The clear divide between the Arsenal fans on the subject of Arsene Wenger, also known as the AKBs versus the AOBs debate, is not being talked about nearly as much these days, mainly because the Gunners have ended our long wait for a trophy and are looking a lot more likely to challenge for the Premier League title.
But even if the Frenchman does steer us to the big trophy in the coming months, there are many Gooners who will hope that this will precipitate an Alex Ferguson style decision to call it a day, as he did to most people’s surprise (but not Wenger’s) after Man United won the league in 2013.
Those Arsenal fans will be disappointed, however, if the Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis is right. In a Daily Mail report the American has been talking about the manager and was full of praise for the brilliant work he has done in getting the Gunners through our difficult years, while admitting that we still cannot compete financially with the really big hitters.
And after seeing Arsenal make such an impressive start to our pre-season preparations, Gazidis is full of confidence that Wenger can carry this on through the season and finish on top of the table next May. But he also thinks that this would not mean that the boss calls it a day, as he still has the drive and the good health to carry on.
Gazidis said, “We always have to do things better than our competitors, that is our challenge, but there is a real belief we can win the Premier League and compete to win major trophies in the next few years.
“It is difficult to imagine anybody else could have done it as well as Arsene. I think Arsene has had tremendous support from the board and in return Arsene has really put the club first and made sure we progressed through that period and come out of it strongly.
“I joke that we are developing our training ground and one of the things we are doing is putting a cryo-chamber in there and if we put Arsene in there we can preserve him for a little longer.
“But he is in great shape – fit, enthusiastic, as hungry as ever and ambitious as ever, and he can see what is happening with this squad and he is very excited about the direction of travel so we aren’t thinking at all about changes.
“Of course long-term you have to have the right infrastructures in place and a lot of work is going into that with Arsene’s support and involvement as he knows at some point – and I hope that will be far down the road – he will step aside and someone will step into his large shoes.”