Tag Archives: Manchester City

Only The Arsenal matter

Yesterday Liverpool proved that they are the greatest team of all time, with the greatest manager of all time. In Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain they have the most improved player of all time. The hyperbole from the media and fans was almost as cringe as Spurs appealing for a goal to be given to Harry Kane.

Fair play to Liverpool though. They were under dogs against Manchester City and performed well to knock them out – even though they got a huge slice of luck from the referee with a goal disallowed that would have made it 3-2 on aggregate.

Despite running away with the Premier League, Manchester City have now suffered 3 defeats in a row. 4 losses in 6 games, and 3 home losses on the trot.

It is not a massive surprise about Manchester City’s recent stumble.

At Bayern Munich, Pep Guardiola’s side always seemed to struggle in the last quarter of the season

In 2013/14, Munich messed up a chance of an unbeaten season when they drew 1, lost 2 on the spin. In April they were also defeated by Real Madrid in the Champions League. A year later, they lost 3 on the spin in the Bundesliga and were once more knocked out of the Champions league at the semi-final stage.

Whilst in both seasons, the defeats happened after the title was sown up, it still highlights a fall off in performance at the later end of the season.

Pep Guardiola is so intense, his training sessions, the way he deals with players, etc, that it is only natural that they get burn out. We are maybe now seeing the same with Manchester City.

A defeat to Spurs at the weekend could see Man City not securing the league title until May. It will be a case of limping over the line for a team that was considered one of the greatest in history (after the current Liverpool side).

Anyway, I did not watch the Champions League game. I have no real interest.

Instead I watched The Island with Bear Grylls. Great TV viewing if you are not already on it. Hopefully in the next episode, whalers will come along and harpoon the 3 poor people. Workshy, lazy, overweight wastes of oxygen. They are a disgrace to working class folk who grind 10 hours a day to put food on the table.

All I care about is Thursday. The Europa League.

At 4-1, you would think Arsenal are comfortable. But last night Barcelona went to Rome with a 4-1 lead from the home leg. They lost 3-0 and went out on away goals.

This result could be good for Arsenal. Arsene Wenger should make players watch the game on the flight to Moscow, to avoid complacency.

To those going out there, enjoy the game, stay safe.

A final thought of the day…

Up the Arsenal.

Keenos

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Arsenal set for “double your money” kit deal

In 2014, Arsenal announced a new, long term partnership, with Puma. A deal worth £150m, or £30m over 5 years. It was, at the time, one of the largest deals of its kind in football.

Arsenal had been with Nike for 20 years, but in the early 2010’s, had decided to seek a new kit manufacturing partner. Adidas were in prime spot and were expected to sign a deal, until Puma swooped in late, gazumping the money Adidas had put on the table.

At the time, Cardiff City and Newcastle United were the only Premier League clubs to have their kit made by Puma, so the Arsenal deal was a massive coup for the German company.

“Arsenal represents a major commercial and marketing opportunity to reinforce Puma’s credibility as a global sports brand,” chief executive Bjoern Gulden said in a statement.

The deal Arsenal signed with Puma back in 2014 was one of the largest in world football lat the time. But as with our shirt sponsors, we are always at the beginning of the new cycle of mega-deals, and it was soon gazumped by Manchester United and Adidas:

It is clear that Arsenal are getting well below from Puma than what they could command in the current market. Half the value of Chelsea, 40% of the monster Manchester United deal. Not much more than the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham; whom we sell significantly more shirts than.

One interesting thing to note is the Chelsea deal. It is massive. Worth £900m at the time. But it is also a deal signed until 2032.

Whilst they might be getting more than they would “naturally” command now, you have to think in 5 years time, that deal could be considered poor.

Clubs usually sign 5 or 6 year deals, to enable themselves to not be caught out if there is jump. Arsenal suffered when they signed a long term deal with Emirates to help finance the stadium, and found themselves receiving a lot less than other sides in commercial revenue.

The Chelsea deal will be judged in the course of time.

Despite being fairly average, Arsenal are still amongst the runners for most shirts sold. It is this that makes Arsenal such a good proposition for manufacturers, rather trophies won.

Reports are that Puma and Manchester City have entered negotiations. With Manchester City looking to cut their £18m a year Nike deal short, and sign a £45m one with Puma.

This rumour is interesting, as it shows that Puma are concerned about not sponsoring a top Premier League team. Were the Arsenal deal to end, they would not have a major club in England wearing their shirt.

It also highlights how poor Manchester City are still seen abroad.

Despite running away with the league this year, the deal with Puma will still be a lot less than the Chelsea and Manchester United ones.

Puma base what they are willing to pay on the shirts they can sell – and not on the trophies won. Manchester United outsell every team in the Premier League (and the world) hence where there deal is the biggest.

It should also be remember that clubs do not get a “cut of global sales”. The only extra money a club makes on top of the licensing and manufacturing agreement is when they sell the shirts in the club shop or online. “Buy Direct” as Arsenal say.

When it comes to selling shirts, Arsenal or Manchester United are no different to Sports Direct or JD Sports. They make their money on the difference between what Puma (or Nike) sell the shirts to them for, and what they sell them on to us, the consumer, for.

Sorry for digressing.

Despite not winning a league title since 2004, Arsenal will still be considered by the likes of Nike and Adidas as a premium band. Someone that they want to supply, and pay big bucks to supply. Only 5 clubs in world football sell more shirts.

Barcelona have recently signed a £150m deal with Nike. Manchester United’s is at £75m a season. Chelsea £60m a season.

Adidas pay Bayern Munich £65m a season.

It is the Bayern Munich deal that is most comparable.

Arsenal sell a similar amount of shirts as the German giants, and Adidas want a London Premier League club after losing Chelsea to Nike. The deal will be done between Arsenal and Adidas.

Munich is the jewel in the crown for Adidas. A German based company, German’s biggest team. It is a match made in heaven. Despite this, they get less from their deal than Manchester United. Ultimately it comes down to business. Manchester United sell more shirts, so get more money.

Personally, I can see Arsenal signing a deal with Adidas in the region of £60m a season, doubling our current Puma deal.

I also do not think we will join Chelsea in a 15 year long deal. We should look at the Manchester United deal, expiring in 2024, and look at an expiry date of around that time.

In 2024, Manchester United might double their deal again, taking themselves to £150m. That would dwarf every other side in the Premier League.

Arsenal would not want to be sitting there in 2024 on £60m a year with 8 years to run, whilst Manchester United have a £150m a year deal. That could create a long term deficit of £720m. A lot of money.

Arsenal need to close that commercial gap between themselves and Manchester United. House deals with Emirates and a new kit manufacturer need to be just the beginning.

Keenos

Why are Arsenal targeting Jonny Evans?

Jonny Evans had been a supposed Arsenal target for 18 months. When you say his name, a lot of Arsenal fans laugh. Why would we want a Manchester United reject who currently plays for WBA?

But then Manchester City, until recently, were also heavily linked with them. So clearly he is a player that, even if some fans do not rate, the likes of Pep Guardiola does.

So why are Arsenal targeting the Northern Irishman?

Arsenal need a centre back: with Per Mertesacker set to leave on a free transfer, Laurent Koscielny having ongoing injury issues, and Holding, Chambers and Mavropanos all still young and inexperienced, Arsenal need an experienced centre back to partner Shkodran Mustafi.

Evans is Premier League proven: Manchester City are about to spend £57m on Aymeric Laporte. As they have shown over the years, it is very easy to spend a lot of money on a centre back and get it wrong (John Stones – £47.5m, Nicolas Otamendi – £32m, Eliaquim Mangala – £40m, Matija Nastasic – £12m , Stefan Savic – £6m). Buying foreign, buying potential, is a big risk. Arguably their two best centre backs in recent years were their cheapest – Vincent Kompany (£6.7m) and Martín Demichelis (£3.5m).

With Jonny Evans, Arsenal are signing a player with over 250 Premier League appearances, 130 of which have been for Manchester United, the rest for WBA – so he has the right mix of being involved in successful teams and being a battle hardened centre back.

Age: John Stones was a big risk for Manchester City due to his lack of experience. Arsenal have the likes of Calum chambers, Rob Holding and the new Greek lad Mavropanos. They have youthful talent covered, but with Per going, the experience is dramatically reduced.

I was surprised that Evans was just 30 years old. I thought he was a lot older than that. He is a player who has looked after himself and does not have a poor injury record. He could have another 5 / 6 years at the top level.

Leadership: We have lacked a good leader for a decade. Jonny Evans is captain  of WBA and Northern Ireland.

Not only is he a captain, he is also an organiser. Often when Koscielny and Mustafi play together, the centre of the defence looks lost, disorganised. Evans is a director, someone who his centre back partner and the full backs can take their lead from.

Style of play: It perhaps go’s against Jonny Evans that he is very much a British centre back. He is no nonsense. But is that not what we have missed recently? Someone who can put their head in, who knows when to clear their lines, a simplistic player who sees defending as his main job.

But Evans can also play. Occasionally at Manchester United he moved into central midfield. He is not just a thug like Ryan Shawcross, he can actually play a bit as well.

Winner: Johnny Evans has 3 Premier League winners medals. In the 2012/13 season, with Nemanja Vidic injured, Evans was Rio Ferdinand’s partner at the back, as Manchester United won the league comfortably.

Home grown: It might not seem like much, but Premier League rules dictate you can only have 17 foreign players in your squad. Evans, having been at Manchester United since he 9, is home grown. This then frees up a foreign based squad position for players in alternative positions.

Price:  Finally, his price. This is where you all moan.

The fact is, Arsenal do not have a bottomless pit of money like Manchester City. We can not afford to spend £300m just on centre backs in the hope 2 of them make it. Evans is just £10m. If WBA get relegated, he reportedly has a £3m release clause.

So you are getting a Premier League proven centre back, a leader, a winner, for £10m. When yo use Virgil van Dijk going for £75m, Arsenal would be getting a steal for Evans. And at £3m, it would be a no brainer in the summer.


If you want a no nonsense, Premier League experienced defender, who would fit in straight away, you could do a lot worse than Evans for £10m.

Yes, Arsenal could target a Raphael Varane or Samuel Umtiti, or whichever centre back everyone that plays FIFA is currently using, but spending big does not guarantee you are getting what you pay for – as seen by Manchester City’s exploits in the central defence market.

Evans would be a reliable, experienced centre back to put alongside Mustafi.

 

Keenos