David Dein increases his profile within Arsenal’s board and suddenly Arsene is talking about staying on in a concrete way rather than in abstractions. This was the biggest story in Arsenal’s summer. When would Wenger commit to an extension? The timing now appears to be important and Wenger says that he will have more to say on Thursday or Friday.
Wenger’s former best friend David Dein sells his shares to Alisher Usmanov and Red And White Holdings and the Uzbeki born oligarch appoints Dein to seek out more shares. At this stage Dein is jockeying for Red and White to find a spot on the Arsenal board meetings and meanwhile Stan Kroenke, a former Dein partner, has put his takeover bid on hold for now. Kroenke and Usmanov between them own about 27% of Arsenal’s shares, a few percentage points shy of a complete takeover. What makes you think Dein is not working overtime to make this relationship happen?
These machinations are all part of the so called ‘bringing the big name players to Arsenal so that we are not left behind’ scare tactics that actually hide the true colours of the vainglorious David Dein, who sees himself as the de facto head of the Arsenal board. Its all about Dein.
Wenger has shown even as early in the season that this Arsenal team will be no pushovers and their success has a lot to do with team play, not individual stars. His success pre-empts the rhetoric of the Dein-Usmanov-Kroenke camp. I think Wenger was stung to the quick this summer with all this talk about big players as the only way Arsenal could win. That is the reason he held back on the contract. Managers like to set themselves apart in their MO. As long as Arsenal keep winning, the takeover camp will have less of a leg to stand on.
I am sure Wenger has heard stories about Aleshir Usmanov being a real piece of work, and although he has been circumspect about board politics, I would think that a straight arrow like Wenger must be absolutely horrified by the prospect of a Usmanov takeover. So the best scenario to make sure that David Dein is marginalized is for Arsenal to keep winning and for Wenger to sign that extension.