Arsene Wenger signed a new two-year deal to continue as Arsenal manager on Wednesday.
The future of the 67-year-old was up for debate for much of last season but suggestions of a split after almost 21 years have proved unfounded.
Wenger will have plenty to do in the coming months to appease those supporters who had been calling for his departure, like….
While Wenger’s future has filled back pages, the contract wrangles with dynamic duo Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez have also rumbled on.
Both are significant figures in the Arsenal side and, even though the Gunners face a first season out of the Champions League in 19 years, getting them to sign their own new deals is essential.
The pair have a little over 12 months to run on their contracts and it has been reported that both Sanchez, who hit 30 goals last season, and club-record signing Ozil are seeking parity with the Premier League’s top earners. Arsenal must pay it to keep hold of the pair and move forward.
Wenger has been adamant that he will never work alongside a director of football or someone who takes away some of his key managerial responsibilities.
But, after a run of seven defeats in 12 games earlier in the year, Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis said the barren spell was a “catalyst for change”.
While it now seems a senior role such as a director of football is a non-starter, any changes that are agreed as part of Wenger’s new deal must be implemented with both haste and minimal disruption.
Wenger, and the club as a whole, have been criticised in recent seasons for a lack of inspirational signings.
Last summer Arsenal spent big on Shkodran Mustafi, Granit Xhaka and Lucas Perez.
The jury is still out on both Mustafi and Xhaka while Perez is likely to move back to Spain having not kicked a ball in anger since March.
This year needs to be different and fans will be excited that names such as Riyad Mahrez, Kylian Mbappe and Carlos Bacca have all been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium.
Now Wenger and his transfer team must deliver such players despite only being able to offer Europa League football.
Wenger’s new deal has been signed against a backdrop of hostility.
Protests have swelled in recent months as a title bid turned into a fifth-placed finish and was accompanied by a humiliating 10-2 aggregate defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
A tactical tweak saw the Gunners end the season with nine wins out of 10, culminating in the FA Cup final success against Chelsea.
Wenger will need to start the next campaign in similar fashion to quieten those still unhappy with the decision to stick with the Frenchman.