Will he stay or will he quit after 20 years in the saddle at Arsenal, one of the most prestigious clubs in the world? That has been the question raging in the minds of many Arsenal fans as Wenger’s current contract runs to an end at the end of this season.
Clearly, majority of the fans have made their sentiments know. With placards upon placards displayed in virtually every Arsenal match since October last year, it is glaring even to the most unperturbed that Wenger’s contributions at the Emirates are no longer in measure with expectations. At least for the fans.
Sentiments point towards Wenger moving in another direction leaving the Gunners to fend for themselves and rebuild the team for competitiveness and success. The two things that had eluded the team for the past 13 years if one is to ignore the two FA Cups won within the period.
The truth is that the sentiments of the fans may not move the board at the Emirates towards enforcing Wenger’s exit. As noted in the past, Wenger and the hierarchy at the Emirates are in love! That relationship may not be easily broken as many wish except a disaster of monumental proportion takes place.
Like all major football clubs in Europe, Arsenal is set up to win silverwares, generate revenue towards meeting its financial obligations and return profit for the owners. Arsenal has done quite well in all the areas except win the single of trophy most desired by die hard Gooners – European Cup.
It had been from one frustration to another in several attempts at being crowned as the top club in Europe. Had Wenger managed to win the lone UEFA Champions League finals appearance against Barcelona in 2006; he could possibly have been appointed as Arsenal’s life manager!
Typical to his character, Arsene doesn’t jump or dump contracts. He follows through and that is a honourable thing seeing he was reportedly courted by Real Madrid at a time and he chose to honour his contract with Arsenal. On the downside, the stability at Arsenal also led to the growth of mostly average players who were sewed to Arsene’s apron. It was more like ‘our father is safe here, so are we’ kind of situation.
Wenger is glaringly not as forceful and as Sir Alex Ferguson. He is more of the understanding type who will reason with situations rather than react to and address it. This is also one major reason why Arsenal as at team is where it is today.
A manager must ensure that he enforces his expectations. Otherwise, lethargy sets in and success further drifts away.
Mesut Ozil is holding back on signing a new contract because he wants to be assured that Wenger is staying. Former legend and past protégé, Robert Pires believes that the Frenchman man would extend his contract with Arsenal. Lucas Perez, Wenger’s unexplainable signing as a striker in the summer thinks the man would stay. All these are hints that the French will likely remain manager at the Emirates for another two years.
Whatever the case, Arsenal and Wenger are not looking likely to part ways soon. The fans may revolt if they like.
But the only way to force the changes required at the Emirate is total boycott of home matches. And that is not going to happen!