Following his third FA cup win in 4 years, Arsene Wenger has just committed to Arsenal for a further 2 years. I would like to think this is good for their image and for the immediate future. Some say he should go and be replaced – but by whom? And is this not the knee jerk reaction done time and time again by every other football club. 20 years of uninterrupted top 4 placement & European (Champions League) participation I believe speak for themselves. Also at a crucial time in the club’s history where they moved stadiums and have kept their books balanced. Much deserved credit has come his way too for his use of young players and their contribution. Throughout he has continued to show patience, desire & class – all of which are qualities that represent Arsenal well as a brand.
Will players want to get to the ‘heights’ of other clubs where they could be plonked on the bench forever, signed off for the most money possible? Or will players want to go with a club that’s shown that even if you stumble, they’ll have faith in you. I bet a fair few managers are looking at Wenger with immense envy, such as Van Gaal and Brendan Rodgers. They were given very limited loyalty or faith from the top dogs at their clubs, it was all numbers and fixtures. Wenger seems to be so engrained in his club it seems to be much more than the results he gets. Their faith in him over time has paid off.
Locally for us here at Elastic in Edinburgh we have 2 clubs Hibs and Hearts who both are demonstrating some of these qualities themselves in how they are running their clubs. Both have been recognised as having well run clubs. Hibs patience has paid off in promotion to the Scottish Premiership.
A key component of a brand is how it differentiates itself – and by showing respect, patience and loyalty in Arsene Wenger I believe Arsenal are enhancing their brand. These are traits not always demonstrated and If more football clubs were to try this I wonder if it wouldn’t be a more productive environment.
Proving they have what it takes on the day, having just beaten this year’s Premiership League winners, Chelsea, can they now go on and win the Premiership once again in the next 2 years?