It’s quite hard to accept Arsenal’s disappointing end to the season. If the campaign ends without any silverware of any description, of course, it will be much worse. Only a victory over Chelsea in the FA Cup final will make 2017 a year to remember for the right reasons.
The year will be remembered as one of abuse. Wenger has been rounded on by fans that used to back him as have some of the players, like Bellerin. The supporters need to realise that a lot of players have been selected even when injured, so it is not surprising that their form suffers subsequently.
While I find it possible to excuse the players for some of the poor displays this season, it is not as easy to do the same to Wenger, who as overseer of the whole caboodle remains culpable. If players are being injected just to get through games, it is an incredibly short-sighted policy. All it achieves is long-term crocked players.
However, what we don’t know is what is going on behind the scenes. Is Wenger defending the powers that be? Is he doing the honourable thing by doing so? It’s all a matter of speculation, but Wenger is being handsomely paid for walking that tightrope between the fans and the board and unfortunately he seems less able to do that job to everyone’s satisfaction. Perhaps it is because without a David Dein figure, there are no checks and balances to keep Wenger accountable.
The proposed changes we are hearing about may change all of that, if a director of football is brought in. Even if Wenger agrees to work beneath another after a shake-up behind the scenes, I can’t see it working for long. It’ll be the new director of football or Wenger as the club’s not big enough for the ‘both of them’.