Has Arsenal had enough of the Frenchman's diplomacy?
As we all know, in 1996, Arsene Wenger was named the manager of Arsenal and two years later, the club completed a league and FA cup double. He is the one who led the club to appear in the 2000 UEFA Cup final and 2001 FA Cup final.
The nickname “Le Professeur” is used by fans and the British media to reflect Wenger’s studious demeanour. His approach to the game emphasises an attacking mentality, with the aim that football ought to be entertaining on the pitch. After his coming to Arsenal, the club achieved many records, like eclipsing Nottingham Forest’s record and going the entire league season undefeated since Preston North End, along with many more. He is mainly known as the manager for spotting youth talent instead of buying expensive and experienced ones. Some of the examples are Jack Wilshere, Wojciech Szczesny, Johan Djouro, etc. He has faced criticism for sticking closely to his principles and abiding by the rules. And in recent years, football pundits have questioned his ambition on winning trophies.
Until recently, the very idea of sacking Wenger was inconceivable. We all know that the modern Arsenal is built in his image. Their playing style is one which he implemented. The stadium is one he helped design. The team rose and fell with him. On the whole, their story is inextricably linked with his.
However, as we can see, the fans are disappointed for not seeing a single trophy over the past eight seasons. And with the uphill task of fighting for the top four and to qualify for the champions league, they are facing another dilemma. The argument of these disgruntled supporters is clear: Arsene Wenger is the man who is fully responsible for everything that takes place on the pitch and Arsenal’s performances this season has not been up to scratch. Those who would see Wenger sacked point fingers towards him as the man who has overseen Arsenal’s decline.
Many other fans, however, remember him as the man who designed Arsenal’s resurgence. This is the same Arsene Wenger who built the double-winning side of 1998, who carried Arsenal to an unbeaten season in 2004 and who masterminded a run to the Champions League final in 2006.
For the last decade or so, he has kept Arsenal competitive on a relative paltry budget despite his selling star players to teams like Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United, which built squads which superseded his own.
But every year, he has ensured that his club gets qualified for the Champions league. The spark may have been lacking, but yes, he and his team tried their level best.
This is the time the club should reward Wenger instead of showing him the door for the contribution he has made for the team since his joining. Arsenal might be closer to dropping out of the top four more than ever, but they’re also on the brink of a financial reprieve.
Arsene Wenger has shown in the past that he is thoroughly capable of bringing glory to Arsenal. With the club on the verge of an increase in economic power, he must be afforded a chance to do so again. Sacking him now would be a disgrace and disrespectful to all the work he has done for the team with such prudence.