I am hoping to write something original on the Bacary Sagna contract saga armed with nothing but a personal view point and what I feel are some fairly relevant close to home economics and precedents. The personal aspect which I think goes for Arsenal fans is that I want him to stay in North London and the reason are obvious and have been covered by many observers I am sure.
In short however with the exception of a few months in 2012/13 he has been one of the most consistent Arsenal performers since he arrived in the summer of 2007. He has been one of our few world class players over the last 7 lean years and I would LOVE to see him win silverware with the Gunners. The evident flip side to that is I would be greatly disappointed to see such a loyal and fabulous servant and ambassador leave without a medal.
I wrote a year ago today (as I write) that like his peers Thuram and Abidal he could convert comfortably to the centre of our defence and whilst a few eyebrows were raised at the time it is not the perceived and accepted wisdom. I would certainly rather see Vermaelen depart then Sagna and if this happens as is being hinted, retaining the Frenchman seems more still more essential.
Our camp is split on Jenkinson, but I am as yet unconvinced he could step up and assist in a full push for honours. That is not to say I don’t rate him highly but he does not have the all round game of his mentor at present.
So when a player like Sagna says this: “I love Arsenal, I love playing for Arsenal, I love my team. Arsenal is the most followed team in France and I remember I used to watch them when I was in France so it was a pleasure to play for them, so why leave? What exactly appears to be the issue and why do the odds suggest he will leave this Summer?
From what we all read it is the same old Wenger chestnut of not wishing to offer players over 30 a deal of more than 2 years in length, whilst the Bac apparently wants 3 and perhaps the wages allegedly that Sagna is reported to desire of £100k per week.
My own view is that we should do whatever we can to keep him but what I think is irrelevant. However I would like to throw in a few other discussion points which may change a few readers’ views one way or the other.
Firstly the basic economic picture which I have seen mentioned but I thought I might work through for myself. To do this I thought I would assess a few options that I have seen discussed and indeed that I have discussed myself. Again these are my estimates and by no means accurate but should be close enough.
|Option||Transfer||Weekly wage||Total Contract Cost|
Now as I reiterate these are my best guesses but even if I am some way out the retention of Bacary Sagna makes perfect and logical sense financially.
So does the argument come back to whether he can retain his current former and fitness until he is 34 and 4 months old as he would be at the end of June 2017?
What none of us will know is the toll on his body the broken legs have had but given he is playing a well know as he was before either break we can only assume the best.
So we are back to the informed wisdom of Wenger, the Board or whoever is advising the Manager about the ability of full backs to perform at the top level well into their 30s. Of course I am no expert but have been told often of late that Wenger transformed the diet of Arsenal players and lengthened their careers and I have no reason to doubt this as many have testified to the same. But because I am indeed no expert I thought I would asks 2 old friends what they think.
They are experts and they will testify……..
Nigel Winterburn was 31 and 4 months in April 1994. How did you get on after that Nigel?
“Well Dave I am glad you asked me. I played 227 further competitive games for Arsenal, winning the Premiership at 35, along with the FA Cup. When I was 37 I played in the Cup Winners Cup Final for Arsenal. I was sad to leave the Gunners but I struggled through 94 more matches (sarcasm!!) at West Ham before I decided to hand my boots up at 39.”
Over 300 matches after the age of 31 year and 4 months is impressive and no mistake!
So armed with this information I asked his old mucker Lee Dixon whether he managed much beyond 31 and 4 months?
“Happy to inform you and your readers Dave that I was that old just after the 1994/95 campaign and I forced my body through another 281 competitive matches for Arsenal, won 2 League and Cup Doubles and got Cup Winners Cup and FA Cup runners up medals before calling it at day 2 month after I turned 38 in 2002.”
So let me get this right in my mind Lee, Bacary Sagna has played 272 games in total for Arsenal in 7 years and you played more games than that after you were 31 and 4 months. Lee you were one crazy fit son of a bitch.
Heh but Lee not as impressive when you consider old Nutty Winterburn played 321 matches after he was 31 years and 4 months. Guess he was even crazier and nuttier?
“Well Dave he wasn’t given that nick name for nothing you know. There is no doubt Arsene Wenger helped us both to a degree but reality is that if you look after yourself and you have an astute football defenders brain you can play well into your 30’s at the very top.”
So Lee does Bacary Sagna have the right fitness and astute football defenders brain?
“Dave you watch him week in week out, Do you really need to ask?”
Should Arsenal give him what he wants Lee?
“No Brainer as they say Davey boy”
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