The “Oh God, It’s Going To Be A Long Summer” Post
I had a birthday plan in June of last year. Champions League glory for Arsenal on my birthday, having won the Premier League title. Yeah, I am really going to enjoy today…
As the world prepares for the Champions League final this evening, Arsenal prepare for oblivion. That is the media angle and it is becoming warmly embraced by some. Robin van Persie’s failure to sign a new deal before he departed for Euro2012 is indicative of him not returning. In itself – and because of last summer – that is the signal of implosion. Theo Walcott has not signed a new deal and is apparently upset with Arsenal for not getting into negotiations before he departed for Euro2012. Alex Song is just about to enter the last year of his contract, all the good players are going, the bad ones are staying. The sky is falling in and there is a rush to descend into the madness.
Grow a set.
van Persie’s contract talks were scheduled for this week as was his departure for the Dutch squad. That left four days for Arsenal and the Dutchman to meet and discuss the contract. The presumption seems to be that it was a simple, “I’ll sign for this and three M’vila’s”; it is not that simple and with legal teams viewing the opportunity to relieve their clients of some funds in chargeable time, as unrealistic as expecting Arsenal to have completed their transfer business by now. The season has not even finished in some countries and getting players signed now, before the Euro2012 kick-off when their clubs eye the tournament as an opportunity for transfer valuations to rise, is unrealistic.
Yet still that was expected.
As for Walcott and Song, the smell of agent planted stories and journalistic creativity wafts through, luring the unsuspecting in with its decadent scent. Theo’s upset over negotiations not beginning before Euro2012? I doubt it but if he is, tough, it is his own fault for not starting them during the season. Alex Song is about to enter the final straight of a contract? And?
Agendas are being exposed.
That so many contracts are beginning to come to run their course is unsurprising. The players we are talking about have all broken into the first team around 2005 – 2007. Negotiations happened shortly after and new contracts or extensions signed. The continual process of having a young team means that these cycles happen, as opposed to buying ready-made teams of twenty-five year old – even older players – who have the contract they sign and perhaps minor extensions until their useful footballing life to Arsenal ends. If that sounds like players are assets, in the raw basics they are numbers on a balance sheet, assets that produce a revenue stream from the club’s core activity.
It does not mean bad management.
The result of the move to a new stadium, renewing the squad via a youth system means that this is the path that the club chose to tread reaching the merry-go-round at the end of the rainbow. This cycle of constant contract negotiations is going to become very familiar each summer as the deals and the players mature. When the club do enter talks and get contracts signed, they are criticised for even doing that before the focus turns onto the size of the deal. Arsenal are taking an informed punt, banking that the youthful promise will mature into an outstanding player. It doesn’t always work.
It is a process that the club cannot always control; Cesc would not have signed a new deal if offered, neither would Nasri and van Persie, Walcott, perhaps Song, are hedging their bets as is their right, waiting for a time that is beneficial to them to talk or sign deals or leave. This lays bear the hypocrisy of football supporters with claims that the loyalty shown by Arsenal to each of them in difficult times of loss of form or injury – or both – deserve loyalty from the players. Were you or I in similar situations in our own employment, I am sure that the same ‘tugs of the heart strings’ we might feel are felt by players. I am sure that the same feeling of looking after your own interests that the players feel would be reciprocated by us in our own circumstances.
Yeah, I’m a hypocrite. I expect that loyalty to exist.
I want the season to start so that there are genuine grounds for complaint, for the moaning to at least have some substance from events on the pitch. Please Mr Platini, let Arsenal enter Euro2012.
Posted on May 19, 2012, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 354 Comments.