In a bid to redeem himself from what has been a mixed era for Arsenal, long-serving manager, Arsene Wenger has penned a contract extension to remain at the Emirates Stadium for an additional two years. He is now faced with an uphill task of returning the North London club to where they belong – serious title contenders and a force to reckon with in Europe.
For the first time in two decades, Arsenal will not be involved in the Uefa Champions League. While we may take solace from the fact that we can realistically hope for Continental glory in the form of Europa League, playing in the competition has its negative effects including fatigue and inability to attract top-notch players, and the earlier we return to the elite competition, the better for us.
To do this, Arsene Wenger and indeed the entire backroom staff at the Emirates must ensure that the club survives what is set to be an intriguing summer transfer window. It is only by this the club can survive the looming threat of possible decline.
Firstly, the North London club has a decent squad, yes decent: not ordinary, and definitely not spectacular. Over the years, we’ve seen what a decent squad can do – play well at the beginning of season, go into a terrible spell, exit the Champions League at the round of 16, bounces back and struggles for top four, gets it and celebrate.
Sometimes, if we are lucky, we celebrate the FA Cup. This is not what Arsenal Football Club stands for and there is no better time to give the squad the extra boost it needs to transit from a decent team to an outstanding team.
To have an outstanding team, the best step is to ensure that we retain our quality players. Thankfully, there is definitely no form of financial stress in the club and no need whatsoever to sell, so tempting offers are out of the equation. The issue of wage demand also should not be an issue considering the financial muscle Ivan Gazidis brags about. The major issue now lies with convincing the stars of the ambitions of the club and their roles in it, this should not be too much of a task for Wenger.
Another step Arsenal needs to take in the summer should be to trim the squad. There are some players we need to bid goodbye to no matter how sad that will feel. Lastly and most importantly, the Gunners will need to bring in top quality reinforcement.
For a long while now, there are some positions that have been begging for attention. Wenger himself has stressed the need for top quality players and we can only hope that he can keep his word this time around and do the needful.
I will end this piece by stating my belief that the coming season will be better than the immediate past one. This is because I believe in the current squad, and I believe in Arsene Wenger, and I believe he is on a mission to redeem his image.