What Arsene should focus on

Problem areas Arsene Wenger will have to address to make next season a less bumpy ride:


Fans and pundits alike gripe that Wenger does not like to get involved in bidding wars and resorts to panic buys before the transfer window closes.

Some board members reacting to these concerns wished to install a director of football who could work on potential transfer targets.

But this has been vehemently opposed by Wenger.


Wenger made clear on Saturday, both before and after the FA Cup final win over Chelsea, his hurt and anger at certain sections of the Arsenal support venting their spleen at him during the season and demanding he go.

Critics of Wenger would reply they have had to witness every term since their last Premier League title win in 2003-04 his failure to keep star names, replacing them often with poor purchases and flattering to deceive in the title race come the business end of the season.


Alexis Sanchez's performance in the FA Cup final illustrated how crucial he is to the Gunners.

His contract, along with Mesut Ozil's, expires next year and persuading them to sign new deals will be pivotal to Wenger winning some brownie points with disenchanted fans.


Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has largely been supportive of Wenger, but he admitted to fans in April there would have to be changes even if Wenger stayed.

That apparently upset Wenger, but he will have to agree to some changes so as not to put more pressure on their relationship.


There has been disquiet about some of Wenger's coaching staff, especially goalkeeping coach Gerry Peyton and fitness coach Tony Colbert, who have been with the Frenchman for more than 14 years.

The board will seek to compromise, if only to show it is not totally at the behest of Wenger.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 31, 2017, with the headline 'What Arsene should focus on'. Print Edition | Subscribe