Arsenal has been teetering on the brink of success now for the past 8 years now after their last major success, the FA Cup in 2005. The apparent lack of trophies in this period has been a major problem for the manager and the club especially.
For a club of Arsenal’s standards and ability, it is a poor show from the Gunners to have not won a trophy in just under a decade. Obviously they haven’t been a team that is on the brink of relegation every season; it is quite the contrast in fact with a finish in the top 4 every season.
However after failing to win in the 2006 Champions league final, the 2007 League Cup final and the 2011 League Cup final, Arsene Wenger has been blamed for his tactics and Arsenal have been slammed for their transfer and financial policies. Arsenal is under the cosh and due to their directors and owners not being the type that would speak to the media; Arsene Wenger has had to deal with the public onslaught.
Fans are calling for the directors and the board of Arsenal football club to sack the club’s long standing manager which some may see as the right decision while others will see it as a stupid decision. Wenger has been manager of the London club since 1996 and has led one of the most successful clubs in English football to 11 trophies. While this amount seems a lot, it is the time since the last trophy that has caused the increasing concern at the club.
Wenger was a revolution when he came to Arsenal in the late 90’s and many praised him for his new ideas of diet and training for the team, never mind the football that was put on show. Wenger’s success has been based on his domestic success and not his European success. With 3 Premier League trophies and 4 FA Cup wins in 8 years, many saw Wenger as one of the best managers in the world. He further backed this up with qualification for the Champions League every season which is impressive but many would determine a European trophy as a greater success then only qualification for the competition. Arsenal have progressed every season to the knockout stages of the Champions League which is a credit to Wenger and his managerial style, something he rarely gets credit for.
The thing that Wenger has that most managers don’t is the French man’s consistency. Wenger’s Arsenal are consistent with their results, their positioning and their tactics which is why Arsenal have never needed to adapt, until now. Teams have finally worked out Arsenal and are starting to play like Arsenal which will have been a shock to Wenger’s system. Wenger’s consistency has been proved with the managerial maverick receiving the prestigious IFFHS World's Best Club Coach. The award has been running since the year Wenger took control of Arsenal but he has never won the award. It is has been won by the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola but Wenger has only ever been a runner up. However he did win the IFFHS World Coach of the Decade and that was all down to his consistency.
The award works in points with managers gaining points every year since 2001 so in 2011 all points of each manager were totalled to see who had received the most points in the decade. Wenger was awarded the title of IFFHS World Coach of the Decade even though in the 6 years prior to receiving the award, he hadn’t won a trophy.
Wenger’s ability to be consistent is also his downfall.
Sir Alex Ferguson always qualifies for the Champions League but sometimes his team doesn’t make it past the group stage but other years, they win it. This is what separates Wenger from the top managers. If Wenger changed the play and took a risk, yes sometimes Arsenal would fail but the main point is, they might win something again.
If Wenger was sacked it would be a huge shame, not just for Arsenal, but for the whole of the Premier League. He does a very impressive job for Arsenal and it will be only a matter of time before the Gunner’s win a trophy.