What’s the hurry to go and give Arsene Wenger a contract extension? If anyone needed proof that the basis for achievement evaluation at Arsenal is the ability of the manager to generate profit instead of generating wins and titles, the new deal being offered to the manager speaks for itself.
It’s not about how much Wenger will be paid (more than £7.5 million a season), but more about why he should be paid. Arsenal have failed to mount a serious title challenge for a very long time, not to mention fail getting past the Champions League quarterfinal since the 2006 final. Wenger is doing what the ownership wants him to – enable them to create profits by minimizing his spending (until Mesut Ozil came along, and that was something they were willing to spend anyway), while keeping the team at the absolute minimum of what is regarded as competing, which means settling for fourth place every season, more or less.
What’s the rush? Hard to tell. Arsenal can get this deal done in a few months time, when the board will know a bit better about the direction of the wind. For a team that takes so much money from its fans, there has to be some consideration into what they think about the subject.
The whole Wenger story for the last few years is an excellent case study of how success on a sports team is measured. Is it only about the wins, titles and achievements? Or is this a business, first and foremost, and the most important factor is keeping a respectable product with a strong label name without spending too much and keeping an impressive profit line?
It also tells us the story of fans, and how their voice matters, or doesn’t. While no one is arguing about what Wenger has done for the club in the past, the question that needs to be asked is if under the same conditions, someone else might not have done better than him for the last eight seasons?
Wenger is quite sure of his way, even if some think it’s a bit outdated, and doesn’t fit the rules of engagement that have changed in the decade since the Invincibles team. Arsene Wenger is convinced that his way is what will ensure Arsenal’s longevity and possibly, eventually, the opportunity to be the only one left standing. However, everything we’ve seen in the last few years, even when you try to be as much as possible about the long run, tells us that his way simply doesn’t breed ultimate success anymore, and that he no longer is the right man for the job.