Is Wenger’s contract already signed? I have my doubts
Friday, February 3, 2017 at 12:58PM
Arsenal Truth

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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