All the papers have been full of rumours about Arsenal’s long-running contract talks with our two top players, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, and in responses Arsene Wenger has released a worrying statement about the futures of our two biggest stars.
He makes it clear that Arsenal will survive whoever leaves and whoever arrives, and our success does not only depend on whether those two renew their contracts or not. “Arsenal is a big club,” Wenger said. “It is not one or two players who will make the difference to the club. The importance is that we are today in a financial position that is strong, that was not the case before.
“That means as well we are in a position where we can plan our future, and do what we want to do. What is important is always to take care of the values of the club, and the identity of the club, and not to depend too much on one or two players. The history of Arsenal is bigger than that.
“In every single club, at some stage, they have lost big players. Or they had big players without knowing. Or things like that happened everywhere. Every club is full of regrets and full of decisions. What matters is the globality of the decisions.
“The self-esteem is linked with the values that the club stands for,” Le Prof continued. “Of course, the self-esteem, or the identity that the press has of the club, is not exactly the same that you have inside the club.
“You could say the ‘prestige’, more than the self-esteem, is linked with the players. But I think it is more down to the consistency of the quality, or the way the team plays football.”
Yes Arsenal played good football before either Ozil or Sanchez arrived, but their impact on our current success is a tangible one that cannot be denied. So I am wondering if Wenger is trying to break their possible departures as gently as possible to the fans. Or is he warning Ozil and Alexis that the club won’t be held to ransom and pay any amount they ask for?
What do you think this statement means?