Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis is under the impression that Arsene Wenger will remain at the helm beyond his current contract that expires in 2014.
The Frenchman has endured his toughest part of his tenure by far with yet another trophy less season and a last minute scramble ensured Champions League qualification by one point despite the low odds that bwinbetting.com were offering for the Gunners to finish outside of the top four. He has often been centre of attention with the media, especially prior to the Bayern Munich match where the Arsenal boss lost his temper when asked about his future.
Many fans believe Wenger has done his dash at the club, however Gazidis feels the Leagues longest serving manager is still the man to take the club forward.
Gazidis was quoted by the Evening Standard as saying:
I really don’t want to have a public discussion about Arsene’s contractual position. That would be a daily, weekly fixture on the public coverage if you start getting into that.
I don’t even want to say [we have discussed a new contract]. What I will say is that we think we have got a fantastic manager. We have got a lot of confidence that Arsene is the right person to take the club forward and I think he will want to do that. We hope that he wants to do what he is doing for the long term. I believe he does.
I think he is still ambitious, still driven and sees the potential of the club as he looks forward and I think he is very excited by that. We have a great relationship and he has a great relationship with the board as well.
This is going to happen very quietly behind closed doors, privately and then there will be an announcement when things are all put in place.
Wenger certainly has the passion for the club however much will be judged by how he approaches this coming summer with no star players set to depart (thank the lord!) and cash apparently available for investment in the squad. If Wenger wants a new contract he should be made to work for it and bring in at least one trophy next season.
Gazidis also claimed the uncertainty over Wenger’s contract will not hamper the clubs ability to sign their transfer targets this summer as the Gunners are one of the most stable and consistent teams around.
[On whether Wenger’s uncertain future will affect the acquisition of signings] If you are asking me, is that an issue with players, the answer is ‘no’. It is far more an issue with players signing at other clubs than it is at Arsenal. If players have that on their issue list, I think that’s a mark in our favour, not against us.
I think players that are concerned about uncertainty probably think about Arsenal as the most certain place they could be in the world of football. This is a club that has had remarkable consistency in terms of its manager, its football philosophy, its direction and the consistent support from the board and our principal owner for our manager is pretty much unmatched, through some difficult periods as well.
So if it’s consistency players are looking for, I think Arsenal would be a very attractive place to come.
For one, a consistent club is Manchester United who practically win a trophy every season. I tend to disagree with what Gazidis – Wenger has often been the reason why we manage to sign certain players.
There is still a negative feel about Arsenal’s future in terms of their ability to fight for trophies. Year after year our best players have left and a lack of investment in the squad has continued to be an issue. While we are still a strong force we need a change in philosophy slightly and that can be altered this summer with investment in some star players. There are strikers available such as Higuian and talented midfielders such as Wanyama, so there are no excuses to reinforce the squad and spend money.
Please prove the critics wrong Wenger, I certainly wouldn’t be disappointed if he remains at Arsenal BUT he has to bring glory back to the club, none of this ‘fourth place is a trophy’ sh*te.