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October 2020
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Why this is the moment to feel good about Arsenal

by Christophe Jost

I feel good.

Yep, that is how a feel about Arsenal. Really. No kidding. No sarcasm.  And I am not day-dreaming either, I think.

Let me explain.

The team

As I mentioned the other day, Arsenal have 4 contracts expiring this summer.  One is an Arsenal player, Matt Macey. the 3 players on loan are Dani Ceballos, Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari.

There are 5 players loaned out: Saliba, Elneny, Mavropanos, Mkhitaryan and Smith Rowe.
Except for new player Aaliba, all the others have played with the Arsenal shirt on.

So one important thing stands out: stability.

Our coach, Arteta knows the club and has started to remodel the team and in a couple of months, it must be said that his style has started to become much more visible, along with results taking an ascending curve in terms of points.

He is in for the long term. His football philosophy is not so different then M. Wenger’s, and also has a Guardiolan input, so we are in good hands.

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The second important thing that stands out: continuity

Young Gunners, under the management of Per Mertesacker, have shown promise and are seeing that the road to the first team is possible.   Better still, Arsenal does not hesitate to get them hours on the field in other teams and leagues in the hope that they will come back that much better for the experience.
There is a home-grown succession path already existing and looks not just promising, but realistic.

Third important thing: sustainability.

Team and support staff operate in an environment at the centre of which we have the Emirates.
The stadium has been paid for. The training infrastructures are high level. And all have been operating for years without a problem.   Indeed the infrastructure is first class, it does not need ironing out and it doesn’t have the discomfort of a building site around.

Fourth element: solidity

The management structure has been growing and they have professionals who know their stuff.
It is self-evident that they know how to handle contracts, are capable of finding solutions to stay within budget, are not afraid to invest.  They also have top class analytics, medical staff, youth staff.

Fifth element: professionalism

Now comes the one cloud on the horizon.

All that is pointless unless the club has money coming in. And Arsenal’s ambitions are visible considering their wage bill, the 4th highest in the PL. followed closely by Chelsea and Everton.

For all the pseudo commotion about players being asked to accept pay cuts in this period, I have my doubt that it will not happen.   Most, if not every club will get a reduction of wages, whichever strategy is chosen. Their survival is at stake.

And while players may hear their agents telling them that so many clubs are waiting… they will also notice that most clubs, (except Bayern…) are facing a difficult situation and may not be so prone to hire expensive PL players.

I mean, has anyone read what happens at Barcelona?

I think the issue will be settled, the English media will present it as a total catastrophe, meltdown, rip-off, hold-up. Wanna place a bet?

But don’t worry, we’ll give you the explanations here in Untold – based on known facts.

I cannot say if the 12.5% pay cut Arsenal proposed to their team is outlandish. Nor if the promise to pay it back if the team qualify for the Champions League or whether paying half of it for EL qualification is fair.

I am not a player, nor an agent, nor the players’ union manager getting a huge salary. But if that huge salary comes with just a ‘don’t accept any cut’ negotiation strategy, I’d say the justification of that salary evades me.

But then, competence in the PL and FA is rarer than oxygen at the top of the Everest.

So for now, I believe Arsenal is in a far better situation than many other clubs. Not that it will be easy going. But they have decent cards in their hand.  And they will see to resolve the issues.

When playing resumes, Arsenal will have to fight their way to the 5th place. Can they do it on merit? I believe so.

Ghost games will be a new experience for all teams. They will adapt. It will be more a one on one game then when played in front of tens of thousands of spectators.   But the team will have had more time to get inside Arteta’s teaching and his methods.  So it will be like a new season, with most of the injured players back in the squad.

And so, as I said, I feel good.

Take care and stay safe all of you

5 comments to Why this is the moment to feel good about Arsenal

  • Who cares a **** about a football club?
    I would be happy having a job when this is all over.
    Jesus….

  • potter

    I feel your pain Leon but we can’t just sit down and wring our hands . Talking football is a diversion .

  • Nitram

    Leon

    You obviously do otherwise why are you reading a football blog ?

    Despite all the horrors and the personal tragedies you have to try to continue your life as best you can.

    I still play records, watch films, laugh at jokes, read books and watch old Arsenal videos.

    That doesn’t mean I don’t care about all that’s happening, or worry about what might happen. But what would you have me do?

    Forget the passions of my life? The passions that fill my days?

    Should I not listen to, or talk about Arsenal, music, concerts, the theatre?

    Do you think the answer to dealing with tragic times like these is to wallow in self pity and shut out every joy in your life?

    Sorry Leon, I don’t think that helps anyone, so in answer to your question “Who cares a **** about a football club?” I do.

    As I still do about all the other passions of my life.

    I wish you well Leon, as I do everybody.

    The fact is I care, I care very much, but I don’t have to put every passion of my life on hold to do so.

  • Chris

    @Leon,

    I don’t care about any football club. It is just an area of interest and a way for me to keep busy when I’m not trying to navigate the hard times I as well am living.

    I feel for you and do have problems as well.

    I do agree with you that all this can sound futile. And to an extent it is. But football was part of my life since a kid and will be in the future. I hope you’ll find solutions as I hope I will.

  • omgarsenal

    leon……you sound like its getting to you and you are abandoning things that might help you weather this storm. I understand your concern for your future and those of everyone else but you can only keep yourself mentally well and ready to resume your life once this crisis has diminished or disappeared. A key part of that is to keep yourself involved in what you love doing (following Football, gardening, listening to hiphop….whatever rows your boat) and what makes you feel better and calmer. Good luck and stay safe….it will get better.