The January window slammed shut. We had a productive month, getting rid of dead weight (Iwobi and Paulista) and bringing in world-class quality (Griezmann).
My next move was to tie up Sanchez to a new long-term deal. £140,000 a week was originally Arsenal’s wage structure. Ozil, Sanchez and Walcott were the top earners with that, but realistically, it wasn’t going to push us to the next level. If we wanted to bring in the likes of Griezmann, we had to move way past that.
Griezmann came in on a deal worth £225,000 a month, while Ozil signed a new contract worth £215,000 a month. Sanchez was next!
He’s been our star player this season so we need to reward him. I’m very glad we have our best players tied down to long contracts.
Danny Welbeck and Walcott are also big earners at the club, earning well over £100,000 a week. I don’t think their ability reflects their earnings, so we may have to try and move them on at some point. When Muniain is younger and arguably better than them two, signing a deal worth £37,000 a week, it puts it into perspective a bit. Welbeck and Walcott are earning way too much! We have to be careful though. We need to try and keep home-grown players.
Our victory in our contract negotiations did not translate well into our actual fixtures though.
While we beat the lesser teams, we struggled against the bigger ones (Man City and Spurs). If we want to challenge for the title, we have to be winning, or at least grabbing a point from these types of games.
The Spurs result was especially hard to take, mainly because they’re our arch rivals. Nobody played well. We created no good chances. Spurs basically shut up shop after grabbing an early goal from Victor Wanyama of all people.
Prior to that game however, we embarked on our first game within the knockout phase of the Champions League. Monaco were cruising in Ligue 1.
We were very unlucky to be 2-0 at half time. I immediately switched from a deep 4-5-1 to an attacking 4-5-1 with Ozil coming off the bench to fill the AMC role. We got back into the game and we returned from France with 2 away goals. A fantastic comeback.
First Proper Title of the Season
The first title of the season of handed out in February. Unfortunately it wasn’t to us. However, we did see Man United lose to Bournemouth in the final of the EFL Cup. A huge upset considering Man United are top of the table and have only conceded 12 goals in the league this season. Props to Bournemouth!
Double Header Next
Next episode, we’ll run through the months of March and April. With a quarter final tie in the Champions League a possibility, the end of the season could be very interesting!
We’re doing okay in the league, but those two losses against City and Spurs have dented our title hopes quite massively.