2016 saw the loss of many beloved pop and film stars, Brexit, Trumpin and a colossal attack on the importance and value of telling (and protecting) the truth and respecting human dignity. So many of us were happy to see the backside of it, but not without the trepidation that more horror shows may well follow in the new year.
2017 is also a big year for the club. Arsene’s contract will run out this summer and key players are stalling their contracts talks to see what will happen with him and/or get a better pay deal. I have no doubt that the decision is with Wenger, as the club will be very keen to keep mister consistency in charge at the home of football. Wenger is as good as a guarantee the BoD can get for Arsenal to qualify for the CL qualification and make it through the group stages every single season, and this goes a very long way for the shareholders.
CL football offers prestige and gravy trains full of income, and changing the manager will put this at risk, whoever they would pick as Wenger’s successor. On top of that, Arsene won the FA Cup twice in the last two years and finished second in the PL last season: gradual progress is now being made and there is every reason to believe that more silverware will follow soon. Not all supporters see it that way, though, which is something the BoD as well as Arsene himself will be very much aware of.
I don’t know what will happen but my gut feeling tells me that Arsene is probable going to leave this summer. The only thing that may change his mind is the team winning the PL or CL in May. He knows that he has the players to win something now and let’s hope it will happen. But he is not getting any younger and he may just fancy one more new challenge before he hangs up his raincoat for good.
If Arsene was to go, let there be no doubt that we will enter a challenging, but also exciting, new phase. However much he is trying to leave a solid foundation behind, whoever takes over will need to be able to work with the current players, give or take a few new signings in the summer. They play well to very good under Wenger but how will they do under a new manager? It all depends on who this is going to be and how much they are able to continue Arsene’s approach to style and tactics of the team. They will also need to be able to convince players that their future is best served at Arsenal.
It is very important to hang on to our key players as they will be in demand and other clubs are able/willing to pay even higher wages. All of a sudden, our much advertised and valued consistency could be under threat. Ozil saying he is stalling contract talks due to wanting to know what will happen with his protector and appreciator Wenger, tells us at least that the club have not yet been able to provide clarity/ resolve the contract situation with either Wenger or indeed Ozil.
I would love to have more clarity re Wenger’s and Ozil and Sanchez’s future and let’s hope the club will provide it rather sooner than later. Surely, waiting till May/June is not an option…
So what do you think fellow Gooners:
- Are we reaching the end of Arsene’s tenure?
- Or merely the beginning of the end?
- Or even just the end of the beginning? 🙂
- What would you like to happen re the management situation?
- And on a scale 1-10 how confident are you about our competitiveness in 2017 and 2018?