Why Arsenal Needs To Sack Arsene Wenger

(From November 2010)

27 million. That’s how many reasons there are for Arsenal FC to give Arsene Wenger the boot.

27 million. That’s the number of Gunner fans all over the world who year after year have to live without a chance of winning a title bigger than the Carling Cup.

27 million. That’s as many people as the population of Benelux, who support a club managed by a man with bigger aspirations to develop players than developing a bigger prize cabinet.

Arsenal won their first title in 1930. They won their last one – the FA Cup – in 2005. Since then, the club has remained on a consistent level of third to fourth in the Premier League; a solid fourth/fifth round team in the FA Cup (except for going out with a woof in the semi finals in 2009); and with one final and one semi final as their best results in the League Cup. Not exactly results giving you bragging rights is it?

So what to blame? The slightly boring ambiance of the ‘new library’, also known as Emirates Stadium? Nope, I simply blame Arsene Wenger.

The poor results aside, Wenger and Arsenal have developed players like Cesc Fabregas, Kolo Touré, Bacary Sagna, and lately Jack Wilshere into top class players over the last couple of years – kudos for that, Mr Wenger. But a qualified guess is that a majority of Gunners fans – that means more than 13,5 million people – would prefer to have produced an outright ridiculous amount of jealousy from rival supporters after winning some silverware instead.

Being a top rated European football club with their pounds and pennies in order is rare these days. Arsenal is one of the exceptions, though. Along with Bayer Munich, many say the Gunners is the best-run club in the Champions League. Thus one would imagine the man with the funny accent could splash some cash to sign one, maybe two, players that would close the gap to the top of the top.

But that’s not how the mind of Arsene Wenger works.

During this summers transfer window, Arsenal were once and for all going to take care of that vicious goalkeeper virus that’s been spreading around Shenley Training Centre ever since David Seaman cut his pony tail. The man on the way in was Fulham’s Marc Schwarzer. Did Schwarzer want to go to Arsenal? Yes. Did Arsene Wenger want Scharzer? Yes. Did Arsene Wenger want to pay for Schwarzer? No no no.

Reports, which are always accurate during Silly Season, said that all Arsenal had to do to get one of last season’s best shot stoppers, was to top up their bid with £500,000. ‘Sacre blue’, snorted Wenger. The furious Frenchman spat on the floor, slowly removed a white silk glove of his hand and smacked all Arsenal fans in the face – I can imagine. And if so, his words would probably have been: ‘Ju shall not cam’ ‘ere an sink ju can rrrrob mi underrr mai nos.’ But I might be wrong.

However, the fact is that a Marc Schwarzer-type of ‘keeper is exactly what the Gunners need to stabilise a talented, but inconsistent, team. The first part of building a successful team is to start from the back. And the first part of starting from the back is to actually start – not to walk around with an over belief that ‘it worked with Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Freddie Ljungberg and the rest, so therefore it will work with Nicklas Bendtner, Johan Djourou and Alex Song as well.

While building up a fantastic youth player mentality at the club, Arsene Wenger has become cheap even though he doesn’t have to be cheap. Arsenal are close enough to catch up with Chelsea and Manchester United with very simple improvements. Unfortunately, Wenger will never be the man to carry them out.

Arsenal needs someone who can cook up a mixture of talent and experience that will make them competitive again. And when they find him, I’m sure he’ll have a much bigger number of fans than 27 million to disappoint in the future in the usual Arsenal manner.

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