On October 1st, 1996, a certain French man, Arsene Wenger was appointed as the manager of Arsenal Football Club. In less than two years after his appointment, he won the Premier League and FA cup. So far, he has spent 21 seasons and won 15 trophies for the club. This is quite commendable.
Although Arsenal fans appreciate Wenger’s achievements, the recent performance of his team is nothing to write home about. Some fans say his team easily capitulates under pressure and seems to do better when they are under less pressure.
In addition, he has refused to buy quality players, his technical know-how is archaic (he is not in tune with 21st-century coaching trends) and he is way too comfortable, as it appears the Arsenal board is always on his side.
Regardless, fans supporting the club are getting more frustrated week in, week out.
A very good example is how Arsenal collapsed against Bayern Munich in both legs of their Champions League matches. In the first leg, they lost 1-5 and in the second leg, they lost by the same margin. The aggregate was 2-10. This is humiliating and embarrassing.
This is the seventh successive round of 16 exit for Arsenal and this was particularly painful because defeat was at the Emirate stadium. Fans agonizingly watched their beloved club crash like a pack of cards and it wasn’t a surprise that the stadium was almost empty at the end of the match.
The Mirror.co.uk succinctly wrote 10 embarrassing stats from Arsenal 1-5 Bayern Munich loss which will enrage fans.
But for this purpose, we picked 5 out of the 10:
It was, in fact, their biggest home defeat since losing 5-0 to Chelsea at Highbury in the League Cup in 1998.
This was the biggest aggregate defeat for an English club in European Cup history since Wolves lost 9-2 to Barcelona in 1960.
Only one Champions League tie has seen a bigger margin of aggregate victory in the competition’s history – Bayern’s 12-1 win over Sporting Lisbon in 2009.
The 5-1 loss to Bayern was Arsenal’s heaviest EVER defeat at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal has lost 5-1 to Bayern on each of the last three occasions they’ve played them.
This lethargic performance is not restricted to only the Champions League but also the EPL. They lost 3 goals to 1 last weekend to Liverpool.
Really, Arsenal fans will be wondering what is happening to their club. This annoyance and vexation may have even led fans to bet against their club.
Interestingly, no coach in the world will envy Wenger now because the pressure he will be under will be out of this world. But the undeniable truth is that if he doesn’t turn around Arsenal’s fortunes, they will continue to lose fans.
Despite all the #WengerOut and the demand for Wenger’s sack by fans, the Arsenal board has refused to yield. They have stuck to Wenger and have even said they will offer him a new contract at the end of the season. Fans will begin to wonder if Wenger has a spiritual hold on the board.
Time seems to be running out for Wenger and at the same time, fans are getting very impatient. Fans are not happy with just qualifying for the Champions League every year and end up beaten black and blue. At this point, the Arsenal board needs to decide whether to keep Wenger and ignore their fans or sack him to make the fans happy.
Written by Damilola Faustino