On Suits, Wages and Signings

The Premier League trumpeted the £7.6bn contribution to the British economy it makes each year. Not only that, the £3.3bn in taxes paid just as HMRC mention the £355m in back tax claimed from players and agents.

Not by those in the 100,000 jobs it claims to have created. A large proportion of them aren’t paid much beyond the minimum wage and certainly not the living wage. Arsenal is one of the many clubs which continue their shameful practice of not insisting that all agency staff are paid this but they are not alone.

Everton, Chelsea and West Ham are the only top-flight clubs accredited by the Living Wage Foundation. Given Enos’ extended family and their source of wealth, it’s no surprise Arsenal isn’t on that list.

What the rest of the world found highly amusing, particularly Bielsa’s press conference ‘mansplaining’ how crap Derby County were at Elland Road, the clubs think is rotten behaviour and they jolly well want the truth. The trouble is, as Bielsa’s media event showed, they can’t handle the truth. Particularly sniffy Frank Lampard who doesn’t think Bielsa is all that.

That pales by comparison to the woes facing the Championship. They’ve written a letter – A LETTER! – demanding that Leeds United divulge all the times they spied on their opposition.

If only football clubs would focus on their social responsibilities and less on the fripperies. Their contribution might make a little bit of the world a better place beyond the tribalism of the stands.

Arsenal thankfully don’t get involved in trivialities; we’re above that. Our obsession is just with suits, a situation which Hans Gruber voices in my head. “Nice suit. A technical director? I have two myself…”

Thank god there is a match tomorrow…

Toasted White Bread

Unai Emery met the press yesterday and told them to direct their enquiries about which suit was being appointed to the club. He worked well with Monchi and Sven’s a bloody nice bloke. A diplomatic way of letting the world know his former boss at Sevilla would be a welcome addition to the staff. Unai wants to get the band back together.

There’s a film in there where they recruit all the backroom staff they once had, including the kitman who now runs a sandwich shop.

ARETHA: “We got two hombres out there dressed like Hasidic diamond merchants.
KITMAN: Say what?
ARETHA: They look like they’re from the PFA or something.
KITMAN: What’d they want to eat?
ARETHA: The bearded one wants white bread toast with nothing on it.
KITMAN: (whispers) Monchi…
ARETHA: And the other one wants four whole fried chickens and a Coke.
KITMAN: (aloud) …and Unai! Shit, the Los Rojiblancos Brothers!

The transfer market continues to occupy more column inches than a meaningless League Cup semi-final second leg. Emery pointed out that we need players before we’ll get a new suit:

I think we need — and we can — sign some players to help after our injuries like Rob Holding, like [Danny] Welbeck, like Bellerín.
We only want to sign one or two players who can help us with our performance. The club knows our intention and is working

“Quality” is the issue and not wasting time trying to sign a player whose role is already filled, e.g. Denis Suarez on the wing, or where we have a number of youngsters who can be promoted to the role. Better to focus on the defensive weaknesses, surely?

Talent and Hard Work Are No Guarantee of Success

Is that driven by Suarez or the role Emery spoke of him filling? Three years after Unai used him as a winger, the player is drifting following an ill-thought out move to Barcelona.

It’s a salutary warning that even having talent doesn’t automatically make you a success at a big club, particularly when you have Xavi, Iniesta, Rakitic and Messi playing in your position.

But as I mentioned, I’d rather see the youngsters who are good enough for the Europa League be given their Premier League chances when we have bigger problems.

However, this is Unai’s domain and his input into filling in the holes in the squad is the key. Mind you, it looks like he has the same level of funding for filling in holes as most local councils.

’til Tomorrow.

22 thoughts on “On Suits, Wages and Signings

  1. 1971Thistle says:

    A letter? In 2019? Don’t they have a fax machine?

  2. buckagh says:

    I have to smile when I hear when football managers/players/explayers/pundits describing Bielsa behaviour as disgusting, etc considering the behaviour of some of their colleagues.

  3. C says:

    Yogi, now you know Bill is not going to like you talking about using youth and in my Bill voice: “using inconsistent youth in high leverage matches won’t win us games and don’t you know Project Youth failed!”

    How’d I do?😏

    Seriously, I hate the fact that people lump inconsistency with youth and use it as a stick with which to beat them. I mean FFS, you look at some of our senior players over the past 3-4 years and they defined inconsistency: Giroud, Ramsey, hell even my beloved Ozil, Sanchez, Kos…..the list of experienced inconsistent players obviously isn’t as long as the youth list but its not nearly as wide a gap as some think.

  4. Limey says:

    Seems Frank has a bad case of sour grapes.

  5. C says:

    Hearts, prayers and minds are with Sala’s family and friends! Hopefully they are able to get some sort of closure.

  6. Mattack says:

    Msybe Lumpard could provide us with his thoughts on questionable wealth buying into football instead….

  7. Blue Yonder says:

    I still struggle to see why Kroenke would buy Arsenal, not put decent money into it (actually take money out of the club to pay for his final share acquisitions, as has been rumoured) and then allow it to flounder financially, thereby further depreciating his investment. And subsequently selling below original value as a result of all this.
    Isn’t glory supposed to be a prime motivator for those of Stan’s ilk? Perhaps someone should tell him.
    Well, his team is in the Super Bowl so he is getting some substantial coin as a result. Is it too much to hope some of it may be frittered Arsenal’s way?

  8. C says:

    Well reports say De Gea hasn’t traveled and won’t play tomorrow.

  9. Bill says:

    Another top post Yogi

    Promoting some of the academy players as temporary fill in players is not a great option and as we have seen over the years its likely to hurt our results but sometimes it’s the only option left. In the short term it may cause some pain but it might be better then a desperation transfer move that could lead to long term pain. We need to make the top 4 but we need to balance that with the need for a long term squad rebuild and overpaying in terms of transfer fees and wages for an average player is probably not a wise move. Its a tough balancing act.

  10. Bill says:

    C @ 1:49

    “Seriously, I hate the fact that people lump inconsistency with youth and use it as a stick with which to beat them.“

    Very frequently you use a players age as an explanation for why they are struggling and inconsistent. Be careful what you wish for because if you want to take away that young age rationalization for inconsistency then the only explanation left is the player is not as good as you think and you certainly don’t want to go there.

    The big part of the reason our senior players such as Ozil catch so much grief when they are inconsistent and disappear is because they no longer have a legitimate excuse.

  11. Bill says:

    Actually Ozil does have a decent excuse for his ineffectiveness. Father Time takes no prisoners. The unfortunate thing is most players don’t see their ability to influence the game decline as quickly in their late 20’s as he has.

  12. C says:


    But I also use inconsistency when I talk about more senior players. When I call inconsistency with youth its because they are young and learning but inconsistency in futbol isn’t purely down to age.

  13. C says:

    The Giroud us Arsenal fans know, two massive chances he should be putting away to win the tie and what does he do: whif on a sitter and headed a free header wide.

  14. buckagh says:


    Giroud was a scorer of great goals, but not a great goal scorer, he is a squad player at Chelski and I wish him well, enjoyed his spectaculars with us and rue his misses

  15. Bill says:


    But I also use inconsistency when I talk about more senior players. When I call inconsistency with youth its because they are young and learning but inconsistency in futbol isn’t purely down to age.

    Inconsistency isn’t purely down to age since some senior players such as Giroud are also frustratingly inconsistent. The difference is you expect it and almost always get it from much younger players. Rather then being a stick to beat younger players with the inconsistency of youth is why we excuse them when it happens. However, we don’t expect the same inconsistency from more senior players like Giroud or Ozil and they catch a lot more grief because they don’t have a legitimate excuse.

  16. Bill says:

    Giroud never scored more then 16 league goals in any of his seasons with Arsenal. No matter how you slice it your top striker needs to score goals and he was never good enough to be the starting center forward on a team whose objective should be to compete for the league title and make it past the round of 16 in the CL.

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