After all our talkin’ and gripin’ and moanin’ lately about the state of Arsenal, in which a lot of us hoped that Wenger’s tenure would end sooner rather than later and with a modicum of grace despite recent events, it turns out we may have been premature. Granted, what follows are all very unsourced, tenuous “sources”, but it all started here, with Matt Scott from something called Inside World Football:
So I'm hearing Arsène has already signed his two-year contract extension and the club are looking for a good time to announce it.— Matt Scott (@Matt5cott) March 20, 2017
Clearly, a million disclaimers apply here. Chiefly, hearing from...whom? Also, who are you? There’s not even an oblique “sources inside the club” caveat, or anything similar - this tweet is literally the whole story from Scott. But then, there’s also this from the Telegraph about Arsene planning a “drastic overhaul” of his team this summer in an attempt to put right the wrongs of these last few seasons.
The same disclaimers apply to that link as to the Matt Scott tweet, though. There’s no sourcing, no quotes from Arsene or anyone connected to him to support their hypothesis, just a lot of somewhat obvious observations like “Arsenal should buy Kylian Mbappé”, which, let’s be honest, doesn’t exactly take a sophisticated soccer analyst or club insider to ferret out.
In short, what we have here is a lot of wishcasting that may or may not come true. But what else we have is Stan Kroenke, who has gone down this road before - he signed unpopular and vastly less successful than Wenger St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher to a contract weeks before it was publicly announced. Which doesn’t prove that the Wenger extension stories are true, of course, just that in the “sign a coach everyone wants to see gone” department, Kroenke has previous.
Again, while I want to see Wenger go sooner than later, I mostly just want this resolved quickly, so Arsenal can get on with business. And if that business includes Arsene signing a new deal, blowing up his team, and re-constituting it in a last effort to end his career with a trophy or two, that works for me.
What I don’t want is for one of those things to be true and the other to not be. If Arsenal re-sign Wenger, and if he doesn’t make some fundamental changes in his team, we’re in for two more years of anger and frustration, and more than anything else, that is what I do not want. Arsenal need to change, and like I said months ago, if Wenger guides that change, that’s great - it just absolutely needs to happen and I’m not sure he’s willing to make those changes. Prove me wrong, Arsene.