Arsene Wenger looks set, according to the British media, 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.
Here 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:
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 and paying over the odds. 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,” he said. Some reports suggest the person hired could be titled a director of operations but with his duties restricted to scouting and analytics.
Building bridges with fans
A few olive branches required here. 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 with the BBC.
“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,” he said.
Former players critical of Wenger as well as those fans who wanted him out would reply they have had to witness Groundhog Day almost every season since their last Premier League title (‘The Invincibles’ unbeaten campaign in 2003/04) of failing to keep star names, replacing them often with poor purchases and not really threatening to win the championship at the business end of a season.
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