Young defender Elton Monteiro is to join Belgian side Club Brugge this summer - http://t.co/BODmyMM7Ed
I'm really proud to help Goonersphere launch this fantastic new service where all can write and share their opinion on Arsenal will fellow Gooners. Goonersphere is already my favourite bookmark and a place where I find most of my reading material and have discovered many excellent blogging talents that I now follow regularly and look forward to seeing some new talent via YouWrite.
What is Theo worth? Is he worth £100k? Is our £75k offer too generous? Not generous enough?
Twitter exploded yesterday with "news" that Theo had rejected a contract and Arsenal were probably going to sell.
I personally do not think Theo will leave and I also think that we should pay him what he is asking for. I don't believe he is "worth" £100k per week but I believe that our, for want of a better phrase, wage policy, has left us with very little choice.
We have over-paid a number of players and increase player salaries far too easily in the past and what this builds up to is an inflated self-worth from the players. Partly because they feel they warrant it and partly because they see others picking up a wage, however big or small, who are not contributing as much. This effectively is what happened with Song and rightly or wrongly we decided to cash in.
I don't think we can afford to do that with Theo. Firstly he is a hugely important member of the squad, say what you like about his consistency but he scores goals (and like others stepped out of Henry's shadow and scored more so may Theo step out of RvP's) and he makes assists, all from a position I think most would agree is not the best suited to him. In terms of shots on target his accuracy is up there with some of the top scorers from last season so I would suspect that shooting is not his problem and maybe we should be working on getting him into the right positions to shoot or maybe that's something he needs to work on himself, I think it's a bit of both.
As well as being an important member of the squad it sends out the wrong message to sell all three of your previous seasons most creative players. We probably would't get very good money for him either so why not pay him what he wants but set out some targets, force him into some consistency, and if he doesn't do well enough or the manager feels he isn't justifying his wages he can sell him to City or Chelsea who would both take him in a heartbeat and pay very good money for him too, money we couldn't command when he only has a year left.
So, back to worth. For me I think you can categorise worth in many ways, it can be what other clubs are willing to pay (which then means you have to force yourself to compete with the oil clubs on salary) or it can be based on a meritocratic scale.
I personally feel that worth is best measured on a club by club basis and thus:
- If a players demands would be easily matched elsewhere then that is his worth (eg, a player wants £110k à la Nasri to stay but they are offered £200k to move elsewhere. You cannot compete with £200k and £110k might be a stretch but it's a reasonable valuation when you consider the valuation by other clubs)
- The take it or leave salary offered by the club
Theo may be asking for £100k and Arsenal may only be offering £75k at the moment but they could offer more if they want to. It's unreasonable for us as supporters to give Theo stick over a salary figure and say he isn't worth this or he is worth that when we don't know what his maximum valuation to Arsenal is. It's also disgusting to hear that some so-called Gooners are abusing his family on Twitter.
I've been told that offering Theo £100k would be a mistake because it means everyone else would want an increase but I don't think that would be the case at all. Most of our first team have recently signed new deals and with the departure of Song, RvP, (Almunia, who was drawing a large salary for nothing) and hopefully a few of the fringe players we will be freeing up more money to invest into better salaries for a trimmer squad and any new arrivals.
Contracts of employment are my livelihood, I earn my living from the transfer of talent from one company to another and whilst I don't profess any superior knowledge about football contracts or claim to be "ITK" about how this stuff works I can't really see the reasons behind contract negotiations etc being much different from industry to industry.
Theo may not be worth £100k to some people but keeping him long term might be worth £100k a week. He could suddenly find that consistency or he might benefit from a change in position at another club and make us wish we never sold him. Sometimes companies pay larger that deserved salaries to some employees because they want to ward off interest from competitors or they want to attract a special talent or in some cases just because they can afford to.
Some start up companies will pay over the odds to secure talent not because they think they'll be worth it one day but sometimes because they cannot afford to have their employees heads turned or to have to waste valuable recruiting time re-filling an old position. When you're starting out you need stability in order to deliver against your projects, make a good impression on your clients and win more business but more importantly repeat business because that is what helps your company grow.
That is essentially what Man City started out doing and that has won them the league.
I don't for one second believe we should follow that business plan but I do feel that over-paying just this once to keep an important player is something we should do.
Thanks for reading.
Thanks for that excellent launch piece Daniel.
Theo is one of those players that split the camp and whilst we're with you on keeping him we're not so sure paying him £100k a week is the best move. Hopefully it'll all sort itself out and maybe they'll meet somewhere in the middle.
Thanks again Daniel and we look forward to reading all of the wonderful comments this article is sure to gather.