If there’s one thing Arsene Wenger always does, it’s see out his contracts.
The manager has often backed up his words with actions, and intends to do so again with his latest contract.
Wenger told beIN Sports that he always tries to respect his contracts no matter what the situation.
In doing so, he would be at the club until 2019 at the least.
The line is a familiar one, as Wenger has often said it in defence of his management of the club.
We heard it earlier this season at the club’s AGM.
During his annual speech, Wenger addressed his new deal, which he signed back in May, by saying he wants to stay until the end.
“I am 21 years at the club and I want to feel that I do well and see what the board thinks of my performance. After that we decide where we go from there. My desire has always been to respect my contracts,” he said.
A year before, in April 2016, Wenger said the same when his previous deal was entering its final year.
As usual, his future was in doubt as the team’s season ended in disappointment.
“I do not want to come back on that, I respect always my contract,” he said in response to questions about his future.
We can go back even further than that, to his contract before last, for yet another comment about respecting his deal.
Back in May 2013, Wenger was entering the final year of his deal.
Naturally, people wondered if he’d be saying at the club. Wenger’s response?
“The rumours about my future? It does not bother me, it is part of the interest of the footballing public. You have to live with it and try to educate people,” he said, as reported by the Independent at the time.
“I answered this question several times by saying that I have always respected my contract and I will continue to do so.”
There is a trend of Wenger saying this line whenever he’s under pressure.
It’s almost like an affirmation of his own authority; a reminder that he’ll only ever leave on his own terms, or else he’ll need to be pushed out of the club against his will.
It also demonstrates the loyalty he’s shown to the club.
We’ll see if his that loyalty wins out yet again as he approaches the final year of his current contract but as it stands we face heading into another year of uncertainty surrounding the manager’s contract despite him already blaming previous uncertainty as the main reason Arsenal missed out on Champions League football for the 17/18 season.
With the way this season has gone, there are few fans who want Wenger to stay until 2019.
Many are hoping to see the club push Wenger out if he doesn’t leave himself.
Still, this season might not end up being a barren one for him.
The club has the chance to win the Carabao Cup when they play Manchester City in the final at the end of the month as well as the Europa League with one foot already in the next round.
Arsenal coming out of this season with a cup double would be unexpected, but might do just enough to keep Wenger in the job for that final year of his contract.