Arsenal's Wenger

Arsenal have been in this situation before. A season that began with such promise and actually seemed like there might be Premier League silverware at the end now has the Gunners fighting to retain Champions League qualification. Yes, a simple trophy possibility looms within an F.A. Cup field that allows Arsenal to be seen as CLEAR favorites, but the time for a domestic tournament trophy to keep French manager at the Emirates is over. If Arsenal fans cannot see a pattern with their finishes over the last decade, then they deserve Wenger…and they deserve to give him a ridiculously pricey new contract.

“But,” I hear you say, “how can you put the entirety of Wenger’s Arsenal career into one tiny game against Everton?” Sadly, it is all too easy. Everton are, somehow, nipping at the heels of the Gunners and the mere prospect of both Merseyside squads being in the Champions League has every fan in Liverpool (whether they are blue or red) bouncing. A win for Everton against Arsenal (and a win in their game in hand) would push the Toffees up above Arsenal and would have a team that seemed likely to win the title for several weeks fighting to merely qualify for the Champions League. Everton’s path is a bit harsher, but you never want to be the club that is trying to climb back above instead of the team that just needs to hold serve to remain on top. A loss here would encapsulate Wenger’s issues over the last few years…

In the world of football, holding on to a manager too long because of stability or fear of change can be a problem. Manchester United have only continued to give David Moyes time for one season, and it looks to be a growing mistake every single new day that dawns. Liverpool cut ties with Kenny Dalglish despite the “King” being one of the most beloved Liverpool legends of all time, and look at them now! Chelsea brought back a manager that had been shipped out seasons ago, and they seem a striker away from dominating the EPL! Arsenal have long been the butt of any “non-trophy” jokes for years, and it seems odd to think that Wenger can change the fortunes of the club while the French manager changes very little about the way he actually approaches the game.

As I stated in an article back in October when the rumors about giving Wenger a massive new contract were starting to break, the capabilities of Arsenal coupled with a new manager would probably result in major trophies within 2 or 3 seasons. Sometimes, all it takes is a little bit of change to get a team on the right track…and Arsenal could bring in one of the very best to try and expand their silverware cabinet. To stick with Wenger would be the fans, the ownership, and the players all agreeing that 3rd/4th place (or, heaven forbid, 5th) is an acceptable finish ever season. It also would say that Champions League progress the past few seasons has been adequate and that the occasional F.A. Cup run will be all it takes to be seen as a “success” in London. At some point, Arsenal has to demand better.

Viera is not coming back. RVP jumped ship to a team in the same league in order to taste success. Henry and Bergkamp are not getting suited up for the Gunners anymore. Wenger is not capable of returning this team to the top. Either fix it, or accept that “more of the same” will be coming down the Emirates pipe for more seasons to come. If you cannot see a pattern yet, it is time to start actually paying attention…


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