I think I should start this by saying that I am a lifelong Arsenal fan (and no I’m not from North London and yes I am a big old glory hunter) but there’s one subject that has ripped my club in two: Arsene Wenger.
The Frenchman who helped redefine the style of football played in England is having some trouble getting silverware and the fans have started turning. When entering this debate you have to remember that Wenger has managed to keep a job for over 20 years in a climate where 20 days is considered a good spell. Arsenal have stayed at the top of the footballing world thanks to him and have overseen three premier league titles 6 FA cups and I guess you could mention the 6 Community Shields as well, but who actually cares about them? So why are these Arsenal Fans suddenly convinced Wenger is the problem with the club ? Well it’s been over 10 years since our last Premier League success; we often do poorly when in Europe and the odd FA cup isn’t enough to satisfy the expectations of the people around the club. Arsene has now found himself in a world where results have to be seen quickly. If a manager comes in and has a bad couple of games, you’re likely to see his resignation press conference before he’s learnt all the players names. There’s no room for development any more, no room for nurturing a squad and then reaping the results further down the road. If we lived in that kind of world when Wenger came to Arsenal he wouldn’t have made it past the first season. He had to overhaul all of the things players thought they knew about football and start again. His key is consistency.
You do however have to think; will a new manager breathe new life into Arsenal? We are lackluster and unconcerned at times and it’s well documented that Arsene is reserved and not one for a particularly inspiring pre game speech or half time thrashing. Footballers at the minute have bigger egos than ever before and maybe that means the kind of person you need in charge of a team is less of a Wenger and more of a Contè who isn’t afraid to speak his mind and be in control of his players.
At the end of the day, none of us will know what’s best until we try something different. I can almost see the new manager now, coming in promising the world and as he struggles in the first third of the season the fans start shouting for his resignation. Before we know it one of the last clubs that championed loyalty and trust will become part of the temporary solution machine.