Five problems for Wenger
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.