It’s been a pretty wretched past few weeks for Arsenal and indeed Arsene Wenger. After a dramatic 3-3 draw against London rivals Fulham in which Arsenal surrendered a two-goal lead, many fans want the manager to step aside. But would this be the right choice?
Clearly there is a case. I too have been one of those fans very disgruntled with the current set up. Firstly, the failure to replace world-class players in crucial positions is inexcusable. Secondly, not signing a defender after our worst defensive display ever in the previous season and thirdly, persisting with the wrong tactic with the players we have are among just a few of the errors which come down to the manager. In past seasons, we have been saved by a couple of players but this year it’s looking like the cracks are going to be horribly exposed. The 4-5-1 system isn’t working; a substantial lack of pace in the center of midfield and the persistence with a lone striker is futile. Once more, the formation failed to reap rewards when we had the talents of Van Persie, Fabregas and Nasri so it’s not going to work now.
Having said that, the blame is also laid at the feet of the board. They’ve shown appalling incompetence in recent years whilst making a healthy profit for themselves as the team struggle on the pitch. The whole board including Peter Hill Wood are completely out of touch with the modern game, typified at last months AGM. What was most striking about the meeting was the amount of blame shifted by board members onto Wenger himself. Yes, the man has made some sizable faux pas, but to believe everything wrong with Arsenal is down to one man is folly. This begs the question, if Wenger was to go, would this lackluster board be able to sufficiently replace the man who has done so much at the helm.
So who would be the viable replacements? Pep Guardiola’s name has been banded about in recent weeks as a perfect replacement with his ‘total football’ philosophy. David Moyes is another great candidate who has done an admirable job on Merseyside. If we look further a field, perhaps the Borussia Dortmund manager Jürgen Klopp could be worth a punt after back-to-back titles in the Bundesliga. As a fan, these seem like the best and most desirable options, but what an Arsenal fan wants and what he or she may get are two very different things. If the board found themselves in a position to replace Wenger, my best bet is that they wouldn’t employ the most suited man for the job. Instead they would most likely stick with who they know and perhaps employ Steve Bould. This would be a catastrophe for Arsenal I feel. The so-called ‘defensive guru’ hasn’t improved our defensive capabilities and looking from the outside in, I would suggest that he is either another ‘yes’ man to Wenger or the pair don’t get along.
Wenger leaving does appear to be the only way things will improve at the Emirates. However, I have no faith whatsoever in the board employing an adequate replacement. If things are to get better, the board will need to step aside too, which of course is a distant dream as they are all too ensconced in lining their own pockets with fans money.