Wenger’s new contract justified by Manchester United?

Reports in this mornings papers indicate that the board are ready to give Arsene Wenger a new contract. This does not come as a surprise. Two months ago, he was reported to of agreed an extension, however the contract talks were put on the back burner as fans attitude to the manager was on a downward spiral.

Imagine the out roar had he, back in August, signed a new 3 year deal on his £7.5m a season wages, whilst not having yet signed a single player. It would have been the straw that broke the camels back for most fans.

“Wenger more interested in lining his own pockets then buying top players” would have been the cry. The noises of ‘Wenger Out’ would have grown. The boycotts would of increase. The protest marches would have been at every game.

However, with the signing of Mesut Ozil and a North London derby win, the world of Arsenal is a bit more positive, so were they to announce a contract extension it would be taken a bit better then were it done 2 months ago. In the world of politics, there is often good days to bury bad news. They will often release news about controversial legislation, or a scandal, when either public sentiment is high, or more likely, when there is a world disaster. I will always remember when 9/11 happened and a Labour aide Emailed:

“It is now a very good day to get out anything we want to bury. Councillors expenses?”

Crass, yes, but he was right. Hiding bad news on a bad news day means that bad news will get less attention. Likewise, announcing bad news when public sentiment is high leads to less criticism. And that is what the board look like they are going to do. Using the positive vibes throughout Arsenal to announce Arsene Wenger’s new contract.

The issue here is Arsene Wenger has underperformed over the last few years. No trophies in 8 years. And even with the signing of Mesut Ozil, he has had a poor transfer window, and at times, made the club look foolish (along with his partners in crime Gazidas & Law). For me, at the moment, he does not deserve a new contract.

There is, however, a key factor we now have to take into account. Manchester United. There transfer dealing’s this summer have been worse than ours. Only securing Marouane Fellaini in the closing stages of the transfer window, after bidding millions for every other top central midfielder in Europe.

Why do I say it is a key factor? Well it is very easy to get rid of a manager. What is not as easy is replacing him.

There are reports that Moyes has already lost the dressing room. That his training methods are draconian. He does not command the respect of the players as Alex Ferguson did. And he does not have the reputation around Europe that is key to attract players.

You have to wonder, had Fergie been in charge of Manchester United, Would Cesc Fabregas have been so quick to turn them down? Would Bale of become a realistic option? Would they of come in late and snatched Mesut Ozil out of our hands? Not only do players want to play for top clubs. Earn top money. They also want to play for top managers. Be developed by top coaches.

Parents do not send their kids to top fee paying school’s such as Eton or Harrow because they have a big reputation, they send them there because they have the best teachers. If Eton sacked all their teachers and replaced them with a bunch of recently qualified, their admissions would drop dramatically. Manchester United are suffering from that. They have lost one of the best managers in the world, and replaced him with someone who is under qualified for the job.

When you hear that a key factor in the signing of Mesut Ozil was a phone call from Arsene Wenger, it shows the Frenchman is still very well respected on the continent. Players from Europe would still want to come to Arsenal to play for him. There are very few managers who command the sort of world wide respect Wenger does.

Guardiola, Ancelotti, Mourinho. That is probably it. Whilst Jurgen Klopp’s stock is very high, he is still on his way up. He garners respect throughout Germany, and would be able to attract a lot of German players. But would he be a key factor if he wanted Benzema? Or Di Maria? Or any non-German player. Probably not.

And that is where Moyes is struggling. He is a fairly unknown quantity throughout Europe. Yes, players will naturally be attracted by Manchester United. But if you were a player from Europe and had 2 identical deals on the table, one from Manchester United and David Moyes, the other from Arsenal and Arsene Wenger, you would probably pick the later.

And that is what is important, and why Arsene Wenger may well get his new contract. If Manchester United struggle this season, if the moans from the dressing room continue to increase, if he can still not attract top stars, it will make the board think ‘Better the devil you know.’

Another example of this is the fiasco Liverpool have been in since sacking Rafa Benitez – another manager who players seem to want to play for. In came Hodgson. Then Dalglish. Now Brendan Rodgers.

Bar Luis Suarez – who at the time was not the established star he is now (the next Kezman?) – Liverpool have failed to land a top player. A collection of average and overpriced Englishman, mixed in with some very poor signings from the continent. Whilst not having Champions League football does not help their cause, not having a top manager is surely a key factor. After all, why would anyone want to play for Brendan Rodgers? He would be a non-factor when it comes to a player making their decision.

Pellegrini at Manchester City is another one. He is well respected throughout Spain, but will he struggle to attract top players from elsewhere in Europe? Does he have the same sort of pull as Roberto Mancini did? It is a case of wait and see.

Would a Michael Laudrup be able to attract star names? Would Roberto Martinez? Would Remi Garde? Would Steve Bould? The answer is no. A Mesut Ozil would not come and play for these managers. A Marco Rues would not. A Cesc Fabregas would not return to Arsenal. And even with in the club, get a poor manager in who does not garner respect of the players would see the likes of Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott looking elsewhere.

Another good season with Dortmund would see Jurgen Klopp’s star rise further. Enough to make him a key factor in the signing of players. A manager is key to a players decision (after money) and it is important then when Wenger does go, we do not take a step down in his replacement.

Whilst Arsene Wenger’s time at Arsenal is coming to a natural end. He should still go at the end of the season. But it is important we get his replacement right.

We need to move forward as a club. Buy better players. Get a better manager.


23 thoughts on “Wenger’s new contract justified by Manchester United?

  1. Finsbury Park gooner

    Really sensible article. Whatever any of us gooners may think of Wenger it is very true that he is still well respected in the continent and from what Ozil had said it seems clear that Wenger was probably the single biggest factor in his signing. For all his failings and there are many Arsene has undoubtedly helped many players unlock their true potential and so is a big attraction. Maybe a longer term solution is to keep him around the club when we get a new manager in an advisory role but obviously not to the point where he has more power than the new bloke. For the moment despite all the anger he’s caused I can’t help but feel a little grateful to the man for bringing in Ozil who is in the top 5 players in the world for me. He’s definitely bought himself. A bit of time with this gooner.

  2. Graham Ward

    some very good points made well, but please stop using the word of instead of the word have. and either outrage or uproar not out roar.

    1. zico59

      Can’t really take to much notice of this article when your basic grammar is all wrong. How many times do you need to correct “would of to WOULD HAVE”? If Wenger changes his transfer policy on signing big name experienced players ( like he appears to have done ) then not only does he deserve the new contract, we have a desperate need to get him tied down to one as soon as possible, as now, other top of the line players, seeing the likes of Ozil signing for us, will want to sign for us themselves, knowing a coach like Wenger will steadily improve them. With Arsenals current influx of big money entering the club due to the fact we’ve paid off on the debt to the Emirates Stadium, this should not be a problem….Give him the new contract now!!!

      1. PaulB

        AKB more interested in correcting grammar, the man is an egomaniac and held the club back for nine seasons, suffered embarrassing including a CL final and two CL final while feeding his failed policies, get him out and we can start again, he is finished as a football coach but great as an economist, let someone else have him and his over rated tippy tappy style of football that gets caught out by clubs every season.Christmas we will be out of all competitions as usual with his excuses and his refusal to accept any blame.You can correct my grammar, and I believe the madman will ruin Ozil and play him out of position

      2. Gooner

        There is tough guy Paul the Drunkard from Arsenal Army FC I believe. I thought you were dead or something?

    2. Steve64

      Can’t reply to Paul B below, but spot on Stubbsy. If you are going to put your work in the public domain at least get the language correct as you make yourself look a fool. After all, it was Wenger’s command of German that persuaded Ozil to come. Ozil wouldn’t have been so keen if is German was, shall we say Pidgeon German. As Zico said can’t take much notice of the article when the grammar is wrong. I would have failed my degree on a basic error like that

  3. MM

    The article makes many valid points, but the conclusion is somewhat light. A better manager? Pray, do tell, who is that better manager that we ought to hire?

    1. PaulB

      Put the job of Arsenal manager on the market and you will see a lot of managers go for it, then select one, at the moment he is not taking the club forward, we have been in limbo for nine seasons and will continue if he stays.Time for a change.HIS TIME IS UP

  4. wam

    only a 2 year extension? Well that lines up with Klopp’s contract at Dortmund perfectly 😉

    I’d give Arsene another 4 years.

  5. slimshady

    Haha idiotic post with that line at the end about him having to go at the end of the season, shut your entitled “8 years without a trophy” bollocks up and go back to your negativity cave, you’re an embarrasment.

  6. Michael Staley

    You’re welcome to think that Wenger should go at the end of this season. Fortunately, the club is run by the Board, and their view is a little more considered than yours. It’s a joke that you blame Wenger for “eight years without a trophy” when it’s surely obvious to all but the voluntarily blind that the new stadium has over these years left little available for buying new players. In these circumstances, it’s surely remarkable that Wenger kept the club in the top four.

    Like all of us, Wenger is not perfect, and make mistakes. However, I am astonished at the obduracy of some of his critics such as the writer of this article, who are unable to see the main reason for “eight years without a trophy”. Fortunately, the Board think otherwise, and back Wenger. Long may it continue.

  7. George

    Contradictions in saying that Wenger’s influence brought Ozil in without pointing out his failure to sign Higuain, Di Maria, Benzema, Bernard, Gustavo etc etc

    1. Michael Staley

      What failure? To consider the examples you cite:

      Higuain: a fee was agreed with Real, and personal terms agreed with the player; then Real reneged on the agreement, demanding more money than Wenger considered the player was worth. Is your idea of success to pay any price, irrespective of whether you consider the player to be worth it? If so, you have an odd definition of “success”, and thank god you don’t have a position of responsibility within Arsenal.

      Di Maria: Real decided not to sell.

      Benzema: Ditto.

      Bernard: I don’t recall this one, so cannot comment.

      Gustavo: The player wanted to stay in Germany.

      NEWSFLASH: Signing a player isn’t like shopping in a supermarket. It requires an agreement between at least three parties, sometimes more, and is far from straightforward.

  8. kudos

    @Admin, i know you may not publish my comment, but never mind, this is a piece of message to you. You are an a**ehole. F*ck off with your useless article.

  9. Stiff Arse

    Interesting angle – couple of points. Firstly, we signed Ozil at the last minute – without this signing the transfer window would have been a disaster. As it is we are still short as great as the Ozil signing is, the position he plays in was not one of the positions we needed strengthening. 3 months of “trying” to sign players to have to wait until the last day is poor. Poor preparation for the season, and a poor effort to get quality players in now we have the funds to do so. Secondly, if the reason to keep Wenger is attract players, where was he weaving his magic when the top players left Arsenal season after season. There is only one reason top players go to a club now and that is money – do you think Ranieri at Monaco has the pulling power as a manager? Nope – but the club are willing to spend top dollar. Working with the manager is the reason players give when they move so they don’t sound like a sell out.

    1. Kevin

      1. Ozil wasn’t available until the last week of the window. In fact a fraction of the moves take place before that week.
      2. This is the first season we’re financially able to pay for the players. So when they leave for cash, RVP, Song, Hleb, Cole, the manager has no influence. Finishing your reply saying players only move for money then ask why the manager doesnt stop our stars leaving as a little odd,…
      3. The point of the article is that if the two clubs offer the same thing as far as transfer and wages, the manager is a draw. Hence mentioning players only move for money doesn’t make any sense.

  10. Stiff Arse

    1. I would say that I couldn’t believe the transfer plan of the summer was to wait until the last week and hope that Madrid offloaded players in the wake of Bale’s transfer, but that would be to elude to the fact we had a transfer plan at all.
    2. This was exactly to prove my point – if the manager had that pulling power the players would have been kept (at least some of them) – but they all did leave for the money – hence the money is the deciding factor, not the manager.
    3. I was reading this as the manager with the reputation of Wenger would be worth keeping on as he could draw the top players in (hence the argument against Moyes and his lack of pulling ability – I’m sure the transfer fee and wages offered by Man U were equal to if not better than the competition). I’m sure in the situation the same offers were made by two clubs, the manager would play a part, struggling to think of a situation where this was the case over the summer though. You could argue manager, league, club, European football etc as reasons – but for 90% of the transfers this summer the main reason would be fee and wages, not the manager. Certainly not a good enough reason in my book to keep Wenger on – the article is spot on about the timing of announcing the new contract now though.

  11. bob

    I get your point, but didnt rioch sign berkamp, and wenger wasnt a draw when he joined arsenal, but still managed to attract a trophy winning team.


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