Following Arsenal’s frustrating 0-0 home draw against Blackburn at the weekend, many aggravated fans voiced protests over Arsène Wenger’s management of the club after what could well be another season without a trophy at the Emirates. In the large part, most fans still remain loyal to the man that led the side to three Premier League and four FA Cup titles. But, worryingly for Arsenal, there now appears to be a divide within the clubs normally loyal fan base over the future of Wenger and this was apparent at the weekend. But would Arsenal be mad to get rid of their longest serving and arguably most successful manager or is it time for fresh thinking at the London club as they look to end the six year wait for silverware?

Normally famed for its fast-paced and physical football, Wenger has gone against the grain of many managers in the Premiership and stuck with his attractive style of passing football. A great man-manager, he has regularly managed to get the best out of often young and somewhat lightweight squads in comparison to the rest of the league. And, this tendency to develop younger, somewhat raw players into more established professionals has proved popular with the board as Wenger has been able to shape and develop his squads rather than spending big in the transfer market such as Chelsea and Manchester City. And would Wenger have spent big anyway with a vast transfer kitty available to him such as at Manchester City or Chelsea?

Wenger is not without his critics. Whilst Arsenal do still play immensely attractive football, it has yet to bring any trophies since the Premier League success of 2004/05. The Arsenal manager is known for his stubborn nature and predictable tactics and perhaps it is this insistence on his footballing philosophy that, whilst honourable, has held the Club back. Maybe if Wenger showed more willingness to win ugly when it mattered and grind out results as Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea did then it would be a different story. But would Arsenal fans still hold the same respect they do for Wenger were he to abandon his footballing philosophy and, in the words of Mourinho, “park the bus”?

The fans have also clamoured for a marquee signing since Thierry Henry left but, again, Wenger has refused to spend big and instead looked to nurture youngsters. Whilst it is worth remembering that the Club are still paying for the move to the Emirates, built at an estimated £400 million, they pocketed over £40 million from the sales of Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor to Manchester city two summers ago.

Perhaps Wenger should take note of Barcelona’s Pep Guardiola. Despite leading what has been described as one of the greatest teams ever, he hinted he could leave at the end of his contract next summer as “players get tired of coaches and vice-versa.” But whilst it could be time for a change, who out there could do a better job with the squad and resources available than Wenger?

Perhaps recent events could turn out to be an over-reaction by fans. Let us not forget that they are still second in the league, made the final of the League Cup and the quarter finals of the FA Cup. And, Arsenal have had injury problems and could still close the seven-point gap on Manchester United and win the Premier League. Admittedly the team still need more leadership on the field. But, of course, tomorrow’s leaders always develop from today’s players and Wenger certainly has a talented squad at his disposal. But to who should fans look to to take the step up and provide this much-needed leadership? Admittedly Cesc Fabregas is a hugely influential figure when he plays, but his future at the club has been the topic of debate for several seasons now.

Having described his current team as his ‘best side ever’ and constantly called for patience from fans, football is somewhat cyclical and you feel trophies could come again soon. But with fans reportedly paying the highest average ticket prices in Europe for entertaining but ultimately unsuccessful football, Wenger for one will hope these trophies come sooner rather than later.

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  • teamSlinky
    3 years ago

    Sounds like a perfect oppourtunity for an Arsenal – Barcelona job swap to me.

    Reply
  • Gillyo
    3 years ago

    I think the question of a beautiful game being able to win titles has been put to pasture with Barcelona.
    They play the most beautiful game and won every possible title.
    Now, these are Wenger’s basic mistakes that are obvious to the entire world, except to him:
    1) Failure to hold on to the veterans due to a stupid policy regarding contracts to players over 30 and an unwillingness to spend money on players and be competitive in the football market. This caused a lack of stability in the team. 2 words to sum this up: Scholes and Giggs.
    2) A complete disregard for quality experienced and strong defensive players, from right and left wings to center backs and,specially, goal keepers. I think Wenger thinks that he can win games by scoring goals, no matter how many goals Arsenal concedes.
    3)The primary objective of a football team should be to win Championships (and games obviously) and secondly, be profitable. Not the other way around.

    Reply
    • Biggy
      3 years ago

      Truly on the money on every single point. Our team is full of skillful players who are physically weak. Unfortunately, when they are not allowed to play, everything else falls apart. This is what baffles me about our management. They are fully aware of the demands of the league, yet, they have done nothing to improve the situation. Over the last few years,I have seen many calls for improvement in this area. IF EVERYONE CAN SEE IT, WHY CANT THOSE WHO ARE PAID TO SEE AND ADDRESS IT?

      Reply
  • WezD4vo
    3 years ago

    I appreciate what wenger has done for the club up until now. he has taken us as far as he can unless he starts buying players. if he dosent in the summer then he shuld be sacked. after all this season is the last of his 5 year plan!

    Reply
  • Donnyfan1
    3 years ago

    Unfortunately, like Jose M, Pep G can only operate by taking over superstars and then spending hundreds of millions and running up half a billion of debt. My Grandmother could do that!! Could Pep do what AW has done these last few years on AW’s budget— nay chance!! And remember- but for a bent refs decision to send RVP off- we would probably have beaten Barca over two legs!! How many teams in Europe will be able to beat our full strength team next- and the year after etc. Very few- and possibly none– and that without debt!! Moaners will moan though!!

    Reply
  • gunnit!!
    3 years ago

    spot on donnyfan1! people forget how much aw has givin to this club. we all no aw will spend well this transfer window because its pretty clear the squad need to be improved but for now we still have to get behind our manager and players and cheer them on till the end.

    Reply