With Arsene Wenger facing a backlash from disappointed Arsenal fans, it’s time to ask whether he is a victim of his own success or not? To answer my own question, a lot depends on your definition of success. At Arsenal under Wenger, ‘success’ is defined as Champions League qualification.
At this stage, I’d say that Wenger has been the architect of his own possible downfall. I write ‘possible’ as, after all, he’s not down and out yet. As already mentioned, qualification for the Champions League equals ‘success’ in this era, and he may well achieve it.
However, Wenger has not done himself any favours by seemingly not working hard enough on nullifying the opposition and scouting for new talent. Of course, Wenger can’t be expected to work on all those aspects of football by himself, but he does need to recruit and promote the right people around him, the way Sir Alex Ferguson did at Manchester United, to ensure prolonged spells at the top.
Instead, Arsenal fans have ‘endured’ prolonged spells near the top. To a club used to winning trophies, that’s not quite good enough.
Looking at the bank balance, shareholders will be pleased with Wenger’s tenure. Befitting an economics graduate, the Frenchman has kept Arsenal comfortably in the black.
Nevertheless, the demand for a change of management is gathering momentum. Suddenly, the Arsene Knows Best brigade are quieter than they ever were. To give them some encouragement, there may life in the old dog or should it be ‘Le Vieux Chien’ yet, but many fans want his head on a platter before the season’s end. To me, that’s a knee-jerk reaction. Every boss, especially one who has achieved as much as Wenger, deserves to be judged at the end of the season and not before.
That’s why I think today’s demonstration against Norwich can only be counter-productive. Arsenal need their fans and players focused on the job in hand, which is to win three points. It makes no sense to give the team and the manager excuses before the end of the season for not achieving his goal: Champions League qualification.
Sent from my iPhone