New Deal for Arsene Wenger and a Quick Friday Roundup
Following a rather dismal start to the season with a 3-1 loss to Aston Villa, Arsenal’s fortunes have changed for the better as Arsene Wenger steadied the ship and his players are currently in top gear with Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil among others firing in all cylinders.
Ramsey, a player in the form of his life, has come out to say that Arsenal can beat anyone, which is a rather overconfident statement if you ask me. Ramsey also insists that the Gunners can take on last season’s finalists, Borussia Dortmund, and that fixture would be one of the major highlights of Matchday 3 coming up on Tuesday, October 22, 2013. However, BVB will play at the Emirates without their gaffer, Jurgen Klopp, as his ban following his heated rage on a fourth official has been extended by UEFA.
Elsewhere, Thomas Vermaelen has showed off his maturity after conceding the fact that he’s now behind Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker in the pecking order at defense. He has spoken about his pride in being the club’s captain and he wants to be leading off the pitch, since his chances of leading “on the pitch” are slim to none.
In the 2009/10 season, Vermaelen arrived in the club like a house on fire, and his goals and overall aggressive defensive play earned him a place in the 2010 PFA Team of the Year. He couldn’t build on it in the following season because of the long-term Achilles tendon injury he suffered and that affected form and fitness. However, Vermaelen was surprisingly shocking last season, and he deserved to lose his place but his performance in the game against Norwich (after Mertesacker received a red card against West Brom) was good.
This season, he has been reduced to a couple of substitute appearances but he made his first start against West Brom in the Capital One Cup, and he had a fine game. I believe he will get his chance this season because I don’t expect Mertesacker and Koscielny to play every game till the end of the campaign in May 2014.
Moving to the business of today, the Daily Mail has reported that the Arsenal hierarchy is preparing formal discussions with Arsene Wenger over a new three year contract worth £8 per year.
Wenger has been a stalwart in North London, dedicating 17 years of his managerial career thus far to the club and with his contract expiring this summer, he was probably left with three plausible options – signing a new deal to extend his stay in North London, retiring on a high after a hugely successful campaign or agreeing not to renew his deal after another fruitless campaign.
Many Arsenal fans would want to see the manager reap the fruits of his labor, and at this frantic winning pace his team is on, the probability of winning silverware come May is very realistic as long as his players keep working hard for each other and converting the chances that come their way.
It’s also good to know that the Gunners can count on a couple of players within the team to hit the target, rather than laying all their eggs in a Olivier Giroud basket, as they did with Robin van Persie before him. Aaron Ramsey, a midfielder by trade, currently leads the club’s scoring charts with Giroud trailing behind him. Even the defenders have gotten in on the scoring act with Kieran Gibbs, Per Mertesacker and Bacary Sagna all getting in the score sheet. Players like Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny are known for the attacking prowess from set pieces so we can expect a strike or two from them.
In my honest opinion, a new deal is no less than Wenger deserves and I firmly believe that he remains the right man to turn things around at the Emirates. The Express reports that Paris St. Germain has left their sporting director’s role vacant for Wenger, after Leonardo vacated the position following a 13-month ban for shoving a referee.
Wenger has always been in high demand since he arrived at the club declining offers from Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich and the French National Team in the past. I hope he signs a new deal because he’s a vital part of Arsenal’s future.
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