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Arsenal rant: Money, Jack and a Greek

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When the team has just lost our last 2 consecutive league fixtures, the last thing we want to hear is ?Continue reading

Greek challenger to Sir Szczesny?


When the team has just lost our last 2 consecutive league fixtures, the last thing we want to hear is that our club is being gazumped elsewhere away from the pitch. Liverpool has secured a brand new £150million kit deal with American firm Warrior Sports. A deal that place them only second behind Barcelona in today’s shirt deals around the world.

This is a club that is challenging us on the league front. If not to win the title, it’s to get qualification to Champions League. With the money earned there, they should be able to pump a significant amount of money into their future transfer kitty. Not that their buys this season has helped them greatly but that is not the point I was trying to make either. Liverpool will now be backed by a massive sponsorship deal which will offer them greater choices on the purchase front, provided they find the right personnel.

The deal that they signed dwarfed what we currently have. According to the magnificent Swiss Ramble, we have an 8 year deal until 2014 with Nike which is estimated at £48 million. Now, I don’t consider myself a financial expert and especially not when it comes to the finance of a football club. But the disparity in the figures between our deal and Liverpool’s is obvious for anyone to see. We can break the deal with Nike and sign with a different sports manufacturer. If you’re telling me that by doing that, we would only have to fork out 10% from the new deal to pay Nike off, then I see no reason why not to.

I got a comment on yesterday’s post which would probably reflects the thinking of supporters who follow the club up and down the country. That the club is not doing enough to ensure the minimal discomfort to the pockets of supporters. Yes, the price in the world always increase but if there’s a way for the club to work around it and reduce the hike, it would be a gesture that would be greatly appreciated by all supporters. No price stays the same for years,   but half the hike could easily be offset by having better sponsorship deals.

On the other hand, supporters will readily accept paying higher ticket prices should they see that the money is being reinvested back into the playing staff. At the moment that is not happening despite the glut of injury problem and the lack of quality coming off the bench. This while we’re struggling to slip back into the Champions League places, makes the issue even more apparent. I said yesterday that I don’t think signing one or two players will immediately solve all our problems but I can see where the frustration is, if we don’t.

Can’t be writing depressing stuff all the time. Here’s some good news. Jack Wilshere, remember him? Well, he’s apparently ahead of schedule and could be back sooner than we thought. The media tries to play it like a major miracle that an Arsenal player could be back on track and sooner than what the medical earlier anticipated. Now, who can blame them for thinking so. We’ve had our fair share of players thought to be imminently back, only to have their return delayed.

Even though there probably will be no new signing come the end of January, we got to admit that having Wilshere back is like a new signing. Tacky but certainly applies. I won’t say we’ve missed him despite his incredible contribution in his first full season as a starter in 2009/10. Because the team has done well in his absence and won considerable number of matches, some of which against teams supposedly stronger than us.

Technically, he has shown last season that he can dovetail with Alex Song as one of the two midfielders with a more restraint role. Ideally, he has the craft and the vision to play further forward in the same position that Aaron Ramsey has been occupying. So, in many ways, his presence could mean alternating in two different positions and allowing one or the other to have a rest. It also means that he’s there to come on when either one of them are under performing.

That said, we must not forget that in his youth and reserves days, Wilshere has even played in wider positions. Perhaps his influence will be greatly underused as a wide attacking player and he does lack natural pace but his trickery and passing ability could still be an asset from those positions. With his midfielder experience, one can also be assured of him not neglecting the defensive side of the game, if played out wide.

While there’s anticipation of the increase number of option in midfield, there’s a possibility that Wojciech Szczesny will have someone new to train with as well. Stefanos Kapino. The 17 year old has been linked with a move to us from Panathinaikos in Greece. He may be young but has certainly establish himself over there becoming the number one for his club and also making an appearance for his full national team debut.

As you know, we are now an injury away from reinstating Manuel Almunia. The signing if done, is probably more for a longer term. Yet, come June, we could very well see the departures of Almunia, Lukazs Fabianski and Vito Mannone. Therefore this link is not entirely from the realm of imagination.

I’m off to find my own imagination of Mario Gotze wearing an Arsenal shirt, albeit in a computerised game.

Published with permission from aeroberg.


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