When a relationship is failing sometimes the best thing to do is to just walk away. If you truly love someone but you can see that the relationship isn’t working, and staying in it is detrimental to them and all around it, then you may well have to leave.
Yes, you are reading a football blog here, as the relationship in question is the one between Arsenal Football Club and Arsène Wenger.
I’m not jumping on the band wagon, but my doubt in him has grown. There have been small doubts for sometime, but they really started to materialise when Nicklas Bendtner played so many games last season, coupled with the poor substitutions he made last season as well as this.
Things have been on the decline in the last few seasons, whether it has been lack of money for transfers or the amount of injuries the results just haven’t gone Arsenal’s way, and this season they are faced with finishing outside of the top four for the first time in Wenger’s career at Arsenal and although this isn’t the first time they have faced that prospect, this is certainly the worst.
Many fans have voiced their concern with Wenger still being in charge, more have backed him than not, but slowly the numbers supporting him have dwindled, and after the substitution of Oxlade-Chamberlain to bring on Andrei Arshavin against Manchester United on Sunday, it now seems as if the pendulum has finally swung the other way.
Robin van Persie’s reaction to the substitution reflected what the fans at the Emirates and at home watching on TV thought and felt, NOOO! KEEP OXLADE ON! It does not bode well when your captain reacts to a substitution like that, especially when there are rumours of a possible exit to Manchester City next season. I have to say also that at the end of the game not only did he look frustrated at the loss but also as if he had made up his mind.
RvP has come out and publicly supported Wenger and stated that there is no rift, but that is what you want from your captain. In that statement on Facebook he also indicated that Oxlade-Chamberlain had been carrying a slight injury that no one knew about and that is why the substitution was made, although it has emerged that AOC said after the substitution that he didn’t have any injury and wasn’t feeling all that tired. It seems like Arsenal are trying to get a story together, but it is already too late.
I don’t think that Arsenal will sack Wenger, but I think it may have come to a point where Wenger has to say that he is going to step away from the club, or at least the manager’s role. I know that when you love something and you feel you can fix it you can’t leave, but in the end sometimes it takes drastic measures for things to get better.
All I know is that I am not envious of Wenger right now as he his going through the most difficult time in his managerial career. Arsenal wouldn’t be the football club they are today if it wasn’t for Arsène Wenger, and in the future there will certainly be a statue of him outside the stadium because of what he has done for the club.
He has built them into a club that now have fans that expect to be in the Champions League ever year, to be competing for trophies every year, and therein lies the problem. The success Wenger has had building the club can only be compared to what Herbert Chapman did for Arsenal back in the 20’s and 30’s.
To see Wenger leave on a low rather than a high would be a huge shame, but if that is what is needed for the club to progress then he needs to fall on his sword, swallow some pride and give the reigns over to someone else, because when he does leave the club, whether it is at the end of this season or at the end of his contract, hopefully people will remember him for all that he achieved for the club and not for his failures.
Well I hope so.