Denilson Out; Fabregas In?

So Denilson is departing ‘by mutual consent’, despite having a year left on his current Arsenal contract.
What does that actually mean for Arsenal’s bank balance?
Most of us are interested in what spare cash is available for new players, so getting rid of one who is costing a big wage is a plus from that point of view, even if you happen to be the relatively rare type of person who thinks Denilson should still be in the Arsenal team.

Usually a departure ‘by mutual consent’ would involve some form of pay-off. The amount would normally be part but not all of the lost future earnings; I’d guess half would be typical. But Denilson is currently on loan, so the situation is less clear.

Denilson’s current Arsenal contract, I am informed, is worth about £45k a week, or £2.3m for the year left.
He gets this amount paid by someone, whether he is playing on loan or on the bench at Arsenal
He can sit tight and wait for the end of the contract and be guaranteed this sum by next June – so is he likely to settle for less?

Arsenal have been unable to sell him. This indicates that no other club wants to pay him his Arsenal salary, and like Almunia, Arshavin and Squillaci, he’s not of a mind to take a wage cut before he has to.

There’s no doubt at all that Arsenal are paying some of his wages while he’s on loan – the figure I’ve been told is we’re paying £25k of the £45k a week. Brazilian salaries are substantially lower than in the PL, so this seems a reasonable assumption.

So if he came back to Arsenal he’d cost the club £2.3m during next season
If he stayed on loan at those terms he’d cost Arsenal £1.3m during next season
Either way that’s all the expenditure and there’s no income from him.
As he’s leaving by mutual consent, he must be getting something, but you’d hope Arsenal would be clever enough not to pay him the full amount of his contract given he could be loaned more cheaply than that.

From Denilson’s point of view, if he’s free of a contract then perhaps he has more chance of agreeing a longer term deal with a new club. He won’t get the same wage he’s getting now, but if he gets half then he’ll be happy with half of his Arsenal contract being paid up, so effectively he’s lost nothing for the next 12 months and has a long contract afterwards. He could do nothing this year (ie decide to remain an Arsenal employee) and try for a deal with a new club next year, but if he’s got interest now then he’d probably rather confirm something now.

So the upshot of all that is that I reckon he’ll cost Arsenal about £1.3m to get rid of, the same sum he would probably have cost anyway by staying on loan. Thus the only real benefit for Arsenal of his contract ending now is the certainty that he won’t be recalled and given an increase and an extension!

However, if Arsenal could sell him, then there’s no further expenditure and they’d get a fee as well. Well known website list Denilson’s market value as 6.5 million euros, or about £5.5m! I’m not sure what market this is in, but I know I won’t be shopping there. Unfortunately no one else will either, for the simple reason that no club will match his current salary. This surely shows the folly of the ‘socialist’ wage policy of Arsène Wenger. Not only has he been paying Denilson at least £1m a year more than was sensible for the last several years, but Arsenal forfeit any chance of recouping money by selling him. How much have Arsenal lost there in total? £8m? £10m? In the interests of fairness, Arsène has made Arsenal a lot of money too, but his wages policy is demonstrably poor.

And what of Cesc? Many have not forgiven him for ‘going on strike’ in his last season at Arsenal, agitating for a move, refusing to play pre-season, making it clear he only wanted to go to one club and thus ruling out any chance of competition for his signature driving up the price, and finding that his mysterious long-term hamstring ailments have been miraculously cured by Spanish air. Doctors in London shook their heads and puzzled for years, and it turned out a simple easyjet flight to Barcelona was all that was needed.

Others think Cesc did little wrong in leaving, and we all knew he wanted to go home at some point, right?
Either way, after I wrote last week that he definitely wasn’t going anywhere, the papers have been full of stories of third hand quotes about where he may or may not go. Apparently he wants ‘guarantees’ about getting the chance to play at Barca. I still think this is no more than a bluff to secure a better deal of some kind from his current club and manager, whether more money or at least consideration of using his talents more fully (no one is ever going to guarantee to pick a player). I can’t see him wanting to give up his lifelong dream after two years.

However . . . if he does move, where is most likely? Firstly Arsenal have a buy-back agreement, though if Cesc really didn’t want to come back to Arsenal I don’t really see how this would work. At best they might be able to insist that he didn’t go to another English club or for a reduced fee, but in practice the buy-back agreement was more as a sop to Arsenal fans than anything meaningful. Players have too much power to ever make it hard and fast.

So ignoring the buy-back, where would he go? In England I’d say Arsenal would be the most likely, given his relationship with Arsène. Both Manchester clubs are changing managers, making them less certain destinations for a player in demand. Liverpool, Spurs and everyone below would be a step too far down, which leaves Chelsea. That’s a possibility I suppose, but I’m not aware of any interest from them.

One factor that makes Chelsea more likely than Manchester, and England more likely than Italy or Germany, is that Cesc’s partner (a 38 year old divorcee with two children from her marriage as well as a baby with Cesc) is based in London, where her older children are at school. It’s a bit of a commute from Barcelona to see his new family, or for them to see him. Slightly less trouble in Manchester, though still not ideal. Whereas he could slip back into the old routine at Arsenal with no trouble at all.

I still don’t think it will happen though.

And while we’re here: Rooney. It was all over twitter that Arsène had ‘confirmed his interest’ in Rooney. In reality, all he did was say that of course Rooney is a good player, in the same way that if you asked him what he thought of Messi he’d be complimentary. It means nothing.

Denilson is gone; Cesc probably isn’t coming; Rooney definitely isn’t.

Twitter: @AngryOfN5


37 thoughts on “Denilson Out; Fabregas In?

    • All those Denilson shirts? Surely his many loyal fans will continue to buy the shirts and get his name on them anyway, won’t they?

  1. Well and truly bluntly put. Alot of fans including myself forgot all about the stunts fabregas pulled to get his move to Barcelona. Well done for reminding us.

  2. This article underlines the old saying that half and education is worse than none at all.

    If you had actually been following the matter then you’d know that Denilson’s contract would have expired thus summer, but Arsenal took an extra year on him, in case he performed well and his value went up. It didnt but those are the breaks.

    The condesending attitude displayed in this article is fairly common among the same types who would in their own time have touted the likes of Henry Lansbury,David Bentley, Anthony Stokes and Ryan Smith as the second coming of Christ – although those stories turned out rather differently. But those kids are British and so dont get the sneers reserved for those with foreign passports.

    Also Denilson’s salary is almost certainly less than those of Anderson on the Man U Bench and MIkel Obi on the Chelsea bench. Absoluteley less than what Jack Rodwell or Scott Sinclair got paid to ride the pine at ManCity. And Danny Wellbeck got paid about 50% more to play very little and score even less at the end of the Man U bench. So much for the horse manure encrusted fallacy that Wenger runs a “socialist” wage policy.

    Denilson didnt work out. It’s a shame. He came here as Brazil’s U-19 captain and he quickly developed, becoming at one point a top 3 defensive midfielder in this league, up there with Mascherano and Obi at their best that season. It just didnt work out, but you really have to try hard at being negative to call this one a mistake. It just didnt work out.

    Denilson worked hard on the field doing dirty work, covering, harassing and tackling. He played injured many times and never complained. Unlike many sheep, Denilson, also had the gonads to point out that the emperor had no clothes; Cesc was a nice guy but really not the genuine leader of men that the club needed. Denilson was also never seen drunk (Bendtner), never at a fight at a pub (Wilshere), didnt crash his car (Emmanuel Thomas, Santos), never caught at a nightclub with a fag hanging out of his mouth (Gallas). Young, but he was a proper professional.

    No, it didn’t work out at Arsenal for Denilson, but not because he was lazy or didnt care. Obviously he cared a lot. Have some class as an arsenal fan and say some nice things about the guy on the way out. Don’t be an ingrate. It’s not the Arsenal way. Show some class and appreciation for the guy.

    • In fairness, Denilson did demonstrate laziness on quite a few occasions. As Arseblog rightly points out today, there were some high profile games in which his lack of effort was staggering. I can recall quite a few less highlighted instances too. Given he was pretty much in the team to carry out the Gilberto role, this was a very worrying development – he wasn’t always so lacking in conscientiousness.

      The noticeable decline in his performances came after he’d signed a new deal. Much as it did with Walcott this season, but I don’t see many people highlighting that. Whilst I take the point that the parity of salary might have placed Denilson in a comfort zone and resulted in a more casual approach, I find it hard to criticise Wenger for handing out the new contract at the time. If we were to forever live in fear of a new contract reducing a player’s motivation we’d never give out any new contracts. And, like it or not, £45K was about the going rate for any first team squad member at a top 4 club. On the one hand we bemoan the club not competing financially and, on the other, we criticise it when it does so. Of course, it’s easy to criticise contract decisions with the benefit of hindsight – every club has it’s failures and Arsenal are no exception. It’s just that Arsenal’s are highlighted more because they haven’t had money to burn.

      Whether Denilson seemed to be a nice lad is somewhat irrelevant really; it’s about what he produced on the pitch. God help us if Arsenal start handing out increased contracts only to the players who smile most when photographed with Gunnersaurus. I’d take a Tony Adams who gives 100% every week and falls down a nightclub’s steps occasionally over a Denilson any day of the week.

      • 1) he was not lazy. We know that he often played with back problem, which one one occasion, he collapsed from.

        This habit of calling foreign players “lazy” has to stop. As it is often founded on nothing but prejudice. There is the famous video analysis on Youtube of Diaby in a game which he was critized for being “lazy” and “not trying” – in fact the guy was constantly on the move, constantly making space for others, making himself avaialble to receive this easing the job for others. However he simply had and ease of movement that made it SEEM he wasnt trying hard.

        If you want Scott Parker, go support Spurs. He looks like he is hustling but does sweet FA to improve the team.

        Also Denilson didnt deserve the salary because he was “nice” – he was the 2nd or 3rd best defensive midfielder in the league. He earned his contract. If he failed to sustain and you want to call him “lazy” then you have to provide evidence that is its laziness and not, his chronic back problem, a drop in form, confidence or anything else.

      • Firstly, I think he was lazy. In the particular game in question he was quick and fit enough to run forwards but suddenly got overtaken by the ref when he had to make up for his mistake and get back; he was then fit enough to race forward a number of subsequent occasions in the same game. But I respect your opinion that you don’t think he was lazy.

        Secondly, I think the evidence of his laziness was palpable and you just need to find any game in his last full season with the first team squad to identify it. Whilst he had a back injury at times (don’t all players have injuries at some time? Is this an excuse for every poor performance thereafter?!), there is absolutely no evidence of that explaining his failure to run at certain points in games. Not even Denilson said it himself. I’m not saying it wasn’t the reason, only that I have seen no evidence whatsoever that it was.

        Thirdly, from what I can see, you are the only person linking his performance to his nationality in any way. Phil certainly didn’t and neither have I above. It’s a complete irrelevance to me. If he turns in lazy performances then they deserve to be highlighted in the same way that they should be for any player, regardless of their nationality.

        As for the old “go and support Sp*rs” line; always the go-to response of the empty mind…

  3. Its obvious u lack things to write about. Have you ever kicked a soccer ball in your life??? Its terrible writing such things about committed players. These guys play with passion in/for Arsenal with 100% commitment. Does a drop in form means your not a good player. The Gareth Bale of this season was he d same 3 seasons ago??? Dats football. U shld learn to appreciate and be thank full to the likes of the players in your post. The gunner way is we keep faith in our players who truly believes in the club.whether or not they are still in the club. Show some respect would you???

    • Well the “British” have never found a red herring they wouldnt bite on to avoid dealing with the real issues at hand.

      Denilson is no criminal. He woked hard, he wasnt good enough. And no he wasn’t on an unusual salary for a former starter at a top four club, as underlined by the salaries of Anderson and Obi Mikel, none of whom have a queue of suitors either. Chew on it, choke on it and move on. You have no cause to single this man out for ridicule, other than some form of xenophobia.

      • As you informed us only last week, Arsenal can’t compete with Chelsea and Man Utd on salaries, and yet now you are directly comparing them. Explain the logic there.

      • Phil, I dont know why you post a blog while either not knowing or pretending not to know the relevant facts of the matter:

        Arsenal has, since the final years of the Dein-Fisman era, been operating with a…..youth policy.

        Not a “socialist wage policy”, which you are so eager to parrot – this nonsense is fed to you by the media morons. It’s a YOUTH policy.

        A youth policy in Arsenal’s case meant buying and fielding more young players than mature ones, since:
        – young players cost less to acquire before their true potential is know
        – the best of them can be sold for a huge profit
        – they have lower average salaries than players in the 28-32 age bracket.

        As anyone with a few neurons to string together might be able to deciper, this means the team would have a lot of young players earning healthy salaries but few mature ones with high salaries. And would deliberately shy away from signing mature players with those salaries.

        Net effect is the club has less capital invested in player acquisition and those funds freed up to be the capital underlying the new asset: the stadium.

        So please, please, JFC its a YOUTH policy, not a “socialist” one. One has to really try hard to turn football into political BS.

        As for Denilson specifically, he was a young starter at Arsenal and the salary he was on was by no means unusual, for his performance as a top 3 defensive midfielder. That he fell off a cliff was unexpected and unfortunate – but his compensation was by no means ridiculous. It was all part of a YOUTH policy, as in normal circumstances a big team might have had an older, more experienced player as the starter – said player would have earned a BIGGER salary actually, but presumably in return for a lower downside/lower variation in performance. That player would have been Gilberto – he was the incumbent before Arsenal’ youth policy was initiated by Dein/Fisman – and Gilberto was sold, because the club didn’t want to resign him at a higher salary.

        But again this is a clear consequence of fielding young players in key roles, not socialist, communist, capitalist, nihilist or any other “ist” hat you may have a particular beef with.

        Whatever the case, he was an honest, dedicated professional, never got in trouble, never complained other than asking to play more, which you should expect – and even desire – from a young player. Its disgraceful to see self-proclaimed Arsenal “fans” don’t have the class to at least say “thank you for the effort” and wish him well in getting something out of his career.

  4. let’s hope we can get the other highly paid bench warmers of our wage bill. Our first signing looks to be another guy from the French league no one has heard of. And Jovetic to Arsenal looks to be less likely day by day.

  5. Even the worst of the press football media have stopped pretending to believe that the Arsenal wage policy is ‘socialistic’. What can be socialistic about a bunch of young multi-millionaires? The interviewer was a particularly dopey member of the ink-stained fraternity who hadn’t the wit to realize that Wenger’s remark was tongue-in-cheek, a response to the commonly held belief that any Frenchman with an economics degree must be extreme left-wing. And the wage-policy is not Wenger’s by choice, it’s the inevitable result of the ‘youth policy’ enacted by the former owners as a cheap alternative to buying quality experienced players. But to acquire and keep talented youngsters you have to pay them more than others will. Okay if they are all ‘Fabregases’ – but not if they turn out to be ‘Bendtners’. (I was going to say ‘Denilsons’ – except I hate being wise after the event and I always rather liked the lad, above all his commitment.)

  6. Pingback: That Sums It All Up – Jose’s back, hooray! | Talking out their Arsenal

  7. Once again with the wage structure? Everything has pros and cons. It’s easy to focus on the cons, but how about why that policy was there in the first place?

    You don’t pay players on potential, you lose them like Flamini. You pay on potential, and you ensure you at least have a squad worth it’s name, even if some of them don’t work out (Denilson) or are injured (Diaby). What was there to be gained from not paying the Denilsons of this world the amount that we paid them? (And Denilson did have some very good seasons initially) Would it have ensured that we could have kept Fabregas or Van Persie or Nasri or Adebayor etc? Would the oil rich clubs not simply have paid more than what we could offer? And what about what they would offer the rest of the squad? If we pay Denilson peanuts, we lose him to another club, where you bemoan Arsenal’s stinginess, and then we have to try and replace him. Basically the same problem we faced with star players would also be extended to the squad players.

    The wage distribution was never the problem. The real problem was always that our revenues were massively lower than the clubs we were competing with. Between 2009 and 2012, ManCity and Chelsea outspent us on transfers and wages by an average of 120m and 108 million pounds PER SEASON.

    What would an ‘elitist’ wage structure have done to bridge that gap?

    Besides, you can focus on the wage bill as a negative. And yet, perhaps that is the REASON that we’ve finished in the champions league spots every season despite having virtually no transfer spend? There are studies out there that show that output is better when there is less pay disparity between players in a team sport (unless a player is truly at another level and deserves to be in a different pay grade – see Henry, Fabregas, and if he’d accepted, Van Persie)

    No let’s ignore the possible reasoning behind it, let’s not see that perhaps this explains how Wenger is able to replace star players without much loss of output virtually every year. Let’s just call it a folly and parrot everyone else because that’s the easier thing to do. What’s gotten into you? Seriously, this blog wasn’t always like this.

      • They dont “copy Wenger” – they pay even more now. What rock are you living under?

      • Hang on. So because other clubs don’t do what we do, that proves we are doing it wrong? I don’t examine other clubs’ financial situation too deeply, so sorry, I don’t know the answer why they don’t do what we do, or even whether it’s true that they don’t do it.

        My point was, if you take away money from the Denilsons in the squad, and give it to the star players, it would not be enough to keep the stars, while also risking losing your squad.

        Once you raise the revenues, it is possible to have greater flexibility in paying wages, and even in terms of squad management because you are better able to absorb bad decisions and mistakes.

        The ‘socialist’ model is a bit of a misnomer (and yes, Wenger said it. He also said some other things in that interview.) Just like the youth policy, it is partly down to philosophy, but also down to reality. If we had tons of money, Wenger wouldn’t just start creating wage disparities for the sake of it. But tell me, do you think if we had all the money in the world, Wenger wouldn’t want to have Messi in his team? Regardless of wages? Because Messi deserves that pay scale. Just like Henry did. Just like Fabregas did. Just like Van Persie did. His philosophy is not so rigid as you make it out to be, and definitely not as stupid. It makes perfect sense.

        The question is, will we adapt as the finances change? Well, 4 years ago, players like Walcott and Podolski would not have been on 100k a week. Which suggests we’re already adapting, and raising our pay ceiling and inequalities.

      • How can it make ‘perfect sense’ to pay players so much that no other club will buy them when they are surplus to requirements? There is a long list who have either been on loan over the last two seasons (and I’m not talking about youth on loan to gain experience) or just sat and waited or their contracts to finish. Are you seriously saying that situation could not be improved? Obviously no one is going to get every decision right, but Arsene’s quest for squad harmony and his well-known dislike of confrontation with his players has gone too far.

    • With all due respect, Phil – isn’t the issue not so much the ‘socialist wage policy’ but simply the fact that we’ve made too many poor judgments on player’s quality since we built Ashburton Grove?

      I agree with Shard that, if you don’t pay the going rate for players like Denilson, then they’d move elsewhere in Flamini-type situations. The club’s damned if they do, damned if they don’t. 45k was around the market rate to keep a first team squad member at a top 4 club when Denilson’s new deal was signed – the argument his agent would make is that, if he’s good enough for Arsenal’s first team squad, why isn’t he good enough to be on a salary equivalent to what he’d get at a club of similar stature? The club needed to decide, firstly, whether the player was worthy of another long-term investment. If they decided he was, then comes the question of how much to pay him.

      The issue for me is that Denilson’s potential to improve and play consistently at the top level was misjudged by the club. Whether that was an understandable misjudgment at the time he was given his new deal is the real debate to be had. Ultimately that judgment rests with Wenger. Unfortunately we don’t get to see everything that Wenger does when deciding whether a player’s quality makes them worthy of a new deal, hence we will never be better placed than he was to make the judgment.

      The reason we have the likes of Chamakh, Bendtner, Park etc still lingering around is that we also wrongly judged them all worthy of a long-term future at the club when their deals were given. Every club has its share of failures, I just think Arsenal have had far too many in recent times, especially given their delicate financial situation. In my view, that’s not a result of financial philosophy, rather poor footballing decisions.

      • The difference with other clubs is that they start young or unproven players on a low wage for a season or two, and if they make a big contribution the wages go up. At Arsenal unproven players are rewarded on potential, and as you say too often that potential has not become reality.

      • Agreed – certainly Man Utd seem to start their players on much lower wages generally. But, as you say, it boils down to when a player is considered to have made a significant enough contribution to get a new deal. In Denilson’s case, he got his new deal having played more first team games in the previous season than any other player. Looking at it from that perspective, it wasn’t unreasonable that he was offered a new deal at the time. However, in someone like Vela’s case, there was no strong argument that I can see for a pay rise.

        It of course also comes back to Bosman; would we really have given Denilson a 5-year deal pre-Bosman?

      • Bosman has had an effect certainly, but even without that Arsene gives out higher wages than he should to players who can’t cut it in the PL – eg the French players he signs can easily double or treble their wages immediately just because AW thinks that’s fair, but there is no logical or commercial justification for it. Once they have proven themselves then you pay them the going rate or they depart, we all understand that. But why pay up to £60k a week for someone who has no PL experience? It’s ludicrous, and ultimately it’s fans’ money he’s giving away, because the only reason for high ticket prices is high wages.

      • I absolutely agree, but it boils down to how much Wenger values the player and his judgment of what he’s worth at the time he hands out the deal. He gives Chamakh what he thinks he’s worth as a player when he signs him. If he misjudges the ability of the player then we’re of course lumbered with someone we can’t move on and all of the associated costs that come out of Wenger’s player budget.

        I just think that hindsight shows that Wenger’s misjudged far too many players’ worth in the last 5 years. It’s no longer just the odd low-risk failure like a Malz, Mendez or Stepanovs. Since the Reyes deal he’s made countless high-cost misjudgments, misplayed the market. For the record, he’s also still made a number of very value good signings and his net spend figures are staggering. And I appreciate there are obviously questions about our scouting network too.

        Also, as with any trade, the level of a deal is affected by how much the buyer wants the product. Wenger’s mismanaged recent transfer windows to the extent that he’s been left shopping in desperation too many times. It’s no surprise that you get left with deals like Park and Santos when you shop at your local corner shop at 9.59pm. Evidently Wenger lacks decisiveness in the transfer market. I’m not one of these people who thinks David Dein is the second coming and did no wrong but he clearly had a positive influence on Wenger that’s been lacking since.

      • You realise that Arsenal’s last-minute deals are actually because other deals didnt work? The club seems to have a very decisive line on how much they are willing to pay for a player and they are willing to wait until the other party blinks.

        Also note that Chamackh was signed as Van Persie’s backup, not as a starter. And that Arsenal stood their ground and refused to pay more than a nominal fee to get him earlier, once Bordeaux had realized that Arsenal had Bosman agreement with Chamakh.

        Chamakh also earns less than Danny Wellbeck or Roque Santa Cruz and has scored more goals. Probably had as many goals as Torres until very recently, but hey why nitpick. Better to just harass the Arsenal player.

      • You’re getting more and more hysterical – harassing Chamakh???!!! So we’re not allowed to debate the merits of bringing in a player and the wages he’s paid on the comments of a webblog because that’s harassing him?! If that’s the case, maybe Phil should close down the site in case the Police come after him!

        As for other last minute deals not working, who’s fault’s that? Who’s fault was it that we still played Nasri despite him having an agreement all but agreed with City. Whose fault was it that we lost 8-2 to Man Utd with a subs bench containing the local under 9’s school team?

        I 100% agree that we should be playing the market and getting the best possible value for players. I also agree that we should only pay the market rate for players. I just don’t agree that we should let the brinkmanship negatively affect results on the pitch.

      • The claim was that last-minute deals are due to indecision and my point is that in fact the club seems to fairly firm in ideas about what a player is worth to them.

        We certainly agree that the negotiations should be cut off earlier if not working, but don’t call it indecisive or wishy awshy. If anything the club are not flexible enough in negotiations. You can see it already with Jovetic, a deal has been in the air for far too long and clearly comes down to price negotiation. Personally I dont think he is work breaking the bank for and I would pull the plug now. Up front what we need in addition to finishing is more pure speed – and IMO Jovetic doesnt have it. Godo player, but the way Arsenal play, he may get punked in this league, physically. Similarly in midfield we need somebody in who can provide more of that raw edge and athelticsm that Diaby has – and so far none of the players we have been linked with have that

      • Absolutely agree with everything you say about Jovetic. I may be wrong, but I think we’re now just being used by Fiorentina to try and create a market so that they can get more out of Juventus. I also agree wholeheartedly that we need genuine pace and skill up front as an alternative to Giroud and I doubt that Jovetic is that man. But I don’t know who is that man.

        As for the indecision point, I think the Sahin ‘deal’ speaks volumes. It took until after he’d had his medical and had photos taken with a shirt/scarf etc for Wenger to change his mind. That’s obviously his right and, with the benefit of hindsight, it doesn’t look a bad decision; but it was massively indecisive.

        Frankly, though, I don’t care whether Wenger is indecisive provided he makes the right judgment calls – I just don’t think he has and the amount of deadwood we carry is testment to it.

        My point to Phil was really that, if you leave it to the last minute to bid for and get a player in, you often have to overpay to force a club to let go of a player (largely because they won’t be able to get a replacement in time). Santos and Park were desperation signings and we’re stuck with them on our wage bill now. The point i’ve made above is that isn’t a result of any perceived ‘socialist wage structure’, it’s because we simply made bad judgments about the players (with the benefit of hindsight).

      • Since we’re still on this, I think it’s also worth keeping in mind that a player’s worth to a team depends not only on his ability, but also how he complements, and dovetails with, his teammates. In my view, in Wenger’s philosophy, this is especially true. The problem he’s had is that he’s never (or mostly never) had a secure, stable squad. The only years we didn’t sell key players was in summer 2007 (Yes Henry went, but didn’t really play the previous season) where we were a broken leg and some bad calls away from being champions. After losing 3/4ths of our midfield, we came back again with another challenge in the league in 2010 (despite losing Adebayor and Toure, both of whom were on their way out before) , and then the ultimate challenge (and painful failure) on 4 fronts the following year. Every time we’ve had largely a settled squad for more than one season in a row, we’ve improved massively. Give Wenger a squad that he knows he can build on, and give him a bit of money for transfers, and he generally makes the team more than the sum of its parts.

        Basically, in any system, if there is a state of constant fluctuations and changes, inefficiencies will inevitably creep in. If we could have kept our squad together, we wouldn’t need a Chamakh. But we did, so..

        You need a backup striker. You don’t have too much money to spend on the transfer, and Chamakh (and a few others probably) are available within the budget. The higher range strikers are out of your reach for the moment. What do you do except take a chance in either buying him (or someone of his ilk) or not buying anyone? Both are risks, and both are risks we’ve taken. You can argue Chamakh or Denilson were poor investments. Hard to argue against that. But if with all of that, we still finish 4th, it shows that something is still right there.

        Another aspect of course. Arsenal, in the early Wenger years, were notoriously meticulous scouts. Everything about a player was checked out, including their attitude, work ethic etc. With the moneyed clubs following Arsenal’s model of unearthing the next big thing (apart from buying the current stars), the oil money has had a lesser acknowledged impact on our scouting as well. We can’t afford to extensively scout a player who is possibly just on the verge of exploding on the scene, because other richer clubs will move in. So obviously, the failure rate goes up.

        These are all issues that the club have had to work with. To some they’ve adapted well. To others they need to adapt more. But ultimately, it comes down to money (to a large extent) With an increase in financial strength, things will improve (though it won’t be a panacea)

  8. If we get rid of Park and Chamakh. We can easily afford ROONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Squillaci – 60K
    Arshavin – 80K
    Denilson – 45K
    Chamakh – 60K
    Park – 40K
    NB52 – 50K

  9. Phil

    It’s hardly an issue unique to Arsenal where players become surplus to requirements and no other club is willing to buy them. Besides, the point is, what was the alternative? To not pay those players so well? Is that what you are saying?

    It might have helped us get rid of what we considered deadwood if we didn’t pay them as well as we did. But it would also have led to the ones that did well having their heads turned. It’s a trade off, and is by no means perfect. Because of the way it turned out, you criticise it. But you cannot ignore what the possible consequences of doing it differently would have been.

  10. Also there is nothing golden about Dein. He did the deals when he and Fisman had agreed to spend money. Once they agreed to stop spending money, there was none and Dein was no magician in that period.

    Had Dein stayed here under Kroenke, (who he actually brought in to Arsenal) there is no evidence that Arsenal would be any more active or freespending today, as its the amount of money available that really matters.

    Also note that Dein does not appear to have any desire or capability to act as bridgemaker between Usmanov and Kroenke, to open up the purse strings. Even though he brought BOTH to Arsenal.

    So lets stop pretending he is Jesus.

  11. And to re-emphasize what I’ve been trying to say about the wage structure, Gazidis seems to say pretty much the same thing. (Which will no doubt mean I have been fooled by his ‘spin’)

    Q: In the past, Arsene Wenger has called the wage policy a “socialist wage structure.” While we may smile about that in football, is it time for it to change?

    IG: “Our biggest expense is our wage bill. It’s not something that we simply stumble upon by accident. There is a massive amount of thought that goes into it by some very very smart and thoughtful people at the club including Harvard analysts and Arsene Wenger himself is a pretty smart mathematical guy. I have been doing that myself for 14 years at Major League Soccer, where I was responsible for the management of the player pool within a budget. This is something we think about deeply and we know a lot about. We have outperformed our spend, in virtually any metric you can look at, consistently for the last 15 years. It’s an extraordinary record. So we are doing something right in the way that we spend although it may frustrate some people. We are doing something right and we are very thoughtful about it.

    “It’s not something that happens by accident. As we develop new financial capabilities, clearly, that wage bounds will change. It’s under review all the time. It’s never been fixed in stone. It really depends on what the circumstances are as you move forward, what the market looks like, where you see the opportunities, where you think the value is. That will change and if we – which we do – want to attract and also keep the very best talent then we have to pay them the market rate. There is a complete understanding of that at the club. So yes, our wage structure will evolve, as it has over the last five years. It will continue to evolve with a new financial capability behind it, which means we can do some things perhaps that we haven’t been able to do while we have had one hand tied behind our back.”

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