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What is going on in Wenger’s head?

Things are getting strange on the “potentially outgoing” front, and it’s fair to ask why.

FC Internazionale v AS Roma - Serie A
should be hugging it out with Arsene
Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

It’s only July 18
It’s only July 18
It’s only July 18

It’s only July 18

This is what I have to keep saying to myself. Out loud. Saying things in my head does nothing. As I drop another dose of valerian root in a futile herbal effort to retain my sanity, I have to say, out loud, “it’s only July 18.”

Back in 2009 and 2010, as I started writing about Arsenal, things were different, particularly financially. My appeals to authority were stronger then. I don’t know if the club has changed or if I have, but these days, I’m finding it harder to accept the kinds of things that Arsene Wenger and Arsenal are up to.

This window, it must be said, has not been bad so far. The confirmed moves are both positives: Alexandre Lacazette for a club-record fee (but not an exorbitant one given the Premier League’s Scrooge McDuck Vault of precious stones and metals) and Sead Kolašinac, promising, for free. That’s a okaydecent window even if there is no more incoming.

My discontent stems, though, from the rumored outgoings. Wojciech Szczesny, now legitimately one of the most sought-after keepers in Europe, on his way to Juventus as the heir apparent to Gianluigi Buffon for...wait...10 million pounds? Even if the cigarette in the shower was not an isolated incident but part of a larger pattern, and even if Wenger hates his guts, it’s hard to understand this one. Szczesny is older and wiser now, and very good at being a goalkeeper. Is it possible to make it work? If not, one has to make a better business move than "loan him for two years then sell him off for super cheap."

On top of that, now there are rumors that JEFF Reine-Adelaide is on the outs.


If Wenger has personal issues with these players, that is fine. He has to run the club, and running a team with personality clashes is quite hard. I have personal experience with this. That said, this feels like the worst possible outcome. At worst, one could say Wenger is being spiteful, and at best, he’s being shortsighted. In either case, it is hard to make the case that he’s acting in the club’s best interests. Whatever the reason, letting a talent like Szczesny go for so low a fee in this market is a failure, and there is simply no reason to sell JEFF for sporting reasons right now.

Appeals to authority are understandable. We will never know the unbiased truth of this. But the outcomes here are suboptimal and frustrating. It is fair to suggest that Arsenal are over a barrel, but it is hard to name teams with similar reputations on the world stage who so routinely find themselves in these situations. This is the price the club pays for Wenger’s ideals about contracts and loyalty—a two-way street, but one with mostly one-way traffic this past week.

I might just be cranky. Let’s discuss in the comments!