Reports have come out today that Alexis Sanchez is Antonio Conte’s main transfer target this coming summer. The reason why this story has come out now is that Chelsea are apparently thrashing out a new deal for the Italian and part of the talks involve discussing his future plans for Chelsea.
Alexis is on £130k a week at Arsenal and is apparently demanding £250k – the way he sees it is that it’ll be his last big contract and that he is worth that weekly wage.
Added to that the discontent around the club, centering around the future of Arsene Wenger.
But those who support the club know our problems are much deeper than that. With Arsenal at the helm we have no backbone, there’s no leaders on the pitch – we’re stuck in a constant fight for fourth, with no chance or actually challenging for the Premier League or Champions League.
Alexis Sanchez has been at the club 3 years now and for all his blood, swear and tears, he’s won an FA Cup.
Whatever you think about the man, he always gives 110%, and as a fan that’s all you want. You don’t care if they’re limited ability-wise, you just want the players who wear the red and white of Arsenal to give it everything on the pitch. But too often we see tepid, lethargic and spineless performances.
He has his moods but I think all Arsenal fans not just understand his frustrations but share them. We are gutless and if our players had as much fight as they had ability, we’d be far better off.
Could you blame Sanchez if he ditched us for Chelsea? I don’t think Arsenal fans would treat him like they would Fabregas as it’s clear he isn’t going got win anything with us.
If Chelsea went in for Sanchez I’d wish him all the very best. A player who has guts, ambition and fight would do well at Chelsea – a team full of players who always fight and leave it all on the pitch.
Conte is a manager who you can tell would motivate his players and make them fight week in week out, and you can see it this season light as day.
It’s no secret that Arsenal fans are divided over Arsene Wenger and whether the long-serving manager should be kept on at the Emirates. And it’s also common knowledge that this site has always given unwavering support to the man that has done great things for this football club. Now nobody’s saying that the current situation is ideal, and it’s true, Wenger has his faults. But at the end of the day, it will be the board that decides on the future of the three-time Premier League winner, not the fans. So wouldn’t it be more productive for everyone to just get behind the club? And if Wenger does remain at the helm, shouldn’t we give him our support?
Has anyone stopped to think that perhaps the reason for this slightly disappointing season is partly down to uncertainty over the futures of key figures at the club? Wenger went into the current campaign knowing that it could be his last at the club he has called home for the past twenty years. Imagine being in his shoes, and having that feeling of insecurity hanging over you as you also seek to bring glory to such a great club. It can’t have helped that large sections of the Arsenal “support” have been openly calling for his head (see video below) while the 67-year-old has been struggling with all the other various pressures.
Even some of the players have been speaking their mind about the volatile atmosphere at the North London club. Alex Iwobi has voiced his disappointment about the disrespect that some sections of the support have been showing to Wenger. The 20-year-old said: “He’s been at the club for 20 years, he’s achieved a lot, obviously [the fans] are a bit impatient with the results and where they want to finish. We also want to finish there; we want to win the league like anyone else. I can guarantee we are trying our hardest.”
The damning defeat to West Bromwich Albion, following on from another harrowing exit from the Champions League, was the final straw for a lot of Arsenal fans. The Gunners were heavily backed to get their season back on track at the Hawthorns by betting tips site Oddschecker. But the 3-1 defeat left Wenger’s side in a tenuous situation with a lot of work to do to break into the top four.
The “Wenger Out” banners can’t be helping matters, though, can they? It seems that some fans have forgotten that the season is not over, and Wenger still has a strong chance of securing Champions League football for yet another season next term. It is understandable that those that want him out wish to get their message across before he is offered a new contract, but even they must realise that this kind of behaviour is toxic. Fans act as a twelfth man in football matches now more than ever, and if half the supporters are not fully behind the team, this is going to affect the way they play on the pitch.
Now, let’s assess some other factors. As noted before on this site, Wenger leaving would throw the club into another period of uncertainty. The latest comparison to look at would obviously be Manchester United, who have struggled in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era. But there have been plenty of other failed attempts to replace legendary managers in football history. Roy Hodgson replacing Rafa Benitez at Liverpool was an absolute disaster, and the man who went on to also go belly up as England manager only lasted 31 games in charge at Anfield. And what about when Brian Clough replaced Don Revie at Leeds United? There has even been a film made about how badly that affected the club.
While Arsenal fans complain, fans of once great clubs like Leeds would kill to be in the same position as the Gunners. It can’t be denied that supporters at the Emirates often take what they have for granted. It’s Wenger that brought this stability to North London. He has consistently delivered European football year in, year out, and also won his fair share of silverware. In the cutthroat world of England’s top flight, with a vast number of other teams able to challenge at the top, what Wenger has done with limited resources is impressive.
In recognition of the point of view from the Wenger-out brigade, yes it is fair to say that the Frenchman has clear weaknesses. His stubborn attitude has frequently riled Arsenal fans as he continues to remain frugal in transfer windows despite the club being in a good position financially. If he is to stay beyond this campaign, a compromise must be reached. Wenger needs to understand that in the current climate where the Manchester teams and Chelsea are spending vast riches every summer, Arsenal can no longer stick to the slow approach of prioritising nurturing bourgeoning talent.
When Arsenal finished paying off the Emirates Stadium, many people were hoping they’d see a turning of the tide. Wenger had done exceptionally well without having a lot of money to spend, and now the riches were available it was exciting to think how far he could take the team. The signings of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez were promising, and there is no doubt that Shkodran Mustafi will be a great asset in the future. The jury is still out on Granit Xhaka. Those are still only four big money acquisitions, though.
Fans want to see at least three big names coming in each summer, players that will add value to the squad and improve it. The most harrowing situation for Arsenal fans is seeing the rumours linking the club with the likes of Gonzalo Higuain (see video above), Karim Benzema and Luis Suarez, and then having Wenger bring in players like Danny Welbeck and Lucas Perez. Even the faithful supporters of the six-time FA Cup winning manager will agree that this is not good enough. Wenger will have to address this if he is still at the helm in the summer.
If Wenger gets a new contract, that should take some weight off his shoulders and allow him to focus on the job in hand. At that point in time, the people who want him out will have to quieten down as the decision will have already been made. Likewise, if the club do decide that his time is up, all fans should respect that choice and get behind the new man in charge. When the fans are united behind the team and manager, there is no doubt that the Gunners will perform better on the pitch.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Wenger still has a strong chance of winning yet another FA Cup, and getting back into the league’s top four. The season is far from over, and all fans need to get together to help the players finish the campaign on a high. Then, when it gets to the summer, we can talk about Wenger’s contract, as well as the Sanchez and Ozil issues. Everyone here is an Arsenal fan, so let’s rally and show how much we want our beloved team to succeed. Stop bickering and back the man in charge.
Recent reports on the Alexis Sanchez contract saga now say that the issue won’t be resolved until the summer – which probably means that the best player to wear a Gunners shirt in years will be sold off to the highest bidder. So why aren’t Arsenal doing more to keep hold of their shining star?
Gunners fans continue to stare at news of this stalemate between club and player with shocked and appalled expressions on their faces. It’s clear to all and sundry that Arsenal should be doing everything they can to keep Sanchez at the club. Aside from offering the Chilean the kind of weekly salary a player of his quality deserves, the Arsenal board should be polishing his shoes, installing Sanchez shrines and statues, and building him his own wing at the Emirates Stadium. The former Barcelona man has had an incredible season and is still in with a chance of ending as the Premier League’s top scorer. With 18 league goals to his name, using Player Props betting with Sportsbet.io to wager on whether Sanchez will score in a given game has been a shrewd way of betting this season.
Probably the best player to wear the red and white since Thierry Henry, Sanchez has been a picture of clear frustration this season (see video below), as despite his best efforts the side continues to underachieve. This is a player oozing with passion, desperate for success, and someone who will not allow his career to stagnate and dry up without collecting trophies. Clubs all over Europe are ready and waiting to table offers for the silky attacker in the summer, and draw up lucrative new contract deals with the added promise of success. So what can Arsenal do to keep wolves like Inter Milan from the door?
Here’s a thought: How about making him the captain at the Emirates? He wants to play every minute of every match, gets into a sulk when things are out of his control, and genuinely wants Arsenal to do well. If he was given the responsibility of leader he would have more influence over his and the team’s situation, and may feel as though he can lead them to glory. It would make him the undisputed main man, a role every football fan knows he desires.
Of course, there’d have to be the promise of actual strong reinforcements in the transfer window this time. Who remembers Lucas something-or-other who Arsene Wenger brought in last summer as striking backup? They need bigger names to work alongside the likes of Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. Arsenal aren’t in debt anymore and have the money to spend on quality players. With the teams around them making bigger moves, the Gunners can’t afford to sit still in this respect.
And what about actually giving the player what he wants and increasing his salary to reflect his worth? No offence to Danny Welbeck, but the club have spent the best part of two seasons paying the injury-prone striker’s wages while he’s been in the treatment room. If they can afford to do that, they can afford to pay Sanchez his due.
Do people have short memories? Have people forgotten what’s happened up North at a place called Old Trafford?
Sir Alex Ferguson departed Manchester and look what happened? They struggled badly under David Moyes, had limited success under Louis Van Gaal and under Jose Mourinho? Well apparently they’ve been on this amazing unbeaten run but where are they? Oh yeah that’s right, they’re still below Arsenal – and in 7th place no less.
Do Arsenal fans really think getting rid of Arsene Wenger is the answer?
Any other manager coming in would do worse than Arsene, that’s guaranteed. If you want to win the Premier League then you’re best bet is with Wenger at the helm.
He is not a stupid man and is his own worst critic. He doesn’t need fans to stage disgraceful protest and be given vitriol during matches. He knows the problems the club has and will address them this summer, no doubt.
It’s clear some players have let him down and whereas in the past he might have had to put up with this crap from the players, now he’s in a position where he can get rid of the dead wood.
Arsenal have the money to compete and Arsene knows where to strengthen the team. It’s clear from his interviews and overall demeanour this season he’s had enough of the shit he gets from fans but also the mistakes certain players keep making. He knows his time is almost up so that’s why next season, he will go all out to make sure it is a successful one.
Next season he has everything to lose so you can be sure Arsenal will win the Premier League next season. He is well aware that Arsenal haven’t won the league since 2004 and his last act is to leave on a high – and that will be to win the Premier League before announcing his departure.
In the past he has been restricted but next season will be our time – the handcuffs are off and next season, Arsene Wenger will mean business.
Every Arsenal supporter has his opinion on whether they want Arsene Wenger to stay or leave. The number of people, especially online anyway, who want Wenger out seems to be increasing by the day. But what proportion of Arsenal fans is that? There’s no way of knowing but it would be interesting – after all it’s usually the disgruntled people that shout the loudest so it could be the majority of Arsenal fans want Arsene to stay on.
For what it’s worth, I think Arsene Wenger will be here next season – but I also think that will be his last. He has unfinished business at the club and you don’t dedicate over 20 years of your life to something just to pack it all in because a few fans are upset. You might think that is a bit facetious but it’s true!
Arsene is an intelligent man and he knows the number of fans who aren’t happy is increasing, albeit it in proportionally small numbers. That’s why he’ll give himself one more season and then call it a day.
Anyway, the point I’ve been trying to make – and not very well – is that Arsene’s future is coming to an end. So the big question is who should be the next Arsenal manager after Arsene Wenger finally calls it a day?
I’ve looked online, checked out a couple of betting websites and come up with a list of 16 realistic candidates which are below. So the question is do you want someone who will tear it up like Simeone, someone with vast experience such as Ancelotti, or perhaps a manager with excellent European football pedigree in Benitez?
If it were up to me? You will laugh but I think I would go for someone like Rafa Benitez. He is an excellent tactician, has an excellent record in Europe and the players in the main respect him. We have a Spanish contingent in the team which would help and he’s managed at some of the biggest clubs in Europe. For me as well, he knows how to coach defence and with our attacking threat, adding defensive stability would only be a positive thing.
Anyway, cast your vote below for who you think should be the next Arsenal manager!