by ‘Ifreke Inyang
Most Arsenal fans are not happy. On Wednesday, they watched in anger and irritation, as their team crumbled at home to Schalke 04 – their second unacceptable defeat in just four days. Call them fickle if it pleases you, but they are calling for Arsene Wenger’s head. But maybe we should take a moment and think through it again. There are indeed cogent reasons why he should still be at the club:
1. Arsene Wenger is the man who has brought Arsenal this far. And he is the one in the best position to pull them out of this. Apart from being the longest serving Arsenal boss, he is the one credited with revolutionising the club completely. Wenger arrived with new training methods, new diet regiments and purchased foreign players to achieve a winning blend with the existing English crop. Between 1996 and now, he has won 11 trophies for the club, leading the Invincibles through an unbeaten league campaign in the 2003/2004 season.
He therefore can lay claim to having the club’s DNA and can change it around, if given time.
2. If Wenger leaves the Emirates, it might bring about a massive exodus at the London club. A lot of the players that have played and currently play for the Gunners, have often mentioned Wenger as the major attraction. So if he were to depart, it is almost inevitable that there will be discontent in the club and most players will start clamouring for moves away.
3. It will be wrong for him to not be manager, as the club moves into a position, where they can compete with major European clubs. Wenger stuck out his neck and made sure Arsenal moved from the traditional home, Highbury to the Emirates – a move that had huge financial implications. It is instructive to note that the club has qualified for the Champions League for 15 consecutive seasons, despite the fact they haven’t spent big in ages. As the financial fair play moves closer to implementation, Arsenal will be one of the few clubs, that would be in a great position to spend and still maintain an enviable balance sheet.
But, there is one reason, why the 63-year-old should bow out:
1. Maybe it is time for a different approach. Arsenal might just be a new manager away from becoming a force to be reckoned with in England and on the continent. Arsenal, many times, have always appeared to lack a plan B. This is a modern era of football. One in which you need the motivational skills and exceptional man management that a certain Jose Mourinho can bring. Or a distinct, awe-inspiring brand of football that Pep Guardiola reinvented at Barcelona. Or even the good old hairdryer treatment that Sir Alex Ferguson employs, to keep his troops in check.