, , , ,

The professor is here to stay

Not much new stuff around the Arsenal camp with the exception of the health of Denilson. He went down in the middle of the game seemingly in a lot of pain. However, immediately after the game, the Brazilian was full of confidence that he would feature in this weekend’s game. Next to that is the story surrounding the contract of our beloved manager, Arsene Wenger. He has 18 months left in his contract and he has this to say;

I am giving myself a bit of time to think. What is important is the club is in good hands, whether they are mine or someone else’s. Whether I personally leave on a positive or negative not is a little bit less important.

With comments like that, there will bound to be endless rumours regarding his next plan. There’s the constant story linking him to Real Madrid and also Barcelona, both which have pursued him in the past. It is easy to understand if he should decided to switch to Spain. There will be no restriction on the amount of spending on new players, should he wish to do so. Just imagining that is a scary thought. With limited budget such as the current scenario at Arsenal, Wenger has able to consistently challenge for top honours not only in England but also in Europe. With endless resource, the sky is the limit.

And yet, I can’t help but feel that Wenger’s connection to Arsenal is more than just a contract. The great man has put in so much effort and time in Arsenal that to leave now, or even 18 months later, would seem to be a big waste. From a club that is only perennially challenging for domestic titles, he has now lead Arsenal to become a fearsome outfit in Europe. Even the likes of Milan, Madrid and Barcelona would want to avoid Arsenal in the Champions League, if possible. There’s also the work that Wenger has put in behind the scene. From the creation of the best football training facilities there is in the world, to the spectacular new home ground in Ashburton Grove, Wenger has involved in just about everything related to the club.

But the biggest reason why I think that Wenger would not only sign an extension to his current contract but may even stay on to break Alex Ferguson’s record, is the squad that he has built. After the Invincibles in 2004, he has had to break up the squad and build afresh, in view of the impending move to the Grove. Young players were signed in hope that given a few years, they would developed into a formidable team that can continuously win trophies. If he would to leave, most of the players in the current squad would start to have second thoughts about staying at Arsenal. That is how much these players are indebted to Wenger.

We are not that far off. The spine of the team have not changed since the departure of Flamini. The same set of players are here for the second running season and it is easy to see why we are able to maintain a solid title shot this season. I can’t help but feel that we just need win one trophy and get the mental block out of the way. The team is good enough to challenge in any competition and also big enough to compete in every competition with ambitious intentions.

As much as I hate to say this, deep down inside me, there’s a slight jealousy of what Ferguson has achieved. The endless trophies that he has won over the years is something that is unbelievable. There’s nothing I want more than to see Arsenal win it with Arsene Wenger. I don’t think many people will disagree with that. For all his dedication to his job and the club, Wenger deserve to at least achieve the same as what Ferguson has. While Wenger has won the Premier League before, he has not been able to retain it up till now. Consecutive league titles would put Wenger up there with the great managers. Oh…and there is also the holy grail, the Champions League that he would love to get his hands on.

There’s nothing that suggest Wenger would leave. As it has always been in the past, he normally deals with his contract only in the latter stage of it. Wenger loves the club like a real fan, now that is one thing there is no doubt.