Arsene Wenger’s timing of a contract extension couldn’t have been more impeccable, as it came right after Arsenal’s 2-1 victory over Chelsea in the FA Cup final.
The long serving Arsenal manager penned a new 2-year contract to end months of trepidation over his future, amid celebrations of securing his third FA Cup in four years – and seventh overall.
Wenger’s future may be settled but a dark cloud still hovers over the future of key players at the Emirates.
Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez have yet to commit themselves with fresh contracts, and deservedly so, as the attacking duo are still mindful of playing in the Champions League next season – even if it means pushing for a move away from the North London club.
Uncertainty over the future
Despite having a managerial career that has spanned for well over thirty years, Arsene Wenger made it vividly clear that he would continue plying his trade – even if it meant serving in the same capacity at another club or national side.
Uncertainty has in the past reigned supreme following the departure of longstanding managers. Such was the case when Sir Alex Ferguson’s 27-year reign at Manchester United came to an end in 2013.
Fergie may have left a title winning side, but the club underwent ambivalence for years on end, only recently stabilizing following the arrival of Jose Mourinho.
As such, Arsene Wenger never pigeonholed himself into a contract extension; the board simply didn’t have a mitigation response plan in place for life after Wenger.
Achieves just enough
Arsenal managed to stage a late rally despite a torrid second half of the season that saw them lose twelve games in all competitions. The defeats – more so in the Premier League – proved damaging as the Gunners failed to secure a top four finish for the first time in 21 years.
Wenger’s charges however showed great character at the homestretch, as a new lease of life saw them register monumental victories over Manchester United in the Premier League; Manchester City and Chelsea in the semi-final and final of the FA Cup respectively.
He may not be the fastest deer in the herd, but Arsene Wenger always runs faster than the last one, which is why he is still on the job.
The Premier League may have evaded him for a ludicrous amount of time, but Arsene Wenger is second to one in revenue generation.
Furthermore the 67-year old has perfected the art of negotiation, the most recent being the acquisition of Rob Holding who has proven to be a bargain since his £2m switch from Bolton Wanderers last summer.
Be it mortgage repayment for the Emirates, cashing in on players at their peak or selling out season tickets despite turbulent times, Arsene Wenger makes money for Arsenal Football Club.
Written by Brian Humphrey
Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum
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