I am by no means a Gunners fan but, sitting back and watching Arsene’s legacy at Arsenal diminish further each week, is frustrating me beyond belief and I simply have to let some of it off my chest.
For several weeks, months, even years – I have thought it was time for Arsene to hand over the reigns to someone new. There have been the odd few Arsenal fans hoping that he would stay, as they cling on to the glory years of Wenger’s tenure – but the heavy Carabao Cup final loss to Manchester City today must have changed their minds now, surely?
Don’t get me wrong, losing in a final to the current City side is certainly not the embarrassing part, but it’s the way they lost. There was no heart or spirit, bottling challenge after challenge, it was almost as if they turned up expecting to get rolled over.
Now to the tactics. Where do I start? Arsene plummetted for five defenders in his lineup, which was destined for trouble – and was only ever going to invite Pep’s side forward. The centre of their midfield consisted of Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and the marvelous Granit Xhaka. So who did Wenger think was going to mark Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva out of those three? Whoever it was supposed to be, none of them did it.
Then, with the game at 2-0 and the Gunners still in with a chance of getting back into the contest – they decide to stick with five players at the back. Why? Surely you would take one of them off, probably Calum Chambers, and try and at least give your fans something to shout about. Nothing changed and David Silva went on to bag the third goal, to secure an easy victory. Bravo, lads.
Now, where do Arsenal go from here? Or maybe a better question is, where can they go from here? To my eyes, nowhere good.
The Gunners currently sit sixth place in the Premier League, eight points behind Chelsea and eight points above Burnley – so I doubt their position is going to change. A club of Arsenal’s stature should be at least challenging the top four, and if this was any of the other big hitters, then their manager would no doubt be moving on at the end of the season. Will that happen? I doubt it. He has a two-year deal (sorry for reminding you, Arsenal fans).
Wenger’s side can’t be bailed out by the FA Cup this year, following their humbling defeat to Nottingham Forest in the third round. If only the Arsenal boss had walked away after they won the competition last year, whilst he still had pride intact.
The Europa League is the only saving grace still available to them this season. However, this must be a tricky one for Gunners fans, because if their side does somehow manage to lift the trophy in May – then Wenger is likely to carry on.
All of this may seem like I don’t appreciate what Wenger has done for Arsenal football club, but I really do. The man did unbelievable things for them in the first half of his tenure, but ever since their Champions League final defeat in 2006 – aside from a few FA Cup’s – what do they really have to show for the last 12 years?
The relationship between Arsenal, Arsene and the fans feels like a loveless one right now – it’s time to move on.
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