New Deal for Alexis, Ozil Signing his in a Bit
There are only two kinds of people in this world – those that play Football Manager and those that don’t.
For folks like me that have been fervent lovers of the Football Manager franchise since FM 07′, it’s fair to say that I know a thing or two about handing new contracts to players. I recently purchased Football Manager 2016 and as you’d expect from a Gooner, I chose to manage Arsenal. My virtual appointment as Arsenal’s new gaffer saw Arsene Wenger promoted to a Director of Football role, and I wonder if that’s what’s gonna happen in reality when a new manager takes over at the club in the foreseeable future.
Based on the expectations set by the Board, I was given a transfer budget of £60m and I spent more than half of it, £37m to be exact on SSC Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain. Before Higuain accepted to join my Arsenal, there was the issue of both parties agreeing a contract and in all honesty, it was quite interesting. First of all, he was earning £135,000-per-week at Napoli so it was evident that I had to add a couple o’ thousands for the Argentine lad and we settled at £160,000-per-week, which of course, made him the highest earner in my team (Alexis and Ozil earn £140,000-per-week). Besides his basic wages, there were some clauses here and there, and I wasn’t surprised to know how much money is invested in this beautiful game in reality, since Football Manager tries to capture that realistic feel, even though everything is simulated.
Mr. Higuain wanted £25,000 for every goal he scores, £17,000 as an ‘appearance’ fee and a whopping £15,000 for an unused substitute fee. Wow! So I was going to pay the lad £15,000 for just seating his bum on my dugout which made me wonder how much John Mikel Obi is being paid to seat on the Chelsea bench because he seems so content.
Higuain also wanted £575,000 if he won the Golden Boot and £450,000 if he gets into the team of the season. As funny as that looked, it showed that the lad believed in his abilities to the level were he would request some money if he out-scores his peers in the division. Does that happen in reality? Maybe?
Enough about Football Manager and it’s perks and let’s move to some realistic football. I love that game tho. Damn!
With the international break done and dusted, there were no further casualties during the window, but there has been some concern about the fitness of Alexis Sanchez. It’s believed that he was carrying a knock while playing for Chile in their draw with Colombia and loss to Uruguay and he has been a complete shadow of the player that had scored 10 goals for club and country in six games. Since he opened the scoring against Watford at Vicarage Road, Arsenal has played six games and he hasn’t found the back of the net. Well, it’s not like he isn’t trying.
However, I’m delighted to know that Sanchez is set to sign a new contract that would keep him in the club till 2020. This news has been met with positive feedback from the Arsenal faithful as they are happy to know that one of their best players will be tied down for years to come. Alexis had such an outstanding debut season and was one goal short of equaling Thierry Henry’s debut season goalscoring record of 26.
Shortly after a successful campaign at Arsenal, Alexis played for his nation in the Copa America and with the tournament stretching into July, the Chilean didn’t have any form of rest, as well as any preseason under his belt. Yet, he continued to press on and has scored seven goals thus far. I agree with Arseblog’s thoughts that Alexis needs ‘help’ because he hasn’t gotten any form of rest whatsoever. With the fixtures against West Brom, Norwich, Aston Villa and Sunderland coming up, it would be nice to see Alexis get a breather because we would need him for the hectic December period.
Elsewhere, the Independent has reported that Arsenal is keen on rewarding Mesut Ozil for his fine form with a contract extension that would keep him in the club till 2019. Ozil has been one of the most creative forces in Europe this season, and he leads the assists charts in the Premier League with nine assists to his name thus far. Thierry Henry still holds the record for the most assists in a season with 20, and at the rate Ozil is spraying those passes to his teammates, I can bet my smart money that this would be the season he matches and even surpasses that record.
Ozil has evolved to be the nucleus of the team and his teammates also know this. His manager has talked him up a couple of times and the German has accepted the responsibility of being the go-to guy when the chips are down. Just think about that peach of a pass to Kieran Gibbs in the North London Derby. It was a get-out-of-jail-free card from Ozil because it didn’t seem as if the Gunners were going to get anything from the game.
Tying down the futures of Alexis and Ozil is a welcome development and I hope they stay injury free this season.
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