When it comes to Arsene Wenger, Arsenal supporters should realize the camp is definitely divided into two solid factions. There are those who simply love this guy and feel he can do no wrong whatever he does and those who are feel exactly the opposite. Whatever side of the fence you’re on, the recent comments made by Peter Hill-Wood are either going to sound like music to your ears or a broken record.
In case you don’t know, Hill-Wood told the Sunday Mirror that he hopes Wenger will extend his contract beyond 2014. He said he can’t think of anybody better to run the club and then rambled on about mindless people rubbishing the team due to the Gunners bad start to the season….yada yada yada. Cynics will point to the fact that Hill-Wood simply wants Wenger to stick around because he makes money for the team and silverware be damned.
Those who are more interested in how the club performs in the standings and cup competitions will counter by opening the trophy cabinet and pointing to the last one the team won, which came back in 2005. Fans must decide if it’s the manager’s job to win trophies or to balance the books for the board. There’s no doubt Arsenal is one of the better teams in England and will continue to be so, but it’s a hard fact that the team hasn’t won anything in nearly a decade.
But whatever side of the fence you sit on regarding Wenger, the simple answer to any contract extension should be to wait and see and don’t rush into anything. With two years left on the current deal there’s simply no reason whatsoever to extend it now. Let’s give it at least one more year and see how this team does next season. In fact, lets’ see how they do the season after that as well.
If Wenger doesn’t produce any silverware by then that’ll be nine years since last winning a cup and even the diehard Wenger supporters will have to admit this guy doesn’t deserve a new deal. If the Gunners win something in the next couple of seasons then those who can’t stand him might agree to another year or two with Wenger in charge.
Wenger’s been in charge for 14 years now, but for half of that time the best he’s done has been getting the team into the Champions League. There’s definitely a strong argument to be made for those who want him to stay and those who want him to go. And again, it comes down to what they think constitutes a successful football club. Is it one with a padded bankbook or one with a padded trophy cabinet?
Regardless of how the club ends this season, we can’t predict the future, so why commit to it this early? What if Arsenal crashes and burns next season? And even if they don’t, and end up in second place without a trophy, it’s bound to be considered another poor year to those who want silverware and nothing else. Because Arsenal supporters are divided on this issue, it appears the only way to make some people happy is by winning something important and that’s understandable.
It all depends on the reasons Wenger was hired. If he was given a job to produce silverware then he’s failed over the past seven years and should move on. If he was hired to balance the books then he’s done an admirable job and a contract extension makes sense. Of course, in a perfect world we’d see Arsenal doing both, winning trophies and making money. So I leave it to you to discuss among yourselves, what do you think the top priority for a football manager should be, satisfying the board or satisfying the fans who want to see silverware?