I love it when i worryingly look at the international fixtures to see who’s played from Arsenal, who’s been broken and who’s coming back with a severed torso, only to find that our players just haven’t played. It’s delicious.
So when I see that Nacho was an unused sub, that Hector isn’t even in the Spanish national team, that Lacazette is probably not starting in place of Giroud (who needs games anyway) and that Mesut is at home with his feet up, it gives me an overwhelming feeling of relief.
Of course the internationals aren’t done and there’s still plenty of time for our players to come hobbling back to London Colney, but the signs are at least initially positive.
I didn’t both watching any of the matches because, quite frankly, I couldn’t give a monkey’s. These qualification periods are as pointless as can be and that is typified by the fact that England haven’t lost a qualifier in something stupid like 35 matches. What they should be doing is creating seeded teams that don’t go through the pointless exercise for the qualifiers because they’re clearly going to win their group. Then you leave all of the other teams to battle it out. A bit like the Open in golf. You get teams who get exemptions because they’re the best in the world, then the rest have to fight it out themselves to get through on qualifiers. You can base in on previous tournament wins, getting to certain stages in the competition, FIFA rankings (although we all know they’re a joke I know), etc. It would save us all the time and boredom of having to have international windows every month and would also stop our players getting banjaxed through playing too much football.
But that’ll never happen because FIFA is a decaying entity that is set in its ways. So let’s move on to Arsenal related things and yesterday I got in to a bit of a discussion about contracts with Clive, Dave, and also Woz about contracts and despite initially saying that I didn’t see the point in having a one year enforced extension like we did with Santi and Rosicky, it feels like the most natural blueprint for how every single transfer should take place at Arsenal from now on. My original argument was that a five year deal and a four plus one year deal are essentially the same thing, because you still have to start negotiating at the same time – ideally just before the two year mark in the contract. But s Clive pointed out – and it certainly makes sense – if you have a four plus one you have to negotiate with the player on that three year mark, because they have one year left. If they refuse to sign a new deal like Ozil and Alexis seem to be doing at the moment, then you go for the auto extension and you sell them on by the time you hit that summer at the end of the third year. You’ve protected yourself against losing your asset and you don’t have players dragging it out with a ‘will he/won’t he’ saga on their contracts. You force them and their agents to lay their cards down.
And that’s why we get ourselves in to this mess, because we allow agents and players to keep holding on to their cards, so that they can leave it until the last minute and then bugger off for nothing which is what we’re going to get with both of our star players next summer.
With all of the noise around the two contract rebels still going on, the wheels are starting to turn in the transfer gutter press and we’re starting to get linked to players like Lucas Moura in replace for Ozil. I’m not linking to the Express article because I don’t really want to, but getting a player like that would certainly work for me, as would going in for Draxler and shipping Alexis off to PSG. Think about it – if PSG want Alexis we should be driving him there and giving him a branded pen to sign his contract too, because getting anything for him in January and then replacing with a German international would be a good bit of saving face for the club. Plus if we could also pick up Moura whilst we’re there, you’d see it as one heck of a bit of salvage work.
But that’s probably all a little to easy for everyone to see and were forgetting the Wenger factor. He never does what seems like the blindingly obvious and so I fully expect a collective fan meltdown as Ozil and Alexis run down their contracts and join the two Manchester clubs, whilst we ignore deals that look like they could be easy to get over the line if we time it right.
still, it’s all speculation and despite the fact I always say that I try to stay away from it, i invariably get dragged in to it. I guess I’m human and a football fan so that is inevitable.
Right, off to eat some eggs for breakfast. have a good one folks.