It’s too early to drop a tribute for Arsene Wenger- that’s better served at the end of the season. I will drop my own tribute to him in the end so don’t worry about that. In the end, he came good on his word that he would do what was right for Arsenal (even though it took longer than most people wanted). He should have a less stressful end of the campaign (for the first time in forever).
This is not about him though. I haven’t written about Arsenal in a while so after the game against West Ham, I had some thoughts on what Wenger’s departure will mean for Arsenal. Changes will be rapidly sweeping over the Emirates this summer as Wenger’s departure will headline a series of strong decisions to be made.
THE NEW MANAGER: I will not speculate on who comes in next because it’s going to be exciting who this job actually goes to. Most people don’t realize this, but it is one of the biggest jobs in the world. There are very few managers who AREN’T throwing their names in the hat for consideration. If I were a former/current Premier League manager with a decent record in Europe, I would have started planning my scheduled dinners with Gazidis and his family (Benitez, you there?). I would have the restaurants place pictures of my league titles, and European cups at strategic points so that Ivan can think ‘This is a Sign’ (Ancelotti…you like this idea right?). LOL…but I imagine whoever gets this job won’t believe his luck. Some names have been thrown around but I already got into that earlier. Whoever it is, I know for sure that it will be bold and the board will be ready to back him 1000% (unlike the one that lied to Moyes).
MORE WILL BE DEMANDED FROM THE BIG PLAYERS: Ozil, Lacazette, Mkhitarian, Aubameyang, and even Xhaka will be asked to deliver more next season. They all came in for big money over the last few years and are seen as the ones to move Arsenal back to the level that it craves to be at. Wenger’s comfort blanket will soon be gone and they will have no one to hide behind in times of trouble. Any good manager will demand that. So they better get ready.
THE YOUNG ONES ARE SAFE: …for now. The club has already hinted that a key requirement of the new manager would be to develop the young players at the club. That means a lot more of Iwobi, Maithland-Niles, Bellerin, Nelson, Willock, and Nketiah must be brought through to the first team. The reserve team recorded a fantastic year in the Premier League 2 division, with some players standing out more than others. The ones already established in the first team will be required to step up and show that they deserve more chances to impress.
MONEY WILL BE SPENT: …if need be. Aubameyang is the latest big money signing to walk the doors at the Emirates and more will be set to come this summer. Arsenal are now in a position where they can compete for the best players and they have the finances to do so. Expect another superstar signing in June/July/August.
It will be interesting to know what happens once the season is over. I hope the club delays announcing the new manager until after Wenger’s send-off. The man deserves all the positive attention available till then. Coupled with the World Cup coming up, it promises to be a hell of a summer.