Why Arsenal and the fans should be patient with Arsene Wenger
As Arsenal once again come crashing down to reality from their perpetual state of dreamland, it marks the end of another season that has ended in disappointment. The annual discontent is getting louder after every passing year. Many supporters are once again calling for a managerial change, claiming that Wenger has reached the limit of what he’s capable of.
Why do we still need to believe in Arsene Wenger despite being trophy less for six years? Well no-one can deny the changes he has brought in English football, a man with exceptional eye for football talents and his devotion to his brand of football, when arsenal were at their best, was an absolute fun to watch. Although the club has faced a trophy drought for six years but it has been fairly consistent in maintaining their standards as one of the top flight club in European football. You can’t imagine Arsenal without Arsene Wenger, the man has imbibed his style in the club. He has been dubbed as a miracle worker for achieving success with minimum resources.
After succeeding Bruce Rioch, Wenger brought a new wave of football to England with his creativity of passing for which Arsenal have been compared with Barcelona even today. Wenger invested the squad with some young gifted talents who later turned out to be club legends (Thierry Henry, Patrick Viera, Cesc Fabregas etc). With strong support from David Dein, the vice-chairman, Arsenal reached it’s peak (2000-05) with three FA cups, two times’ English champions and runners-up of Champion’s League and most importantly won the Premier League in 2003–04 without losing a single match, an achievement which earned the side the nickname “The Invincibles”. The reasons which have led to the downfall were the hubris installed in the board room after our historic unbeaten season, leading them to believe we could win anything with just some kids and a couple of pennies in the bank. Well there were other reasons besides this for leading them away from progressing further…
Firstly, a board room rift resulted in the ousting of David Dein. David Dein was considered as Arsenal’s middle-man, transfer broker and problem fixer. He was the medium between Wenger and the board, and he was the man you trusted to get things done. He was not only instrumental in bringing Wenger to the club, but also brokered transfer deals with other clubs. When the board got rid of Dein, we lost one of the most important backroom staff -members. His departure was also similar to Arsenal’s recent squad departures,t no one was brought in as a proper like-for-like replacement. Dein’s club responsibilities were delegated to others, just like our departed holding midfielder responsibilities have been delegated to other positions. With this extra burden of having to get involved with transfer details and contract negotiations, Wenger has lost some of the focus on the pitch.
Secondly, Wenger was able to put more effort into nurturing the project initiated by the club as soon as the contracts were signed for building the Emirates Stadium – competing at the highest level while spending less than others. It was more of a necessity than a choice to do so, as the cost of building a new stadium meant one had to look at alternative ways of putting together a football team. And so the mighty transition started, with Wenger looking to bring in new teenagers every other year or so, to build a continuous wave of talent breaking into the first team as the older generations deprived in quality.
Thirdly, Arsenal has been suffering with considerable financial burden since the construction of Emirates stadium. Although the club made a profit of 50m, 90% of it will disappear if the club fails to acquire a Champions league spot in the current year.
Arsene Wenger needs a right hand man, someone who’s not afraid to get things done and buy players. As regarding his managerial capabilities, he is one of the gifted managers that any club could possess. His dedication and hard work towards the club has been incredible. He has brought a golden era at Arsenal and the fans should have patience with him.