At the end of a 6th season with no trophies not much seems to have changed at the Emirates. A team who play beautiful football but lack grit managed by a man who refuses to do anything about it sums up Arsenal pretty well nowadays. The problems with the club are obvious for all to see and after six seasons Arsene Wenger has yet to address them. With Stan Kroenke the new majority shareholder, it is time for him and the rest of the board of executives to step in and take control of what was once a successful club.
Arsenal’s problem isn’t just their need for new players, it is Arsene Wenger. ‘Le Professeur’ is the cause and solution to the club’s troubles and has been for quite some time. His inability to keep up with Arsenal’s closest rivals has lead the club to yet another trophy-less season even though at the start of the year Arsenal were in a good position to win all four competitions.
Before I continue, let me just say this isn’t a sudden attack on Mr. Wenger and his achievements with the club. Wenger has been the right for the job for close to a decade, a rare feat for today’s Premiership managers.
However with ticket prices on the up and the teams performances erratic to say the least, the North London club now face a backlash from the fans. Arsenal already have one of the most expensive season tickets in Europe and with supporter’s hard earned money not funding a influx of new players how can the £1000 plus price tag be justified?
A reported £40 million has been available to Wenger since last summer, yet the Frenchman has kept a tight clutch on the club’s purse strings. Last summer’s signings of Laurent Konscielny, Sebastien Squillaci and Marouane Chamakh came to a combined total of less than £20million, this plus Wenger’s failure to sign a much needed goalkeeper left the club empty handed yet again.
What we have here is a case of a manager whose unyielding nature is stifling the club’s progress. At an underachieving club something must change, either the players or the manager. Arsenal have had new players come in every summer but not the right players.
Looking at the managers of other top clubs, Sir Alex Ferguson spends where needed and provides adequate reserves. Even the relatively new success of Chelsea has seen the club maintain a strict standard for their managers. World cup winner Felipe Scolari was given the sack after the club fell to just second in the league.
Since Arsenal last lifted a trophy their highest finish in the league has been 3rd. What does that say about a team who were once invincible? Manchester City and Tottenham are both showing their strengths and eagerness for Champions League football and another season like this could see the Gunners struggle to stay in the top four.
Such a huge drop in achievement wouldn’t be accepted at any other club so why do the Arsenal board continue to put faith in a man who doesn’t look like changing anytime soon?
Arsene Wenger seems to have taken the club as far as he can and his achievements at the club are unparalleled by any previous Gunners manager and by few managers worldwide. However football is no place to be sentimental and the achievements of yesteryear count for nothing today. Every Arsenal fan including myself should be grateful to Wenger for transforming what was once an average club into what they are today, but as we look to the future it is time for pressure to fall on his head. The problems are clear as day and so should the club’s message to the manager, challenge for titles or head for the door.
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