Ivan Gazidis and the ‘catalyst for change’

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After a long search which saw his face plastered on the side of milk cartons, someone found Ivan Gazidis.

The Arsenal chief executive, who has been nowhere to be seen during one of the most turbulent periods in the club’s recent history, met fans at a ‘Fans Forum’ meeting on Sunday.

This is a pre-arranged, scheduled meeting between representatives of fans groups and club officials. Gazidis was present and engaged in what was referred to as ‘Largely defensive corporate stuff’, when pressed about key issues at the moment, including the future of Arsene Wenger.

However he insisted that the decision about the manager’s future would be ‘mutual’ and has not been made yet, suggesting that the contract widely reported to be ready to sign has not yet been offered to Wenger [Can I get a ‘yeah right’?!].

Gazidis also said that this season, and the failings we’ve seen, could be seen as a ‘catalyst for change’, although he insisted that this could include Wenger who has, according to a report in the Telegraph, promised to ‘reinvent’ himself over the course of a new deal.

The chief-executive also said that there would be a major review into the way the club is run. At the moment there are rumours swirling about that former players could be welcomed back into the coaching set-up.

Currently the contracts of the coaching staff are tied to that of Wenger – ie, they expire at the same time as his – so if Wenger was to extend his stay, the club would be able to simply not renew certain contracts, rather than having to go through the difficult process of firing people.

Goalkeeping coach, and the scouting system are all areas that could be improved, and if certain names being linked are true, the position of Steve Bould as assistant manager could be under scrutiny.

Of course it remains to be seen how much of this will happen, how quickly it will happen, and what results allow to happen over the final 10 games.

Arsenal currently sit 7 points from the top four, and with games against Man Utd, Sp*rs and Everton still to come, it’s going to take a near flawless end to the season to give us any chance of achieving what Wenger and Gazidis have described as the ‘minimum’ for the club.

Check out today’s Arsecast Extra

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