The ‘will he – won’t he’ saga regarding Arsene Wenger’s future at Arsenal has now been resolved with a new two-year deal, but it remains to be seen how the fans will react going forward.
Last season’s protests both inside the Emirates and in the skies above made it clear to the Frenchman that not everybody in the stands wanted him to remain in charge and there is bound to be a backlash to the news that he will be in the dug-out until the summer of 2019.
So what can the 67-year-old do to placate the fans and galvanise what appears to be a fractured club?
The simple answer is to win trophies and, in particular, the Premier League, but that is easier said than done. If you do fancy Arsenal’s chances next season, these UK free bets may be worth considering before placing down any wagers.
Indeed, a few notable pundits have already suggested that the Gunners are still a long way behind the top four, which will be music to the ears of Tottenham fans, and a poor start to next season could see more and more fans getting on the manager’s back.
Wenger’s biggest challenge is to sort out the future of both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil – the club’s best and most high-profile players.
Sanchez scored 30 goals in all competitions but there was still a sense that he was not always at his best and a reported fall-out with Wenger hardly helped matters.
The season ended well with yet another FA Cup triumph, however, and securing his future in north London with a new deal might be all the Chilean needs to find his very best form throughout the entire nine months next term.
Ozil polarises opinion, with an ability to control a game and also to go missing in matches but, on his day he is a huge asset.
Rumours suggest that the German is also set to be offered fresh terms and, if he signs, it would be a major boost for all concerned ahead of next season.
Getting the fans back on board will be crucial, especially with no Champions League to look forward to, as it is unlikely, after 20 years eating from Europe’s top table, that the Europa League will be met with too much enthusiasm.
However, as Manchester United have found out, it is a route back into Europe’s top club competition even if a top-four spot is beyond them.
Wenger must also learn to be more adaptable and move with the times as he is fast being left behind by younger, more dynamic coaches such as Antonio Conte, Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola.
The summer’s transfer window will be vital as it is obvious that he needs some more firepower, but already the ‘stubborn one’ has hinted that he might just tweak his squad here and there.
Whether that will be enough for the beleaguered supporters is open to question but they will have to remember that it is tough to attract the really best players without the lure of the Champions League.
A switch to three at the back towards the end of the campaign paid off and that is something that Arsenal must continue with next season.
It has all the makings of another tough season for Wenger and Arsenal but if they can take the momentum from the FA Cup into pre-season and make a strong start, then there is every chance that harmony will be restored.