The bottom line is, Arsene will never leave of his own accord and Arsenal will never sack him.
So we have this ludicrous situation where no matter how the team perform on the pitch, no matter where in the league we finish, and no matter how the fans feel – we’re stuck with Arsene Wenger.
Now don’t get me wrong, this man has phenomenal things with the club. He is quite rightly regarded as the greatest manager our football club has ever seen. He did miracles that no-one else could have done, created one the best footballing sides I’ve ever seen and recruited players with potential that he’s managed to turn into truly world class footballers.
He introduced training and diet methods that revolutionised the game, giving Arsenal and then Premier League sides an edge over the competition. He won The Double in his first full season at Arsenal, something we hadn’t achieved since 1971.
He took us from Highbury, a stadium that held 38,000 and gave us the vision to move to The Emirates Stadium, a modern stadium that would allow Arsenal to compete with the best in the world. Something that would ensure our future would be in good hands.
Whatever you may think of him now, he is the legend and one of the most important people in Arsenal’s history.
But that doesn’t mean he is without fault.
Football has caught up with Arsene and Arsenal and the revolutionary things he did have been used by other managers, coaches and teams in the Premier League for the last decade now. Another thing we had in our armoury and something we had over our rivals, our amazing scouting system, has also been left behind. Gone are the days when we would spot a young Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry, or players no-one else would give a chance to like Marc Overmars and Robert Pires. Now we recruit people like Marouane Chamakh and Sebastien Squillaci.
And Arsene had a knack of getting the best out of his players. Everyone in the squad wanted to win, but now we have players like Arshavin who play well for their International teams but are out of favour at Arsenal. There are too many players in the squad who have excellent quality but for one reason or another aren’t up for it.
Ever since 2005, we’ve become a club that sells their best players year after year to balance the books. And while it’s a fair point to say we are on a restricted budget compared to the other Top 5/6 teams in the league, it’s not as if we haven’t spent money. The problem is that when we have spent it, we’ve wasted it. We brought in Gervinho for Â£11 million, Podolski for around Â£11 million and Arshavin for Â£15 million – and money on players such as Park Chu-Young, Andre Santos, Sebastien Squillaci, Mikael Silvestre, Lukasz Fabianski and countless others that haven’t contributed to the team in any meaningful way.
Despite having one of the biggest wage bills in the league, we can’t recruit young, hungry, talented players like we used to. Players like Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Freddie Ljungberg who had something to prove and wanted to win things. Nowadays they leave to bigger clubs as they know winning things at Arsenal is very unlikely.
There used to be a theory that once players left Arsenal their career would go downhill. We said it when Vieira left, Henry left, Reyes left and Hleb left. But look at the teams players like Adebayor, Kolo Toure, Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy, Robin van Persie, Ashley Cole and Cesc Fabregas have played for since leaving Arsenal – they include Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. Not exactly teams with no ambition…
The problem is Arsene has managed to make himself the most important person at Arsenal. He is unsackable and he would never choose to leave of his own accord. So what do we do?
Football is an ever-changing game and sometimes a new manager instils new motivation and desire amongst the players. Sometimes new methods fresh up a squad that is tired of the same old routine and pushes them on to perform better, and gives those players who are out of favour a chance to prove themselves all over again.
But that is something we will never know.
We have become the only football team in the world that cannot forget or appreciate enough, the things one man has done for us. We have this perverse situation where change is impossible. If we want Arsene sacked or want change, they we are the most ungrateful people on this earth.
The problem is Arsene will never leave until he has won something again. The board have freely admitted he has a “job for life” so the only possible conclusion to his reign is winning a trophy. That is the only way Arsenal’s greatest manager of all time can leave – on a high. It is impossible to have him sacked or leave under less than glorious circumstances. I don’t doubt that Arsene’s desire is as strong as ever, but the big question remains… is Arsene still capable of bringing back success to Arsenal?