Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Arsene Wenger has the Best job in World football

Arsene Wenger Arsenal Manager
Talks of a new contract for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger further assert the fact that he has the safest job in world football today. And until Arsenal’s second largest share­holder Alisher Usmanov out­muscles Stan Kroenke, Wenger is at Arsenal to stay.

How many managers would keep their job after seven barren years? I can’t think of any apart from of course Wenger.

Yes, with two years to go, Ar­senal Chief Executive Officer Ivan Gazidis is eager to tie him down to a new four-year deal which will take him past the magical 20-year mark.

For Gazidis, Wenger repre­sents everything that Arsenal Football Club stands for. But we all know that the real reason the management want to tie him down to a forever deal is that he works perfectly with Kroenke’s agenda of spending far, far less than he brings in whilst main­taining a credible league posi­tion (a position which guaran­tees champions league football).

Usmanov says Champions League qualification is the ‘pin­nacle of the club’s ambition’ and has persistently called for invest­ment to match that spent by Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester City or face lower­ing expectations even further.

The Uzbek billionaire claims that the ‘tight’ financial regime at the Emirates has coerced Wenger into selling his best players and having to continue to find cheap­er replacements.

Well, lack of silverware aside, I’m not totally against Wenger getting a new deal. Maybe that’s because the team looks a lot more balanced than it has been in a long time. Even Wenger who is known for his arrogance has backtracked on issues like; refreshing the backroom team, tightening up on his defence, let­ting the big headed players leave and strengthening the team with a couple of high profile signings.

Sure, he didn’t buy as much quality as we’d have hoped and that will probably still come back to bite us in the backside. How­ever, I think we’re in the best shape we’ve been in for years.

When you look at what the Frenchman has done, within the overall constraints, he has out­performed our spending every single year he has been manager. It is extraordinary.

But the question is has he been denied the funds to recruit. I don’t think so. As far as I re­member, he has always said that he does not see anyone good enough to player for the club.

I disagree.

Gazidis also dismissed reports that the club lacks ambition but how then would a CEO of a club that has overseen the sale of its best players year after year can come out with a state­ment like that. I understand the stadium move wasn’t easy, but we’re through the worst of that, we have to start delivering more than just ambitious words. We have to put the team first for once. We have to build a squad that fits our project. 
Things are looking good this season, but they won’t if the investment in the squad continues to go amiss.

There’s no arguing that Wenger started his Arsenal career like a house on fire during the first half of his reign, but he hasn’t really done anything for the Gunners lately other than qualify for the Champions League, where they inevitably get knocked out year after year.

Some fans are happy with this while others are more ambitious. If you settle for mediocrity then you’ll get mediocrity and Ar­senal supporters deserve more than that. There’s also a great deal been made about Wenger’s ability to bal­ance the books, but isn’t he at the Emirates to win trophies, don’t they have an accountant?

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