Arsenal Fans turn their anger towards Kroenke
Arsenal failed to secure Champions League football for the first time in Arsene Wenger’s 21-year reign after finishing in fifth place despite this 3-1 win over Everton. Wenger often pointed to his record of participating in Europe’s premier competition during spells when his managerial ability was questioned and although he has already played down the disappointment of missing out this term, it is a huge setback for him and the club. Wenger seems likely to stay on as manager in any case but slipping into the Europa League will only reinforce the notion Arsenal are going backwards on his watch.
- Once Arsenal’s Europa League fate was sealed as Liverpool moved 3-0 ahead against Middlesbrough, Arsenal supporters began a sustained chant of “Stan Kroenke, get out of our club”. Wenger has been the target of much of the criticism this season but it was notable the Frenchman was spared any abuse here with fans instead turning their anger towards the club’s majority shareholder. He has rejected a takeover offer from Alisher Usmanov, Arsenal’s second largest shareholder, but it remains to be seen whether a more prolonged campaign in opposition to Kroenke could force him to change his mind.
The prospect of a season in the Europa League will not make contract negotiations with Arsenal’s two best players any easier. Sanchez has been offered a package worth £300,000-a-week with Ozil weighing up a similar, slightly smaller deal but the pair have wanted to see how the season pans out before deciding their fate. Wenger insists both are fully committed to the cause – their performances in recent weeks have suggested as much – and remains confident the club can find an agreement this summer with just one year left on their existing deals. But Sanchez is being chased by some of Europe’s top clubs including Chelsea, Manchester City, Paris Saint Germain, Juventus and Bayern Munich – they will surely believe an ability to offer Champions League football could swing a decision in their favour.