Arsene Wenger is virtually a man under siege, as Arsenal’s season descends into chaos , fans , pundits and former players are discussing the clubs future and in particular the future of the manager.
Thursdays game against Manchester City could yet be the most important of his illustrious career and the outcome may well be indicator as to what happens next.
It’s a nothing game , a dead rubber but after the mauling in the Carabao Cup at the hands of City he needs a result of some kind.
With nothing but pride at stake , Wenger needs to prove that he isn’t ‘yesterday’s man’
His team need to show that his footballing philosophy is still alive and that they can still perform under his leadership.
He has always shown his players respect and unswerving loyalty in the past , which may go some way to explain the casual , inconsistent performances but he needs them to throw caution to the wind and display guts and determination.
Former striker Ian Wright said
“There’s no accountability, as I’ve said on a few occasions. No matter which player seems to come in, they seem to slip into this comfortable style, with no accountability.”
The theory is that life under Wenger is an easy ride at present, where players can stroll around the pitch and perform when it suits, but to underperform so quickly after a resounding defeat would surely push Wenger to the brink.
A win is a flight of fancy but a competitive draw would at least restore faith in the spirit of the team and Wenger himself to some degree.
If Arsenal don’t play as they should against the league leaders , Wenger may not have another year to implement the necessary changes , he may be gone before his contract expires.( Arsene Wenger)
One has to feel slightly sorry for him , he has had an obsessive love affair with the North London club for over 20 years and at one stage was regarded as one of , if not the worlds greatest coach.
The building of the Emirates , the financial restrictions and lack of silverware have made life almost impossible for him and the club in recent years.
His stature within the game has decreased with each passing season and there are many within the game calling time in his career.
Wright himself has said
“I’m trying to find a reason to say he should have the final year, at the moment I’m struggling. They should at least try to put in a performance to win the Europa League. Do I think it will happen? No.”
For his association to end with the embarrassment of being dismissed would cut him to the bone but if the club are to reinvent themselves on and off the pitch , a quick end may be the kindest way forward.