It’s the international break and although we all needed some time away from the tripe that Arsenal have been serving us up of late, these periods of time are still boring as hell, it has to be said.
Step forward Bellerin’s agent to spice it up a bit, eh? Or Torreira’s people clearly giving briefings to the press that he’s not happy and wants to leave. Add this to the Xhaka circus which feels like it’s going to rumble on until January and, well, we’re one heck of a car crash.
Torreira’s has come through back channels and so we don’t really know what to make of it, but the news in the summer suggested that there was something bubbling under the surface and I don’t know about you, but I’m basically just waiting for a bit of agent comment whilst he’s away on international duty. It’s these periods where the players go away with their international teams where we tend to see comments from agents, or players, so I won’t be surprised to hear something over the next few days.
The hope has to be that the club make decisions about the manager before half the squad have had enough and want to move on! And with a new manager everything changes of course. Ian Wright was famously one foot out of the door because of Bruce Rioch, but the arrival of Wenger enabled him to stay at Arsenal and continue to flourish for a few more years. We’ve seen it at other clubs too and so a change of manager might even bring about a change of heart in some of those players that we know are quality, but just aren’t being given the opportunity to show it, which you could blame on them or you could look at a coach presiding over a worsening team. And it has felt worsening week after week.
The Bellerin stuff is the stuff that is even more worrying for me. His agent has been fluttering his eyelids in the direction of Italy, talking about how clubs are interested and Hector himself has had a look and could be open to a move. Thankfully we have him on a contract for another three and a half years and therefore he’ll be difficult to prize from us unless somebody drops some serious cash. Of course the player himself could force a move if he really wanted it but I guess it depends how this season pans out and also where it looks like we’re going.
It’s yet another reason why not leaving it too late when it comes to the manager must be considered by the guys running Arsenal right now. If we go past a point of no return we could see some of our most valuable assets out of the door and failure to act could set us back yet more years. Let’s also not forget that we aren’t a club with unlimited coffers, which is why we’re hearing about keeping Emery because of the cost of relieving him and his people, but that lack of a bottomless pit of money means it’s going to be tough to find an Aubameyang, a Bellerin and a Torreira if we get to the point where we’re not as attractive as we once were to join. As a big club we already get teams globally see pound signs every time we come calling. If player x is worth £15million to Leicester, he’s £25million to Arsenal, because if Arsenal (or any of the big clubs) want him then he must be good and therefore worth £xxx more.
So replacing these players – all good players who we should be building our team around in my opinion – could be a massive risk. It’s not just the £40million-odd of Champions League money we have to worry about.
It’s time the club act. I know they won’t do anything now and they probably would have already done it if they were, but I just hope we’re not sat here in January wondering whose going to be the last quality Arsenal player to switch the lights off.
Catch you all tomorrow.