Graeme Souness: Arsenal & Chelsea’s player power problems

Graeme Souness on Arsenal

Most Sundays Graeme Souness pens a column in the Times.

In his final article in 2017, Souness has picked up on the theme of player power at Arsenal and Chelsea.

Starting with Arsenal, Souness details how manager Arsene Wenger is no longer in control of big decisions at the Emirates Stadium.

With specific regard to the futures of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, Souness believes Arsenal have botched their contract situations.

And the Scottish talking head believes Arsenal are always one bad result away from problems. He argued:

Van Dijk’s situation is easier to manage than the one at Arsenal, where Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez can start talking to other clubs from January 1. 

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When Arsenal have an indifferent result, the focus will be about them not giving their all and that doesn’t make for a happy dressing room.

It’s difficult to manage. Do you keep them and they’re maybe only giving 75% or sell them? It will be driven by their agents. Arsène Wenger is no longer driving the bus.

Arsenal were held to a 3-3 draw by Liverpool on Friday night.

Antonio Conte & Chelsea

Moving from north to west London, Souness also touched on Antonio Conte’s player problems at Stamford Bridge.

Souness used David Luiz as a stick to bash Conte with.

With the Chelsea line has been that Luiz is out with a knee injury, Souness gave the impression something else is going on. He wrote:

Something is bothering Antonio Conte, who hardly seems full of Christmas cheer. 

Conte will be pointing the finger at somebody as City are running away with the league, saying: “We should have strengthened as they did.”

Is David Luiz injured or not? It appears there’s been a fallout. The dynamic between coaches and players in Italy is different to that in England. There’s more respect for the coach in Italy.

Chelsea drew 0-0 at Everton on Saturday.

Also see: Chelsea fans turn on one player vs Everton.

Alexis Sanchez agreed new Arsenal deal, only to pull out due to humiliation.