Arsene Wenger is willing to fight for his integrity at Arsenal Football Club as the 67-year-old Frenchman is alleged to extend his contract with the Gunners by two years, according to a report published by Daily Express.
(Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger)
Over the course of his 21-year career with the North London club, the 2016/2017 season for Wenger has perhaps been the worst. Arsenal currently is sixth in the Premier League table, having mustered 50 points in 27 matches, 19 points behind league-leaders Chelsea.
Things started to go south for Wenger after Arsenal’s humiliating loss against German giants Bayern Munich; succumbed to a staggering 10-2 score on aggregate. The defeat marked Arsenal’s seventh consecutive knock-out from UEFA Champions League’s round-of-16. The fact that reigning Premier League champions Leicester City made it to the quarter-final stage of the Champions League in their first attempt and Arsenal couldn’t in their last seven attempts further outraged the already-annoyed Arsenal supporters. The agonizing first-leg defeat in Munich led to protests against Wenger outside Arsenal’s Emirates stadium before the second-leg of the fixture, which resulted in another 5-1 loss.
Arsenal’s away fixture against West Bromwich Albion on March 18 saw infuriated fans protesting against Wenger by flying a plane over the Hawthorns stadium with a banner attached which read ” NO CONTRACT #WENGEROUT”.
The match resulted in a 3-1 loss to Arsenal, which resulted in the continuation of the protest against Wenger.
Disgruntled by the protest, Arsene expressed his opinions in the post-match press conference stating, “I have worked very hard for 20 years to make our fans happy and when you lose games, I understand they are not happy. I do not want to judge that, I am not able to. I live in my daily work with my complete commitment. After that, I have said many times that you have to accept different opinions.” (Arsenal.com)
When questioned about his future, he said: “You will see. I don’t think today I necessarily worry about that. We are in a unique bad patch that we’ve never had in 20 years. We lose game after game at the moment, and that is for me much more important than my future.” (Arsenal.com)
Along with Wenger’s extension, it is also uncertain whether Arsenal’s star players Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil would be a part of the Gunners’ squad if they fail to make it to the top four on the league table and miss out on their Champions League spot. However, former Arsenal player Robert Pires, who was an integral part of Arsenal’s 2003/04 invincible squad, believes that the club should prioritize Wenger over Sanchez and Ozil.
(Former Arsenal player Robert Pires with Arsene Wenger)
“I hope for him (Sanchez) and Ozil they extend with new contracts. The negotiation is very difficult and maybe complicated. But the most important is to see Arsene Wenger extend. Arsene Wenger is very, very important for Arsenal for now and for next season. I believe in Arsene Wenger. For me, it was a privilege to work with him for six seasons. He was not perfect but he was good, we won some titles.” (Bleacher Report)
Despite the despair, Wenger still has one final shot at redemption with the FA Cup in his sight as Arsenal lock horns against Manchester City on April 23, 2017. Provided Arsenal win the FA Cup and somehow manage to secure a Champions League spot, it is likely that the Arsenal’s Board would extend Wenger’s contract.
(Lead Image Source: Snapchat/Bleacher Report)