Before the match preview tomorrow I thought we could delve a little deeper into two of the pressing issues at the club at present. It seems as though both Sagna’s and Wenger’s future are beginning to look clearer and I am not overly comfortable with how things are looking.
Let’s start with Sagna. His situation is one that is hard not to get angry at but easy to see from his point of view. His contract is running down into the final months and we are at an impasse. We are no closer to an agreement as Wenger confirmed:
Talks are not progressing. The ball is not in our court anymore and he has to come back to us.
It is becoming more and more clear that he has no intention of renewing his contract which is sad because he has been a brilliant servant for the club but mostly because there is a sense of frustration that we shouldn’t be in this position. He really has given his all in a red and white shirt and as such should be rewarded with a contract which reflects his position in the team. I say this not as an advocate of player power and some of their ridiculous demands but more as a fan fearful that we will be unable to replace him. Surely giving him a large contract to ensure he stays must be cheaper than replacing him with like for like quality.
I guess we don't see him train and have all the information but it strikes me as a less than ideal situation and one which, unfortunately, we have been in before. There are many contract situations which have been handled in a strange way in my opinion. I read a recent Nasri article, perhaps not the greatest example, which highlights our handling of such situations are not of the highest order.
What happened is this: it was my best season with Arsenal (15 goals). We were in October (2010) and the manager asked me whether I wanted to stay at Arsenal. ‘Yes I want to stay at Arsenal,’ I said. Then they offered me a contract. It was far from what I wanted. With my agent, we were saying: if I stay at Arsenal, I know I’m going to win less money, but it’s fine, I’m only 23. I have time to win money. If I’m good I will always win money.
We were still in four competitions with Arsenal. We were playing really well. The manager wanted to be focused on what happened on the pitch. It’s normal. We wait, we wait, we wait.
Regardless of my hate for him, he does highlight a significant problem which could explain why these situations continually reappear. Now I know this is spun to make him look closer to human but it is a revealing insight into our transfer negotiations. It appears to highlight a lack of killer instinct in our ability to close a deal. By allowing things to get to such a late stage gives the players an opportunity to seek pastures new. We almost encourage it.
I could be completely wrong and do understand it takes the players willingness to make things happen but I can’t help but feel that we could have done more to ensure it never got to this stage.
Wenger seems more likely to stay though. Given his previous indication that he wants to stay coupled with the fact that a top four finish now looks increasingly likely, the smart money would be on him to stay.
On that note, enjoy you’re day and thank you very much Everton.