In his weekly column for The Sun, former Arsenal legend Ian Wright wrote:
‘Star players set to leave, barely any new signings, injuries to top players and a seriously tough batch of opening fixtures. I’m fed up of talking about Arsenal with a negative vibe but it looks like dark days are ahead.’
‘Yet it seems Wenger’s revolution has ground to a halt. Now I fear he may end up walking away.’
So, is Wright correct to worry about Wenger’s future at Ashburton Grove?’
Let’s have a look at the current situation that has got Wright to come out with this. It sounds like Fabregas’s transfer to Barcelona is all but done and that Nasri will be swiftly following him out of the door to join rivals Manchester City as the club want to cash in on a player unwilling to sign a new contract. Already the club have lost Gael Clichy to City while Emmanuel Eboue and Nicklas Bendtner’s time at the Emirates appear to be at an end. The summer arrivals have thus far been nominal with only Gervinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Carl Jenkinson coming in. So it understandable to see such a bleak short-term future at the Emirates for Wenger.
However, it is too easy to be negative about the new season and about Wenger’s future. It has been obvious all summer that Cesc was going to leave so he must have found a ready-made replacement with Juan Mata and Eden Hazard – two names that have been continuously linked to the club.
As Arsenal’s longest serving manager, Wenger is going into his fifteenth season in charge of the club and in that time he has had his ups and downs. He has signed a three-year contract until 2014 and I expect him to see it out as why would he leave the club he has helped build, not just on the field but off it?
Just because he has ended up with a weakened team does not mean he will just walk away. If Fergie can get away with rebuilding about four new teams during his time at Old Trafford, why can’t Wenger, especially if he thinks it will benefit the club in the long term?
Players like Wilshere, Ramsey, Chamberlain, Gervinho, are at the Emirates for the long term and this can only be a positive thing. Scott Dann is close to signing and he might at long last be the solution to the shaky centre-back position, although undoubtedly Arsenal fans will criticise the signing.
I don’t think Arsenal are too far off Man United in challenging for the title particularly if they can keep the main players fit while finding suitable replacements for Cesc and Samir and then securing a safe central defender. If the fans get behind Wenger and the team then maybe it could be better season than expected.
This sort of quote is typical of Ian Wright’s pedestrian punditry where he makes ridiculous comments to cause controversy, can anyone apart from him see Wenger walking away just because Fabregas is going and Nasri is likely to follow him?
Sometimes a club needs freshening up especially after six years without a trophy and I think this will only benefit the club in the future; sometimes you have to move backwards to move forwards and I am convinced Wenger will be around for a long time to come yet.