Arsenal FC: Was it all down to Arsene Wenger?
Arsenal FC is no longer in the Wenger era and most certainly not in the one in which the likes of Theirry Henry, Robert Pires, and Jens Lehmann used to grace the Highbury or the Emirates stadium. Nevertheless, Arsenal FC still remains a work in progress when it comes to Champions League qualification. Can Wenger alone be held responsible for the problems Unai Emery faces at the moment?
It would not be wise to think so. It was never going to be easy for Wenger to keep performing at the highest level of club football without replacing the aging squad. That's something he himself has admitted on record.
So, how and where did the rot began?
It all happened gradually over the course of the past 10 years when Arsenal allowed many of its star players to leave the club and rarely signed a proper replacement. Cesc Fabregas, Alex Song, Alexis Sanchez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Robin van Persie, and Samir Nasri left the club at critical junctures.
Here we need a reference point to put things into perspective. Let's take Liverpool.
About two years ago, their defense was no better than what Arsenal has today. What did they do about it? They sold Philippe Coutinho and used that money to fund the purchase of Virgil Van Dijk to sort out the defense and it worked.
Now, it would be a bit of overselling to state that Arsenal could have done the same. However, to let the likes of Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey run down their contracts and leave the club for absolutely nothing is nothing but outrageously horrific mismanagement by the club hierarchy.
What would you say tomorrow if the likes of Aubameyang and Lacazette leave the club for nothing? It's simply appalling. There is no way to sugarcoat it.
On top of mismanagement, a billionaire owner who is yet to invest a single penny from his own pocket into the club does not help things in any way.
All in all, much of the rot that ensued at Arsenal FC was down to the old regime and the current owner is yet to step in and take matters with a little more seriousness.
Unai Emery does not have a magic wand in his hand. He needs the board to back him. It's absolutely essential for Arsenal to qualify for the Champions League next season and they don't look like they will unless the owner starts acting up soon.
Let's face it. This club is not getting where its fans want it to with a self-sustainable model of management. This club needs some huge investment to put things in order. Unless that happens, everything that the fans hope for is a pipe dream.