News of Arsene Wenger’s contract renewal hardly came as a shock. Would it have been any different if he’d not just become the most successful manager in FA Cup history? I doubt it, because the club simply doesn’t have the structure in place to cope with a smooth accession.
No new manager is going to come to the Arsenal and expect to be running the club from top to bottom, in the same fashion that Arsene does.
Yet therein lies the quandary, as with Wenger agreeing a two-year extension, how do the tame suits at our club intend to engineer a transition, persuading their overlord to relinquish control of contract renewals, transfer signings, etc, to leave his eventual successor able to focus solely on managing events on the pitch.
Too little, too late perhaps, but while there can be no disputing the form the team found in the final month of this campaign, off the pitch it’s been something of a shambles, gross incompetency even that they’ve failed to nail down the futures of the club’s prize assets.
I’m not so concerned about Özil as I don’t exactly envisage there being a queue of tempting suitors; but surely the club have been remiss in not securing Alexis Sanchez, long before his agent turned his head. If Alexis decides to depart, Wenger will have a massive problem, filling the hole left in the absence of the Chilean’s goals and assists.
Even if Alexis chooses to stay, something needs to occur during the summer to convince the fans that next season is not merely going to offer more of the same old, same old unconvincing Arsenal. I suspect Arsene is far too loyal to effect a merciless overhaul of his squad, by shipping out those players who’ve patently failed to fulfill their promise. But without some serious transfer action to signal the club’s intent to compete, I absolutely dread the reaction from the terraces the moment the team fails to perform.
The club appears to be preparing itself for a rash of refusals to renew season tickets, judging by the numbers on the season ticket waiting list who’ve received notification of their opportunity to purchase a seat. With so many fans eagerly waiting to replace dissatisfied Gooners who choose not to renew, irritation over the stasis at the Arsenal is unlikely ever to be reflected by a lack of bums on seats.
You have to credit the stubborn old bugger’s staying power, as even if the Wenger Out Brigade have the summer to come to terms with the situation, it’s obvious that Wenger will be in for an immediate shellacking every time results go against us. In addition to having to contend with the negative impact of the Europa League’s Thursday/Sunday schedule, Wenger needs to find some means of getting all those far-too-entitled Gooners back on side.
Otherwise it’s hard to imagine how we can expect the next two seasons to play out any differently, amidst an increasingly rancorous atmosphere of disunity. Over to you Arsene?
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