“Le Professor” was his nickname when he revolutionized soccer and took the EPL/ European soccer by storm from the late 90s to the mid 2000s.
“Wenger Knows all” was the slogan chanted by fans and soccer lovers when Wenger was at his prime.
“Wenger Out” is the current chant that soccer fans all over the world now chant on behalf of tired Arsenal fans.
Arsene Wenger drew admiration from the world and got offers to take charge at Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United in the early 2000s because of his then-mesmerizing attacking football, shrewd transfer network that discovered great gems at the cost of nothing like Anelka, Thierry Henry, Vieira, Fabregas etc. and also because he was delivering local trophies whilst still pushing strongly for European glory. A few years ago, PSG offered Wenger a blank cheque to move back to Paris with the plan to buy him all the players he needed to make them European champions – ironically, he has never won an European trophy till date.
These teams thought, “If Wenger can perform such magic at Arsenal with so little resources, for sure he will be a god if he had all he wanted to achieve his/ our goals”. Alas, they were lucky Wenger turned them down because all those teams have continuously upgraded from great statuses to legendary statuses in world football while Arsenal Football Club has continued to dwindle into a black hole that is worse than the Bermuda Triangle. Arsenal Football Club (AFC) has become the victim of a mentally lazy boyfriend who sits down at home wanking daily while dreaming of annual schemes to become rich without actually going out to see how time has flown past his ideas. Meanwhile, his girlfriend and her family (fans) are tired of this toxic relationship and want her (AFC) to get out but Wenger (pyscho boyfriend) keeps holding on tighter than ever even though he knows the relationship has gone sour and there is no turning back for AFC.
This is the case of Arsene Wenger and Arsenal Football Club fans.
Between 2005 till 2012, I believed Wenger needed everyone’s support because he managed to keep Arsenal above water while the Emirates Stadium was being constructed. He deserves huge credit for the work he did then because it is not easy selling your star players annually and building from the scratch the next season for 7years straight. Since 2012 till date, Arsene Wenger deserves no mercy whatsoever because the level of success he has achieved so far since then are meant for EPL mid-table teams.
Wenger has made top four his main objective for many years now, while hoping and praying that 1 or 2 teams might slip during the top four race so that AFC’s dream of winning the EPL again after a long wait occurs as a fluke and not because that was the master plan. Since 2012, Wenger has not been able to navigate AFC through the group or second stages of the Champions League and AFC fans have now stopped dreaming about it since they can’t even win the EPL that stares them in the face annually with only 1 or 2 main competition fighting for the same EPL title.
Wenger and some disillusioned fans or players like “invincible Ozil” might say; “but we won the FA Cup 3 times out of 4 in the past 4years and that’s a worthy achievement”. Well that feat is laudable, but by the standards that AFC is known for, that is not the level of success we should be celebrating – celebration for winning the FA Cup or ending within seasons with the “Top 4” cadre should be performed by aspiring clubs like Tottenham Hotspurs, Everton, West Ham FC etc. I call them aspiring with no pun intended because they have not won the “EPL” at all but always compete annually to win it even with their limited resources and the annual increase of stronger opponents. The EPL big boys (where AFC no longer belongs) win the FA Cup most times to celebrate a “double” that season or win the FA Cup as a consolation for narrowly missing out on the EPL title due to consistent top performance by the EPL winner that season. AFC has downgraded its standards by equating the UCL or EPL titles with the FA Cup and this is very unacceptable by all AFC fans who know still know what pride means.
Wenger has been his own nemesis, maybe due to old age or maybe due to the stupid support he gets from the heartless Kroenke who has no passion for the game but for the miserly profits the game offers him. Heartless Kroenke will be discussed later if time permits. Wenger’s contemporaries have all stepped out of the game and enjoying their retirement from the pressure of the game. Greats like Sir Alex Ferguson, Arigo Sacchi, Guus Hiddink, Sam Allardyce, Ottmar Hitzfeld all kept their records intact by stepping away from the game when the ovation was at its loudest. Wenger seems very adamant at destroying the little legacy he has left at Arsenal and on the European soccer scene before stepping away from the game.
Blunders like underbidding for proven soccer stars like Higuain, Suarez, Vardy, Isco and wanting to pay double that amount for unproven players like Monaco’s Lemar or offering the departed ‘Ox’ £180,000-a-week contract says a lot about his drive for success and his current sense of financial judgements since 2012. Signing average players like Yaya Sanogo, Kim Kallstrom (who came to Arsenal with a serious injury) or Lucas Perez and loaning him to his previous club the next season prove that Wenger has finally lost the plot in the transfer business. Keeping injured players like Johan Djorou, Santi Cazorla and Diaby for many seasons without having suitable replacements for the injury-prone lads but hoping the injury-prone lads come back from injury to play an average of 10 matches every season shows that Wenger has no sense of urgency and is relaxed to let dismal business flow as usual at AFC. Wenger’s inability to convert young talents into stars such as the British core who were once celebrated may explain why the ‘Ox’ left for less pay with an ambitious Liverpool and possibly why Lemar refused to join Arsenal even after his club had accepted Arsenal’s €100m bid. The fact that players like Walcott, Iwobi and Debuchy still remain at Arsenal and an effective player like Lucas Perez is out on loan instead of the other way round proves that Wenger needs a serious break from football management.
Wenger’s mouth-gapping change to a 3-5-2 formation last season till date is amazing because that is the first time Wenger ever bowed to tactical pressure – he is stubborn in his ways. He copied Conte’s winning formula to save his wrinkly ass last season and hoped to ride on the luck again this season while forgetting that you play every opponent based on their own team structure, formation and tactics. Wenger’s tactical ability as a manager is officially dead because apart from young kids being able to predict his formation/ line-up for next games, these young kids can also identify the problems with his actual team selection, formation and strategy during games, while Wenger does not seem to spot these problems until about the 75th minute of every game. For example, how could Wenger use the same ineffective tactics, formation and line up against Liverpool when the same line-up/ tactics lost against a weaker Stoke City team a week before.
Kroenke and the board are heartless because I am sure Wenger would not have the balls to be on a continuous under-performing spree if they were not on the same page instead he would have conjured greater performances than he has produced since 2012. The board and Wenger need to go as soon as now because their partnership has spelt disaster for the AFC brand and a source of global mockery for dedicated fans like myself. The board’s audacity to offer Wenger a two-year contract even after numerous online and offline protests by faithful fans proves that fans do not matter in the real scheme of things.
Other clubs… great and small, have sacked their coaches for not matching the club’s on-field KPIs and they will continue to do so no matter how much they need to pay off that gaffer. So why is Arsenal’s case different? Wenger has continued to fumble and wobble since 2012, amassing the greatest defeats ever recorded by a top European club and still not rising above annual average performances. Crystal Palace is currently considering Frank De Boer possible sack, Mourinho was sacked twice at Chelsea and once at Real Madrid, Benitez continuously gets sacked and that list goes on. On the other hand, Wenger has never been threatened with a sack till date – what are the board’s KPIs and the fans’ KPIS because I don’t think both parties have ever been on the same page since David Dein left and Kroenke took boardroom.
We fans need to use our veto-power now by starting to boycott all live games, events, or instantly stop purchase of Arsenal branded items to show our displeasure and toxic desire for change. Many soccer-loving billionaires and good soccer coaches are on standby to take Arsenal back to the top cadre of world club soccer where we belong if Kroenke and Wenger can not do what’s right for the long-suffering fans.
When the EPL begins in the next few days, let it usher in a “Peaceful Arab Spring” at Arsenal Football Club till these heartless sitting dictators are ousted out of power for the club’s positive future.