As I write this preview for tonight’s Champions League game against Braga, I write as a man with no soul, no mojo – for on Saturday at 4.50pm, it had been truly and drastically ripped out of myself. The illusion of an Arsenal side finally turning the corner and becoming a team capable of winning the league for the first time in 6 years, 7 years was blown to it’s reality – we simply do not have the mentally to win the league. Why win? You get paid £60k a week for playing your game, and when the prize that the club wants doesn’t come, you don’t get a penalty.
As a salesman, if someone said to you – come to work on time and I’ll give you £1000 every day – you would go to work. If they said that you’d get a £10 bonus if sold a car – what would you be good at? Getting to work on time or selling cars? These kids of ours are paid top top dollar, wages that even some of the best players in the world would not get paid. The lack of disparity in achieving something and merely turning up is obvious. Theo Walcott is on £60,000 a week and Cesc Fabregas is on £90,000 a week – at their ages, with no club honours to their name. Whether we win, lose or draw, these players get loads of money, whether they performance or not, contracts are rewarded on their potential. What has Walcott done to deserve such a figure? God knows.
And the problem of rewarding players for mediocracy is that they will deliver you mediocracy.
But, life goes on, lessons must be learnt. Yes, we’ve lost 3 out of the last 4 games, yes, we’ve lost at home to our most dearest rivals… but with the league being a different league this season, we could still come out on top…
Time to focus on tonight’s game – an away trip to Braga – a win against the team third in the CL group table would see us through to the next round – but a loss would see us drop to third in the group. We have to understand what an important game this is for us – if we don’t come away with a result, we’ll be in serious trouble, with only one game left in the group to survive.
Arsene has given us some team news ahead of the game and Clichy, Van Persie and Arshavin have not travelled to Portugal:
“I left Clichy behind because he has a small back problem and we will take the opportunity to clear that