With City’s exit from the Champions League ensuring that there will be no English representation in this year’s final, it makes the headache of Champions League football qualification a little bit easier, as the top four will indeed be in the competition next year I believe. It’s just as well – I found it all a bit tiresome, all that calculating of stuff – it’s just good to know that the fourth place trophy can retain its value to Arsène and whoever else qualifies.
City also lost Kompany to injury yesterday and, whilst that may prove beneficial for us for the weekend, I can’t help think back to Tony Adams’ last couple of seasons. It feels very similar. We had a talisman, an awesome defender, a leader and a guy who was the embodiment of Arsenal. He was ‘Mr Arsenal’ and so seeing him gradually deteriorate through injury after injury was hard, especially when we’d signed Sol in his final season. That would have been quite a pairing if we’d have seen those two play together more often than they did.
So I suspect that Kompany will be not long for the green pastures of of the Premier League.
Back to all things Arsenal, in which Arsène has said he won’t do a Fergie and last for 26 years at Arsenal, which is probably just as well given the social media implosion that could occur. I suspect that we might be seeing the last 12 months of his reign – despite what Piers Morgan might have said about a new deal – but I don’t think it’s because he won’t be offered one. I think we’ll be in the same position as we were just before the first of the two FA Cups: Arsène will leave this until the last possible moment before he makes a decision on his future. Despite what some Arsenal fans think about how he is The Great Dictator, despite the fact that people cite his contract size and despite how people believe he will cling on to power, I think he is a man of honour and I think the recent protests will have affected him. He’s not completely blind to the ways of the world. He really does love Arsenal and I believe he’s questioning himself right now. So I don’t think he’ll sign a new deal any time soon. He’ll run down his contract.
And I think it’s the right thing to do for all parties. It says more about the board and the owner that they don’t want to make any sort of decision, so they leave it in Arsène’s hands to decide when he goes, even having to reject a contract. Which I tho I he will unless we win the league next season. We already have a precedent here, you see, because the same happened after the Hull final. He has admitted that a lot hinged on that result and the victory we gained from winning that cup convinced him to go again. I believe the only way he’s going to convince himself he can go for another three years if he’s won an elite competition and because I’m not convinced he can do it, I think this will be his final season at the club when it begins again in August.
I do sometimes wonder if Arsène has any doubts about his ability to win a league any more. It’s been talked about by pundits and many of us, but does he have the ability to motivate, drive, tactically deliver a prolonged assault on the league? Leicester have shown that it’s clearly not just about the strength of your wallet, it’s about finding the right balance, which is something Arsène has failed to do for ten years. So I do wonder if he really does question his own ability. The truth of that will be outed based on this new contract. Sign it before the end of next season and clearly you have to wonder. If he leaves it until he has an indication as to whether he still has the minerals for the job, then I actually think it shows a man who truly does have the best interests of Arsenal at his heart. I think he does.
Anyway, it’s Thursday, I’m about to lose precious signal and we’ve all got places to be. So I’ll bid you adieu.