Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Arsenal have to think about replacing Arsene Wenger

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 28 Feb 2018

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I have to admit I am not an Arsenal supporter, but I watch the Gunners on a regular basis as part of my duties professional duties. The strange thing is I seem to be getting just as frustrated as the Gooners.

Their main frustration is that their team cannot compete with the best anymore. They have gone from genuine title challengers to a team struggling to make the top-four in the last few seasons.

One of the main people responsible for that downfall is Gunners boss Arsene Wenger. The veteran boss has overseen a steady downturn in the team’s fortunes in recent years. In fact, the north London club have been on a downward spiral for over a decade.

Questions have to be asked of Wenger

When a team is not living up to expectations, the first person questioned are asked of is the manager. Football is now a ruthless business were bosses end up getting the sack on a regular basis. Most sackings are due to the fact the team are playing poorly and are understandable.

When a team has been on the decline for a decade with the same boss, should questions not be asked about why he has not turned the situation around? The Arsenal hierarchy have stayed loyal to Wenger, yet his team keeps underperforming.

Chelsea, Manchester United or Manchester City would have sacked the veteran French boss by now. However, the Arsenal hierarchy seemed happy with just finishing fourth every season and pocketing the money.

The Gunners are not even finishing fourth anymore. They are currently 20/1 to clinch a Champions League spot this season. Those odds say a lot about the current Gunners team.

Poor recruitment from Wenger

At other clubs, fans will ask who is responsible for the recruitment of players. At Arsenal, it seems Wenger is responsible for everything. The 68-year-old is an economist we all know that, but unfortunately, his signings have not been great of late.

No doubt in time January signings Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will likely be successful at Arsenal. However, look back to the signings of the likes of Shkodran Mustafi and Granit Xhaka and alarm bells start to ring.

Wenger once had an eye for a player, turning unpolished gems like Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit and Robert Pires into top players. It seems his radar has slightly slipped since those halcyon days of successfully developing players.

Mustafi and Xhaka sum up Arsenal at the minute. Both looked like decent signings on paper. However, they have endured highly unconvincing Arsenal careers so far.

Mustafi looked like the commanding centre-back the team needed. However, he has looked highly vulnerable in the heart of defence at times. Granted the whole backline looks vulnerable, but the German does not help the situation.

Xhaka is the man Wenger brought into the team to give the midfield some steel, something badly missing from the Gunners team for a long time. Like his German teammate, he has put in some unconvincing displays for Arsenal.

He has impressed in some games. However, he will also go missing in other games, so cannot be relied upon to do his job properly.

It is not just the aforementioned pair that have flattered to deceive in the last few seasons. A sad indictment of the current Arsenal situation is that I doubt any of the Gunners players would get in the starting line-ups of the top-four teams.

Arsenal have left it too long to replace Wenger

Arsene Wenger will have a year left to run on his contract this summer. Various reports suggest that the Arsenal board will finally look at his position in the summer. For me, the club should have done this a few years ago.

Wenger was a once great manager. However, times move on and so does the game, sad as it is. The 68-year-old has not moved with the times. Unfortunately, the Arsenal hierarchy were complacent, as the team was recording fourth-place finishes every season.

It may take the loss of the Champions League revenue for two seasons on the trot to wake the Arsenal hierarchy up. I doubt many Arsenal fans would be against Wenger leaving at the end of the season.

He has tried his best and produced some great moments at Arsenal. However, it is now time to move and let somebody else try to make the Gunners great again.

Will Arsene Wenger leave Arsenal at the end of the season?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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