Was this the most important date in the recent history of Arsenal football club, it was two days after the defeat in the Champions League to Bayern Munich a game that saw Arsenal totally out played to an extent not seen before under Wenger’s reign as manager. Yes there had been heavier defeats and games against Barcelona where we were taken apart but to me this was different as we were watching a game where Arsenal and Wenger did not have an answer for the movement and work rate of a team. Wenger could not point to a weakened team through injury or suspensions this was a fully fit team that had players rested on the weekend before losing to Blackburn in the FA Cup.
Sitting in the stands that night was the silent one over for one of his few visits to London to see how his rather large investment was doing. Even if he does not know much about football (not the American kind) he would have picked up on what he had just seen and probably heard from some of the crowd. Skip forward to the Thursday when Wenger had a meeting with Mr Kroenke, now what was said is I am unsure of the newspapers report that Stan gave Wenger his backing, some in the media were saying these were “crunch talks” but I’m wondering if the “crunch talks” as they call them were not about Wenger’s future but the future of the way the clubs was being run.
Was this the meeting where Wenger was told that he could now do what he wanted with the club or perhaps he told Mr Kroenke what needed to be done, was this the moment that his hands which had now been mutually tied by the board and himself were free.
I have long had this thought that Arsenal, the board and Wenger was planning for 2014 the year the two shirt deals were to be renegotiated and the last of Wengers current contract. A ten year plan to get Arsenal back on its feet after nearly bankrupting themselves moving to Ashburton Grove a time where front loaded sponsorship deals were needed and financial prudence required. The spanner in the works was the financial input from the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City that made Arsenals and Wengers plan difficult to maintain. 2014 could not come quick enough and has in reality has not, but Mr Kroenke has I think looked at the situation and released the funds on the back of the announcement of the Emirates deal and the rumored Puma deal to Wenger and the club.
This Summers transfer activity could be interesting from an Arsenal point of view, Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and maybe another one or two big clubs with new managers trying to stamp their mark on their new clubs and Wenger with his buying hands free for the first time in a decade with full the support from Mr Kroenke.
Arsenal’s record since the meeting to the end of the season was played 13, won 10, drawn 2 and lost 1.