The Arsenal fans have been feeling downbeat in the Transfer Tavern ever since their side suffered a 3-0 defeat against Manchester City in the final of the Carabao Cup at Wembley last Sunday.
Arsene Wenger has enjoyed plenty of success during his 22-year stint as manager of Arsenal Football Club, but the League Cup continues to elude the Frenchman after his side crumbled against an imperious Man City side in the capital. Arsenal’s shortcomings in big-game fixtures against their rivals were once again exposed as they failed to demonstrate their quality at both ends of the pitch.
Of course, the responsibility for defeat cannot always lie with the manager, and the players have to take a share of the blame for failing to deliver against the champions-elect, but considering the ominous rate of Arsenal’s decline, it seems illogical for the club to continue to place their faith in a man who is clearly past his best.
Trends in football come and go through the ages, and most managers will eventually reach a point where find they are unable to adapt their methods to suit the demands and expectations of the modern game – this is exactly where Wenger finds himself at this stage in his career. It is a sad reality that the majority of the supporters have now faced up to, and it is about time that Wenger stopped chasing any lingering dreams of success and called time on his career.
Arsenal began their clash against Man City in promising fashion, but the way in which they conceded their opener merely highlighted the weakness that lies beneath the surface at the club – a problem which ultimately rests with the manager. Shkodran Mustafi committed two unforgivable errors in the space of just a few seconds, the first was to stand in front of Aguero rather than goal side as Bravo punted his goal-kick forward, and the second was to pathetically expect a free-kick from the referee after the Argentine had merely nudged the German.
The error committed by Mustafi was a product of his own misjudgement and severe lack of concentration, but the Arsenal board must ask themselves if a player under Jose Mourinho’s or Pep Guardiola’s leadership would surrender an opportunity to a world-class striker in the same manner. Mustafi’s mistake is just one isolated incident which merely eludes to the lack of fight and determination to succeed at Arsenal, and that overarching theme will continue to plague the club until Wenger finally accepts he is fighting a losing battle and hands in his resignation.
Ivan Gazidis’ decision is easy, Wenger simply must go.