Arsene Wenger has been one of, if not the, greatest manager in Arsenal’s history. He is currently both the most successful and longest serving in their history managing over 1000 games. He has won three Premier League titles, five FA Cups and five Community Shields, which makes him the most successful Arsenal manager in terms of silverware.
He took over in 1996 where Arsenal had a pretty poor record in the Premier League since its inception in 1992. They hadn’t finished higher than fourth and just two seasons before Wenger took over, the Gunners came 12th. Wenger turned them into title winners in just his second season – a remarkable turnaround. Another achievement is the fact Wenger has helped the club qualify for 17 consecutive Champions League group stages, only failing to qualify once in his entire tenure, which was after his first season.
But after all that, how can Arsenal fans be calling for his head? He turned them from an inconsistent Premier League team to the Invincibles in under a decade. They still get into the top four every season, something that wasn’t happening before he arrived at the club.
Whilst things have declined due to the fact they have only picked up one piece of silverware since 2005, this still doesn’t allow Arsenal fans to disrespect their great manager and call for his head. Banners and constant chat on Twitter about how he has gone on too long and must leave immediately is quite frankly a disgrace to a man who has changed Arsenal’s fortunes so drastically in his 18 year reign.
Arsenal fans have become too greedy and a little delusional due to the amount of success Wenger has given them over the years. The Frenchman has been, and still is, a great manager who needs to be around to continue to build this current team. He knows his squad better than anyone else and if a new manager was to come in now, who’s to say things would improve instantly?
Just because he isn’t spending hundreds of millions a season it doesn’t mean he isn’t building an exciting squad. He has still spent a significant figure on players such as Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, and it seems as if the fans are still unhappy.
Whilst it hasn’t been a great season so far, you have to bear in mind the amount of injuries he has had to put up with. Any team would struggle having numerous players out for months at a time. But they are still within touching distance of a top four finish, something that doesn’t seem to please Arsenal fans anymore – but they need to be realistic at what they can achieve at this current time.
They should be careful what they wish for; who’s not to say that the first time they fail to qualify for the Champions League since 1998 is the season after Wenger’s tenure?
The question is, who would replace Wenger? There doesn’t seem to be many available options. It’s no guarantee Arsenal will suddenly improve under a new manager; it would be unlikely considering the new man would also need time to build his side.
There has been some talk about Thierry Henry as a potential successor. But this would be a baffling move considering Henry has no experience of coaching or management at any level, so how is he going to do a better job than Wenger?
Also, considering the way Wenger is being treated by the fans, it would be unsurprising if any new man would come under the same scrutiny once a few results go against the club.
We all know what happened after Sir Alex Ferguson left Manchester United – they went from Champions to a team that became a bunch of individuals not knowing their roles in the first year without him. I for one wouldn’t be surprised to see Arsenal drop out of the top four as soon as Wenger does eventually leave.
Arsene Wenger is now 65-years-old and will probably only have two more seasons left after this one. He will leave when the time is right, once he has started to bring more marquee players in, season upon season. He knows the time isn’t right yet and fans need to stick with him while he continues to build a squad that will stay in the top four and challenge for trophies once again.