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Friday
Feb032017

Is Wenger’s contract already signed? I have my doubts

A question from KVD:

Lots of rumours surrounding Wenger's contract renewal. Some say he has signed a 2-year extension and the board are waiting for the right time to announce the deal. Others say we are in advanced talks with Allegri.

Do you have any insight as to what is going on as I hope to god that this is Wenger's last year as I cannot stand any more of it or any of the players except Sanchez, so I need some good news that this madness will end.

Do you think Allegri will do well in the Premier League?

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AT

Sadly KVD, I have no genuine insight and anyone that claims to is either a liar or misinformed, so I wouldn’t believe anything you read. However, my best guess is no.

Many people say that Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil’s future is tied to Wenger staying at the club, but I believe the opposite to be true. If neither Sanchez nor Ozil commit, what is the incentive for Wenger to continue?

Their departure would require a major rebuilding job from Wenger when his grip is at its weakest, especially if Arsenal are unable to finish in the top four. Under that scenario, attracting replacements of a similar quality to Sanchez, in particular, would be nigh on impossible as all the other high-profile English clubs would be far more appealing.

Ordinarily that wouldn’t be a major problem, but Sanchez has become so influential that Arsenal is a mid-table team without him.

Even if Arsenal cling on to their top four placing, both players will be very difficult to replace making Wenger’s desire to continue an unattractive prospect. With Klopp, Guardiola, Conte and Mourinho all in the early stages of new projects at their respective clubs, the PL is only likely to get more competitive. All those managers have improved those clubs from last season, albeit in some cases marginal. Pochettino is also doing a great job at Spurs.

For those reasons, I believe Wenger would be foolish to commit to signing a new contract at this stage, especially with supporters set to turn against him even more vociferously than they did last season.

I think Arsenal fans have to stop dreaming and accept that both Sanchez and Ozil are probably leaving. Arsenal will not compete for the PL or CL and their next contract will be their last major pay day. Sanchez is probably more ambitious than Ozil, and more likely to leave for footballing reasons. Ozil’s claim that he will only stay if Wenger does is merely a delaying tactic.

Let’s be sensible, if neither player signs in the summer both will have to be sold. Money comes first and Arsenal are not going to risk two assets, probably worth a combined £80m, to run down their contracts. If those players do not commit, Arsenal will have to sell and it’s better to try and control where they go than allow them to run down their contracts and move to a PL rival.

Arsenal’s defeat at home to Watford was a hammer blow to Wenger, but of course self-inflicted. I would predict a much improved performance at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, but with so many midfield players missing, Arsenal may not have the quality to upstage Chelsea even if Conte’s team has a very bad day at the office.

Should Arsenal lose, and even if they don’t, this season’s failure to compete only confirms what any sensible fan already knew would happen. Personally, I think Chelsea will win the title, leaving Man City and Liverpool in their wake with Arsenal going neck to neck with Spurs for CL qualification.

Hopefully, Wenger will leave the club, but whether it’s Allegri or otherwise, should Sanchez and Ozil depart it will be extremely difficult for any manager to push the club forward having to operate with the detritus Wenger leaves behind. Wenger has mostly bought players in his own image: mentally weak and frequently incompetent.

To all regular readers, sorry I’ve been quiet of late. It’s astonishing how many people visit the site every week considering I hardly ever post anything. To be honest, I am not watching any Arsenal games at present, except for highlights, hence no updates.

Note: Arsenal Truth is now on Twitter @TruthArsenal.

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Comments should be intelligible and relevant. All others will be binned.

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Reader Comments (9)

Stan Kroenke has allowed this to happen, this is what you get with an owner who has no interest in the club other than financial, I hate Abramovich and co as much as the rest, they should not be allowed in the UK, but at least they act for footballing reasons. Everyone used to say how stability was good but assuming they win it this season, Chelsea will have won 5 titles since we last won it (and a CL), under 3 different managers.

Wenger's control-freak style has not been working for years and if we had an owner with any ambition he would have got rid of the manager or at very least insisted Wenger gets new coaches, ideas or methods on board, instead Kroenke just leaves it all to Wenger because he doesn't really give a s**t. Until the fans really start tearing up their season tickets and displaying banners of hatred towards the board (en masse) nothing will change, even if Wenger decides to walk away.

I see little point following Arsenal with Kroenke around - we are going nowhere except probably backwards in the long term, wake the f**k up Gooners!

February 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDan

I would go as far as to say both AS, and especially MO, are playing mind games. If Wenger stays, they will leave. If he goes, dependent on who they get in, they may want to stay.

Let's be honest here, Sanchez is the only player out there who shows honesty and respect to the fans. He deserves far better. We all know a new manager would get far more out of the team than our present clueless numpty ever will.

Ozil fools nobody and needs a kick up the backside. Sanchez sticks out like a sore thumb because he is not in Wenger's image and is a born winner. I pray everyday for this nightmare to end.

February 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterA.McGOONER

Good to see you back AT, would love to see you post more, but can understand why you don't.

I guess a summary of the above would read that we've now reached the stage where the club is going to go backwards regardless of whether Wenger stays or goes. Even a top manager would take a few years to rebuild the mess he inherits.

It's not all doom and gloom though, I reckon a few attempts at the Europa League, whilst the new manager tried to develop a young side, would be way more interesting than the current shambles.

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AT

Anything would be more interesting than this never ending hopeless loop.

February 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGunnergettheresomeday

AT

Good to see you back, albeit a bit too early before the Chelsea debacle.

I usually agree with you on most things but I don't see Wenger leaving even if Ozil and/or, Sanchez, leaves. This is a man who has stolen a living from Arsenal for over a decade and remains one of the highest paid coaches in the world, regardless of the pitiful two FA Cups over that period. A man who has presided over some of the most abject performances in Arsenal's modern history and has failed to address the advances in modern sport, all while he continues holding a death grip over our club.

By most accounts, Arsene has nothing and no one outside of football. No hobbies or interests...no wife, almost nothing to do with his child...nil. He is a 70-year-old man with no future outside of Arsenal. He isn't ever leaving under his own steam and Arsenal will never sack him. So called fan pressure means nothing because Arsenal fans are the most passive aggressive bunch of prawn sandwich eaters in sport. Everyone at Arsenal is 'just happy to be there'.

For me, the club is rotten and needs major surgery. Perhaps a new manager isn't enough and the longer Arsene continues with his 'Scorched Earth Policy' less and less will be left for the new people who come in.

The worst thing is that new fans, just don't want to follow Arsenal anymore. We've lost a generation of future support because of the last decade of mismanagement.

RIP Arsenal.

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AT

Apologies for being faintly optimistic Wenger might leave. Since his wife dumped him, you'd think he'd at least spend some of his extra free time preparing tactics.

Greetings AT,

We all know since the Sky money arrived back in the 90s, the game has become commercialised, and somewhat remote from its roots as a working man's game.

But has any top-flight club lost its soul as dramatically as Arsenal?

Sure, other clubs have benefited from larger investments, but at least they have retained the fundamental principle of trying to win football competitions.

In contrast Arsenal appears to exist foremost to make money, and as such it's a profoundly boring spectacle.

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AT

The board are protectionist. They are old (mostly), overpaid and sit in lavish boxes.

They don't want to give up their position or their privileges. If Wenger leaves, they see risk; risk that if they make the wrong decision they will become a target of the fans' ire and might lose those privileges, so they do nothing.

That's why the board needs a David Dein-type figure. Someone that cares about the club more than they care about themselves. Someone with vision and ambition.

February 6, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermarinersmullet

After eight games Conte saw his tactics were not working and changed them, now Chelsea sit 9 points clear at the top. Wenger has been doing the same thing for more then a decade.

February 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterChris J

Interesting you regard the corporate governance of the club above its day-to-day management. To be fair, I think you had it right a few years ago: there's no point giving Wenger serious money, it won't make any difference.

February 6, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermarinersmullet

Dear AT,

The reason I keep visiting your blog, is that your writing and analysis is spot on. I request you to post your thoughts on the other games even if you have stopped watching Arsenal matches. The blog should probably be renamed as EPLTruth. Correct me if I am wrong... I suspect you are football fan first and Arsenal Fan second. So please continue to share your analysis on EPL matches.

your avid reader
djk

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AT

Maybe DJK, depends if Wenger signs a new contract. In that case, I don't see myself writing about Arsenal at all and will have to decide what to do with the blog. Close it or take it in a new direction.

February 7, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterdjk

Categorically, the worst run club in Europe!

February 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterA.McGOONER
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