With every passing season without a trophy more and more questions are asked about Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and his grip on the club.
It almost feels like déjà vu writing this article, because last season the same questions were being asked about whether Wenger could turn Arsenal’s season around.
Last season Arsenal were struggling badly, before Robin Van Persie hit top form and bailed the Gunners out. The Dutchman’s goals made sure that Wenger’s men finished in the top four, when it looked highly-unlikely.
However, this season Arsenal don’t have the goals of the prolific Van Persie to fall-back on. It doesn’t look like they currently have anybody capable of being that white knight this season. That must really worry Wenger and Gunners fans.
Without doubt Arsene Wenger is a managerial legend. He is one of the finest managers to ever grace a dugout in the English top flight. He brought new exciting ideas to England when he arrived in 1996.
Arsenal had a reputation for being a dull, but effective team prior to Wenger’s arrival on these shores. Within a few years Wenger had create an exciting, attacking team capable of not just winning, but winning in style.
This team continued to challenge for Premier League titles in various guises until 2005. That year is significant as it was the last year that the Gunners last won silverware.
Arsenal fans throughout the history of the club have become accustomed to their team challenging for trophies and the big titles. However, it’s been well-documented that the Gunners have gone seven years without picking up silverware.
This has become a big bug-bear of Arsenal fans. The Gunners had a chance to progress to the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night against fourth tier Bradford. However the players produced a lacklustre display and went out of the competition courtesy of a penalty shootout defeat.
The League Cup maybe a much-maligned competition, but it was the Gunners chance to get the monkey of not winning a trophy for so long off their back. Instead they produced a tepid display.
If their performance in the league cup could be put-down as a one-off, some of their performances in the Premier League can’t be. The Gunners have produced some really poor displays in the top flight this season.
Even in their last Premier League game against West Brom the Gunners were lucky to be awarded two dubious penalty kicks. Without those decisions going their way they could be in the bottom half of the Premier League table now.
The question is can Arsenal recover their season like they did last season? I’m not so sure. Pundits have said that Arsenal will probably still finish in fourth place this season. Their two main competitors for that fourth Champions League spot Everton and Tottenham have been inconsistent in recent months.
However, I don’t think it will be that easy for Arsenal to hold off arch-rivals Tottenham or Everton. Both teams have the quality to go to any team in the top flight and pick up a result. Everton recently drew 1-1 with champions Manchester City and could quite easily have won at Eastland’s; they won’t be easily pushed aside.
Tottenham have already picked-up some good results this season, notably winning 3-2 at Manchester United’s Old Trafford. Andre Villas-Boas’ side cannot be written off either.
Arsenal haven’t won a trophy in seven years and don’t look any closer to challenging for the Premier League title in the near future. It’s a sad state of affairs for the Gunners, but I don’t think Arsene Wenger will be leaving the Emirates Stadium anytime soon.
Wenger is a club legend and I think it would be hard for the Gunners board to sack him. The Frenchman is also far too stubborn to quit as Gunners boss. That all adds up to Wenger staying until his contract expires.
People have talked about him moving upstairs, but I think that Wenger is too much of a big character to take a backseat at the club.
Under Arsene Wenger Arsenal have qualified for the Champions League for the last 15 years. That really is an incredible record. This season that run is again in doubt, with the likes of Tottenham and Everton big threats to the Gunners.
Arsenal could still finish in the top four of the Premier League, but as Gunners fans have stated finishing fourth is not good enough for a club with the history of Arsenal. Is it time for change at Arsenal? I think it maybe. Will there be change? I very much doubt it.
Should Arsene Wenger leave Arsenal?