There has been much made about Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger’s future after the Gunners 5-1 defeat at Bayern Munich in the Champions League. In truth, the result on its own will not see the Frenchman leave the club.
However, Wenger should leave the club if the Gunners are to ever challenge for the big trophies once again.
The club’s hierarchy seem happy for their team to just finish in the top-four of the Premier League.
Wenger has guided the Gunners to that aim continually for the best part of two decades. But how long can he keep doing that with a number of teams looking to win a lucrative spot in the top-four?
Wenger has kept the ship steady
Arsene Wenger has kept the ship steady through slightly choppy financial waters, but they are never actually going to get to their desired destination of winning big silverware. The Frenchman kept the club financially stable while the club paid the bill for the Emirates Stadium.
However, since the stadium has been paid for the club and team have not pushed on. They seem to be going nowhere fast under Wenger and the club’s hierarchy are just happy with the revenue arriving from the Champions League.
For most Arsenal fans just qualifying for the Champions League each season is not enough. The Gunners are one of the most successful clubs in the history of English football, so it understandable that their fans want more.
The right time for Wenger to bow out
It feels like Arsene Wenger’s reign is coming to a natural end in the summer. The veteran French boss’ contract expires and there are doubts over whether he will stay at the club in the summer. The belief from most people is that Wenger will decide his future and not the Arsenal hierarchy.
Wenger enjoyed a fantastic first decade at the club, but in the last decade, the team have made the same mistakes over and over again. Every season they tend to implode during the campaign at some point.
Whether it is at the start of the campaign, or whether it at the end of the campaign, Arsenal have a tendency to shoot themselves in the foot. The team’s mentality seems to be weak as well. When the going gets tough Wenger’s Arsenal in the decade have gone and cried in the corner.
The team mentality starts with the manager. Would any other major club in European football have kept a manager for the last decade without winning a major title? The answer is no.
Arsenal should be among the elite of European football. They have the location, the resources and a modern stadium. This is a club that should be strong title contenders, not just also-rans in the title race.
Some will argue that Arsenal have not got the same financial power as Chelsea or Manchester City. However, Arsenal spent big on the likes of Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi in the summer, who were signed for similar fees as David Luiz and N’Golo Kante, who are currently helping Chelsea win the league title.
In realistic terms Arsenal are never going to win the Premier League title again or the Champions League under Arsene Wenger. The team has gone stale under Wenger, so the Frenchman signing a new deal is almost accepting that the club do not want to win the title in the near future.
FA Cup the Gunners only chance to win silverware
Barring a collapse from Chelsea in the league and a major slip-up from Bayern in the Champions League, the FA Cup is Arsenal’s only realistic chance of silverware. The Gunners head to National League side Sutton United in the fifth round on Monday night.
As you would expect the team from north London are overwhelming favourites at odds of 1/6 to record a victory. Wenger has a habit of resting players for the cup competitions but is likely to field a strong enough team to get the job done against the non-league side.
The FA Cup being the only silverware left for Arsenal to contest in February is a sad indictment of the team’s performances this season and in recent seasons.
If the Arsenal hierarchy are happy with their top-four finishes then that is fine. If not and they want to actually challenge for the big trophies in the near future, then they need to bite the bullet and not offer Wenger a new contract this summer, which is hard to see at the moment.
Should Arsene Wenger be offered a new deal this summer?
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