Oh dear. Our treatment room must look like the set of Casualty. Eduardo’s hamstring has landed him back where he’s spent most of the last year – under treatment. I think we need an exorcism of the injury gremlins or something. C’est la vie, c’est la guerre, as Arsčne might say.
I’d guess Rockin’ Robin and Nicklas Bendtner will start up top tomorrow against the Mackems. Carlos Vela is the other possibility up top, although Arsčne might opt for a five across the middle with just one up top. Frankly, much as l love the style of “Wenger ball” I’ll settle for three points ugly if that’s the way it has to be. We need to grind out a win. Dishing out a few hidings would be nice to ramp up the goal difference but wins are more important than goals.
One player I’d have no qualms about picking is Kieran Gibbs, especially with Gael Clichy being a good way from his best form at the moment. I think Gibbs has done well when he’s played this season.
Apparently, contract talks with Theo Walcott are some way from a happy conclusion. I’d like to get this nailed down as quickly as possible. If you believe the reports he’s been offered £13 million over five seasons which his people say isn’t enough. That’s an AWFUL lot of money in my book for a player who, despite his radically improved form in the last eleven months, is still a “maybe” rather than an established star. I don’t know whether the offer is just basic salary or includes image rights, but either way it’s a lot of dosh. I’d be tempted to offer a heavily incentivised package with a relatively low basic salary of, say £2 million a year with BIG bonuses for goals, assists, appearances, England caps and goals, trophies won and so on.
I think we should offer Theo the sort of deal that would more than double his money if he did the business on the park. I’d also heavily back-load any signing bonus to include, say, a quarter of it on the back-end. We caught a bad cold with that with Thierry Henry’s last contract. That ended up being five million quid down the gurgler. We really do need to align player salaries with playing and thus financial success. Likewise, we need to bolt on Rockin’ Robin’s contract as soon as possible. Anybody who’s not committed to the club by the end of the season should be shown the door, invited to look through it and see how many players have thrived after leaving us.
I’m a realist. I understand there are far fewer good players than there are clubs chasing them, but I want players who are prepared to put their heads down and help build a team that will last five-six seasons without constant chopping and changing. The players should know that if they keep the trophies coming, so will the cash into their wallets.
For now, let’s not worry about all that though. Total concentration on tomorrow and the Mackems.
Keep the faith!