match; 50,000 for the PSG game yet you can’t help but wonder whether we might have won over more fans playing the Singapore national team? Or certainly more value for money.

Drifting Along

Away from the pitch, there’s work to be done. Reports in Turkey claim the club and Besiktas “shook hands” on a deal of David Ospina, so now it’s all down to him. Chuba Akpom is wanted by PAOK, with no-one quite sure what’s happened to Sint-Truiden’s interest. It was a ‘done deal’ but not anymore it seems. The Italian media claim £8m is the price for Lucas Perez, the question is whether Lazio will pay it.

Which leaves Carl Jenkinson and Joel Campbell as the only others in ‘no man’s land’.

Jenkinson has been unfortunate with injuries. Last season, he dislocated his shoulder. At West Ham, his ACL injury put the kibosh on a move. He shot himself in the foot with Crystal Palace. Self-inflicted wounds cause more damage. What now for him?

Now 26, he has only played 154 games. There are 20-year-olds who have played more than that. I’m sure he regrets the Palace deal falling through. Not agreeing on personal terms is a tricky one. The immediate presumption is the money wasn’t enough but in this case, it seems a 40% pay cut in the event of relegation was too much to bear.

He has two years left on his current deal. Two years. How badly was that contract negotiated? He’s spent three seasons on loan and still has two left?

Campbell is out of contract next summer. The Fandango over his signing becomes more ridiculous with every passing season. Assuming he leaves in 2019, his spell at the club will be eight years, of which 7 will have been on loan.

Jesus wept. Star players running down deals. Goalkeepers whose contracts both end in the same summer; there is a lot of work to be done to resolve the situation.

More importantly, don’t make the same mistakes again.

’til Tomorrow.

41 thoughts on “On Laughing, Crying, and Emptying Pockets

  1. Really have to wonder what Wenger was doing in those contract negotiations.

    Jenko never looked Premier League quality, but got a 5 year deal. Alexis, Ozil & Ramsey have all been left to drift into the last year of their contract. Poor management that will take a few years to work through. So glad the Emperor has left and taken his invisible clothes.

  2. Hi YW,

    Poor old José fancy getting it in the ‘next’ from the media (para 3) and him being such a nice, placid charmer. He deserves it methinks. 😂

    Wasn’t Corporal Jenks one of the so-called British Core who originally signed contracts/extensions in about 2012, along with Jack, Gibbs, Rambo et al? Probably not, as my memory is not too good at the mo’.

  3. Mourinho is Bill’s type of manager: hates youth, hates trying to develop them and playing youth, spend shitloads on players and when they don’t work spend shit loads more and hates Arsene…..has Mourinho secretly been Bill all these years 🤔

    Jenks for me then and now wasn’t a top 7 RB, at best midtable but nothing more. People talk about Ozil’s deal…think about the famed British Core: Jack, Ramsey, Jenks, Gibbs and Ox. I remember quite a few on here wanted Jenks to be first choice over Bellerin, thank goodness that never happened.

  4. I know its a lot to do about nothing but would any of you sell Ramsey for 30m to Chelsea then spend that money on Nzonzi?

  5. HenryB,

    How you been mate?

    Yea, I’m thinking I would too because Nzonzi would also be a brilliant mentor for Guendouzi as well.

  6. C,

    Been in and out of hospital for some months. Tumour. That’s why I cannot use my laptop too much.
    What a bugger.

    There are more players supposed to be leaving this week, so with the salary savings + any capital income, maybe we will get Nzonzi, or Dembele?? Either would be superb additions.

  7. Great post yogi

    I make no secret of the fact that I used to have a begrudging admiration for Mourinho. Before the last couple of seasons all he has ever done was build strong squad and win stuff wherever he managed. Sort of the polar opposite of the Arsene Wenger years. Now he just seems a lot more like Arsene. No longer the manager he once was and just hanging on and muddying his resume and damaging whatever legacy he has. From an Arsenal point of view let’s hope he stays at ManU because I think his squad is certainly less then the sum of its parts.

  8. HenryB,

    Sorry to hear mate, hope your health gets better sooner.

    Tend to agree with all of that. I wouldn’t mind Nzonzi but I don’t see Dembele; people are writing him off WAY to quickly because he was literally injured more than half of last season before of his horrid pre-season and then an early bad injury. When he was fit and did play, he showed his quality for them and thr signing of Malcom is for depth purposes which they sorely lacked last season.

    Nzonzi and Bailey would be brilliant but there a couple I would have including Brozović of Inter, Tiago who seems surplus at Bayern or even an Ndidi of Leicester.

  9. C

    Not many of us other then me will admit it, but if you look at Mourinho’s record, up to his last PL title team with Chelsea, Mourinho was clearly the one of the best football managers in the world. I would have taken him in a heartbeat. All he had ever done was win wherever he went. Isn’t winning supposed to be the #1 priority? He was instrumental in rebuilding Chelsea from the over the hill gang of the Lampard/Drogba era to their title winning team in 2015 and he did that with about the same net spend as Arsenal had during the same time. That was a brilliant job of managing. However, now he just seems like Arsene, well past he expiration date and just playing out the string.

  10. Basically said exactly this to a colleague this morning.

    Chalk me up as the second then!

    Bil:
    C

    Not many of us other then me will admit it, but if you look at Mourinho’s record, up to his last PL title team with Chelsea, Mourinho was clearly the one of the best football managers in the world. I would have taken him in a heartbeat. All he had ever done was win wherever he went. Isn’t winning supposed to be the #1 priority?He was instrumental in rebuilding Chelsea from the over the hill gang of the Lampard/Drogba era to their title winning team in 2015 and he did that with about the same net spend as Arsenal had during the same time. That was a brilliant job of managing. However, now he just seems like Arsene, well past he expiration date and just playing out the string.

  11. Agree with your 1:55 p.m., C.

    Bill,

    Everyone would almost certainly agree that the #1 target for any manager must be to win things – altho that is impossible for 80% of them.

    Mourhino, much tho I dislike him, has been a top manager because he achieved the #1 target of a manager, winning trophies at the highest level, with a number of clubs.

    Part of that deal, for him and similar managers, like Pep Guardiola, was that they were given money to spend to boost their player resources to help them achieve their targets.

    From what I have been seeing on TV and reading in the sports pages is that Manure have slowed down on the money front (altho they have always been big spenders in comparison to most other clubs) and José now has the hump as they have not bought him the 5 top players he has asked for, and he is using that as an excuse for being outshone by Pep, Conte and maybe soon, Klip Klopp.

    He will either get the money – to keep him quiet – or get the chop next season.

    Like you, I would shelve my dislike, and have him at Arsenal (tho not until Emery has had a good go) simply because any fan will support a manager (even Moaniho) who bangs the drum to get more money to buy better players. We have all had enough of watching the other clubs loosen the purse strings – even the ‘poor boys’ at Liverpool, and bloody Spurs.

  12. HenryB,

    Completely disagree and think you’ve missed the point.

    Jose was good. He’s been done for a few years now and is starting to look like Arsene-lite

    Yes, he’s had money at times, but won the Champions League with Porto and Inter. Neither of whom would challenge the European big 4 for fee’s or wages

  13. Bil,

    Personally, I wouldn’t want Mourinho and while I agree, his success has been quite impressive, he isn’t the only winning manager and his style hasn’t been the only consistent winner throughout the years. He was successful and you can’t take that away from him but then again, Pep isn’t your type of manager and yet, all he has done is be successful and win things.

    Its funny that you likr Mourinho because contrary to popular belief, he has played youth as key figures (people tend to forget that he was the one who introduced the world to Balotelli at Inter playing alongside Eto when they were winninh shit), despite his hatred of #10’s he absolutely adores Ozil o yea and in that 2015 season Chelsea played some absolutely brilliant futbol in the 1st half of that season when they ran away with thr title.

  14. Damon,

    To be fair mate, your talking Inter(even now they are quite a good side and spends quite a bit of money) now and not Inter then. Inter then were EASILY one of the best and still one of the biggest clubs in Europe and at that time spent quite a bit of money at that time to bring in the the likes of Eto(yea he was part of the Ibra deal) Thiago Motta, Lucio, Snjeider and Milito.

  15. C,
    Yes, if he is not singing then sell,
    He is not a 300, 000 grand a week player, (who is) however he will get 200,000 grand a week at Chelsea personally I’d move him on
    .

  16. C,

    Nope, terrible deal IMO. Sell Ramsey, PL experienced and coming into his prime and buy a player pushing 30, on the back end of his career who did okay while originally at Blackburn and Stoke but certainly didn’t pull up any trees. He’s done well at Sevilla but there are no guarantees he’d be effective here and with no sell on value if it failed we may as well have burnt the £30m.

  17. andy1886,

    True but then again at Blackburn and Stoke he was asked to be something he really wasn’t. Lets be honest though, when do we get to the point of sign or sell with Ramsey? How do we know his injury issues won’t persist on as well?

  18. C,

    I believe that’s one of the reasons they’ve brought in a new medical team. Ramsey has looked ok in pre season but he’s not exactly been the centre view, the thing about Ramsey that gets me is simple, he’s not as good vision or attacking wise as Ozil or Henrikh and he’s not as good defensively as (well I can’t really name anyone who’s defensive right now) which for me is the worry, I don’t know his best position and he’s been there for almost 10 years.

    When fit, he can be a game changer as he does contribute with goals and important ones as well. I say keep him, purely because I want to see how he plays under Emry and what the brings, I foresee a contract offer in December if he’s playing well if not not shocked if he leaves next summer.

    Watching the BBC live text, everyone is saying City, Liverpool and Man U for top 3, I’d love to fly under the radar and prove them wrong. My logic is if we can finish 6th, 7 behind Chelsea and 12 behind Liverpool with a win rate of 50% overall, we can surely do better, especially since we only one 1 away game after December.

    Spurs with no summer additions, I wonder if this new stadium is away to start hindering they’re progress in the transfer windows….Similar to ours was when we first moved to Emirates. One in one out….they’ll be begging Real to come in for Kane soon enough

    Premier League 38 19 6 13 74 51 50.00

  19. I’m quite excited to see Torriera link up with the team right now…even excited for Lichsteiner and Xhaka to come back, personally Lichsteiner will be one of those leaders we need off the pitch imo and I think Xhaka is more than capable of being captain material, you don’t get the captains armband for country for nothing.

  20. MesutsLeftFoot,

    Well thats exactly my view on Ramsey and I will be interested to see what comes of not only him but midfield in general. I would imagine that Torriera and Ozil will start, so that leaves one midfield left and if Ozil is pushed to the RW, then does Emery do that to reinforce the midfield defensively which, as me and you agree on, he isn’t the midfield defensive help.

    I think he could actually be a good super-sub sort of player but, my thinking with this is: if another player is avilable that is talented and fits the team better is it best to sell high on Ramsey for the good of the team?

    I’m excited to see how everybody is under the new man including Ramsey but my fear is that we have another Jack (plays well and then drops off right after the window closes) or Gomes of Barca(looks set to leave and then gets injured).

    Interesting yet exciting times.

  21. C,

    Agreed. I’d like another signing, if I had to pick I’d go for Dembele as we need an out and out winger. But even Iwobi looked different vs PSG, I’d like to see how he does this season as well.

  22. MesutsLeftFoot,

    I’m excited to Iwobi and if he can take that next step in his development and find consistent end product. I Dembele would be brilliant but I would also have Bailey of Leverkusen who can play either as an out and out winger or as a Lacazette style CF.

  23. Interesting that so far only Chelsea have been rumoured to be interested in Ramsey and none of the Continental powers. That may change, of course, and if he’s sold – better it be to someone outside the EPL. We have yet to see how the new regime handles contract-ending situations like Ramsey’s but I’m sure there is a plan in place. Like others, I want to see how Ramsey and all the other incumbents perform under Emery and how he (Emery) will handle any lacklustre performances that occur.

  24. Sell Ramsey to an European Club, nor Chelski, and buy a good replacement , not at 30, which means paying about £50million, for an younger good midfielder. Ramsey will not get £200K per week IMO in any club.

  25. @ Henry B,
    Sorry to hear of your malaise. Remember the Islands are Shangri La for those in need of mending.
    Make sure your glass is always half full. 😉

  26. C

    Pep most certainly is my kind of manager because he wins all the time. To each fan his own, but my priority is to win things and everything else is secondary. Pep and Jose have easily been the most successful managers not named Fergie in this century

  27. nicky,

    The Electric Light Orchestra reckoned their Shangri La had gone away…..talking of which…where the hell’s Orson ?

  28. Bill,

    I agree everyone wants to win, but not all of us at all costs. I’d take Jose’s trophies in a heartbeat, but all the other crap (negativity, prsss bullshit, unsporting behaviour & general cuntery) not so much. This doesn’t boil down to Arsene level “winning the right way”, just I don’t want that prick anywhere near our club winning or not.

    Each to their own though!

  29. andy1886:
    C,

    Nope, terrible deal IMO. Sell Ramsey, PL experienced and coming into his prime and buy a player pushing 30, on the back end of his career who did okay while originally at Blackburn and Stoke but certainly didn’t pull up any trees. He’s done well at Sevilla but there are no guarantees he’d be effective here and with no sell on value if it failed we may as well have burnt the £30m.

    Couldn’t agree more, but business acumen has never been one of C’s strong points!

  30. What’s blatantly obvious to me, is there will be no new signing’s unless a significant number are sold. Welbeck, Ramsey, Campbell, Perez, Ospina, Jenks. Once we offloaded this lot then we might make another acquisition. But given the wages these players are on. It’s very doubtful we’ll be able to shift any of them. So I say integrate them back into the squad and find out whether this new coach Emery can actually do something with them. Because that gives us enough player’s to go for all competitions and enough player’s in case we have a spate of injuries. Also, I’d like to see an Arsenal coach who is not afraid to drop so called BIG name player’s if they aren’t performing and bring someone else who in, who shows hunger and desire. I bet we don’t see that from Mr Emery!

  31. Don’t follow the logic of integrating them back into the squad if they are not playing. Focus must be on those who are in the PL/UL squad not on ‘dead wood’.

    Anyway, Ramsey won’t be sold. Ospina is going. Leaves the others, of which I suspect Welbeck is not being sold either.

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