Daily Archives: July 21, 2015
So I’m back at work, suffering for a little dose of post-public holiday hangover (the feeling of being in holiday mode when you’re meant to be mentally ready for work) but it would pass. When you have the large amount of pending emails I’m seeing this morning, you’d know that a lot can happen at work between Thursday last week and today, because I spent Friday last week, Saturday, Sunday and yesterday playing the Witcher III on my PS4.
With plans ongoing for the forthcoming Emirates Cup, Arsene Wenger would want to ensure that his squad is a tight-knit bunch and he wouldn’t want any ‘unhappy ‘ players in the squad. It’s a long season ahead of us and Wenger would want to secure the futures of some of the players with contracts that are reaching their end.
From the best of my knowledge, signing a contract is meant to be a pretty much straightforward thing. On one end is the club representatives, telling the player and his agent the terms of the new contract, the number of years and of course, the weekly salary figure. Some clubs even go as far as adding clauses (that usually proves beneficial or troubling in the near future). The player and his agent read the terms, iron a few things out before the player puts pen to paper and bob’s your uncle. Maybe it’s a bit more complicated than I feel it is but when a contract situation becomes protracted it becomes a niggling issue that’s no different from a thorn in a flesh.
Look at young lads like Francis Coquelin and Hector Bellerin that recently extended their contracts with the club. At the start of last season, it seemed unlikely that they were going to make their breakthroughs at the club. Even Arsene Wenger has acknowledged several times that he didn’t envisage that these lads would have exceeded all his expectations. Both players had stroke of luck on their side and latched onto the opportunities that were afforded to them by putting up great performances on the pitch and the club deemed it fit to tie their futures to long term deals – which of course, they signed without batting an eyelid. No issues, no problems, just signing a good ol’ contract and they did.
Enter Theo Walcott – Arsenal’s longest serving player with Abou Diaby leaving the club a few weeks ago. In 302 games for Arsenal, Walcott has scored 76 goals with half a century coming in the Premier League. The club has groomed a relatively raw young talent from Southampton and improved him drastically. I’d say that Walcott isn’t a finished product just yet, as there are some aspects of his game that needs improvement but he’s a player that gives you that unpredictably and edge in a game, especially when the chips are down.
He did well to nail a first team berth in the squad but he suffered that ACL injury that sidelined him for a very long time. His return to the club saw him score a couple of goals but Wenger ‘froze him out’ of the first team for the ending months of last season before giving him rare starts against West Brom in the final league game and Aston Villa in the FA Cup final and he gave his manager something to think when he scored four goals in two games.
This season, Walcott began with a bang as his scored with literally his first attempt on goal in Arsenal’s 3-1 victory over Everton in the Barclays Asia Trophy final. He started on the right flank but drifted into a center forward position to score after anticipating Santi Cazorla’s brilliant overhead through ball. With that effort, Walcott is doing his bit to become indispensable to the team but he’s running into the final months of his contract and he has to sign da ting if he wants to remain at Arsenal.
A player with one year on his contract puts a club in a rather precarious situation in regard to his future and in most cases, drastic decisions are made. Will the club cash in on him and make 20m+ for his services, or will the club play hardball with him and let him on Bosman? Decisions. Decisions.
When he was asked his contract situation, Walcott seemed to be ‘relaxed’ about it,
“I enjoy playing for this club, so I am just letting them crack on with things and I’ll continue playing football.
“We’ll just play the waiting game and see what happens but I’m sure it won’t be long. This squad, for me, is one of the best I’ve been involved in. I want to be part of that.”
This so-called waiting game can take longer than expected but it’s really tiring, bearing in mind that Walcott put the club in the same situation in the 2012/13 campaign. The Guardian is reporting that he’s hoping for a pay rise to match his peers but I don’t know if it would be up to the £140,000-a-week deal the club pays Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.
It’s also worth noting that Walcott has suffered a lot of injuries in his Arsenal career and this statistical breakdown by the folks at Paddy Power gives an extensive overview of
Abou Diaby Walcott’s injury problems.
I hope Walcott signs da ting though. He’s a good asset to the team.
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