Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Good news as Tomiyasu signs a new deal

Morning all.

Let’s start with the new deal for Takehiro Tomiyasu, because otherwise we might get dragged into more tedious Ben White England nonsense. When the men decrying our fantastic right-back are the likes of Danny Mills, Harry Redknapp, and their ilk, there’s just not much point trying to provide any counter-argument to the garbage they’ve been spouting. Gareth Southgate can continue to pick Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson and see how that works out for him.

#TeamBen

Anyway, back to Tomiyasu, and the news reported yesterday that he has signed an extension at the club, that will take him to 2026, with an option for another year. Firstly, I think he’s a genuinely exceptional player so on that basis alone it’s good news. I don’t know if there’s anyone out there capable of playing right-back, both centre-half positions, and left-back as well as he can. His versatility was part of why we brought him in, although at the time he was primarily seen as a right-back, but I didn’t think he could basically be a defensive Swiss Army Knife.

That said, it’s impossible to talk about him without discussing injuries and availability. There’s no doubt he’s had some problems during his time with us, as his record shows:

I have a fairly strong suspicion that without the Asian Cup this season, his most recent absence would have been shorter. I don’t think he was fully fit going away, he picked up another knock because of that, and has barely played in 2024. However, the club must feel relatively confident he can get back on track, simply by virtue of offering him an extension, and I also think the deal reflects that to some extent. It’s not a four year contract with an option for another year, it’s two years, so it demonstrates some caution – most likely because of his problems. Nevertheless, if there’s some measure of risk, it’s calculated, and based on what he can bring to team when fit.

He’s 25 now, so heading into the best years of his career. He wouldn’t be alone if he were to overcome problems in his early 20s to become much more reliable as he matured. Countless players have followed that trajectory, and fingers crossed he’s one of them, because he adds such depth to this squad.

Mikel Arteta says:

Tomi’s attitude, mentality and values are first-class. Tomi is loved by everyone and has been an integral part of the squad since joining us. The way he trains, with his desire and determination to be the best version of himself every day is admirable. We look forward to continue working with Tomi in the future years.

It also helps bring him closer in line with so many of the others who have signed new deals of late. Every one of the players who have put pen to paper in the last 12 months have also improved their terms, their salaries etc, and a consequence of that is a slight imbalance which you have to correct to keep things harmonious. Tomiyasu won’t be on the same wages as someone like Bukayo Saka or Martin Odegaard, but a decent increase on a relatively low starting salary makes a difference and shows the club’s commitment to him without straining the wage bill in any significant way.

Tomi told the official website:

When I’m on the pitch I feel the love and energy from the supporters. We are connected a lot so I want to give them something back. I am playing for Arsenal, and this means I’m playing for the Arsenal supporters. That’s why I dedicate my life to this club and the supporters. I want to give them something back. The connection between players and supporters is a different level and that makes it more special.

By all accounts he’s going to fit and ready after the Interlull, so that gives us a boost going into the run-in with the hectic schedule that lies ahead. It’s going to be very much all hands on deck, and if he can bolster our defensive options between now and the end of the season, it’ll be a big help.

Finally for today, I saw this story

… and I laughed. Oh, how I laughed. They suckled at the teets of the devil for 20 years and enjoyed unparalleled success (in comparison with what they had done in their history). Now it’s time to pay the piper. Tough. Shit.

When you think about so much of what is fundamentally wrong about football these days, it’s impossible to avoid the connection to Roman Abramovich and how he changed the game when he decided to use an English football club for profile and legitimacy. As I’ve said before, it was probably inevitable, and if it hadn’t been Chelsea it would have been someone else, but it was them and they deserve every bit that’s coming to them.

9000 points deduction please for all the dodgy dealings. Per season. To infinity and beyond. Till death do us laugh.

Right, that’s it for now. Will probably get an Arsecast out for you today, it’s a bit of a struggle this Interull so hopefully we’ll have something for you to listen to a bit later on.

Until then.

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