Arsenal were dealt a lesson in Munich last night. No doubt about it. The Gunners travelled to Germany for the first of their two-legged Champions League tie against the mighty Bayern Munich, with perhaps some fans optimistic about their chances of taking a positive result back to the Emirates on May 7th. As it was, Arsene Wenger’s side got thumped 5-1 to all but end Arsenal’s hopes of progressing further in the competition.
The latest result has left Wenger’s near 21-year tenure in the balance, with a load of travelling fans and those at home calling for the Frenchman to step down from his position at the end of the season. Pressure has severely mounted on Wenger in recent weeks having seen his side fall out of the title race and this latest result to Bayern could prove to be the last straw for some fans.
Wenger’s current deal expires this summer, but he has yet to come out and say if he will remain on as Arsenal boss next season, with reports back in December claiming a two-year deal is ready for him to sign. Nothing has been said, and fans are growing impatient.
Now the only way to stop all this fan v fan fights, arguments, disappointment, whatever you want to call it is simple – Wenger MUST come out as soon as possible and tell the supporters what his intentions are. The longer he keeps quiet about his future, the more fans will grow to hate the man rather than remember him for what he’s done for the club since his arrival back in 1996. If he simply comes out and says ‘I’m stepping down as manager this summer’ then fans, even those that are against him, will get behind him, as it would be his last season in charge. As it is, this simply cannot afford to go on any longer. The debate will rage on whether he is still the right man for the job, but the quicker he tells the fans what his plans are the better for all.
I truly believe the players have lost faith in the manager and his lack of tactical nous and team selection have deteriorated over the years. ‘Mentally weak’, ‘jaded’, ‘not fully prepared’, these are the excuses we hear from Wenger every time we lose a game or drop points. If he is getting paid over £8million to oversee the club and players, then he must make his team mentally strong and be up for the game at hand. Players look disinterested and although they should take some form of responsibility, ultimately, everything comes down to the manager.
It’s a shame it’s come to this, but something needs to change and, unfortunately, it is easier to get rid of one man rather than 15 (players). Wenger did do a great job for the club in his early years, but he’s lost his drive as time has passed, and I believe even he knows he can’t take the club to the next level – but why would you walk away from an £8million-a-year job?
I believe it was after the defeat to Chelsea, Wenger said he loves the club and wants to make the fans happy, if this is so, then he must do the honourable thing and step down this summer and let someone else take charge. If he continues as Arsenal manager next season, then I’m afraid the situation at the club, among fans as well, will worsen and become toxic, almost to a point where some will not even care anymore.