Preparing for Life After Wenger…
Monsieur Arsene Wenger, Arsenal Football Club’s greatest ever manager. The end of his contract is just around the corner and his delay in signing a new deal creates a great deal of uncertainty around the club. The Arsenal faithful remain divided on whether he is still fit to lead this prestigious club and in recent years more and more Wenger loyalists have jumped ship. The lack of progress has been the issue and whilst the Gunners finished runners up last year (for the first time since 2004/05) it still doesn’t feel like enough.
At the time of me writing this we sit in 5th place. Whilst our current league position isn’t ideal there are darker clouds of uncertainty hanging over the Emirates stadium at present.
Ozil & Sanchez
Mesut Ozil finally broke his silence on the ongoing contract negotiations and has only added fuel to the speculation surrounding his future. The German international pretty much confirmed my theory. The future of Arsene Wenger will have a huge influence on his own and is further evidence that the clubs stars are behind the boss.
Does preparing for life after Wenger include preparing for life without Mesut Ozil? It certainly appears that way. Both Ozil and Sanchez have just 18 months remaining on their current deals and whilst I’m sure their delay in signing is partly down to their agents holding out for the best deals possible you cannot ignore the fact that the uncertainty around Wenger’s future is a huge stumbling point.
Arsene was the main factor in the acquisitions of our two star men. As a club we traditionally refuse to table the sort of money our competitors do and so the opportunity to work with such an experienced and accomplished manager is our unique selling point during transfer negotiations.
Whilst I have the upmost respect for a true Arsenal legend I think you can safely say he will never replicate the success he enjoyed during the first half of his Arsenal career. His best days are probably behind him and most would argue that can only signify it’s time for a change.
Let’s not forget he is without a shadow of a doubt the greatest manager our club has ever had and so if he is to leave at the end of the current season I and many other Gooner’s fear that even the top managers around the world would find it an extremely difficult position to fill.
The thing that scares me about ‘Life After Wenger’ is my lack of faith in our board to make the RIGHT appointment when Wenger finally vacates his position. They run our club like a business, have hardly any footballing knowledge between them and if you think they will pay top dollar to attract one of the world’s elite managers AND provide him with funds to build his own side you are having a laugh!
When the time comes for Wenger to depart a transitional period will be inevitable. For years, we have taken finishing in the top four for granted and only when we drop out of it will we see the real value of having the ‘Champions League Status’.
Perhaps it’s time to finally start planning for ‘Life after Wenger’…
It’s fine to want a change but only if you can accept all the hiccups that will inevitably come with it.
Fans of my age group in particular probably don’t remember too much about ‘Life before Wenger’ and so when that time comes the feelings of sadness and nostalgia will come over us and even the most stubborn of WOB’s.
3 Premier League titles, 6 FA Cups and countless other great memories that will stay with me forever.
Only Wenger himself and possibly the board know whether he will remain in charge beyond the end of this current campaign but I for one, am preparing myself to say goodbye to Arsenal’s greatest servant.