In response to the “Wenger Out” protest that took place outside the Emirates Stadium before the game started, Rio Ferdinand said, “I think these Arsenal fans need to be careful what they wish for.” He then went on to justify his statement by saying that they are in the Champions League every year. Yes Rio, being in the Champions League every year is an achievement, but is this what the fans must settle for? Should they just sit back and watch their club get dwarfed and dominated by the same clubs they should strongly be competing against?
Arsene Wenger’s time is definitely up and his fall started long ago. In many ways, the Invincibles season of 2003/04 was a turning point for Arsene. We can argue that his focus and determination began to be replaced by a sense of complacency surrounding his methods and practices and he believed that his way was the right way. He became extremely intransigent and stubborn making him highly resistant to changing his methods. This stagnation is what made it easy for other teams to coax big Arsenal players such as Robin Van Persie away from the club and in this case, could be what makes Alexis Sanchez pack his bags by the end of this season.
Arsene Wenger has certainly been rewarded in the past for his system of buying nobodies and turning them into household names, that is a quality not many managers can boast. Yes, we may applaud him for this, but he gives his products no reason to stay and this becomes a constant cycle! Even worse, he has failed to develop and realise that football has changed, meaning he will have to use the vast amount of resources at his disposal to attract big names to the club (Sanchez and Ozil are proof of the capabilities of this approach).
On top of failing to change, he does not have any form of attraction at all. Remember Jamie Vardy’s 3-word response after snubbing an Arsenal offer? “No regrets whatsoever.” It is very worrying when a player belonging to a club of lower stature than Arsenal really does not mind turning down their offer. It means no one wants to be a part of it and that makes this supposedly big club inferior in so many ways.
There is no doubt that it will be strange and hard to acclimatise to life without Arsene Wenger if he leaves, but a fresh approach is needed. Maybe that is all it will take, a new manager with a fresh approach. Maybe that is all this club needs to look attractive again and flush out the poisonous mood that has turned Arsenal fans against each other. This is the time for Arsenal fans to mobilise and organise ways of getting their voice heard. The club is too big to be celebrating top 4 finishes and an FA Cup victory. The fans deserve more given the time and hard earned money they invest into this club.