- Match Analysis
The Gunners hierarchy are confident Wenger will sign a new three-year deal but Standard Sport understands there is a slight concern at boardroom level over the delay to accept an offer that has been on the table for months.
Wenger is eventually expected to commit his future to the club but it is believed he could now wait until next month or even the end of the season with Arsenal fighting to win the Premier League and FA Cup.
The 64-year-old has publicly maintained that results would be the principal factor in his decision and bringing an end to the club’s nine-year wait for a trophy would be a significant platform upon which to launch the next phase of the club’s development.
However, Wenger is also thought to have been shaken by the vitriolic reaction among some sections of Arsenal supporters, having faced sporadic chants of “you don’t know what you’re doing” last season and anger on the opening day of this campaign against Aston Villa amid frustration at a lack of spending.
The mood has since changed due to Mesut Ozil’s £42.4million arrival and the team’s impressive campaign in which they lie just four points behind leaders Chelsea, who they face at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, with a game in hand.
Wenger is thought to be acutely aware that it is possible that criticism could return should the club fall short this season and so he is prepared to gauge both his team’s performance and the fans’ response before resisting the overtures of a number of clubs, including Barcelona and Paris St-Germain.
Chief executive Ivan Gazidis was adamant Wenger will stay when speaking at the announcement of Arsenal’s £150million kit deal with Puma in January and even if the Gunners end the season empty handed, it will still be a huge call for the Frenchman to walk away.
Written by Steve Milne