I have made no secret that I believe Arsenal prioritise making money over what’s best for the first team.
Every January since 2019 the club refuse to spend any money no matter our League position with the order being to slash the wage bill.
It’s an accusation that Paul Merson has made this past weekend after the Gunners loaned out two players the same week, they claimed they were unable to field a team for the NLD.
Merson said on SkySports: ‘It should be played. That’s just the way it is.
‘Don’t get rid of the two players that go on loan who could play for Arsenal and have played for Arsenal. It’s not like they haven’t played a game.
‘In this day and age when we know there’s Covid about and a lot of football matches, why are you putting people on loan to nick yourself 10, 20, 30 grand?
‘Look after the club, don’t try and make money.’
Any club who signs African players knows when the AFCON is, a tournament every two years, plenty of time to prepare your squad.
The world is aware there is a Pandemic going on, and as recently as December that COVID was causing fixtures to be postponed.
Representatives even met up before Xmas to vote, instead of the sport being put on hold, that they rather fulfil contracts made to sponsors and networks and carry on playing.
The rules were stressed to them, games would only be called off if there was certain number of COVID cases. The threshold being if you had 14 fit players (one being a keeper) then you would be expected to roll up your sleeves and muddle through.
After all having a limited number of players is nothing compared to the sacrifices the rest of the world has had had to make.
Not going to a loved one’s funeral, losing jobs, being isolated on your own ….
What sticks in my mouth is that any other year we wouldn’t have been able to get the Derby cancelled because of injuries and AFCON would have been seen as not an excuse.
The Prem are letting clubs manipulate a rule that was put in place if you had the virus.
And again let’s stress, it was football’s choice to carry on playing.
In other words if there was one year where Arsenal shouldn’t worry about sending talent on loan, it was now. At the very least wait till the last possible moment of the winter window till you send people away.
Let me stress, Arsenal had every right to make an application to the Prem.
It’s up to that governing body to look at the facts and make a judgement.
If you were in full time work, you are still allowed to apply for benefits. If the government decide you qualify for support you’re not going to complain, are you?
Mikel Arteta, deep down knowing others had done the same thing, lost nothing by asking the question to the Prem and thankfully (for him) he got his way.
Where UEFA were strict with Spurs and stuck to the reason why this rule was introduced, the Prem have lacked clarity.
What I would love to hear is did they not ask Arsenal; if they were genuinely doing everything to make Sunday happen, why loan out two players?
Worse, having had the weekend off due to a lack of numbers, they still plan to go ahead with letting Mari leave for Italy.
Maitland Niles has played in a Europa League and FA Cup Final, it’s not like he couldn’t have done a job for the next two weeks.
If Eddie Nketiah can start for us surely so can Balogun?
If Roma and Middlesbrough didn’t want to wait till end of month, you end negotiations, because your first priority should be the team.
Equally having decided to freeze out Aubameyang and not start Pepe, why not have new faces arriving the first second of the new year?
Aston Villa have just purchased Coutinho and Digne, those two would walk into our first 11.
The answer according to Paul Merson is it meant more to the club to save a few quid.
The quicker Niles and Balogun left, the quicker the wage bill were slashed.
Let’s say their salaries combined makes up 60,000 a week, do Arsenal really need to save that at the expense of having to postpone fixtures? Ironically wasting Gooners money in the process.
Do you agree with Paul Merson?
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