In case anyone has missed it, Arsenal’s season has been in free-fall since late January with the loss at West Brom this weekend, compounding the chants of the rapidly growing Wenger Out Brigade. From Arsenal Fan TV interviews to banners in the stands and the skies, the fans have turned against Arsene Wenger and rather viciously so. It does seem that an unfortunate end to the managerial career of a man who has been synonymous with the club for a generation of football lovers, is well and truly on the cards.
Within a turbulent period of a month and a half, fans have had to endure a home defeat against Watford, two mediocre second half performances against Bayern Munich which culminated in a pair of 5-1 drubbings and a triple of hapless 3-1 away losses at Liverpool, Chelsea and West Brom. And with all due respect to Sutton and Lincoln, Arsenal’s only win against ‘worthy’ opposition was at home against Hull City, a team that have warmed the relegation zone for much of the season. To add salt to the wounds, Tottenham are now 9 points adrift of the Gunners who have now been relegated to 6th after United beat Boro at the Riverside.
However at the moment the biggest concern from an Arsenal fan perspective is that Wenger has lost the dressing room, just as Mourinho did with Chelsea last season and Ranieri with Leicester this year. The players on the pitch have just not shown the desire or determination required to pick up points against quality opposition. Just the lack of fight and character shown in recent defeats has been alarming, and adding to that the uncertainty surrounding the futures of Sanchez and Ozil has left the remainder of the season looking rather bleak.
But Arsenal are known for their optimism as much as their 4th place finishes and Round of 16 exits in the Champion League, and despite the calamitous 2017 thus far, a trophy, a 4th place finish and a fresh start with new manager at the start of next season are still very much within the realms of possibility. And for a start, for once the international break has come at a time when the Arsenal team could really use a break from playing football and take their minds off their difficulties on and off the pitch.
Arsene Wenger will hold the key as to how the remainder of the season pans out and an announcement confirming his retirement at the end of this season, soon after the international break may just about provide the spark that is required to re-invigorate the team to fight for him again, and also to get the fans back on his side. One gets the feeling that the longer the uncertainty hangs around him, the longer the toxic atmosphere on the pitch and in the stands will continue.
Thank you for the memories Arsene, you’ve been a great steward of Arsenal Football Club, but every great show has its end, and we sincerely hope you’ll get the send off you deserve; an FA Cup, St. Totteringham’s Day, and of course; a top four finish.