After the performance against Manchester United, some questions were bound to be raised about Arsene Wenger’s managerial style. The veteran Frenchman seems unable to address the problems in the team, despite all efforts. Our chronic inability to convert our chances coupled with our non-existent defence has already cost us dearly this season and it shows no sign of getting better.
And quite a few journalists have laid the blame squarely on Wenger. They have labelled the aging manager as a ‘spent force’ and have called for him to walk away from the Emirates to help the club move on. And this opinion is sure to find support among quite a large number of fans; the ‘Wenger Out’ calls have only gotten louder over the last month.
Henry Winter from the Daily Telegraph spoke at length on the subject; and he also pointed out that it is unlikely the Arsenal board will fire Wenger. Firstly, the manager has only recently signed a contract extension, and secondly, he was instrumental in the appointment of Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis. However, he argued that a sudden transition would not be wise and said that a decision should be taken at the end of the season.
The discussion now has moved clearly onto Wenger. They have a huge decision to make on Wenger but I think it’s a decision that should be made at the end of the season.
I really think this is his last season, I think the mistakes keep on getting made. Wenger isn’t learning. He isn’t changing that defence, there isn’t a plan B. He’s buying individuals who are technically good but they aren’t necessarily the Patrick Vieira-types, the battlers in midfield, to win them major honours. He can string a set of results together to win the FA Cup, but not in the long haul of the Champions League and Premier League.
The problem Arsenal has is a lack of leadership throughout the club – from the dressing room to the dugout to the board-room. Are the board-room going to be strong enough to get stuck into Wenger? I don’t think so, because Wenger effectively appointed Ivan Gazidis who is the man to make the decision. So there is a cultural problem right through the heart of Arsenal.
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The only way it’s solved is if Wenger himself thinks ‘enough is enough’ and he walks away.
Who’s up next? Borussia Dortmund and Jurgen Klopp – so there are alternatives to Wenger out there.
He cannot stay in the building. Look at Manchester United – Sir Alex Ferguson’s shadow is still there and that was a problem for David Moyes. Wenger has to move on if they bring someone else in.
They are fading, they’re a fading force.
Not exactly a good sign for Arsenal, that people are writing them off so easily. But the Gunners have not exactly made themselves formidable this season; 17 points from 12 games is our worst ever tally in the Premier League era and we must be prepared for the talk that comes with it.
Sunday Mirror’s Andy Dunn also agrees that Wenger’s time is up, but he blames it on the manager himself, at least in part. He says that Wenger’s reactive rather than proactive nature to problems has cost Arsenal dearly and that it has reached the point of no return.
He’s been well and truly left behind. It’s stubbornness to a certain extent. The problems aren’t so complicated. Look at the goal [against United] – people have known that Wojciech Szczesny is not the world-class goalkeeper that Arsenal need. He’s been responsible for too many goals, made too mistakes, and Wenger has never addressed that – he’s never had serious competition in the goalkeeping department.
I thought the signing of Danny Welbeck was interesting. To me, he’s not a Wenger-type player, it smacked a little bit of desperation.
There was a poignant moment when Wayne Rooney inevitably broke away and scored the second, you knew it was coming, and Wenger just stared blankly into the distance and a couple of fans had a go at him. You thought at that moment ‘there’s a guy who’s run out of ideas’.
No one wants a manager who does not know what to do, but Wenger has the experience and the skill to still pull something out of the bag. However, the later in the season it is, the bigger the impact he will need to make; otherwise this might truly be the last season that the Frenchman is at the helm of the Gunners.