“The bells are ringing and chimes are chiming again. Soon comes May and the horror of Arsène Wenger signing again”.
Things are apparently always better with music and poetry, but it will take more than that to convince the majority of Arsenal fans that the imminent new deal for Wenger is anything close to a good deal. In fact, it is said to be a TWO year deal-one for each second the boards debated about his renewal being an issue to the Gunners faithful.
And while it is never difficult to predict the future seasons of Arsenal in the Premier League and Champions League, something tells me things may not be as formulaic should the Frenchman sign the dotted line for another couple of seasons. So, let’s take a journey into the future and see what the worst and best possible scenarios left are for Wenger in the years of his next deal:
WORST: Out of CL, out of Europe and in the veiled abyss which traps Liverpool till date
Since Arsenal fans are dealing with a lot of loss and sadness right now, it should be no big deal if we kick off with the worst possible scenario. Arsenal are now out of Europe altogether and have a huge summer of fans’ disappointment in front of them. As if it was not difficult before to fight for the best players in the world, the club must spend exorbitantly in order to get even the averagely okay players. After assuring the fans everything is being done to reorder the club to its highest levels, Kroenke and Wenger go on the football flea market to get their hands on a few cheap options as well the next two big things coming out of the U-18 Ivory Coast side.
A great start to the season follows, with wins till the first meeting with Chelsea/Man City/Man United happens. However, because the team is out of Europe altogether they perform well in the League Cup and reach the quarter finals with ease. Having only lost twice till mid-December, Arsenal fans gain some hope as to maybe the team is turning into a proper squad with a spine, only to find out that the aforementioned spine is injured for the season just before the crucial games of Christmas.
The free fall starts with consistent draws and January arrives with expectations of a big signing which was missed in the summer. Shockingly, the signing does arrive on the last day and makes a huge performance against Hull/Sunderland/Swansea at home, only to be injured in international training a week before the big game vs Tottenham. It’s hard earned point at Wembley and the momentum leads to the League Cup final and FA Cup fifth round once again. The League table is looking very tight and hopes have been gathered that maybe Wenger will be able to completely fix this broken team in another years’ time.
Stop. This is exactly what was happened for the better part of the last decade for Arsenal. The only reason there are more points against the Top 6 and less injuries in that scenario is because Wenger will need to show some improvement if he actually does stay. He is a very smart man and knows how to manage people and the fans, which is why he has avoided this kind of a revolt against him for 12 years. And that is why this deal would be a disaster waiting to happen, given it will make the fans used to the idea that next year will be their year if he gets another shot at convincing them.
BEST: Somehow qualify for CL, win PL and reach semis of CL
There’s not much to spin a tale here. If Arsène Wenger has to win back the fans complete loyalty and have even the likes of Piers Morgan backing him, then that is just the most basic of events he has to make sure come to life. Because anything other than a completely crazy and trophy laden campaign after an equally crazy transfer window to kick it off will not be sufficient for the fans who are now absolutely tired of watching the same season unfold year after year.
“Arsène Wenger is a good guy and a good coach. He built this club from nothing to now, and it will be interesting what happens in the next months. I don’t know who the guy is that can replace him. He is Arsenal.”
That was from Lukas Podolski’s interview after his retirement game vs England. And he sure makes a good point. Arsenal owe a great debt to the Frenchman for building up the club with values and a gentle hand of a pottery artist doing his best work. It will be one of the hardest jobs to find a replacement for him no matter the scenario in which he goes. However, it is becoming increasing likely that that situation will not be an amicable one anymore.
The Gunners faithful have supported him through thick and thin and all they asked in return was progress. Sadly, the only progress the club has made has been increasing numbers-both of the pounds they collect and the people they irritate. Stan Kroenke might not see the difference between those numbers but if his future plans remain as static as before, he may not like the negative progress on the former set of numbers given that will be the only choice left for the fans to save the club they love.