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Last rites for Arsene Wenger at Arsenal

Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Dancing Brave
Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger gestures during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Swansea City at the Emirates stadium in London, last Wednesday. AP Photo

Arsene Wenger must resign as Arsenal football manager at the end of this season!!. Of that, there can be no doubt!!

And the reason is not merely the lack of intensity and desire within the team, but rather the continual recognition that this attitude has been consistent for the last six years.

It is now perhaps more certain than ever that Wenger is not able to motivate his team in the moments that matter, whether before or at half time during matches in which they are sometimes leading.

The Board of Directors at Arsenal need to stop pussyfooting around with him, and read not only the riot act, but instead summon Wenger for a “last rites” curtain call.

In 17 years and counting, Wenger has served the club well, but alas, he has lost his magic and the Arsenal team over the last two months are a shadow of themselves.

For me, this all went downhill at Arsenal when they played Liverpool in January and stormed back from twice being behind at Anfield to lead 3-2 only to concede an exasperating goal in added on time and that led Liverpool to draw the match  3-3. It was a title decisive blow, that was later compounded by a drawn match against Stoke, which amounted to losing four points in two outings and effectively derailed their title aspirations.

There is also another reason that I believe strongly that there is a need to have a new voice/face in the dressing room at the Emirates and that is the incessant number of regular injuries that Arsenal players undergo, every season. This year is no different, and it is always the usual suspects, Theo Walcott, AlexOxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Oliver Giroud and we can now add Santi Cazorla, Danny Welbeck and Laurent Koscielny. The  recent injury to Petr Cech is testimony that putting on an Arsenal uniform guarantees one injury or another.

Something has to be wrong. It cannot be fitness and dietary behaviour only. It may well be that the training regime is in need of an overhaul.

As to this season generally, it is one of the strangest ever. No one should be surprised. Given all the money in English football through the ever expanding popularity of the product especially through television rights, teams therefore can afford funds to acquire good players and this is making a difference.

It is however a fallacy to believe, that because Manchester City, Manchester United, and Chelsea are struggling, that others should win the title from the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool. To me this is a disservice on a League that  over the last three years has shown that the gaps in quality of teams have shrunk, and not because a player costs 20,000 and another 5,000, one is automatically better than the other.

This season, Leicester, West Ham, Stoke and even Crystal Palace have competed strongly, no matter the opposition.

A month ago I said, that Leicester will win the league and there is no reason  to change that view. The real battle will be for the three Champion League places.

I expect Manchester City to hit a purple patch shortly and challenge both Tottenham and a faltering Arsenal, with Manchester United, Liverpool and West Ham hounding them down.

 I remain adamant that Wenger must say goodbye, because a tougher manager is needed to convert some of these immature boys on the Arsenal team into men, so that they can better face the battles on the football  fields.

 It is time for Arsenal to become more clinical and less pretty, more productive than just playful. A tougher manager is needed and some may even add a less cheap manager as well. In the end, it is a results oriented business like any other in the commercial world, where both bottom line and market share are integral for growth and enhancement.

A new manager will probably ensure that come August, we will seem some steel added in the form of players with experience to ensure that the team can hang tough.

One of the problems in the last six years of Wenger’s rulebook on Arsenal is the lack of leadership both on and off the field. On the field, Wenger and Arsenal have changed captains far too often  from the likes of Thomas Vermaelen (sold), Cesc Fabregas (sold), Robin Van Persie (sold), Mikel Arteta, Pers Mertesacker and now Petr Cech. There is just no consistency and therefore not enough certainty on the field to take control.

Whatever, happens in the remaining matches, Arsenal has under-performed both in the league and in the Champions League, losing their first two matches, with abysmal performances, which ensured they would finish as runners up. I agree that back to back wins in the FA Cup were pleasing. The next step was to challenge for higher competitions and this did not materialise. 

For that and many other reasons identified above, we need to say - Bye

Bye Wenger, Bye Bye.

Editor’s Note: Andre Errol Baptiste is an unrepentant Arsenal supporter. But enough is enough. He’s already ordered a Leicester City 2017 shirt from The Fan Club. Poor Chap!


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