Defeat at home to Manchester United declared the annual ‘Wenger out’ season officially open at Arsenal, with calls for the Frenchman to walk away from the club intensifying following their 2-1 reverse against the Red Devils.
This season marked Arsene Wenger’s 18th in charge of the Gunners, but the latter half of his tenure has been distinctly less successful than the first.
Currently 15 points off pacesetting Chelsea, this campaign certainly won’t see the 65-year-old hoist a fourth Premier League crown, with yet another scrap for Champions League qualification looming.
Unless they improve in both the attacking and defensive departments, it’s a battle they’re more likely to lose than not.
Such a result is one the most ardent dissenters are hopeful for, as it would take a disaster of this magnitude to coerce the notoriously stubborn son of Strasbourg into voluntarily vacating his seat of power.
But Arsenal would be far worse off without Wenger, as these three reasons will attest.
Who will they replace him with?
Grandiose names are frequently touted to take the reigns from the Frenchman, with Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp a particularly favourite amongst the terrace dreamers.
The German’s ethos isn’t too dissimilar from Wenger’s and he’s no stranger to performing squad rebuilding jobs the incumbent Gunners chief has become something of an expert in over the past few years.
Also like Wenger, Klopp isn’t a believer of breaking contracts and is tied to the Westfalenstadion until 2018.
And what’s more, he has guided what is easily the second-strongest squad in the Bundesliga into the RELEGATION ZONE!
There’s nothing to suggest Arsenal would be any better under Klopp’s instruction, were he even a viable option right now.
Their performances aren’t bad, it’s just the results that aren’t favourable.
Arsenal are controlling games, things just aren’t going their way at the moment.
Nine points could’ve easily been plundered from games against Anderlecht, Swansea and Man Utd, instead they ended up with one.
Such bad fortune can’t last forever.
An inability to defend is what the detractors cite as the primary issue within their ranks, but last season the same backline, minus Bacary Sagna, kept 17 clean sheets, one fewer than the league high mark set by Chelsea.
Injuries haven’t helped, but once some belief is instilled into their beleaguered rearguard marshals, spectators will begin to see a much sterner Arsenal side and the points will begin to flow.
While some philosophical alterations are undoubtedly required, how much better were Arsenal expected to do this term?
Despite the substandard results, they remain two points behind fourth-place Man Utd and qualification to the Champions League knockout stage is all-but nailed on.
A sharp improvement in form will see them breeze back into the top-four mix, especially given the continued toils endured by the bulk of their rivals.
Even with the blockbuster acquisition of Alexis Sanchez, only the most blindly optimistic Gooner would’ve forecast Arsenal genuinely outdoing mega-spenders Chelsea and Manchester City this season.
It was only a little over a year ago that the north Londoners escaped the financial constraints their new stadium imposed upon them.
Playmaking superstar Mesut Ozil was signed within months.
Clearly, the intentions are there to invest in world-class assets, though the money isn’t there to do it at the rate their rivals do.
Building a title-winning team will take time and a string of negative results is by no means a fitting reason to stop Wenger being the man allowed it.
He’s 33/100 to be in charge on the first day of next season, which smells like free money.