What looked like being a full on cardiac arrest for Arsenal, the exit of Arsene Wenger, has turned out to be little more than a heart murmur.
The Arsenal guru has emerged from his flicker of self-doubt to proclaim he will be staying in North London, at least until 2011.
But what would it be like if Wenger decided to go to Real Madrid, why would he want to? Let's have a look at both sides of the coin:
Reconstructing in the capital
Undeniably, if Wenger were to accept the challenge at Real Madrid he would have all the money in the world to work with. But by the same token, he would need it. Real Madrid's present back-line, Sergio Ramos excluded, is truly awful. It would require completely rebuilding.
Madrid do have good options going forward, Arjen Robben (when fit) is one of the best wingers in European football and Wesley Sneijder is a high quality player. Lassana Diarra is one of the best holding midfielders in the world, so the midfield isn't too bad. Though it could do with strengthening.
Up front, Madrid have quality players. Raul is a legend, and Van Nistelrooy is a goal scoring machine. The problem is that these players are ageing and cannot withstand an entire campaign without injury. Real do have two good back-up forwards in the shape of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Gonzalo Higuaín, but they aren't exactly blessed with pace.
The point is, this isn't a side that needs a couple of additions but a fundamental rebuilding (unlike say, a certain side in North London).
The political landscape
Admittedly, the behind the scenes wrangling and pending take-over scrap looming at Arsenal, combined with the fiscal constraints, doesn't make Wenger's task easy. But at least he has as much control as he could dream for.
At Madrid, not only would he have to win La Liga and make a credible challenge at the first time of asking, but he might well have to do it without complete control over transfers that he would like. Lest we not forget Senor Perez is the man that proclaimed with unbridled vigour; "Real Madrid do not sign defenders".
Anything less than ravaging Barca in the title race and getting to the semifinal in the Champions League would probably mean Wenger getting sacked. Of course, Wenger is more than capable of doing this—but if he couldn't buy the personnel that he wanted? Wenger would be staking his entire reputation on a gamble, it could be a glorious gamble, but he would be risking a reputation he has spent more than a decade acquiring at the Emirates.
It simply wouldn't be worth it. Wenger has made the right call, for now at least...
Owen Watson, Goal.com