Arsene – It’s not time to say goodbye
By John Howell
“Arsene, thanks for the memories but it’s time to say goodbye” – was the banner displayed for the world to read last weekend at the Hawthorns, where Arsenal defeated West Brom.
Can Arsenal fans really be that unsatisfied?
The very same Arsenal who won the FA Cup last year? The team that consistently finishes in fourth place or above, can proudly call themselves Champions League mainstays and have won the Premier League three times – even if the last one was a decade ago? Give me a break.
The North London club have been amongst the elite of English and European football for the better part of two decades and that praise must go to long-term manager Arsene Wenger and the dynasty that he has built and maintained.
A BBC article this past week surrounding the debate had two contrasting sub-headlines, ‘Arsenal fans have every right to expect more’ and ‘Arsenal fans have no right to expect more.’ In regards to the former, no, they really don’t.
There should be no debate about this at all.
Try being a fan of a team that constantly battles relegation, a club that writhes in the desert of mid-table mediocrity every year, which truly deserves better but doesn’t receive it.
It’s a sentence that reeks of envy, but in this writer’s opinion, it is whole heartedly true and infuriating to witness.
Have Arsenal regressed? No. Have other clubs around them progressed? Yes.
The likes of Chelsea and Manchester City have become the true powerhouses of English football over the past two seasons whilst the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal have had to settle for making up the also-rans. Talk to a fan of Newcastle, Tottenham or Everton, who have fallen at the final hurdle of the brass ring, and they’d bite your hand off to be on the other side of the fence where Arsenal have been.
And before you all say it – no, it’s not a crime for Arsenal fans to want to see their club to succeed, and yes, stagnation can cause problems. But to decry that a manager of such magnitude – who has brought the richest and most memorable years in the clubs modern history – is due for the chop is beyond fathom. Coupled together with a footballing climate where stability is more essential than ever, Arsene Wenger has earned the right to leave Arsenal on Arsene Wenger’s terms.
You’d think that the recent trials and tribulations of Manchester United would be enough to quell such ignorant calls for the Frenchman to go. United, the club who embedded themselves into titles and triumphs only to be ousted into European exile are walking the long road back to the top. If Arsenal fans think they’re unhappy now…
As Joni Mitchell famously sings, “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you got til it’s gone?”
So when you’re no longer rubbing shoulders with (and defeating) the likes of Borussia Dortmund, then you can complain. Only then can you say that you may deserve better.
Arsenal FC is a successful and sustainable club and will be for a long time to come. To ask for anything more in modern day football is just not up for discussion.
Do you think Arsene Wenger should leave Arsenal?
Who would you want to see replace him?
Read more from John Howell here!
So the biggest defeats in our history from our rivals, the lack of a plan b, no leadership, no defensive tactics, same predictable football week in week out, we have gone backwards, we have remained in a stalemate under Wenger, the same excuses from Wenger every week, the comments of we can still win the PL a joke, sticking with average players who simply are not good enough,playing players out of position.position. Wenger could have fifty years and he would still not win the PL again or the CL, he is too arrogant and stuck in his ways. He has the money yet he still wont buy a DM or better defenders, putting Monreal as CH proves he is not a coach, just a money making economist for the board, the ambition of fourth spot a laughing stock. It is time for him to go , the board are too weak to sack him, our worst start for 32 years, yet he still remains.Nothing will change til he goes and that means completely, having him hovering around at Arsenal would not benefit any new manager