If anyone posed a threat to Manchester United's title aspirations, Sir Alex Ferguson would commence with his banter, thus trying to curb the opposition. While most on the receiving end have darted away from what would become heated confrontation, few stood up and tried. For Arsene Wenger it's always meant going to war and even a handshake seemed like a formality. However, that was nearly a decade ago and while Manchester United have remained at the top of the game, Arsenal have tapered off and, even Sir Alex does not regard Arsenal to be a threat anymore.
Arsene Wenger is now facing the daunting prospect of going trophy-less for an 8th consecutive year. Being, 21 points adrift of league leaders, has all but ended any aspirations of landing the EPL title. Adding to this, failure of being knocked out of the Capital One cup & FA Cup albeit to non Premier League teams, has ensured another season without silverware. For a man obsessed with winning, it’s strange to see how he holds finishing fourth in the same breath.
In the early years after the move to the Emirates, Wenger's achievement is quite incredible. The club's financial hardship was quickly transferred to the manager but even with a young crop of players he ensured Arsenal's participation with Europe's elite each season. However, since the last couple of years, Arsenal has declared significant profits, but strangely Wenger's spend has been only from the proceeds obtained from player sales. (Below Table)
Departing players of recent seasons have cited the lack of silverware being the main reason. The inability to retain players has cost Wenger dear, as each year he has had to rebuild and restart. Support from the club has been negligible and, an adequate replacement for David Dein, a man who Supported, Guided, Fought (with and for Wenger) and even questioned Wenger has been missing. This was reiterated in a recent interview (20.12.2012) by Arsenal's 2nd largest shareholder, Alisher Usmanov;
“Always I tell Mr Wenger is one of the best coaches in the world and football manager. But I openly will tell he had many, many difficulties. Of course today less, but before during the last five years he doesn’t have enough support to provide his conceptions of his game in Arsenal from the board. With source for transfers, for keeping players etcetera”.
Arsenal FC has been one of the biggest clubs in English football but it's time something changed. What ever the outcome, this will be the most important summer in the Arsenal's history.