If ever a country needed a football match or nine to take their mind off everything…
Judging by the back pages, you wouldn’t believe the season hasn’t finished. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s taken the warped wheel which comes with a £200m insurance package. He’s grabbing all England’s best young talents, so they claim. Bravo.
What for the rest of us? Arsenal’s future is hamstrung by the absence of a technical director. Newspaper reports yesterday claimed some at the club were surprised Sven left. Hopefully not the ones charged with replacing him, eh?
The summer of reconstruction is the one where the heart is ripped from the squad. Raul said recently anyone who is coming to the final years of their contract is in a ‘sign or sell’ situation. There’s half-a-dozen this summer which is potentially a huge sum off the wage bill but with no upside of fees incoming.
That was always going to be the case and a painful one to bear. The only way, feasibly, for us to raise funds at present is selling either of the wage heavy Ozil or Mkhitaryan and hope to replace with better ‘value for money’. Or promising youngsters sold for high value which given the reaction to Serge Gnabry’s performances last week will be too emotional for some to hold onto.
Selling Ozil is more complex than value for money. Part of the message is about selling your perceived best players; how does that filter through the squad? A lot of that answer comes in who is signed as replacements. If there is a sense of purpose and quality, it’s an easier sell.
Key Man and All That
Naturally, it depends on the style the manager wants to play. We know he’s happy to chop and change the line-up accordingly. That’s, to some extent, driven by the lack of quality in defence until recently. I know what you’re thinking: it’s a long way of spelling “MUSTAFI” but he is what he is. Largely OK, never worth £35m and certainly error-prone.
We’ll recoup a third of what we paid if we can blindside someone. A ‘blind auction’, with a player or goods, piled into black binliners. You could end up with 200 mint personal stereos or Mustafi. Buyer beware and all that.
It’s these kind of thoughts which promote the thought of just how reliant upon Sokratis and Koscielny remaining fit we are if third or fourth is to be achieved. Anything which punctures the Spurs myth that Pochettino is a fantastic coach is very welcome indeed.
The circus is out of control. No trophies and just three consecutive seasons of Champions League? By those standards, Wenger is a god among men and Guardiola bears the world on his shoulders in some footballing Atlas way.
Never let it be said that hyperbole gets in the way of some kind of truth, eh?
It’s quiet as always but if you haven’t read Goonerholic, I suggest you do.
You may not have heard what John Barnes had to say on recent events. It is well-worth listening to.