“Arsene, no pressure, but have you got time to sign your new contract now? How about now? Or now …?”
Although few seem keen on Kroenke I’ve long been of the view that the stability he has brought to AFC has been integral to the ability of the club to have remained on track in the very recent past.
For the club to truly reap the rewards of the relative sacrifice made since the move to the Emirates, it’s my belief that our ability to retain Arsene Wenger at the helm has been crucial. It’s hard to imagine many owners/majority shareholders who could have provided the space for AW to regrow his squad and to play his way out of the various setbacks we’ve all seen with our own eyes over the years, whilst permitting, in parallel, the Commercial Team to leverage value out of the Arsenal Brand.
Often much maligned by observers of the club, there is plenty of evidence to my eye that Kroenke’s passion towards Arsenal is unquestioned and remains undiminished. His appreciation of Arsene is expressed at least in part by the following quote taken from the article Fungunner linked to earlier today:
“We were standing out in the rain watching. It rained like hell. This was going on for several hours. I was getting worried about players getting hit by lightning and Arsène was out in the middle of it. He’s out there coaching every day. You’ve got to love that or you can’t do it. That’s a passion.”
These are not the activities of someone winding down from the club. It’s not the commitment of one looking to take supporters and shareholders for a ride or to ‘asset-strip’ the club, another favoured accusation until recently very much in vogue in certain quarters.
So Stanley understands and appreciates Arsene.
As the club becomes ever-more successful, I think more observers will understand and appreciate Kroenke’s role in all of this.
And it’s still my belief that, on balance, both will most likely be around for the long-term.