Arsenal feels like an absolute hot mess at the moment, doesn’t it? We’ve had a quiet and pretty lacklustre summer – as usual – and the club seems to be messing up transfers left, right and centre, but to add insult to injury we also have players actively pushing to jump ship.
Yesterday’s announcement by the club that Koscielny has refused to board the plane to head on the US tour was just another example of what a state it feels like our club is in at the moment. Here you have a guy with over 350 appearances for the club, the captain no less, under contract, trying to force a move. It speaks volumes about what some of the players think about the current situation and it’s little wonder we’re struggling to attract talent.
But let’s focus on Koscielny for now. His behaviour is unacceptable and unbecoming of a captain of Arsenal. He has to be stripped of that honour immediately in my opinion. The club/Emery needs to make an announcement of a new captain soon and we need to get Koscielny out of the club. His actions will tarnish what has been a fantastic career at the club and whereas he could have moved on this summer with Arsenal fans bidding him a fond farewell, now it feels like there is going to be a bitter end to his time at the club. And that is a shame.
I genuinely don’t understand why he thought the club would just let him go for free though. He knows he is an asset to us and at a time where literally every penny counts at the club, we should be able to get a fee for the player, even if it’s a few million quid. This summer is full of farcical fees for footballers and so it stands to reason that we want some cash for Kos.
I suspect it will play out and there will be some clubs going in for him now. We’ve made it public – which I think is the right thing to do because we at least know who the protagonist is in this saga – and so now all that is needed is for clubs to come in and give us some cash. The only problem we do have by making it public is that we’re now going to get lowballed by the French clubs as everybody knows that we have to sell. We’ve been forced to show our hands and now there’ll be some vultures circling to pick at the transfer carcass. The best we can hope for is a multitude of clubs in for Koscielny so we can at least set off some kind of bidding war.
For Arsenal it brings in to even sharper focus the need for central defensive options and I suspect Koscielny’s actions will mean that Calum Chambers is given more of a shot than perhaps the club expected him to be this coming season. I have no problem with that and Chambers at 24 needs to be given a shot. But there also needs to be a decision made ASAP on whether a more experienced centre half comes in. I am starting to think we’ll have another season of Mustafi you know. And that isn’t exactly the best news you want to read on a Friday morning I know.
The club needs to do something because fan sentiment is turning ugly and we’re at the stage where most of us are already losing patience. I’ve heard from two separate people that the way the club is viewed by agents and other people in football is that we’re a bit of a joke. Everything is done by committee and as a result no decisions actually get made. That sounds alarmingly familiar to the Wenger era and at this point in time it feels like we haven’t really moved on at all. This summer was supposed to be the one where Raul steps forward and shows us the positivity of the new regime. I’ve seen little so far to suggest we’re going in any positive direction I’m afraid.
Catch you all tomorrow.