Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Wenger talks contracts and player ‘hunger index’

Arsene Wenger firmly believes Alexis Sanchez will give his all for Arsenal this season even though he’s into the final 11 months of his current deal at the Emirates.

The Gunners have made it clear that they will rebuff all offers for the Chile international even though they risk losing the striker for free next summer. A risky tactic in the eyes of many.

Asked whether those players in the process of running down their contract might not give their all, Wenger told beINsport:

“You could say as well the other way round. The real question we have to answer is does the hunger index increase or decrease when you have a short contract or a long contract?

“I would be on the opposite side. That means the hunger index is higher when the contracts are shorter and it decreases naturally when the guys have long contracts.

“Contracts mean a lot. When you sign them as a club, you have to pay the money for the player if he performs or not. That gives you a huge responsibility and gives a guarantee of income to the players. Overall, I believe that it has a meaning.”

We’re not entirely sure whether what Wenger is saying makes sense or not…what we are sure about is that Alexis Sanchez doesn’t seem the sort to do things half-heartedly when he’s on the pitch.

Of course, while he’s sidelined he doesn’t have the chance to prove the doubters wrong. The player has an abdominal strain that will keep him out of Saturday’s game at Stoke City, so he’ll have to score a hat trick against Liverpool on 27 August. If he doesn’t, he’s dead to us.

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Look at him after January with a contract in his pocket from another club. How much will he give and how much will he risk his health?


World cup, world cup!

Arsene\'s Nose

Alexis is in the Chile’s team regardless of his form come next summer.

Mein Bergkampf

Given that the Chilean national team play Alexis when he’s injured, I’m guessing he’ll still make the 22 man squad if his form drops off.

A different George

They played him on one ankle for most of a Copa America final. And he was great.


he’ll still make the 22 man squad if his leg drops off.


Crescent and Henry barely tried a leg in the last half of their last seasons.



Santi\'s Smile

Neither Henry nor Cesc played with Arsenal in the final year of a contract.

Also, perhaps what Arsene is saying, is that players are hungrier in the last year of a deal knowing their performance will directly impact on terms in any new deal. In American sports, the phenomenon is referred to as having a “contract year”.

Realize this post is pedantic, just hope it’s relevant, too.

Bai Blagoi

The problem is that after January he can already HAVE a contract.


He can discuss, but only with non English clubs, I think

Heavenly Chapecoense

I do not totally agree. Let’s assume that a player has an agreement with Mourinho to go to Man U in January. What do you expect Mourinho to tell him ? Do not get injured, right ? He has asked players to retire from international competitions. My point is that the new team has interest in the player not getting injured or not running himself down.

A different George

He cannot have a contract with an English team in January, only with a foreign team. (FIFA rules allow it, but the Prem’s do not.)

Igbo Amadi-Obi

You would expect Mr. Wenger to know that this ‘contract year’ thing does not apply to a player that has refused to renew with you because he wants to leave.


In English, it is commonly referred to as an “Adebayor year”.


I was wondering who Crescent was, and started to doubt my Arsenal knowledge

A different George

A brilliant centre-half, especially when partnered with Wrench.

A different George

That’s a spanner to you.


Still wish we signed O’Toole


Neither of them played in last year of contract and I cannot remember either of them not giving 100%.


Both player were banjaxed after killing themselves for us despite everything. Henry had a broken back and Cesc has a list of playing through the pain that puts most others to shame.




My imagination or does he always seems to play better when his contract is coming up for renewal

I miss Rosicky\'s hair

I think it is because Theo wanted to stay with improved wage. Alexis on the other hand…


Alexis has never been anything but hard working on the pitch. I have no reason to doubt he wouldn’t put in a good effort for us. Yes he can lose possession and be frustrating sometimes, but I don’t think that impacts his commitment to the team


As an American who also follows American sports, I can definitely see where Wenger is going here. In most sports in America, its the norm for most players to run their contracts down. These sports are unlike world football in this way. Over and over again you’ll hear about a player being in his “contact year” throughout the final year of his contract and how he’s fighting harder and working harder to earn his next big deal. On the flip side, every so often there are those that have just signed long term deals and are a little more lax.… Read more »


One major difference though is American players aren’t bought and sold and American sports all have salary caps.


Baseball does not have salary caps. NBA does but owners can pay “luxury tax” if they pay players above the team’s overall cap so they have some flexibility there. NFL is the hard cap and contracts essentially mean nothing in the NFL


Yes MLB does have a luxury tax.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Once the player agrees with a team in January, what is the interest for the new team that the player being on fire and taking risks for the remainder of the season ? Would it matter for City if Sanchez scores 8 goals instead of 18 from January to May ? This principle does not apply to big players. If Perez stays, he will have to prove to potential suitors he can score goals. Same will apply to Ox if he stays.

A different George

Man City can’t sign him in January. See above.


I disagree with you. Imagine if someone like Mahrez had last season put in the same kind of performance he had in their title winning campaign, do you know how much he would have been worth by now. The point is that football constantly demands that you prove your worth, notwithstanding what you might have done in the past, whether you are a big player or not.


I think its possible to overthink this situation. If Arsenal are in with a shout of a trophy, Alexis will give his all. Of not then he, and most of the other players for that matter, will lose motivation. If we are in touch with the leaders in the PL and have a shot at the FA or Europa Leagues trophies, we will see a good (but inevitably final) season from Alexis (injuries permitting).


Wenger: We’re alert every day of the transfer window.29july


In this mad football world there are very few things that make sense. Wenger trying to draw almost the only positive thing in this Alexis dilemma into the daylight. Who can blame him for trying to be a little bit less crazy then the lot.


He has noone but himself to blame.


2 dislikes prolly cus of the crazy *then* the lot when it’s suppose to be *than* just my guess

La Défense

3 dislikes for you – prolly, cus, and no punctuation.


I fancy a bacon sandwich.


Just had a full English

Isaiah Rankin

My hunger index is normally around the 9.0 mark, sometimes hitting double figures and rarely dipping below 7.5. Turns out I have a tapeworm. I call him Ernie.


I thought Ernie was a milkman


the fastest as it happens ,so…should we sign the aforesaid milkman?


Look at the Adebayor example. Signed a new deal and downed tools (to**er). Wenger’s point is a good one – if Sanchez wants a earn a massive contract from a big club, playing well this season is very much in his interest.


Alexis Sanchez will get a huge contract offer from a big club no matter how he plays this season.
He’s a proven match winner.
The only thing that’ll stop him getting that? is a big injury.
However I’m 100% behind the club in keeping him this season, it would be near impossible to replace him internally or on the transfer market.
For the club to U Turn now would be hugely damaging.
Nice to see us putting our sporting aspirations first.

The Doff

I don’t agree. So many players have had one, two or three good seasons but it’s still the recent one that counts most. Think about Fabregas. Of course Alexis will have plenty suitors. But if other players outperformed him in his final contract year, he will not be first choice for the top clubs and that will be reflected in the contract offer.


Not having to pay a transfer fee, will play massively in Alexis’ favour. As long as he doesn’t sustain a career threatening injury towards the end of the season, he can name his price.

The Doff

Again, this is based on the assumption that a player who has been great for a few seasons will always be great. If clubs save on the transfer fee, his agent will want to see a higher wage. I don’t think Atletico offered Torres the wage his Liverpool performances would’ve merited?


Imagine it
…sp##s sign Alexis for a years supply of dog food and a few nectar points

Terry Henry

I think put his usual 100% in well when results are going our way. If they don’t (presumably around November time), I would assume he will kick his toys out of the pram a bit more than usual. I can’t see Wenger pandering as much to him, and making him an automatic starter if his form drops.
Either way, it has got to be better than getting a few quid and not actually being able to replace him. I wonder if we try get his replacement in January ?

Mr November

I’m usually a disciple for Arsene’s insights on the game but I think he may be talking out of his arse a bit here. Hunger can be linked to contracts but I think that context has a lot more bearing. If Alexis knows he has the world cup and a guaranteed contract at Man City waiting for him at the end of the season will he risk injury or carry on fighting for Arsenal if they’re out of the cups and vying for a place in the top 4?


Well I suppose we helped him out when no one else did , I see him going to Bournemouth via Glentorran


How about this is all a clever ploy to distract the “big” clubs then come January he re-signs for Arsenal


Draxler and Matuidi and some cash. Job done

Gooner McGoonFace



Neymar straight swap. No need for currency conversion headaches.


Wenger – a word of advice. Less yappy, more doing. The more you talk the less believable you sound. Nobody believes a word you say no more. Last 3 months have been eye opening as how you inept you are.

JJs Bender

You mean the last 3 where we’ve won 4 trophies (with admittedly varying amounts of prestige: FA Cup, Charity Shield, a random international friendly cup and the emirates cup), bought two world class additions – one for FREE, and put his foot down and said no to all offers for Alexis?

Stop talking out of your bottom


Did you really tout the pre-season tournaments and the Charity Shield as actual trophies?

Wenger really has done a number on a large part of our fans.

Emirates cup? You’re having a laugh…


Better the Charity shield is in our cabinet than those idiots we were playing!


Like I said, Wenger has done quite a number on a large part of our fan base.

Went from premier League, to top 4 to Charity Shield is a major trophy.

Impressive the power one man has over the expectations of others.

JJs Bender

if you read what o actually said, about the: “varying amounts of prestige” I don’t for one second count the emirates cup or that other tin trophy as major trophies, nor does anyone, nor does Arsene for sure. Charity Shield, although useless is always lovely to win – you didn’t feel any joy winning on pens against Chelski??? But calling Arsene inept for the last 3 months (the original post I was responding to) is just ludicrous! He has his faults but come on man!!!

JJs Bender

Also bda, sorry to be pedantic but you’re the one that went from calling them ‘major’ trophies, I called them trophies. You know those nice shiny things we’ve accumulated a load of under Arsene.


A ‘load’ of trophies? Guessing you are including the Emirates and Charity Shield with that comment. You can be satisfied with a manager who has one just 3 league titles and no European trophies in over two decades of being in charge. Hell, I might even be still on the bandwagon if we actually competed for those major trophies on a regular. But we don’t, haven’t and will not with Arsene in charge In the end that is a poor return of major trophies in over two decades of being at the helm. We finished 18 points behind the champions… Read more »


Did you see that Chelsea and Livpoo. both shipped 3 goals each despite having their full defence. Join the discussion


You’re well out of order there


Why? Everything I stated is a irrefutable fact.

That is a poor return in over 20 years in charge no matter how much you don’t want it to be.


It may have escaped your notice son but Manchu loudly proclaim they won 3 trophies last season by your reckoning only 1 was a bona fide trophy


Well said JJs!


Arsene Wenger should be given respect as an essentially good person

Alex habesha

get rid of Sanchez,Ozil and co who are not happy.Instead have a happy and united squad


While I assume you are being snarky, I’m not really sure where this idea comes from that squads can’t win with unhappy players or players who don’t like each other. You don’t all have to be friends – you just have to have a desire to win that trumps all. A lot of the great teams over the years have had nasty players that drive others one – I can’t imagine Roy Keane or Viera & Petit were great to be around if you weren’t performing. I would just say we should sell any player that doesn’t have to overwhelming… Read more »


It sometimes seems like Arsene just invents his own frame of reality to soothe himself. I think everybody does this to some extent. Or maybe it’s just media speak. If he truly believed this though, then why was he perma-benching Theo (the one player who actually proves the ‘hunger index’ theory), during his final-6-months contract saga? It felt pointed at the time, it wasn’t a case of fitting him in like it is now. He was a relatively key player. Maybe it’s because he believed Theo had legitimate offers from other clubs? I’m sure he did. Alexis will too. So… Read more »


Arsene is a leader, leaders create/invent frames of mind by recognizing/leading. They also make mistakes or miss the target by margins….because they lead. Sanchez will have amazing games if he stays, he will also likely have some not so great games. I saw Sanchez provide leadership last season AND saw him act like a spoiled brat and hurt our team and season. Wenger is leading and playing the cards he has been dealt, I just hope he wins enough hands/games to land a championship…we need to abandon seeking perfection. Just like poker, you win some you lose some, it’s how… Read more »

Reality check

With world cup and a new club on his mind, as the season goes on, it will be intriguing to see how much Alexis is willing to risk physically. He better prove that he’s worth every penny of the 50mil wenger has rejected just for his one season service or may be half. Shows how much wenger is willing to risk to get back and compete in the CL. The only thing missing from his CV.


I think we should take a look back to when walcott was in the final year of his contract. He had perhaps the finest goalscoring form of his arsenal career between the start of that season until he signed a new deal.
Once that deal was signed the goals dried up again, so I understand completely what Wenger is talking about!


Solution: always sign Walcott to one year extensions


Didn’t Walcott have the best goalscoring form of his life last year, with 19? And doesn’t his current deal have a few more years to run?


This should really be labelled the ‘risk’ index as works both ways. Alexis needs to consider whether he’s prepared, aged 29 in Dec, to enter into this season without the security of a long contract. Right now he has a ‘double your money’ £300k a week for 4 years offer on the table (that’s a min of £60m!!). Not signing it is him writing off c£7.5m (the extra he’d earn this season alone) in lieu of being a free agent in 12 months. As great as he is, he needs to weigh up whether a Man City or PSG will,… Read more »

Surrey Gooner

I think if we are in with a shout for silverware come Feb/March he’ll be on board. If we collapse like last year, he won’t give a Monkey’s. He’s a nailed on start for Chille and will have sorted a contract for his next club.


Basically…he’s been scarred by Theo. Played the best football of his career to get a contract. After he got it, he went back to being just OK, on occasion


If he does lose his desire for the team then loan him in January and let someone else cover his wages for the remainder of his contract.

Yankee Gooner

I tried to write an algorithm that would correlate the Hunger Index and the Poo-ometer, but then I lost my appetite for that kind of crap.


I completely agree with Wenger on this one. When a player is in the last year of his contract, it will be in such player’s best interest to give their all. This is for the simple reason that they know that in other to secure a better deal elsewhere, they have to sell themselves and increase their value, otherwise by the time they run out of their contract, it would be difficult to attract better offers. Their is a saying in football that “you are as good as your last game”.


What he means is if you just signed, you are secure in your contract for a couple of years at least…although of course you could end up like Perezski.

If you are at end of contract, you should be looking to impress for a lucrative offer, even if you are off on a free because wages will be an issue (not to mention the pedigree of club that will come in for you). Case in point Mahrez say.

There’s some logic to it, although it doesn’t necessarily hold fast of course for everyone.


I don’t think we should be selling the Ox. This is a player who brings a lot of dynamics to the team. Arguably, he had more impact than Bellerin against Leicester even when playing invereted. He had the most possessions won, most successful dribbles and most shots on goal and he was able to drive us forward a number of times even though a couple of the final product were errant. This is a player who is improving and maturing. Selling him to a peer rival would be the height of idiotic. Sure we stand to potentially lose 35m but… Read more »


Alexis…I suspect his HOT missus will be the key.

If she wants to live in beautiful Manchester with its sunny weather and lovely Lancashire accent or go to that slum they call Paris and those snooty people.

Where would you go?

To be reunited with Pep or go to a club where they have Di Maria, Neymar, Cavanni, plenty of South American homeys?


Laugh ,I nearly di d


Also if you consider from PSG ‘s point of view ( bearing in mind of course they are drunk with spending power)…you just spent a rather large sum on Neymar. You’d have to off load to make it look better for UEFA’s so called FFP and you would have to bargain slightly harder for the next couple of signings. That would mean you would need to know who you can move first. PLUS Alexis plays left side which is where they play Neymar. There is also Draxler. Di Maria can play there too. I suspect Alexis will consider Paris very… Read more »


To me this sounds like rubish. Following Wengers argument the club should only make very short contracts to get the players to perform. Something the contracts of big names like lacazette And Granit, not to mention various big players in all other clubs contradicts quite clearly

The Romford Pelé

Is there anyone else that sort of really secretly wants Alexis to get a semi-longterm injury come December time? I know its awful but it would make another club wanting to sign him far less appealing… We could kindly re-sign him again during his rehabilitation.

No…. just me?


And me ..well,.. maybe

Only one Dennis Bergkamp

Alexis will remain the same player through the season.. he plays the same way whether he’s on a contract, on one leg or with half his abs in an ice bath. We keep him this season and we get back into the Champs League or better still, have a crack at the title… more valuable than 50 million we can get for him this transfer window.

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