It’s a start to a new working week for me and, with the players touching down on UK soil within the next day or two (I’m sorry, I don’t keep a GPS signal on their movements, I’m afraid), the countdown to the start of the Premier League will begin.
I’m also led to believe that Theo will sign his new deal but, having heard him speak about it over the last day or so, it appears we may see a bit of a dragging out of the contract situation.
He’s giving plenty of positive vagueries about his situation which sound like they’re in place to keep everyone guessing for the immediate future. The first time around that this happened we all knew the score; Walcott had seen plenty of his fellow top level stars depart over a number of seasons, he’d become one of the big names and wanted a bumper deal to stay. He dressed up the whole ‘I want to play as a central striker’ thing as a bit of a smokescreen, but given that has happened few and far between, yet he still signed the deal in the end, I’d go as far to suggest the power of an extra ‘0’ helped shape his decision making.
And it’s because of what transpired last time that at least we’re all well aware of what could happen. So if Walcott’s camp do drag out this particular saga, then we’ll know what will happen up until about January next year.
But here’s the thing: we don’t feel as vulnerable this time. This doesn’t feel like a situation which, if it all turns a little sour, will be to the extreme detriment of the club. Not like last time. Last time we’d been dragged through the contract extension brambles on our backsides and it was all a bit stingy and raw. We’d had Nasri and That Dutch Bloke who played the game that we ultimately lost. But this time we have a new batch of stars who have even managed to keep Theo out since he returned from injury. Don’t want to sign a new deal lad? That’s no problem, but we’ll just see how we get on without you for a while, just in case. If that’s alright?
The back end of last season saw Theo’s camp talking through the press about him wanting to sign, but needing more reassurances that he will play, because at the time he wasn’t even getting a look in. That’s the kind of comments I’d expect from any player who isn’t playing and it made sense. But suddenly the comments about playing centrally don’t appear to be there. Suddenly it doesn’t matter that he doesn’t play centrally, as long as he plays?
It’s all a game. That’s all that this situation shows to us all. It’s a game to maximise the financial returns of the players and agents. But hey, I understand that, you understand that, we’ve all come to accept it. So why does everyone continue with the masquerade that it’s anything else? Let’s all just bring it out in the open and be honest with each other. Theo wants more money, Arsenal see his value as £x, which means until the two parties meet in the middle there will continue to be this stand off.
For my part I’d love Theo to stay. He’s a goal scorer, he has attributes in the team that others do not, plus he always comes across as a decent bloke both on and off the field. I’d rather he stayed with Arsenal, but if he decided the moolah is greener on another patch of grass, then so be it.