Arsene Wenger cut a depleted figure on the touchline as he watched his Arsenal side get torn apart by Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City for the second time in one week. Does this signal the end for Wenger at Arsenal? Scott Salter discusses.
One moment in the first half summed up Arsenal’s display against Manchester City. As he realised he had no options from his team-mates, Laurent Koscielny turned full-circle and realised he’d turned into trouble. He opted to hook the ball to the right flank, which went straight into touch. It was met with groans from the lacklustre crown across the Emirates.
This Manchester City side – and the great Arsenal sides of the past, in fact – would’ve played their way out of trouble in that situation. Nicolás Otamendi did in the first half himself, in fact. He did one or two lovely turns to get himself away from the pressing Arsenal forwards and recycled the ball to a team-mate.
The truth is that Arsenal – and Arsene Wenger – have lost their identity. Gone are the quick, free-flowing sides of yesteryear and all that is left is a side that has run out of ideas.
“The best outcome for Arsenal is for snow to cause a completewhitewashh in the second half.”
I’ve paraphrased above, but similar words came out Martin Tyler’s mouth and it was painful to hear. Arsenal is a great club – is this what it has come to?
Does this signal the end for Arsene Wenger?
Sadly, I think it does. It may not happen right now – although most Arsenal fans would argue it should – but there’s simply no way that Arsene Wenger can continue beyond this season.
The past two matches against Manchester City have proved that the Frenchman has simply fallen too far behind other sides and other managers.
The Premier League has seen an influx of young managers with modern methods enter it in recent years. Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Mauricio Pochettino, Antonio Conte and others have shown modern progression in football, while Arsenal has remained stagnant under Wenger.
Can the Frenchman catch up? It’s doubtful. He’s had a number of years to do so and he has failed. His recruitment has been poor, tactics have been wrong and his Arsenal side has failed to compete in the big games.
Would a change have an instant impact? Maybe not, but a new manager would bring fresh ideas to the club and can only have a positive impact.
So while Arsene Wenger deserves respect and has been a fantastic servant to Arsenal, the Premier League and British football, I think this signals the end for the Frenchman at Arsenal Football Club.
Do you agree? Who would you replace Wenger with? Let us know below the line or on Twitter.