Arsenal to face a Tricky Summer of Contract Negotiations from Potentially a Position of Weakness

Negotiations with stars in summer

It is a quiet time for Arsenal and the Premier League during the international break but this only leaves Arsenal fans with more time on their hands to squabble like children in the social media playground. Those who want Wenger to go and those who want him to stay spend all day attacking each other and the rest of the football-supporting world either pity us or laugh at us I suspect.

The latest item on the agenda for both extremes to bash each other over the head with is the huge number of Arsenal players who will have only a season remaining on their contracts come this June. Those who want Wenger and the board to disappear will label this as gross mismanagement to leave so many contracts unextended. Those in support of our manager might reasonably point out that we all know the club has been negotiating with Alexis and Ozil and the vast majority of the others are players our fans have labelled too old or not good enough anyway.

Regardless of your own position though there are many in the group that are a concern and the club has left itself in a position where it does not hold the better cards. Arsenal and Wenger are gambling with our future and as with the casinos you play online perhaps they may win big but they are also highly likely to lose a few. The reason it has turned out to be more of a gamble than anticipated is that at present Arsenal are not looking as if they will be negotiating in June from as strong a stance as expected.

More Money and a project to believe in

Sitting down with players the club wants to keep having finished outside of the Champions League places for the first time in 21 years will unquestionably make negotiations trickier. Particularly if the club are still not willing to stretch to the salaries on offer elsewhere. We all know that Kante went to Chelsea without Champions League football on the table but we equally know the wages would have been far higher than Arsenal would licence. In addition, the player would have had a very realistic expectation that Cheslea would only be away from Europe’s top table for one season, as has proved the case.  Therefore, the question the likes of Alexis, Ozil and perhaps even Aaron Ramsey will be asking themselves in June, if we do finish outside of the top four, is whether they can see the club back there in a year with no change in management, approach or personnel?

The next two matches against Man City in the league and in the FA Cup will give the players and the fans a very clear indication of the direction of travel. If at the end of April Arsenal are out of the cup and still outside the Champions League places I see two possible realistic outcomes. The first is that Kroenke and Wenger will have to change the long-standing salary policy and pay much higher wages to the top players in the squad and to potential new signings. The second is that they stand by their laudable but outdated principles and we witness the largest overhaul of the Arsenal first team squad we have seen since the early George Graham years.

Outside Top 4 – New Wages policy needed

I think we all know that the second option is the more likely and the supporters will face a long and painful summer with the sort of high profile departures we suffered in between 2011 and 2013. Arsenal are still a huge attraction and a big club but unless we see a dramatic turnaround on the pitch in the next month or a change in management we face the unpalatable prospect of being the third biggest draw in London this summer and once again being reliant on unearthing gems and a potential return to ‘Project Youth.

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2 Responses to Arsenal to face a Tricky Summer of Contract Negotiations from Potentially a Position of Weakness

  1. Gm wan March 26, 2017 at 2:07 pm #

    Arsenal need Alexis, but Wenger should go.

  2. Victor Thompson March 28, 2017 at 11:42 am #

    Dave, every word of this is true and I agree that your deduction that there will be a huge clear out this year is correct. I also agree that we will be shopping from a position of weakness, because we will be out of the big competitions. We may not even make the top 6 the way we are going. Everton are level with us now!

    We all agree that Sanchez will go and I believe that Ozil will too. The reason is that although he may be satisfied with his financial terms, he will want to see who comes in and whether or not the new guys can inspire an immediate revival. I doubt that very much.

    The second thing Ozil will have to consider is whether or not there is any sign of a method of play which would eradicate defensive mistakes and provide a joined up philosophy of combining defence with attack. Can we eradicate the sideways and backwards dross that has become endemic in our play?

    Conte stepped into the Chelsea job and within weeks he gathered the team up after their humiliation by us and transformed their style and turned them into champions. They were actually heading for the relegation zone! Can you honestly see Wenger doing that? Don`t forget Chelsea were out of everything last year when they signed Conte. He started with a team which was just above mid table whereas Arsene boasted that he had his best squad in 10 years and he signed Mustafi and Xhaka to reinforce his squad.

    In further comparison, Wenger had a team which finished second and destroyed Chelsea 3-0. Pochettino has formed a young, mainly home grown squad who look as if they will be around and improving for the next 5 years or so and during that time, they will have their new stadium. Even at our best, we face a permanent battle with Chelsea and Spurs in London, Both Manchester clubs and LIverpool and perhaps even Everton from here on. We need better players, a better attitude within the team and a manager who can cope with these challenges otherwise our decline will be permanent and we shall be competing annually to qualify for the Thursday night “Losers Cup”.

    Is that good enough for us or for the price our fans pay to watch our team? Those who blindly follow Wenger, need to step back and look realistically at what they think our future is going to be under Wenger.

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