How much is enough for the Arsenal board?
The root of the anger at Arsenal comes from the fans’ reluctance to fade into a mediocre football club that rolls over to the many new uprising forces in the Premier League. Does the board still possess the ambition to be one of Europe’s elite?
When Watford ran out victors at Vicarage Road during mid-October against Arsenal the papers weren’t awash with sensational headlines. One of the Premier League’s main attractions is that it has the ability to throw up a surprise result, however, that wasn’t why there was a shrug of the shoulders from the watching world. The blasé feeling felt throughout football came from having seen Arsenal lose this type of game all too often.
Stoke had already beaten Arsenal in August and Liverpool hammered the Gunners 4-0 a week afterwards. So once the final whistle had sounded at the Etihad after a 3-1 win for City, there was a sense that one had just witnessed the expected. The alarm bells may be deafening for Arsenal fans but for the board, it appears that everything is as it should be.
A closer look at the chemistry within the team sends more red flags springing up. It’s hard not to suspect that Alexis Sanchez has all but given up at Arsenal. The talented Chilean is rumoured to want a move to City and his performances back that up. They have been lacklustre and lethargic at best. Ozil is another one of Arsenal’s star performers who looks fed up with life in North London and has come in for criticism with his work rate called into question.
The state of limbo that Arsenal have ended up in is worrying and it seems the Arsene Wenger situation grows more toxic by the day. The time for change was a while back and that is a clear indication the board won’t change things in a hurry despite moving towards the wrong end of the table.
Arsenal had 19 years of consecutive Champions League football but missed out on qualification last season. They currently sit sixth and the prospect of breaking into the Champions League spots this season seems harder than ever. Their chances diminish with every poor performance and currently are 15/8 to finish in the top four in football betting.
How then does Arsenal regain that regal image it once displayed so proudly through world-class football? There may be no easy answers and no short-term fix. Arsenal developed into the club it is today in no small part due to Arsene Wenger. It seems disrespectful to say that a man that has achieved so much has overstayed his welcome, but there aren’t too many other ways of looking at it.
Arsenal fans will be wondering how much longer Wenger can sit at the helm with all that is going on, but it may be more worthwhile for them to discover how long a piece of string is first. The Frenchman offers the board and owners more than he can offer the fans, and that is why his long-lasting tenure at Arsenal won’t be terminated anytime soon.