Well. That escalated quickly, huh?!
Usually at this time of year, there are very few Arsenal related stories for anyone to get worked up about. It’s during the dog weeks of summer that those of us who blog for a living can justifiably say (or try to, anyway. ED.) that we’ve earned our keep, what with providing content on a regular basis with almost nothing to work with.
This week………..yeah, that’s not a problem!
Thanks, in large part, to a deceiving, bumbling, mop-headed idiot, Britain was duped into thinking that leaving the European Union was something other than a desperate attempt to give that said idiot a job promotion, only for the aforementioned idiot to decide the job wasn’t worth the hassle after he saw the mess he had created.
It’s such a bad state of affairs that England’s pathetic elimination from the European Championships only briefly drew the public’s ire away from Westminster. Even the Sun, with its trademark lack of class, as it tries to make a scapegoat out of a 21-year old for buying a toilet, or when puts the picture of Wayne Rooney’s crying son on a front page only to then give Rooney an 8 out of 10 rating for his performance against Iceland, even the Sun can’t get folks worked up over getting knocked out of a major tournament by a team that was coached by a part-time dentist.
THAT is how bad it is right now. Cheers Boris.
But how does this affect Arsenal?
Well, the short-term effects aren’t great. Along with everyone else who has more than a week’s wages sitting in their bank accounts, Arsenal just lost around 10% of the value of their cash deposits, thanks to sterling hitting the floor and then digging through the foundations.
Arsenal’s greatest competitive advantage over their European rivals was their cash reserve, and overnight, 10% of that evaporated. During a summer where having as much money available as possible looks like being key, this is a problem.
Chelsea just paid €40m for a back-up striker. Manchester United are about to pay €42.5m for a player with one year left on his contract. Liverpool paid £30m for Sadio Mané. We all know how reticent our manager is of not spending more than he absolutely has to, and now he hasn’t got as much money to spend as he thought he had, which is only bound to make him act even more cautiously than usual.
And whilst Chelsea’s deal for Michy Batshuayi may not seem too worrisome on face value, the fact that it was Crystal Palace that first agreed a fee with Marseille should terrify Arsenal fans. It’s not that Arsenal would lose a bidding war with Palace, it’s that the likes of Palace can now engage in one with Arsenal. Even with sterling’s reduced value, PL clubs are starting to throw their new TV cash around the place just like a kid spends his money in a toy shop.
We’ve seen it happen once before with Gonzalo Higuain, when Arsenal couldn’t bring themselves to match Napoli’s £34.5m bid. The list of players that would improve Arsenal’s squad is finite, but the list of clubs that could afford those players just doubled, if not tripled. And you can be certain that all of those PL clubs bidding £30m+ for players are in the middle of convincing themselves that they’re going to be the ‘next Leicester’.
Just ask West Ham.
As for Arsene Wenger himself? With Roy Hodgson resigning as England manager, and the list of English replacements looking as appealing as a weekend in Brussels with Nigel Farage, reports have surfaced of the FA inquiring over Wenger’s availability to become the next ‘Most Criticised Person in Football’.
This is a weird one, particularly for English members of the Wenger Out brigade. The main criticism of the Frenchman in recent times has been his reticence to change tactics and his inability to get consistent performances from his players. Are those the traits of a man you want to solve a problem that has been caused by poor tactics and inconsistent performances by players? No.
It would be very tricky to argue that Wenger is good enough to manage England but not good enough to manage Arsenal. England needs far more than someone that will just stand on the sideline and scream, it needs someone who will implement a technically sound brand of football from the youth set-up up to the senior team.
We know that Wenger won’t leave the club this summer, as he always honours his contracts. But next summer? France already has Clairefontaine, and England wants St. George’s Park to be similar. What better way to secure your footballing legacy than by helping restore greatness to the inventors of football? For a man who lives his life for football, what better retirement plan would be possible?
We know how much he values the work done to build the Emirates Stadium and Colney training ground. We know how much he prides himself on the youth policy he implemented that helped bring Champions League football to Arsenal whilst all the building work was being paid for. With the former now completed and the latter about to become riddled with red tape thanks to Boris and co, (Read how EU laws that affect youth transfers will change here by Gabriel Marcotti.) the opportunity to build something new, something more than just bricks and mortar, may be too good to turn down.
The political Brexit has caused Wenger’s current working conditions to become harder, yet the footballing Brexit may just open up a job that he is perfectly suited to.