Football administration is a lot like government; the new incumbents spend a lot of their time ensuring the public know it is their predecessors who are responsible for the mess we find ourselves in. Arsenal are living proof of that.
The second part of the Raul and Vinai Show makes no bones about laying the blame for our current woes at the door of Ivan Gazidis.
“The real essence of the problem,” Raul said, “was that we had reached the last year of the contract.” The Ramsey situation didn’t happen on his shift; others made that decision.
Those choices influenced the determination of the pair to control contracts and wages:
One of the key things for me – and I’ve seen that happening in other clubs – one of the key things is to keep the rationality in the salary balance of the team. Because of our circumstances, because of not renewing Aaron on time we were in a situation in which Aaron had incredible offers building up on the salary.
He was really keen on staying with us, he was ready to make the effort but at the end of the whole process, we had to be responsible for ourselves and protect the interests of Arsenal. We realised we were going to cause an imbalance that would have been very harmful for the team’s sake in the medium and longer term.Raul explains but also issues a warning
Losing Ramsey is a huge mistake in my view but what happened has happened. We can’t change that situation but others? They are ripe for correcting.
The Pie Up In The Sky
You can interpret Raul’s words one of two ways. Is it a return to a ‘socialist’ wage structure? Or a warning that ludicrous deals such as those given to Özil and to some extent Mkhitaryan, are a thing of the past.
And, it struck me, there is an element of menace in the words. Was it an indirect response to Özil’s agent claiming his future would be decided in 2021? It certainly feels that way.
More immediately, the focus is on the transfer window. Rumours of signings we won’t make fill numerous column inches throughout the electronic world. For the club, the window is a “crystallisation” of all their hard work throughout the year.
To start work on 1st July and complete a signing is “not possible”, according to Sanllehi. I’ll see your comment, raise you summer 2011 and Kim Kallstrom. But I like his philosophy and the message that the absence of a technical director won’t stop transfer activity.
The fundamental problem for the club this summer is what happened previously. The farce of 2015, for example, doesn’t hang heavy around Our Glorious Leaders necks.
The talk of new structures, reassuring as it is in PR speak, means nothing unless individuals are motivated. This summer, delivering the players Unai needs to improve us next season is the real test; can they pass it?
On a lighter note, photos of Lacazette and PEA in the swoonlicious new kits emerged. I haven’t heard or seen any disapproval of the designs nor should there be any. In case you haven’t seen them:
Both are far better than anything Puma managed during their dismal tenure as kit manufacturers.