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Sagna & Walcott Left Off Arsenal 2013 Calender – Coincidence Or Indication They’re Off?
Theo Walcott and Bacary Sagna have been left out of Arsenal’s 2013 calendar fuelling further speculation over their futures at the club.
Several media outlets, including the Daily Mail, have picked up on the story and take their omission as a clear signal that the duo will not be at the club next summer. Is this the case, or is it just a strange coincidence that two players who’s future’s at the club are under doubt, have been left out?
Let’s face facts, Walcott is one of Arsenal’s most marketable players and has been on the front cover in each of the previous four calenders. Whatever some Arsenal fans think, it is NO coincidence he’s been left out.
While it may not be the final nail in his Arsenal coffin, it’s another indicator that he won’t be with us next summer. Of that you can be sure. Some Gooners have said ‘but the calender’s production is out-sourced to an external company who take care of the design, players included, etc’. You’d be a fool to think senior figures at AFC don’t have a say on which players are included in their official calender.
Put it this way, if Walcott was tied down to a four-year deal would he have been included? 100%. So how can people think it’s just a simple coincidence one of our ‘poster boys’ has been omitted?
Sagna is a slightly less clear case. He has 18 months to run on his current deal and while there have been rumours he could be sold next summer, Arsene confirmed yesterday that they were in talks over an extension.
‘We are hopeful. He had some big injury issues but with him and (Carl) Jenkinson, you need two players and we want to keep them,’
Wenger is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail
The French defender is nowhere near as marketable at Theo by as an important first team player and established member of the squad, you’d still expect him to be included. If Santos is in, you’d expect Sagna to be as well!
Some Gooners are also saying ‘only 12 players can be included, so does it mean the rest of the squad are leaving as well?!’. While it’s correct to say only 12 of the squad can be included (one player for each of the 12 months), the players who were selected are pretty-much based on their importance to the squad.
Here are the lucky 12: Thomas Vermaelen, Mikel Arteta, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski, Wojciech Szczesny, Aaron Ramsey, Andre Santos, Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla and Per Mertesacker.
Nine of the above would arguably be in Arsene”s best starting eleven. The two who’re missing; Walcott and Sagna. Coincidence? Nope.
Of the 12 selected only Santos is a surprise. While Ramsey and Chamberlain may not be first team regulars, they are British and the future of the club so it’s no surprise they’ve been included. Laurent Koscielny and Gervinho are two other notable names to miss out, but neither of those two are ‘marketable’ and personally I’m not surprised at all they’ve not been selected.
So while we can kid ourselves and pretend the calender bears no indication over the future’s of Sagna and Walcott, I think it’s safe to say deep down we all know that’s not the case.
Let’s just hope both players sign fresh deals soon, and are on the front page of the 2014 calender!
What do you think about their omission from the calender? Get involved in the comments section.