Time for change at Arsenal?

Saturday, November 27, 2010
I have a huge amount of respect for Arsene Wenger and as an English football fan I am very grateful for what he has brought to the game in this country. In the days before Wenger , English football was best known for playing the long ball game, drinking copious amounts of beer and living on a diet of takeaway food. Whilst some of that image still remains, Wenger has played a huge part in almost eliminating it entirely.


In his early days at Arsenal he transformed the club from top to bottom and brought a brand of football to Highbury and the Emirates, that was new to the English football fan and a joy to watch. Not only was it all those things, it was also highly effective and successful.

When he arrived at Highbury back in 1996 he was something of an unknown and regarded as a surprise choice for the job. Within ten years he had led Arsenal to three Premier League titles, four FA Cup triumphs as well as second place finishes in five Premier League campaigns, an FA Cup and the Champions League. Amongst that great record in 2003-04 his side won the title without losing a single game.

All of this was achieved with minimal spending on players compared to the other top clubs and at the same time as moving into a new ground.


As a manager Arsene Wenger has won too many awards to list in this article. They include being given the OBE and induction to the English football hall of fame.

Despite that fantastic record outlined above, the fact remains that the last time Arsenal won anything significant, or even finished runners up in anything was back in 2006.

Arsenal fans have been very patient with Wenger since 2006 as they should have been after what he achieved. He has set about creating a brand of football at the club that in many ways is the envy of all the others. Their slick passing and moving is a testament to the way most of us like to see the game played. He has done it by using young players who he has continually promised will deliver trophies in due course.


The problem is that they do not actually look any closer to winning anything than they have done since 2006 and the patience of the fans is beginning to wear a little thin.

Home Premier League defeats to West Brom and Newcastle were bad enough but the second half capitulation at home to hated neighbours Tottenham was about as bad as it gets. After the game Wenger insisted that he had been happy with the performance and couldn’t understand how they had lost the game. That statement must have sent shudders down the spine of many Arsenal fans.

The fans know that Arsenal are missing steel in their side. They need a world class goalkeeper and a new centre-back. They also need a goalscorer and someone who can win the ball. They also need to shoot occasionally rather than trying to create the perfect goal. All of those things are obvious to everyone, it seems, other than Wenger himself.


After Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat at Braga on Tuesday, Wenger reverted to type and criticised the officials and the tackling of the opponents. I’m afraid this will just not wash anymore.

I respect Arsene Wenger and I enjoy watching Arsenal play football, but I think the time may have come for him to either accept that his approach and philosophy may have to change a little or for him to move on and let someone else try to take this group of players onto the next level.

What do Arsenal fans think?


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