IS IT THE CORRECT DECISION TO END A PLAYER’S CAREER DUE TO “LONG TERM” OR “CONSISTENT INJURIES” – WHO PAYS THE SALARIES FOR THESE “LONG TERM” OR “CONSISTENT INJURIES?”. by Ken1945
We have recently been told that one of the many faults during the last fifteen years of our club’s history, has been standing by players who had been injured while playing for our club and how much money the club has lost because of this…let’s delve a little deeper on both claims.
Names such as Diaby, Cazorla, Ramsey, Wilshere and Eduardo have been cited as examples of this and, of course, to add insult to injury for some, they happened under the reign of Arsene Wenger.
First of all, I want to look at each player and what he brought to The Arsenal when he was fit:
Diaby – there is no doubt whatsoever, that this was the perfect replacement for Patrick Vieira in every way. His style of play, his skill levels and commitment to our club was on par with Patrick.
Current status – Now retired, due to consistent injury problems.
Cazorla – one of the most skilful and committed players I have ever had the privilege to see in an Arsenal shirt. He was absolute class and we never even got to say goodbye to him!!!
Current status – Still playing for Villarreal.
Wilshere – he started at an early age and was another wonderful player, who was never afraid to “get stuck in”, as well as producing great close contact skills and beautifully weighted passes that would split defences in an instant.
Current status – Still playing for WHU, but suffering again from injuries.
Eduardo – a proper centre forward, who had really started to grow into the role of leading our attack and some of his goals were breathtaking. He was brutally tackled in an unexcusable act of violence by a thug who was masquerading as a footballer. He was loved by the crowd and when he returned to play against us, his name was chanted loud and clear in recognition of his service to the club.
Current status – Still playing for Shakhtar Donetsk.
Ramsey – it was Pulis and his thug-like way of playing football that robbed us of this man’s talents for well over a year and some say he was never the same player again – I disagree with that view completely, Aaron was a £45 million (+ or – according to one’s views) player.
Current status – Still playing for Juventus.
That brings me nicely on to what it would have cost to replace these players like for like and why it was in the club’s best interest to try and resolve their injury problems.
I believe the club would be looking at well over £200 million to replace them and, under Kroenke, that would never had happened, as we all well know!!!
I have used players who we eventually signed to replace them as a reported sterling guideline for comparison:
Ramsey = £45 million (re. Transfermarket valuation before coronavirus)
Cazorla £42.5 million (re. Ozil’s reported cost)
Eduardo £46.5 million (re. Lacazette’s reported cost)
Diaby £35 million (re. Xhaka’s reported cost)
Wilshere £35 million (re. the reported Ox transfer paid by Liverpool)
Total guideline comparison equals £204 million.
As of this season, all the above, bar Diaby, are still playing football and, before anyone compares where they are plying their trade today, remember where we stand at present and would they all not improve the squad we have today????
Perhaps the only one would be Wilshere, simply because he is still being plagued with his injury problems, but let’s compare with what we have today:
Cazorla versus Guendouzi?
Wilshere versus Willock?
Diaby versus Torreira?
Eduardo versus Lacazette?
Ramsey versus Mkhitaryan?
So, in my opinion, it made perfect sense to try and get every one of these long term injuries back to playing for our club – not only because of the cost it would have taken to replace them, but also because of the talent they had all proven to have had, before the injuries took place.
Now, the main reason I decided to write this, was a headline that caught my attention and an article concerning three Villarreal players – Santi Cazorla, Bruno Soriano and Sergio Asenjo.
As we are all aware, Santi was injured for over 636 days while with us and told he would be lucky if he was ever able to walk again. In his total career to date, he has missed 899 days through injury, from the 08/09 to the 19/20 season.
Both The Arsenal and Villarreal kept faith in him and just as he was on the cusp of returning to full fitness, the new Arsenal regime decided to let him go for nothing, as his contract had finished. He returned to Villarreal and has been a consistent and important player ever since, also playing in the CL and hoped to play in the local derby against Valencia on Sunday the 28th June.
Bruno Soriano – out injured for three years and one month, from May 2017, before returning to the Villarreal team. A total of 1227 days from the 12/13 to the 17/18 season was lost through injuries. Three times during that period, he was ready to return to action, only for the injury to return. Finally, he pulled on the famous yellow shirt yet again and he is hoping to play on the 28th.
Sergio Asenjo – four different injuries saw him lose 1034 days in his career from the 08/09 season until the 17/18 season. He has formed an obviously real and lasting friendship with the two above and they refer to their injury experiences as “To hell and back.” He also hopes to play on the 28th.
Just to confirm,all three players are fit and in contention to play in the local derby against Valencia on the 28th June.
Villarreal have shown, with these three players, the kind of faith that AW had in the five Arsenal players mentioned above and how the La Liga club have reaped the rewards.
Of course it’s a gamble when a player has such awful injuries as the seven highlighted above have had, but no-one has the ability of hindsight regarding the length of lay-off and/or the extent and final outcome of said lay-off.
Villarreal has shown how it is impossible to know what will happen, with this fantastic story of three players who overcame horrendous injuries and played professional football at a high level once again.
If some of our fans want to treat our players simply as commodities, then that is their right, but I prefer to think that keeping faith with great players who were injured while playing for our club, reap the benefits in the long run, even if it’s not on the field of play – five players who tell the world just what a great club The Arsenal is to sign for, and three Villarreal players who prove patience is a virtue and, likewise, a great club who looks after and respects its players.
As for the claim that our injured players cost the club money, the PFA representative Simon Barker (also ex Blackburn and QPR player) said that all its members are entitled to eighteen months full pay, from the PFA (after which it is reviewed by them, the club and the player), if the injury was sustained while playing for the club. If they are injured outside of the game the PFA cover them for twelve months.
Thank you Phil 25/8/2018 at angryofislington.com for this information…I didn’t know this as I thought clubs had their own insurance policies to cover the time that players are out injured, defined by who they are and what they earn and cost the club, but I couldn’t verify this. I never believed or thought that a professional club didn’t have an insurance policy covering injuries of course, even local Saturday/Sunday league players were urged to have their own policies, way back in the last century!!!
Once again, a different view on a subject, a positive one that has faith in the club, it’s treatment of our players and the hope that a final outcome sees wonderfully gifted players return to a playing career that could have ended through no fault of their own.
Some you win, some you lose, but (for me) this is “The Arsenal Way” and long may it last.