After securing a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League and three points from West Brom in Saturday’s lunch time kick off, Arsenal fans are still unhappy with Arsenal Wenger occupying the hot seat.
As Sir Alex once famously quoted, “Squeaky Bum-Time”, it certainly is for Mr. Wenger. Beating Borussia Dortmund 2-0 at home in the Champions League over the last number of seasons would have been seen as a fantastic result for Arsenal. Unfortunately, it cannot be seen as a massive achievement this year, why? Simply look at Dortmund’s position in the Bundesliga – currently bottom as time of writing.
A 1-0 win over West Brom was less than convincing even though Arsenal had been in control for the majority of the game. Defensive frailties continue to emerge and a weakened midfield with the loss of Jack Wilshere , means it does not look like a Happy Christmas for Arsenal.
Down the years, one thing Arsene Wenger has done is prove the doubters wrong again and again and again. All of the top names in football and journalism had continuously written Arsenal off from Champions League qualification or challenging for the Premier League. Wenger has challenged time and time again.
However, with the Gunners having fallen short domestically and in Europe in recent years, the fans are putting massive pressure on Wenger to leave the club. The January transfer window is probably Wenger’s last chance to prove to the Arsenal fans that he is still the man for the job.
Every Arsenal fan says the exact same thing, “We need a holding midfielder, we need more discipline in defense and a few more bodies”, and frankly you have to agree with them. Comparing Wenger’s current crop to the Invincibles, you could only pick a handful of players that would make the bench, let alone the starting XI.
Wenger needs tall, physical players as well as real leadership quality. most of the Invincibles were man made mountains, all over 6 feet tall. That intimidates opposition. They would put the fear of God into any team, and punish them.
Sadly, the Arsenal we see today is nothing like what it used to be.
Wenger’s faith in youth as well as sticking by players and giving them a chance is remarkable, especially at this level of football. With more money being pumped into the game, we are seeing teams spend millions on players and youth players are not given a sniff.
With the move to the Emirates Stadium in 2006 and funds being restricted, Wenger has done remarkably well with the youth he stuck by and the players he brought in. Arguably, Mourinho or Sir Alex would not be able to progress with a team full of unproven talent and restricted funds.They have both been able to spend millions on one player whereas Wenger’s strongest area was spotting talent and making them into world class players.
Credit has to be given to Wenger for challenging for the League with those teams and for qualifying for Europe’s elite competition every year since his arrival in 1996.
As mentioned, Wenger’s performance in the January Transfer window will prove pivotal to his future at Arsenal. The club have all the attacking talents they could possibly need, it is now time to shore up the defensive unit and bring in big powerful players in order to do so.
Arteta and Flamini are at the end of their careers and it’s now time to phase them out and bring in young, experienced, proven players. Arsenal have tough fixtures coming up, only time will tell if the current crop can help their manager hold onto his job.
Mikey Brown, Pundit Arena.