A plan to improve the Arsenal squad with bad PR or just plain cost cutting? by Konstantin Mitov
Hello again lovely Arsenal people! A lot was said about the way the club is set to cut 55 members of staff and here’s my take on it.
This story has 2 faces, one of the bad billionaire making a ton of money and sacking 55 people who earn a combined total of a mere 2 million, and the other of a business cutting its loses where it can.
First of all, most of the cuts are coming from the scouting department, and it’s not like our signings and scouting have been sublime in recent years. What do names like Francis Cagigao, Peter Clark and Brian McDermott mean to you?
I can probably handpick the number of Arsenal games I haven’t watched, and I can recall almost every signing we made for the last 15 years, yet never have I heard those names. Even if Francis did discover Fabregas that was how many years ago? And I’ve heard how Wenger discovered him too, so which one is it?
It’s a team effort in the end, but when you see a human being lose his job in a pandemic, people open up to their caring side and it feels bad and I get it. It’s even worse when you think what Ozil is making by being in Turkey while we are winning the FA cup. But Ozil was an 18-million-pound mistake that surely taught everyone a lesson.
The reality is that when you run a business, just because you can afford to make a mistake, doesn’t mean you should, and the scouting department is paying the price. What’s really bad is the PR. The way we asked players to take pay cuts so as not to fire people reminds me of Wenger saying the club has 600 employees he must “make sure” come home with a job.
And I really don’t like the comparison with Willian’s contract offer. If we think offering Willian 100k a week would improve our squad and get us back into CL contention, it’s a no-brainer. Ultimately the players on the pitch do the job and it’s why they are the highest paid. The two things aren’t connected in any way.
The truth is Arsenal is a business in decline right now and we need to claw ourselves back up in difficult times, and as Mikel Arteta said, “there is no magic” we need quality and that costs money.
And that brings the players we are offering for sale, which includes Ainsley, and I’m again a little shocked, but I can also see where it comes from. He had two immense performances against City and Chelsea. It sounds ridiculous to think about moving him on, because he is a very versatile player who is a real powerhouse. But then again, he is being played out of position and he’s not a regular starter.
If Mikel Arteta wants to move to a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1 where is AMN playing? It’s hardly CM, especially if we want Partey, LB is Tierney and potentially Saka, so only the RB position remains for contention. That said a team does need utility players and I will miss AMN, but if we can get 30m for him to improve our squad then it kind of makes sense.
What would really anger me is if we’re selling and not investing back in the side. We’ve reportedly dropped our interest in Coutinho, and it’s reported that we did it because we favoured Willian. Is it because we think one of the Brazilians is better than the other, or because one is a free agent?
The Chelsea wide forward is soon 32 and offering him a 3-year deals seems a bit risky, but he’s on form, and has 11 goals and 9 assists to his name, in not the greatest of Chelsea squads.
Coutinho, despite being younger, is out of favour at Barcelona, and Bayern don’t want to move for him either. And that says something, not that players can’t revive their careers though. I do like what he did at Liverpool and we do lack creative midfielders and players who can shoot from outside the box. For 9 million pounds, it’s a risk I would take if reasonable wages can be agreed.
It’s by now plain obvious our transfer business will depend much on what we can salvage for unneeded players and some other interesting names like Lacazette and Bellerin have been put up on our transfer list.
I get it again. Most of our first team players are not good enough. We paid 50+ million for Laca and I expect around 20 solid goals in the league per season, yet it hasn’t happened. I like his link up play, but the number 9 shirt should demand goals and Laca doesn’t provide enough of them.
Hector on the other hand is an automatic pick for RB, due to the lack of alternatives. I am a bit shocked we offered Cedric a deal honestly, but if we can recoup a good fee for Bellerin, this is money we can spend in positions with dire needs like CB and CM.
That said in CB we have Luiz, Mari, Mustafi, Holding, Chambers, Sokratis, Mavropanos and now Saliba. That’s 8 players and not nearly 2 good enough for the job. We can easily offload Sokratis, Mavropanos and Chambers and it’d barely change anything since they don’t play, yet it would add money to the cause, or at least free budget from wages.
The situation in midfield has also a lot of problems. What do we do with Ceballos? Can we agree a deal for him? Then there’s Torreira who hasn’t really worked out. We must get rid of Mikhi and if we can somehow dismiss Ozil that’d be just great. It’s so demoralizing to have him on the training ground knowing how much he earns and also knowing he won’t play, because he doesn’t work hard enough. For god’s sake he is afraid to head the ball and that’s a 350k a week player.
The list of players we should sell surely includes Kolasinac who doesn’t offer much on either side of the pitch. And sadly Holding, who just like AMN has 2 epic FA cup final performances behind him, but isn’t a regular starter and could be sold to raise the funds necessary to improve the side.
Finally, if Aubameyang signs a new deal, it would be immense! Can’t think of a player who has done more to deserve his contract than him. The amount of goals scored in a side that doesn’t create that much is impressive. He may be 31, but he still scores most of his goals based on his pace, which is even more impressive, and he loves the club.
If we get that done and we get some money from the forementioned players which is invested back into the side, then all that has happened recently would make sense. If not though it won’t just be bad PR, it’d practically confirm and justify all the criticism for the “cost-cutting”.
We’ll see what happens. Enjoy the rest of your week!