Arsenal lost or Arsenal restored?
Was it the beginning of the end when Arsene Wenger’s pen met A4 piece of paper with the heading of his own contract or merely the crack of light through the cave, Arsenal having been looking for, for so long?
Do Arsenal find themselves looking down from atop an inescapable precipice or at the end of a journey ready to jump onto the next adventure?
Questions one, finds one’s self asking as one stares at the ceiling on yet another sleepless night. I thought more and more intensely thinking about past performances, thinking about next summer, or even the summer after, who will be left at Arsenal? What will be left at Arsenal for the next manager at the end of Arsene Wenger’s contract if he leaves?
Panic stricken I sit up, as beads of sweat paint my forehead like a small child paints its next fridge occupying masterpiece. What if all the nihilists are right? What if Arsenal are destined for years of finishing 5th and only winning the FA Cup and Europa League?
Arsenal are currently in somewhat of a purgatory, somewhere between heavenly performances and hellish background antics, somewhere between heavenly players like Ozil and hellish performers like… well Ozil.
Clichés, sound bites and metaphors aside it’s not completely terrible, I’m sure many teams would kill, well maybe not kill but they would be envious of the position Arsenal are in.
Being from Leeds I tip my cap to Massimo Cellino for giving me an example of an incompetent owner who is lax on promptly renewing player contracts.
When Players renew their contracts, it shows that they are happy at the club and believe the future is bright, thanks to performances on the pitch and competence off it, as well as the obvious money reasons. Leeds under new owners, are currently in a state of renewing every first team players contract, whereas Cellino failed to renew barely any players contract.
What does it say about Arsenal that they are closer to the Cellino template of failing to renew contracts than the more well run model of most top clubs of having your top players on long term contracts?
As it stands Arsenal have 5 players whose contracts run out in the summer of 2018 and 9 the following summer. Such players include, Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Oliver Giroud, this means 14 players from the first team. More than half of the first team could be gone within 18 months, yet all is calm apparently at Arsenal, according to Wenger its normal.
“It’s interesting, isn’t it, to watch this character attempting to reconstruct herself, quite literally, in the midst of this chaos?”
As a romantic nihilist I am always fascinated and excited at watching teams and businesses burn everything down and start all over again. The possibility of Arsenal needing 14 new players, a new manager as well as a new sporting director fills me with such glee I could almost forget the tepid showing against Liverpool recently.
With former cycling Team Sky’s former lawyer/legal expert Hussein Fahmy joining in the past few months to deal with club contracts, he may change the type of Manager and sports director the club look for next going forward.
In the past at this point, I might have listed players Arsenal could sign to replace the out going ones, I may have also profiled various directors of football and managers around the world. All I will say is it is exciting to think it could look completely different at Arsenal in a couple of years. We constantly hear the old adage of be careful what you wish for, but now is the time to look forward with optimism, now is also ,the time to enjoy the current players for whatever they provide knowing many won’t be around for long.