Why Wenger is signing a new contract by Ollie Adler
This season has been a complete and utter disaster. We are not only performing worse than last season, doing worse in the big games and making a mockery out of ourselves in the champions league but it is the repetitive nature of what we achieve and what we fail in each season. This season and especially the last few months has provided us with the ‘tide is turning’ sort of attitude. After consistent failure to win the league, put up a sustainable challenge in the race for the title, get past the round of 16 in the champions league and disappoint in big games, Arsenal fans are realising that this feat isn’t surprising. We are consistently having the same classic Arsenal season year after year. It is no surpise that after reflection at the end of every season, the theme of ‘Déjà vu’ pops into our head. The reason for that ‘déjà vu’ is because the same season happened the year before and the year before that and oh wait, the year before that.
The fact is that obtaining champions league every year is impressive. However, I, as an Arsenal fan need to be questioning the progress that we have made. There is no progress; it is just consistency. Consistency is only a good thing, if you are consistently at the top. We are consistently in fourth place. I, like the majority of Arsenal fans believe it is not on anymore. I have felt this way for a long time. However, only now has the majority of Arsenal fans realised that we cannot settle for not winning titles any longer. All Arsenal fans are only now bored of the lack of progression. There is a strong Wenger out brigade now and it is louder than ever as we need new ideas, new passion, new tactics and most importantly a new winning mentality that I believe Wenger has lost.
It is this increased enthusiasm against Wenger staying at Arsenal and the fact that he only has a few months left on his contract for why many think that the ‘tide is turning.’ However, for Arsene Wenger, there is no tide to turn. This is because he will sign a new contract and in fact, I believe that it is already signed.
His demeanour suggests that he will leave at the end of the season but he will not for two key reasons. The first of these reasons is in what he says and the second of these two reasons is the delay in announcing his future.
Wenger has said that he hopes to be in management for at least ‘the next four years.’ to equal the age Alex Ferguson retired. The fact is that Wenger also said that these four years will either be at Arsenal or elsewhere. However, where will he go to manage for four years? He simply loves Arsenal too much to leave, when he only has four years left. Secondly, where will he go? Wenger is a manager who will want to stay at the top level and therefore a move to China will not happen. He also will not move to another top club as he will not want to offend Arsenal fans, of whom Wenger has served so greatly over the last 20 years. Therefore, Wenger will love to stay at Arsenal. As well as this, reports suggest that Wenger rejected an offer from a Chinese club. If Wenger isn’t staying at Arsenal, he needs to find a new club to manage. If he leaves it too late, he won’t find a new club. The fact that Wenger has left it this late demonstrates that his near future at least lies with Arsenal and a new contract will be signed. As well as this, he said that he prefers to stay at Arsenal, rather than manage Barcelona. He has indicated where he wants his future to be, the board have certainly indicated where they want his future to be and therefore there is an easy agreement for Wenger to make whereby he will stay at Arsenal.
However, Wenger claims that he doesn’t know whether he is staying or leaving yet. By the time Wenger has made his decision on his future, all possible replacements will be unavailable. Allegri hasn’t yet signed a contract extension with Juventus. However, by the time Wenger says he is leaving, Allegri would have signed a new contract because Juventus would begin to look at other managerial options if Allegri hasn’t made a stance on his future. There is no planning to the future. If you look at Manchester City, Pellegrini announced he was standing down in January and Guardiola was announced. If Pellegrini had announced he was standing down in April, another club would have snapped Guardiola up or Guardiola would have signed a new contract. Therefore, Wenger knows he is staying because if he was leaving, we would know our next manager by now.
Personally, I would love Wenger to leave on a high, having won the FA Cup. I will not be happy if he signs a new contract but it is what I really believe will happen. He cannot stand down having won the FA Cup. He needs to make the decision earlier than that so that we can plan for a new manager to succeed Wenger. I believe that it is worth the gamble that he will leave on a high so that we can move forward under a new coach.
However, I believe the lack of planning, indication on his future and his comments will mean that Wenger stays. If Wenger does stay, it is our duty as fans to get behind the team for another year or two, rather than protest because the most important thing is results on the pitch, rather than who our manager is.