Manager Arsene Wenger’s future is to be a key discussion point at Thursday Arsenal’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Wenger signed an extension to his contract which expires in March 2019, however, speculations over his future and fans unrest towards the end of 2016/17 season results into on-field strings of poor performances which ultimately stopped the team from qualifying for this year UEFA Champions League for the first time in 20years.
The AGM is slated for Thursday 26th, and the TELEGRAPH is reporting that shareholders are demanding a succession plan for the outgoing manager in order to avoid repeating the catastrophic impact of the uncertainty that surrounded his future last season.
Although Wenger’s reluctance to clarify his future and interest in continuing at the helms was to avoid further infuriating fans that were already irritated and clamouring for his exit on the back of poor set of results, but that lack of clarity had a disruptive impact on the pitch, to which the manager admitted as much
“I created, with my not deciding, a lack of clarity in the dressing room – and there’s nothing worse than that in the dressing room,” admitted Wenger. “When you’re not completely in, or the players feel you’re not completely in, it’s difficult to tell them ‘we go’. So at some stage I had to tell them, look guys, ‘I’m with you, but we have to win games.’”
At the height of Arsenal crisis last season, ex-players normally supportive of Wenger like Ian Wright and Martin Keown increasingly voiced their frustration, this season after Arsenal lost 4-0 to Liverpool, Wright said “ Arsenal are in crisis from top to bottom and manager Arsene Wenger should leave”.
Arsenal have since rescue their season and put together some decent performances but a 2-1 defeat by Watford and comments by Troy Deeney reminds fans that some fundamentals of Arsenal’s problems still persist.
90% of Arsenal’s supporters trust surveyed believed that a firm decision should be made and announced “well before the end of his contract in May 2019.
Wenger is the longest serving manager in the Premier League, followed by Eddie Howe of Bournemouth who has been in charge for 5 years.
This week Ronald Koeman became the 3rd Premier league manager to be sacked this season after Craig Shakespeare and Frank De Boer, in a league where the expected life span of managers are shortening by every season.
Arsene Wenger is to an extent immune to rash sacking as long as Stan Kronenke remains the majority shareholder.