A whole generation of football fans have grown up seeing Arsene Wenger as an Arsenal manager. A lot of them haven’t seen anyone else in charge of Arsenal football club. Over the years, Arsenal and Arsene have grown into the folktale that do not exist without each other.
What Arsene Wenger has done for Arsenal has been remarkable. The record for his first eight years at the club is astonishing and outstanding. His ‘Invincible’ team would be remembered fondly as one of the greatest to have graced the game by the history for a long, long while. Then to have moved Arsenal to a new stadium, maintaining financial stability and ensuring that they played in the U.E.F.A champions league every season is praise worthy.
But the truth remains that the tough financial phase for Arsenal is long gone and they are still not able to come any closer to lifting the premier league trophy. They still fail to be a serious threat to their opponents in the U.E.F.A champions league. For a club of Arsenal’s resources and the infrastructure they have, that simply isn’t good enough.
The buck has to stop with Arsene Wenger for that. He has full autonomy at the club regarding transfers and his conservative approach in the market has certainly cost Arsenal, especially with their rivals spending loads of money. Trying to be a morally righteous club doesn’t win you trophies and Arsene has failed to realise that.
Though the truth remains, the problems at Arsenal football neither start nor end with transfers. Their squad, man to man isn’t really behind their rivals and hasn’t been for some years now. The problem with Arsenal is mainly due to Wenger’s tactics. Their record in away games vs top teams is appealing and tells a story in itself. Teams have found an easy formula to beat Arsenal and Wenger has either been stubborn or incompetent to modern football which has led to Arsenal not being able to get desired results. Wenger has failed to adapt to changing times and has become incompetent to the modern game.
We have grown accustomed to “not being mentally ready.” Everyone who has seen Arsenal play will agree that they have a serious attitude issue when it comes to the game. There doesn’t seem enough desire in the club to achieve big things and the team crumbles when facing any tough challenge. Arsenal are an absolute joy to watch when at their best but it is not possible to be in the same form every game of a season and they don’t know how to get results when they aren’t at their best. Grinding out results is how you win the league. This is something that has been repeating for years and when that is the case, the manager is the one to blame. He has clearly not been strict enough with his players and convinced himself and the team that these results are good enough.
The lack of spirit and strong determination is having a disastrous effect on the team’s performance. It is something that could even effect them after Wenger goes because having a winning mentality isn’t as easy to achieve as it sounds. The Arsenal board seems very satisfied with what’s happened and these signs do not bode well for Arsenal fans.
A lot of people fear the succession chaos to Sir Alex at Man Utd could be repeated at Arsenal. Well, the truth is that one day either now or later, Arsenal have to face that situation, so there is no point running away from it. Also, SAF had left United as champions, Arsene Wenger hasn’t won the league for 13 seasons. The worst that could happen is they do not make the champions league, a tournament which under Wenger, they already seem far from winning.
As the popular saying “Doing the same thing and expecting different results is stupid” and that is exactly the case at Arsenal. Their season for the last 4-5 years has been a carbon copy of the previous ones with the same mistakes being repeated. Its high time that Arsenal decide bring changes if they want to become a club that lifts some of the biggest trophies again.
Of course, Wenger leaving won’t completely solve Arsenal’s problems. Their board need to show ambition, appoint a top class manager, someone who brings an aura, experience and winning mentality with him. They need to spend big on high-quality players and match their rivals. If there board doesn’t show the required ambition, then the change in guard won’t do any good too.
The truth remains that Arsenal fans who are known for spending the highest on ticket prices in Europe, for their unconditional support to the club, despite the numerous disappointments deserve much better than what they are getting now. Arsenal, for becoming the club they aspired to become after moving to Emirates stadium, need to achieve greater things. Arsene Wenger has failed to give them any significant achievement for the last decade and there is little to suggest there is any chance of that changing in the coming years.