I’ve got to be honest with you, I thought we might get some sort of snippet coming out of the French press from Wenger with regards to this new deal that we all know is coming, given that he’ll have been commentating on the French national team this weekend. The fact that he hasn’t said anything is starting to make me think this is being dragged out until the end of the season. Why else wouldn’t you announce by now? Arsenal must know that all of this uncertainty is not good for the club, yet still they continue to wait, whether for fear of fan backlash or general disapproval from the rest of the football world.
I suppose there is still this whole week for something to be announced, but I suspect we’re not going to get anything until May now. Having told us all ‘very soon’, it feels like ‘soon’ is in a context of a couple of months rather than a couple of weeks.
But with all of this ridiculousness surrounding the manager, what hasn’t really been talked up too much, is that two years from now this team could look very different. Mesut Özil, Alexis Sanchez, The Ox, Wilshere, Ramsey, Gibbs, Cazorla, Mertesacker, Szczesny and I think even Ospina all have their contracts up this time next year. If Arsène does eventually sign this new deal as he’s expected too, there’s going to have to either be a heap of signatures happening, or a whole new team rebuilt.
I’ll be honest with you and say I’m not against that idea. This collective of players has failed as a unit and perhaps there needs to be a rebuild job that begins. But if Arsène is only going to be here for two more seasons, how much sense does it make for him to rebuild a squad?
Surely you should get a new manager in, give him a season to implement his ideas and then he can decide which players he wants to bin and which players he wants to keep to compliment the new signings that are made? That would make sense to me. A new footballing ‘project’ at Arsenal. A new man who has the remit of moving Arsenal forward from its current doldrums. Think about the goodwill that Klopp has received as he starts to rebuild Liverpool in his image. That’s what we need. We need a new person who can sweep the decks clean and start afresh if needed. But if Arsène signs a new deal then he’ll be starting a rebuild job for somebody else to finish.
Mind you, with the board that we’ve got, it wouldn’t surprise me if Arsène was given a contract for life and beyond, like a floating head in a jar type stuff in the same mould as Futurama.
A rebuild job that a manager is only going to start and not finish is bizarre to me. What sort of message does it send out to prospective new recruits, for example? ‘Come to Arsenal and play for Wenger, but only for a season or two because he’ll be off at the end of this contract. Possibly. We don’t really know. If he isn’t, we’ll leave it all uncertain until the last minute though’. I’ve heard a few ex-players talk about the importance of the manager and what a difference a new one coming in makes. These players are all human and they have insecurities too. There are those players who will think twice about joining Arsenal if there’s no real long-term plan in place or a direction/project. So immediately we’re hampered in the market.
I know that we all know Arsène is going to sign a new deal, but despite that, it still seems madness and short-termist to keep him on for another two years. It’s sticking plaster stuff from the football club really. If they believe and he believes that he’s the man to rebuild a new side, he and they should be signing a four year deal, because that sends the message that he’s in it for the long haul. Of course that would be the wrong thing to do in my opinion, but I’m just using it as an example to show the lack of succession planning at board level at our football club.
It’s gonna seem a long time until May I fear folks. A long time.