Few things are ever certain in a Premier League season, the sheer unpredictability is a big enough reason as to why it is the best league in the world. However the consistent anomaly in the shape of Arsenal and their groundhog-day like season seems to be reappearing once again. Their seventh consecutive exit in the round of 16 in the Champions League, out of the title race and now in a massive fight for a top four spot in the league, it seems to be the same old season for the Gunners. The blame is always seemingly pointed towards Arsene Wenger and as of the last few seasons, questions over his future have been pondered. What breaks the trend this year however, is his hesitation on signing a contract extension which runs out at the end of the season, which begs the question; will Arsene Wenger leave the club who he’s served for over 20 years? Or has he still got it in him to stay for a little while longer.
A growing section of Arsenal fans have protested against the contract extension for the Frenchman and have been expressing their frustration through the infamous Arsenal Fan TV, which has seen a huge spike in viewings from rival fans due to the contributors’ somewhat fiery reactions to disappointing Arsenal results. The club’s fanbase is totally divided, and have been for a few years, some want Wenger out, some want him in. When you have fans divided in complete contrast over their current manager, it becomes hostile, and some fans are at breaking point. The harsh criticism over Wenger has taken its toll, he looks like a broken man and when you look at what he’s achieved at the club, it’s hard not to be sympathetic towards him from a neutral standpoint. However at the same time, when you look at what Arsenal have won over the last 12 years, you can understand their frustration to an extent.
You can praise Arsenal’s consistency of making top four and qualifying for the Champions League every single year all you want, but why make it such an achievement when everyone knows it’s a trophy they’re never going to win? Seven consecutive years of being knocked out in the first knockout round and only making the final once, you can hardly suggest that qualifying for the top four is good enough for Arsenal fans anymore, and why should it be? They’re a huge club with no ambition. It’s important to point out though that the Arsenal board has also come under fire for their lack of financial backing and unambitious targets for the club; it’s almost as if they settle for what they are and have no intention in trying to improve.
A lot of the criticism that has come Arsenal’s and Wenger’s way this season is the mentality of the squad and their performances in the big games, especially away from home. Against Chelsea and Liverpool, Arsenal were out-muscled, outfought and outplayed in every part of the pitch and the intense scrutiny over the performances from the players and the tactical naivety from Wenger, has led many to believe that without a change in management and without any sort of leadership on the field, Arsenal cannot win the title. Normally the power to change such things would lie with the board, but where Arsenal are at now, it’s as if Wenger runs the club and will make his own decision if he stays or leaves and to be honest, he deserves that right. If it wasn’t for him, Arsenal probably won’t have had the success they have had in the past and Arsenal wouldn’t be as big as they are today. After revealing to the media last week that he has made his mind up on his future, I’m glad he’s been been able to make that decision himself.
Whether I think he will be there next season or not, I’ll be surprised if he does. Arsenal need a change and I think Arsene realises that it’s time to move on. He’s at a point now where if he leaves now, his reputation of what he did for this club will still be intact but if he and Arsenal keep going on like they are, I feel that could be tarnished and with a Barcelona vacancy for next season, who knows where he might end up.
What do you think? Do you think Arsene needs to go, or should he be given another year? Comment below or tweet us on Twitter @SpiceUKOnline