Arsene Wenger: Still The Right Man?

Arsene Wenger: Still The Right Man?

After the predictable demolition at the hands of Liverpool, the Arsenal faithful were up in arms, immediately calling for the head of the manager after the pathetic display from the players. Amidst concerns that players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis Sanchez no longer wanted to be at the club and were yet starting, confusion reigned over the fans as to whether the manager has lost his managerial touch. So after another dismantling at the hand of a ‘rival’ and an underwhelming start to the season, what legitimate reason is there for fans to believe that Wenger is the right man to propel the club forward?
After stringing along the Arsenal fan base for the better part of 6 months, Arsenal revealed that Wenger had signed a new deal to stay at the club for two more years. Many fans had thought that this was the perfect time to step aside for Wenger. After beating Chelsea in the FA Cup final, it would have provided the perfect swansong for Wenger to walk away and allow someone else to assume the reins at the Emirates. But alas, he remains at the club and you would be hard-pressed to find a large group of fans that are excited about this prospect.
It is clear that after being taken apart for the umpteenth time by a top 4 team away from home, the atmosphere surrounding Arsenal is toxic, and the scary part is, it has the potential to get worse. With Wenger being notoriously stubborn and failing to adapt his tactics to the opposition that he is facing, more defeats like this can be expected to come when Arsenal travel to top 4 teams. With Wenger frequently calling defeats like these ‘accidents’ but still expecting the Arsenal fans to remain faithful behind his time, it seems that he is completely out of touch with the managers of today meaning he needs to adapt, which is highly unlikely, or he has to leave.
Arsenal did manage to put on a strong performance away from home at Chelsea, where some may argue that Arsenal even deserved to win the game. Only time will tell whether this performance will be an anomaly on the season or whether Wenger is finally coming to terms with the idea that different football games require different tactics for the team to succeed.
Recent reports have revealed that Wenger did indeed hesitate before signing his most recent contract stating in an interview with French TV station Telefoot “I’ve been at the club 20 years, and I’m wondering if I should continue to leave the club. We went quite badly during the season”. Surely with a statement like this, Wenger within himself is questioning whether he has the ability to take this talented squad to the mountain top and bring respectability back to the Emirates. Additionally, if you are a player, how does this sort of message resonate in the dressing room? You want your manager to inspire passion within you, bring light to the fact that the squad is talented enough to win trophies. Instead, the manager is questioning whether he should still be at the helm.
There is no doubting that Wenger has been a huge addition to English football, but in a world where everyone has a platform to voice their opinion, the resounding opinion is that Wenger has become so tactically inflexible that other managers in the league have passed him on and off the pitch. He will go down as Arsenal legend, there is no doubt about that, but is his legacy going to remembered by his first 10 years where he brought Arsenal a huge amount of success, or will he be remembered for the last 10 years where he was continually embarrassed by rivals and was too stubborn to make the tactical changes needed and too frugal to make the big additions that would have undoubtedly made the squad better.

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