I’m going to make a bold prediction; Arsene Wenger and Arsenal will part ways in the summer.
Yesterday there was a story released in The Telegraph (amongst others) about the possibility of Arsenal’s board members looking to prepare for life without Arsene Wenger. Key appointments of staff such as Sven Mislintat and Raul Sanllehi shows the board looking to make significant changes and, perhaps, prepare for a new era at the club.
The story that was in the papers – I saw it first on Arseblog News – had this exert and those who know more than I suggest it was leaked to some members of the press by Ivan Gazidis:
“Wenger intends otherwise to be at full strength and his own situation will be up for discussion later this year as Arsenal try to avoid a repeat of the managerial uncertainty that dominated last season.
That would mean making decisions either this summer or early next season about Wenger’s contract and it is understood that all options – including making a change this year, extending his contract beyond 2020 or even announcing that next season will be the last – remain on the table”
Doesn’t really sound like anything concrete, does it? Nope, not at all. But it’s certainly not a vehement defence of Arsene and a bold statement that he will remain at Arsenal and see out his contract. It’s for that reason I have a feeling this season will be his last.
It’s not an opinion I share with any insider knowledge or fact, I should make that abundantly clear. Looking at the situation – to me at the very least – it does appear that wholesale change is occurring behind the scenes. In the space of a year, we’ve acquired a new Head of Recruitment, A Director of Football (although, Sanllehi’s actual title is ‘Head of Football Relations” – essentially the same thing) and a new contract negotiator in Huss Fahmy to replace the largely f*cking usless, Dick Law. Maybe that’s a bit harsh on poor old Dick…
To my untrained eyes, those actions appear like a club implementing an infrastructure that isn’t designed at all for the current incumbent of the manager position.
I think the manner in which our season ends could be the defining factor. If we end up in 6th or 7th and without winning either of the two available cup competitions, then I think Arsene will be asked politely by the board to step down. If we were to win one – I’d suggest winning the Europa League is the more important because of the prize – then he may finish his contract with one last big push from the board to win the league. Either way, I would suggest his contract won’t be extended beyond 2020.
But, in truth, I don’t really know. As a fan or Arsenal before Arsene, I’d like to see a fresh approach and a new face. As a fan of Arsene, my ideal scenario is for him to win something this year and leave the Club on a high note. The legacy he’s left us with and all the wonderful accomplishments deserves that.
Lastly today, I’d like to point you in the direction of a new book that released in a couple of months. It’s called, ‘Almost Invincible’ and charts Arsenal’s title winning season of 1990/1991 in which George Graham’s side only lost the 1 game out of the 38 they played.
It’s written by my friend, Dan Betts (You’ll know him as @JokmanAFC on the Twitter) and it’s looking like it’s going to be a wonderfully interesting insight into a hugely successful period in Arsenal’s history. Having spoken to Dan a few times about the process of bringing his book together, I know you can look forward to some interviews from the players of the era and some great stories – without giving anything away.
My advice would be to put your self down for a pre-oder and those doing so get their name in the book and a copy signed by the author.
That’s all for today, folks. Do you have an opinion on Arsene Wenger staying at Arsenal next year? Let me know in the handy comments section below this post.
I’ll be back with more tomorrow, including a full preview of the fixture in Sweden against Ostersunds.
Until then, and as always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.
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