Arsenal have been hitting the headlines from the very first match of the season when they were humbled by Aston Villa, then subsequently going on a stupendous run up to Christmas Day when they were on the verge of going seven points clear at the top of the Premiership.
Their form since then has been equally stupendous – stupendously inconsistent and even though Deulofeu scored late on to snatch a deserved draw for Everton in the corresponding fixture on Boxing Day earlier this season, given what we have seen since then had Arsenal been 15 points clear we can say they would have still gone on to make a right royal mess of their Premiership chances.
Since the collapse of their title aspirations Arsene Wenger has somehow managed to allow a cast iron certainty of finishing in the top four to look decidedly uncertain with Everton now right on Arsene’s coattail just a point behind and with a game in hand.
Arsenal fans are hugely split on whether the great man should go or stay. The older generation seem to appreciate what he has done, his legacy, and want him to stay. But many of the younger fans, who maybe have a different appreciation to the game have run out of patience. Obviously there will be some older fans who want him to go and younger fans who want him to stay but the fans being interviewed on ArsenalfanTV is always a good marker to see where the water lies on this issue.
I have watched Arsenal all season and at times they have been scintillating. They have managed to beat Spurs three times in a season which is always nice for their fans. But there have been so many negatives. Their ineptitude against the big four was spectacular. They have shipped goals against the likes of Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool on a par with a team fighting against relegation. Since Theo’s injury the lack of pace in the team has been terribly exposed; even with Ozil in the team he has failed to maintain that initial spark and the creativity in the team has been woeful. It is unfair to levy all the blame at Arsene’s feet as many of the players have let him down badly. Giroud’s early season promise has died. Questions are asked by Arsenal fans as to why Arsene did not buy a quality striker in the January window when he knew Theo was going to be out all season? Fans question why he constantly plays Flamini and Arteta in the same team as this simply invites the more creative teams to walk all over them. Yes one could argue that they have had their fair share of injuries but Man City have missed Agüero and Liverpool missed Gerrard for a large chunk of season ( and Suarez for first 8 games) so it really is swings and roundabouts on this point.
Next weekend is FA Cup semi final day and many Arsenal fans are already counting their chickens seeing this as a walk over. I remember when Wigan played in their first Wembley Cup Final. It was the Freight Rover Final back in the 80s and they played a Brentford team who were hot favourites roared on by over 40,000 fans. Wigan upset the form books by stunning the Bees 3-1 on the day and will be relishing the prospect of getting revenge on the Gunners after Arsenal sent them into the Championship at the end of last season.
So the big question is ‘Is time up for Arsene Wenger?’ Even exceptional managers have a sell by date and clearly Arsene Wenger has historically been stunningly successful for Arsenal. Does he deserve one more season?
Use the comments box below to simply register a yes if you want Arsene to stay or a No if you think the time has come for him to move on.