Predictably Wenger’s Gunners saved his bacon against Manchester United at the weekend. The Frenchman has a knack for inspiring job saving performances from his team, right when he needs it most. Man United vs Arsenal used to be a title decider or a cup final fixture. Now it’s nothing more than a grudge match for tourists and keyboard warriors.
Wenger has survived his customary season scare after a 3-0 victory over rivals United; many will now expect to see Arsenal pushing for the title and the Champions League knockout stages. Although when the season is over, and Arsenal only have another FA Cup to show for their efforts, the #WengerOut brigade will begin again, led by their very own Twitter warrior, Piers Morgan.
Be careful what you wish for Arsenal, the declining success of Man United should be a warning sign to any Gunners supporter. Since Sir Alex’s departure United have struggled immensely, firstly under David Moyes and now with Louis Van Gaal. Wenger is just as important to Arsenal’s history as Sir Alex is to Man United’s legacy. Both are doyens for their respective clubs, and therefore irreplaceable.
If Wenger were sacked then who would come in to replace him, who is better than Wenger?
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Pep Guradiola is perhaps the perfect choice for Arsenal, but even his success wouldn’t be guaranteed, due to the inferiority of Arsenal’s squad in comparison to his previous clubs.
Jurgen Klopp is destined for Liverpool, although his credentials have to be drawn into question after his 7th place finish with Dortmund last season, Wenger has never stooped so low with Arsenal.
Carlo Ancelotti is a like for like replacement, the Italian is a similar age to Wenger with similar credentials. Arsenal hiring Ancelotti is the equivalent to Man United hiring Louis Van Gaal; I’d give him three years tops.
Perhaps most telling of all is the fact that Arsene would be welcomed with open arms into many of the top jobs around Europe. Real Madrid have been longtime admirers, while a return to France with PSG has been mentioned once or twice.
Arsenal are undoubtedly one of the heavyweights in European football, with a great stadium and a strong fan base. Furthermore they are a London club, which is a significant factor when persuading foreign players to join the club. Arsenal were not on the European map before Wenger’s arrival, and they did not have the most impressive stadium in the country. Whoever takes the reigns at Arsenal when Wenger leaves is one lucky person.
On the pitch success has been consistent, the Gunners challenge for the major trophies every season, which is more than can be said for the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham, two real perennial 4th place consolidators.
You can point fingers at the transfer strategy, and maybe Wenger is guilty of trying to find the next Henry or Petit in a cluster of rough diamonds in European football.
However, if I were Arsenal I would avoid the ugly divorce and stick by Wenger, the Frenchman deserves to reap the rewards of the legacy he has created for Arsenal. The Gunners are more likely to win a title under Wenger than with any other manager in world football, and when he does win again with Arsenal, he’ll retire, just like his longtime foe Sir Alex.