Arsene Wenger signs new contract: Arsenal manager is no 'specialist in failure' - he earned his right to carry on after FA Cup win

The long-time manager showed he is taking this Arsenal team in the right direction, writes fan Jack de Menezes

Rejoice! Arsene Wenger is staying with Arsenal. Our manager, who teased us with months of ‘will he, won’t he’, will lead the side into a 17th straight season of Champions League competition as well as the defence of our gleaming FA Cup trophy. This is nothing but good news, right?

Yes, it is actually. Having been previously pessimistic that fans should not get ahead of themselves following the FA Cup victory, news that Wenger will stay beyond his 19th year with the club is a major – if expected – boost ahead of the summer transfer window.

Wenger has shown signs this season that both he and the club are improving, and despite finishing fourth once again, our 128-day total stint at the top of the Premier League shows that we are capable of competing with England’s biggest sides. A wider look shows that the club spent more time at the top of the league than champions Manchester City, second place Liverpool and Manchester United combined, although the latter’s two-day total is less of an example and more of a reason to smile at the Emirates.

The successful FA Cup run also means that all the talk of that nine-year run can halt immediately, and for a so-called “specialist in failure”, Wenger looked pretty happy with his season’s work at Wembley on 17 May.

 

So what about the Champions League? Can back-to-back eliminations at the hands of Bayern Munich be considered progress, or are Arsenal further from European glory now than they ever have been? In short, Arsenal can’t ‘expect’ to beat the likes of Bayern and Real Madrid, but we’ll sure as hell give them a run for their money. The side have shown that, having secured a win and a draw in their last two visits to the Allianz Arena, and the firm belief is that if we can sort out our group stage performances and top the group to avoid the rest of the group winners, a semi-final or final appearance is not at all beyond this side.

But had Hull triumphed at Wembley, or Everton capitalise on their 3-0 victory over Wenger’s stuttering side to finish fourth and consign us to a Europa League campaign for the first time in Wenger’s reign in charge, you have to think that the 64-year-old would have had to seriously consider whether he had taken the club forward.

Read more: Wenger agrees new three-year deal with Arsenal
Wenger's the right man 'by a country mile', believes Seaman

Initial reports revealed talks over a new contract began as early as last year, but the delaying party in negotiations was Wenger himself. This wasn’t down to the wages being offered or the length of the contract (as has so often been a deciding factor in contracts involving Wenger and his players) but his choosing to wait, and wait, and wait until the season was over.

Had he failed in either the league or FA Cup, it wouldn’t have been a surprise is we were searching for our next manager to take over in July.

Just take a glance to Manchester and you’ll see what can happen when a long-term manager decides enough is enough and the right plans aren’t put in to place to survive without them. United’s struggles this season should be a real message to the Gunners’ faithful that life post-Wenger could be a lot worse than life with him in charge.

That’s all hindsight now, and with Wenger in charge – and looking as confident as ever – a proactive summer transfer window could see us really strengthen our Premier League title challenge. And who knows, in three years’ time we could all be calling for Wenger to agree a new deal after a trophy-laden run.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London