There are many fellow Gooners out there who believe that Arsene has an easy job; that he has absolutely no pressure put on him by the BoD, and is paid vast sums of money whilst constantly underperforming. They have picked up a rumour from one of the blogs or newspapers that he is being paid more than Red Nose, somewhere in the region of £7m.
I have no doubt Arsene is generously remunerated by the club. His salary, whatever it is exactly, will be a reflection of him having been our manager for so many years. It will also reflect market value; as in what others – like the Spanish giants – would be prepared to pay in order to entice our manager to their club, and it will also mirror the club’s attempt to keeping Arsene at Arsenal throughout the difficult period of building the new stadium, and beyond.
You might strongly believe that Arsene has not been worth his assumed mega salary, as he failed to bring in silverware for eight years and counting, but the BoD are likely to have a totally different view. They are more likely to look at the wider picture, and will regard Wenger as a fine and loyal captain who guided the new Arsenal ship through some stormy seas. In the process, he ensured CL qualification year in and year out, and did not require additional funds for player purchases to achieve it.
The club will have made a ‘Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats’ (SWOT) analysis during the periods of before, during, and after the build of the new stadium, and will have done the same for the direct competition. I have no doubt that based on these SWOT analyses, the BoD will have concluded every time that Arsene did relatively very well. There will have been hope rather than expectation for silverware over the last eight years, and only now will Arsenal enter a period in which it will be able to become a reasonably strong competitor for the top prices again; and hope is very likely to turn once again into expectation as a result.
This optimism is based on both a better financial position going forward and the likely, or should that be hoped for, impact of Financial Fair Play on the mega-rich clubs, who have been able to operate with enormous losses over the last 4-8 years.
It all remains to be seen whether Arsene is the right manager to guide Arsenal to silverware in this new era, and whether he actually still wants to do it.
Looking at him over the last few months and seeing all the abuse he has had to put up with, I wonder why he just does not call it a day. He could go anywhere; I am sure both Madrid and Barcelona will have vacancies this summer, or he could take a national manager job and take a team to Brazil. He could also just take a break from it all and spend time with his family: life could be so easy for him.
I don’t know Arsene personally but he does not strike me as a person who values money very highly, or somebody who wants an easy job either. Managing Arsenal during and after the building of the new stadium has been anything but easy. Yes, he was paid a lot of money in the process, and no doubt he was offered more job security than most football managers across Europe, but staying at Arsenal, during what is most probably going to be his best remaining years as a manager, was not the easy option.
What would he have lost, had he gone to Madrid or Milan, or Bayern, or Barcelona, or the French National Team, or anywhere else, say in 2006? Even if he had been sacked after a season for not winning anything, or for whatever reason, he would always have had his fantastic record with Arsenal, and found a new job again in no time.
Arsene clearly does not have to work for money anymore. He stayed at Arsenal, and is also now not prepared to leave, for another reason: partly because he is a very loyal person, who, in an old fashioned sort of way, wants to honour his contract every time, and partly because he is an ambitious man who wants to finish on a high and return Arsenal back to the very top, and with beautiful football in the process.
I am not sure anymore whether he is capable of doing this once more with Arsenal, but what I am sure about is his loyalty, ambition and passion for the club as his main drivers for staying put at Arsenal, and that money has very little to do with it.
And for that alone we should always respect him.
Written by: TotalArsenal.