I thought Arsene Wenger had stopped talking rubbish but then I read my usual daily dose of afc.com and found the latest piece from our manager!
He’s been talking about Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry and why he let them both go when he did and stands by his decision to let them move on in 2005 and 2007 respectively.
One of the things he said was it was better to sell and get a good price for them, rather than sit back and watch their contracts run down and they leave for free and, at the time the club needed the money.
So, that begs the question about Edu, Gilberto, Flamini, Gallas etc etc – all who were still at the top of their game but were allowed run down their contracts and leave for free – and players like Merida, Barazite etc who hadn’t even reached their peak and hadn’t been given the kind of chance that others seem to get.
I adopted a way of thinking that it was better to sell a player one year too early than one year too late. If you sell too late you don’t get any money and you cannot buy anymore. If you sell a player early he can still sign a longer contract somewhere else.
Ok, that is all well and good when talking about the older players who are in their final years of their career at the top but the two he highlighted went on to big clubs and Henry could still get a place in our first team today, fours years later…
What about applying a similar rule to players who are poor?
Surely even the staunchest Wenger supporter would admit that we have kept too many average players for far too long?
I’m not talking about the Silvestre and Squillaci kind of players, they were only ever meant to be 4th/5th choice in their position, the one’s I am referring to are Almunia, Denilson, Bendtner and many more before them.
They have been over played in hope that they come good but never have they reached the potential that Wenger obviously saw when he signed them – how many times have we suffered watching Bendtner miss chance after chance, or Denilson and even Diaby put in half-hearted performances?
Yet, how many seasons did he persist with playing them before the penny finally dropped? Still though they are on our books and we are paying some of their wages.
Some will say that we can’t sell them as no other club wants them, well surely it’s better to cut our losses and set them free on a reduced price, no doubt all of them have been on £50,000 a week salary, add that up over the years and it’s an awful lot of money that would/could have bought and paid a better player.
Wenger is without question, one of the shrewdest managers in the Premier League when it comes to buying playing but when it comes to selling them on, he has to be up there as one of the most naive.
One player he won’t have to worry about selling is young midfielder Alban Bunjaku, yesterday news broke that he had decided to quit the club. He was one of the stand out players for Steve Bould’s side last season but he had never been offered or given a professional contract despite breaking into the reserves but with so many good reserve players ahead of him, his chances were very limited.
Wasn’t a good day all round for the youth, as Steve Bould’s side were knocked out of the FA Youth Cup, beaten 1-0 by Derby County in extra-time. Having dominated the first half, they couldn’t make their chances count and in the 97th minute, they conceded the only goal of the game.
Finally, if you can get to The Armoury later today, our captain will be signing copies of his 100 goals DVD, he’ll be there between 3pm and 4.30pm so get there if you can – don’t forget to get there early and buy the DVD from the store as they are the only ones he will sign…
That’s it for today, have a good one……