Arsenal losing Ox shows pathetic contract management

Selling Oxlade-Chamberlain to Chelski for £35million if he won’t sign a new contract with one year to go makes sense.

Selling Oxlade-Chamberlain full stop, does not make sense and if it happens, I personally won’t be a happy bunny.

He’s certainly a player who divides opinion. I don’t think I’ve seen such a 50/50 split between those saying ‘bin off’ and those like me who see a potential star finally breaking through. But I suppose that’s why so many are saying we should take the cash, because the Ox is 24 years old now and having been with Arsenal since he was 17, we’re not now at a stage where we have an embedded first team regular at the club.

He’s played right wing, left wing, centre midfield, right back and now both left and right wing back. And it is on the right that he’s started to look good. Very good in my opinion.

He’s a direct runner. He can beat a man. He’s improved the defensive part of his game. He has begun to put some very good balls in to the box. He doesn’t score as many as we like but at the tail end of last season he was very impressive. His value to the team appears to finally be being realised and – big caveat coming up here – if he remains fit then I think he’s primed to be an absolute star for the second half of his twenties and in to his thirties. So in my mind if we lose him for £35million now then we’ve nurtured a player through injury, form issues, the good and the bad times, only to see him move elsewhere during his peak years.

That is why I don’t want to sell him. Especially to Chelski. 

Ask yourself this: why are a club like Chelski interested in the Ox?

Because he’s gifted and good. Very good. If he was as some put it, a very hit and miss footballer with such injury problems, why isn’t it teams like Swansea, Southampton and West Brom after him? 

Because he’s a top player and if we lose him then we lose a guy who I think has a very bright future.

The Ox has been better than Bellerin at right wing back. A Bellerin who, in my opinion, we have for a couple of seasons at best as an Arsenal player before the inevitable Barca tapping up. Yet the Ox is English, has proven he can play in that position and if he goes to Chelski will displace Moses at right wing back and be part of a team that won the league last season. 

Nothing about this deal makes me happy. I don’t want to sound too extreme, but this feels very Cashley Cole like in terms of what could happen. Granted Cole was a first team regular, a better player, but he went on to become even better at that disgusting football club and if the Ox goes there it wouldn’t surprise me to see him flourish there too. 

In the club’s current position though I will say I could understand taking the cash now. What I can’t understand is why we didn’t sort this situation out last season. The player seemed happy at the club, the noises were that he wanted to stay, yet no deal was even apparently put on the table until this summer.

Why? How is that good contact management in any way, shape or form? What the flying f**k are the back office team playing at by having all of these deals all concurrently running out?

That’s where it becomes maddening as an Arsenal fan. To have to watch this unfold every couple of years as we have. What other top six clubs go through these issues in the frequency that we do? United? Nope. City? Lord no. Chelski? No. Even the Totts underpay players but get them nailed down on long contracts to protect the fee and the danger of what seems to happen to us all of the time.

There is something fundamentally wrong about the way we do our contractual business. You’d hope that this new lawyer coming in to oversea contracts might have the wherewithal to simple set a calendar note on his phone that says ‘Player X – contract at two years to go’ but with the man Arsène running everything, he probably will be able to do nothing more than screenshot said calendar note and text it to Arsène with a praying hands emoji.

The catalyst for change is being found out for what it is: nothing more than a catchy slogan used by a slick chief exec who knows how to feed a PR line.

So to cut a long story short: we shouldn’t be in the position to lose the Ox, but given our circumstances, we’ll probably have to.

Catch you all tomorrow.

About the Author:

Gooner born in 1982 from Harlow, Essex, with a love for Arsenal that knows. I'm not an AKb, nor am I an 'In Arsene we Rust', but I like to think that I can tip-toe between the two, occasionally veering into both camps.


  1. common sense 15th August 2017 at 8:14 am - Reply

    I think it was George Graham who said that its simple. If he won’t sign an extension with two years to go, find/buy a replacement and sell him with one year to go. That would make sense because you’d have a stronger squad with ompetition for places instead of buying first teasers and back ups.

  2. Bridgers 15th August 2017 at 8:25 am - Reply

    Couldn’t agree more, I think this typifies what Arsenal are about at the moment. The great changes we were promised were nothing more than hot air intended to get season ticket sales going. The net spend on players will be in the minus column and silent Stan will be a very happy bunny.

  3. Richard 15th August 2017 at 8:46 am - Reply

    Oh come on what a piece of carbage, do you seriously think anyone at arsenal have let players get to final year of contracts and then all of a sudden gone oh shit let’s get some offers on the table quickly before we lose them. If you do your an idiot the process to get the players signed to a new contract will have started well before now probably before even last season started but if a player or a players agent don’t play ball there isn’t much that can be done.
    Sometimes the issue isn’t money sometimes it’s about how much a player is going to play on top of how much he earns. A player with any sense won’t bother putting terms down until 18 months left on his contract knowing once they get to that stage that if the club value them they will get close to what they want in terms of pay and if not they can always find a different club willing to pay those demands.
    Any decent agent/player will realise to get the best deal for themselves or their clients is to delay as long as possible and give themselves the upper hand in negotiations.

  4. Brian Clifford Bowers 15th August 2017 at 8:55 am - Reply

    Yes I agree with George Graham but what is more frustrating is that Arsene continues to say he has 33 good players to manage which is a blatant lie unless he is speaking for the 1st division.I understand that all the players are really giving their everything which is not good enough in comparison with MC,MU,Tot,Chel,.Yes there are very good players which is now brought down by the mistakes of the average players Wenger believes in and the better /good players are being rooted out by other clubs and sold.Wenger has been managing for years with the same consistent mistakes.He now must worry about the 33 players he is managing and get rid of the dead wood which is interfering with the transfer requirements.(keeping in mind he chose all 33 players).of which Arsenal is struggling to sell because no other clubs wants to pay what Arsenal is stipulating for the players closing the transfer requirements.I think Wenger wants to much from his players which is not capable of meeting the high standard of the game.You cannot expect some of Arsenal player(Elneny,Walcott,Ramsey,Holding,Nacho,Coquelin) to perform like a rolls royce with a 1200 engine performance.

  5. MikeSA 15th August 2017 at 11:27 am - Reply

    I suspect that despite liking being an Arsenal player, he hasn’t progressed and developed to his full potential.

    Some of that might have been down to injury, but I suspect a major portion of that is down to the lack of coaching at Arsenal, certainly in terms of what he personally needs to develop s a player.

    For a while its been apparent that only a certain type of player can succeed in the current Arsenal environment, and many players need something different.

    I think he’s one of those and I suspect he’ll flourish at a club where he gets more specific coaching.

    In response to the post above, yes, the Arsenal management of contracts IS extremely questionable.

    There is no doubt that there are situations that are beyond a club’s control, but when’s no longer the exception but a whole bunch of them then that IS bad management.

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