It seems like nothing polarises Arsenal fans more than Arsene Wenger. Is now the right time for the Frenchman to leave the club? Like many other Arsenal fans, I completely respect everything he has achieved and done for our club. Nobody can deny that we are in a much better place now than we were when he took over in 1996. My worry, though, is I struggle to see us winning the title again under his leadership so my answer to the question above has to be a firm yes.
Arsene has to take a lot of credit for the way he handle things on the pitch when we moved from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium. He had very little to spend on his team during that transition period because building stadiums don’t come cheap. Despite the lack of finances, he still managed to get us into the top four every season and we had a few successful days out at Wembley in the FA Cup.
If you are looking for a football manager to run your business successfully, Wenger is the right man. As football fans though, looking after the finances of our club is not what we worry about, we want success on the pitch. Due to recent defeats against Watford and Chelsea, we are out of the title hunt once again by February and as we saw against Chelsea, we are still labelled by other football fans as being soft and they have a fair point!
Gone are the days of the 90s and early 00s when we had some steel about us. Players like Tony Adams, Martin Keown and Patrick Vieira used to be feared by the opposition when they ran out with an Arsenal shirt on. Very rarely were these players out-battled or bullied on the field. In the 3-1 defeat to Chelsea, it is difficult to think of one player who enjoyed the physical aspect of that game. Diego Costa had a field day against our back four and we just simply could not handle him.
The chances are Arsenal will qualify for the top four again this as they are odds-on in the football betting to do so. The problem is the manager and squad of players celebrate qualifying into a competition they simply cannot win because at the moment they simply are not good enough. They have not reached the quarter-final of the tournament since 2010 and the only time they have gone all the way to the final under Wenger was in 2006 when they lose to Barcelona.
One of the big arguments pro-Wenger Arsenal fans use when they talk about his future is who would fill his boots should he leave? They do not feel there is a suitable candidate who would accept the position. Arsenal should look at the job Antonio Conte has done at Chelsea and choose Massimiliano Allegri from Juventus who has a similar profile to his Italian compatriot. It might not be pretty football under the Juve boss but like Conte, he has a record winning football matches and more important league titles!