The Irish Mail on Sunday
Wenger should STAY There’s progress and we can stay top until the end next year
THIS time last year, someone asked me to fast forward a year and tell them what it should take for Arsene Wenger to get a new contract. The answer was simple — progress.
Leading the Premier League for 128 days, finishing with six more points, and now winning the FA Cup final, has shown progress on the field. Smashing our transfer record, with the signing of Mesut Ozil, has shown it off the field, too.
There is no denying that the games away from home against the top teams have been a disgrace. Having been at each one I can honestly say games at Liverpool and Chelsea were the low points of the season but seeing Arsenal win in Dortmund against the Champions League runners-up was a massive high.
Beating the bottom half of the table pretty much home and away has given me optimism. Too often we would have a silly result in us. Losing at Stoke and conceding a last-minute goal to Swansea wasn’t good — but for years that was the norm.
Maybe I’m just a romantic but, in a season in which many of our players have extended their contracts, wouldn’t it be great to see them rewarded with a league title next season? As for Arsene, you would think this would be his last contract at Arsenal if he decides to stay. Having seen us through the stadium move, perhaps he deserves the two-year deal to really go for the Premier League and Champions League.
There was, of course, huge disappointment we finished fourth after the way in which the season had gone up until February — but with the right players brought in, that 128 days at the top could be extended. More importantly, one of the days would be in mid-May, when it matters.