Five prob­lems for Wenger

The New Age (Free State) - - SPORT - LON­DON

ARSENE Wenger looks set, Bri­tish me­dia has re­ported, to be of­fered and agree to a new con­tract at an Arse­nal board meet­ing on Tues­day, end­ing months of un­cer­tainty which the French­man ad­mit­ted af­fected per­for­mances.

AFP Sports looks at five prob­lem ar­eas which will need ad­dress­ing in or­der to make next sea­son a less bumpy ride for the 67 year old and for the Gun­ners sup­port­ers.

1. This has been a peren­nial gripe for fans and pun­dits alike, that Wenger doesn’t like to get in­volved in bid­ding wars with the Gun­ners’ ma­jor ri­vals and re­sorts to what ap­pear to be last-minute panic buys. Some board mem­bers re­act­ing to these con­cerns wished to in­stall a direc­tor of foot­ball who could work on po­ten­tial trans­fer tar­gets but this has been ve­he­mently op­posed by Wenger.

“I don’t un­der­stand and I never did un­der­stand what it (direc­tor of foot­ball) means,” Wenger said.

2. Wenger made clear on Saturday, both be­fore and af­ter the FA Cup fi­nal win over Chelsea, his hurt and anger at cer­tain sec­tions of the Arse­nal sup­port vent­ing their spleen at him dur­ing the sea­son and de­mand­ing he go. Nor­mally placid and cere­bral in his re­marks to the press, he was es­pe­cially frank in his pre-FA Cup fi­nal in­ter­view.

“The lack of re­spect from some has been a dis­grace and I will never ac­cept that. I will never for­get it. That kind of be­hav­iour does not re­flect what Arse­nal is,” Wenger said.

3. Alexis Sanchez’s per­for­mance in the FA Cup fi­nal il­lus­trated how cru­cial he is to the Gun­ners. His con­tract ex­pires in 2018 and per­suad­ing him to sign a new deal is piv­otal to Wenger as he could then build a team around him and a se­ri­ous ti­tle chal­lenge as a re­sult.

4. Arse­nal chief ex­ec­u­tive Ivan Gazidis has largely been sup­port­ive of Wenger but ad­mit­ted to fans in April there would have to be changes even if Wenger stayed. Gazidis will not wish to be seen to hav­ing promised changes only for none to be forth­com­ing.

5. Re­ports sug­gest there has been dis­quiet about some of Wenger’s coach­ing staff with goal­keep­ing coach Gerry Pey­ton and fit­ness coach Tony Col­bert in the eye of the storm. Some form of com­pro­mise will be sought, but it will be a sur­prise not to see some changes. – AFP


VI­TAL COG: Arse­nal will need to keep striker Alexis Sanchez if they are to chal­lenge for tro­phies next sea­son.

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