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Arsenal-Reyes saga, and what we learn from it



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All is not well at Arsenal.

They have endured the most up and down summer of all the top four clubs.

The Highs: reaching the champions league final, henry’s decision to stay, the new emirates stadium, arsenal players scoring the most goals in the world cup, Rosicky, beating Spurs to fourth place in the league.

The Lows: losing the champions league final (heh), worst league finish in ages, Cole being the prime candidate for a group spanking, Madrid trying to tap up Fabregas, and now Reyes and his best “i want to go home so please come get me” impression.

It’s enough to drive any fan crazy, let alone the nutty Gunners 🙂

But the Reyes issue (we’ve covered it here and here) drives home a point we keep hearing again and again – if a player is unhappy, he’s better off being sold than being kept. Hearing what Reyes had to say, the guy hasn’t been able to adjust to the cultural change, and at his age that’s eating him up (we tend to forget that most young footballers are our age). At least he’s not bitching and moaning about it like Ashley Cole – but while he’s said all the right words (the team’s great, coach is great, etc), he’s also said that he’d be happier playing in Spain and that he’d like to play for Madrid.

I doubt that Capello would move for Reyes, but if he does, my view is that Arsenal should sell. If a player wants to go, and it’s not about the money or playing conditions but something that the club cannot control, then let him go. Gerrard talks about having some regret on turning down Chelsea after seeing them win back-to-back titles. Carrick’s moved to United where he can play in the Champions League. Chimbonda wants to play in Europe as well.

I understand that it’s bloody hard to see your good players go, so I figure that if you can keep them happy, keep em. If they are moving for footballing reasons, try to improve your own situation before slapping a double or nothing price tag on them.

But if they are just cannot settle down, maybe it’s time for them to go?

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Ahmed Bilal created Sportslens in 2006. He is a business consultant and entrepreneur who helps businesses identify and overcome their biggest challenges. He’s also the founder of Football Media, an online advertising agency that specialises in sports and male audience targeting, with a monthly reach of 100m+ sports fans in the UK and US. He’s also the previous owner of Soccerlens.com – a sports news site that reaches 3m+ readers / month.