It’s fair to say that it hasn’t been the happiest of seasons for Arsenal this year, and particularly for Arsene Wenger who has faced fierce criticism from supporters.
The veteran French tactician will see his contract expire at the end of the season and he has yet to announce whether or not he will step aside or continue.
That has led to further frustration and anger from the fans, but could this be the first part of a summer strategy to get them back on side and believing in Arsenal again?
According to The Telegraph, Wenger believes that the British core in his squad is fundamental to their future and he intends on offering new contracts to Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs.
All three players are out of contract next year, and while a better indication of who is staying and securing futures could be crucial to giving supporters hope, the counter-argument would be that Wenger may well be giving out new deals to the wrong people.
“Yes. We still have a group of young players but we have to keep them all. We have Ramsey, Chamberlain, Wilshere, Gibbs. All these players, we have to make decisions and manage to keep them together.”
With Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez out of contract next summer too, many will be desperate to see them pen new agreements rather than those mentioned above, particularly Sanchez who has been instrumental for the Gunners this season.
Given Arsenal’s inability to really compete for the Premier League title or the Champions League over the past decade, sticking with the same group of players isn’t necessarily going to work for many people and it could ultimately just lead to more insults and criticism of Wenger’s management and stubbornness in keeping faith in the wrong players.