The Daily Mail are running a fascinating piece claiming that Arsenal only used Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sparingly last season due to a clause in the deal with Southampton which stated that Arsenal must pay the Saints £10,000 each time the Ox played more than 20 minutes. It certainly looks like something was afoot when you consider that he was brought on as a sub after 72 minutes, 73, 72, 65, 76, 86, 67, 73, 71 and 75 minutes and you think back to how often we asked last season why the Ox wasn’t being used more.
The story, by Neil Ashton, claims that Arsenal received a bill from Southampton via email with Southampton adding injury time to the match time meaning that Arsenal had to pay up regardless.
Questions surely have to be asked *if* Arsenal are so concerned about amounts such as these. Added to the seeming reluctance to spend in this transfer window despite claims that we can spend what we like and not have to worry about it you have to ask is the cash actually being made available? As I mentioned in Monday’s blog there have been many summers when the Arsenal board have told us money has been available only to admit in later seasons that it wasn’t actually.
Is that what’s happening once again this summer? Or is this just another press narrative aimed at attacking an already under-fire manager and club?
It all seems a bit fishy to me.
Wenger has been on record saying that he needed to be more careful with younger players given the injury to Jack which ruled him out for so long. Could it be simple caution? Are we all too ready to jump on Arsenal these days?
You also have to question the timing of this piece. Have the Daily Mail known about this for some time [if it is true] but held it back until a time when it would do maximum damage? It somehow seems like just another stick to beat Arsenal with or am I just being paranoid?