Even though Arteta is the bookies favourite to be the next manager sacked, if you believe reports the only man whose job is under threat is Edu, our first ever director of Football.
It sums up Stan Kroenke that he will be less concerned with the team failing on the pitch and more preoccupied with how why we are not finding value for money.
One of the biggest criticisms in Arsene Wenger’s last couple of years as manager was how many assets lost value, either by players being allowed to run down contracts or talent being overpaid, meaning they were difficult to offload due to no one wanting to match their wages.
The first year Mr Wenger finished outside the top 4 only a point separated us and Liverpool.
Liverpool went on to lift the Champions League and title while we went backwards.
It’s no exaggeration to say the fate of the two sides were decided on one being more ruthless with their contracts.
One allowed a player to run down their deal, the other didn’t, it’s as simple as that.
What seems like a small detail is in fact worth millions.
Liverpool could demand silly money for Coutinho. Arsenal could have done exactly the same regarding Sanchez.
The key difference was one had years left on his deal to run, the others didn’t.
This policy either saw players paid over the odds to stay (Ozil) or players sold for reduced fees. Van Persie, Clichy, Nasri, Sagna, Sanchez, Welbeck, Vermaelen, Cazorla, etc all ran contracts down to at least the final 12 months.
It was deemed that Mr Wenger had control in too many aspects of the club hence when he left after 22 years, experts were brought in to run various departments.
Having worked with Corinthians, the Brazil and Iran National team, Edu sold himself as someone who knew the international market and had contacts.
It helped that he’s also an Invincible meaning he knows the kind of football Gooners have been brought up on.
We were famously promised that no gunner after Wilshere and Ramsey would be allowed to run down their deal.
Once 24 months was left, they would either extend their deal or be sold.
That policy was a lie…
As things stand Lacazette can talk to suitors abroad from January. His employers have to choose between paying him over the odds to stay or losing him for free.
David Luiz and Mustafi also left on a Bosman.
Aubameyang did exactly what Ozil was hated for – forcing the club to pay him a huge salary due to the fear of fan backlash by letting your star name become a free agent.
There’s zero resale value on Auba, who’s wages only made sense if his goals led to CL football.
Edu got himself in a right pickle with Willian who Arsenal may carry on paying while he returns to his homeland.
It’s incredible that 12 months ago you believed in someone’s ability enough to warrant a 3-year deal yet a year later your opinion is the opposite.
Some gooners originally applauded the decision for Ozil and Sokratis to not be submitted for our squads.
This was seen by some as being tough.
In reality the Kroenke Family didn’t become Billionaires by paying employees thousands of pounds a week to sit at home.
There’s only so many times you can pay someone to rip up their contract (Mhkitaryan, Ozil. Sokratis) before the owner asks questions.
And rightfully so, especially when you have lost match day revenue and the income of European Football, the last thing you need is incompetence.
The club do have a few assets tied to lengthy deals where in the worst-case scenario they could make serious sums.
Two of those though, Smith Rowe and Saka, are from our academy.
The only signing which Edu has made which looks a success is Martinelli, both in terms of his work rate on the pitch and you can imagine his value increasing.
This summer there seems a clear action plan. Buy youth who could develop into word class players and or who have resale value.
It might be too late to rescue the worst squad we have had in quarter of a century.
Because for too many years our recruitment team didn’t have a plan.
Maybe ordered by those above them, they prioritised value over what was best for the team.
Did they really think Cedric was a better right back then Bellerin or was it simply because he was free?
Was Mari really seen as our answer at centre back or was he simply the cheap option?
As they say – the table doesn’t lie
Edu’s job was to find talent to make Arsenal better or at the very least make a profit on.
Neither has happened.
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