It’s a question that not only now divides Arsenal fans, but one that has spread throughout English football.
It goes without saying that the 67-year-old has tasted his fair share of success during his 21 year spell with the North London outfit, but as the 2016/17 season draws to a close, Arsene Wenger seems to be on the verge of his worst league finish in charge. After suffering a humiliating 10-2 aggregate defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League Last 16, and a string of poor performances in the league, the FA Cup once again appears to be the only piece of silverware that Arsenal are competing for.
The fans have become ever more vocal about their decisions this season, with some protesting during their 3-1 away defeat to West Brom by having 2 separate banners fly over the Hawthorns via plane, which prompted calls saying that the fans were making the club a laughing stock.
One plane held the message “No New Contract #WengerOut”, whilst the second stated “In Arsene We Trust #RespectAW”, showing that the Frenchman clearly divides opinion within the fans, and now pundits and fans from outside the club are weighing in with their opinions on the matter.
The Reality is that after 21 years, Arsene Wenger has won just 9 Major competitions, compared to long running rival, former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson who delivered 28 trophies in his 26 years in England. He has lead them through the incredible feat of an unbeaten title winning season in 2003/04 and has also delivered Champions League football each and every season that he has been at the club, which is still a monumental achievement in the English game.
But Arsenal’s move to the Emirates in 2007 was a step in the direction to secure their place as one of the top European football clubs, yet that is still to materialise, with 7 consecutive seasons of Last 16 defeats in the Champions League, none more humiliating than the 10-2 drubbing on aggregate that Wenger’s side suffered this season, proving that they are still looking to improve on their European form, with their best finish in the tournament coming in 2006 where they were defeated by Barcelona in Paris. But is there more to it than just Wenger’s management, are the players pulling their weight in the big games?
I believe that Wenger’s time at Arsenal is up, and that Arsenal should begin to plan a future without the man that has helped shape them into the side they are today, but I also believe that he deserves much more respect than he is being granted by the fans given the years of service he has put into the club.
The main question then looks onto who Wenger’s replacement could be, with the current bookies favourite being Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri. Despite him losing just 20 of his 152 Juventus games in all competitions since 2014, he has only ever managed in Italy, and it may take him time to adapt to the English game, however this has not been the case in Antonio Conte’s opening Premier League campaign, with Chelsea looking set to win their 5th Premier League title.
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