|Arsene Wenger - the father of modern day Arsenal|
7 years and counting. A lot has changed in the last 7 years. Computers now have second generation i7 processors instead of Pentium processors, mobile phones are now ‘smart’, – from colourless Nokia 3310 to extremely high-tech iPhones – 3 parts of the greatest superhero movie of all time, Batman, have been released and so on...
A lot has changed in Football as well. Real Madrid have broken their round of 16 curse in the Champions League, Manchester City are now a super power and also the Champions of England, Chelsea have had 7 managers, Juventus have resurged from their Calciopoli doom and a lot more things…
Some things, however, haven’t changed. And one of them is the number of trophies in Arsenal’s trophy cabinet.
Since winning the FA Cup in 2005, Arsenal have gone on a barren spell which has frustrated many fans – some being so frustrated that they want Arsene Wenger out. Yes, Arsene Wenger – the father of modern day Arsenal.
|Wenger's finest - The invincibles|
“Arsenal are a top European Club,” argue Wenger’s critics, “they should be competing for titles every season rather than being happy with a 4th place finish.” The critics further say, “or do Arsenal not consider themselves a top Club anymore?”
In 1996, Arsenal hadn’t won the Premier League since 1991, their annual turnover was a mere £21m (which, today, would be £31.7m with inflation rate calculated), and their future wasn’t so bright.
In came Arsene Wenger, their saviour.
In his first full season, they won a domestic double. Arsenal’s style of play changed, from being ‘boring, boring Arsenal’ they became the main source if beautiful, free-flowing Football. New training methods, nutritious diet for players, extensive use of scouting and statistics – it was something new, it was the beginning of a revolution, not only for Arsenal, but for English Football as well.
He won a lot of trophies in his early years, but that is not all what he did – far from it – he built a new training ground with the money from the sale of Anelka, developed a lot of players – Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Emmanuel Petit, Patrick Vieira and Cesc Fabregas, to name a few – helped build a new stadium, improved their financial condition (Arsenal’s financial turnover in 2012 stands at £243m – almost 10 times more than the inflation-considered turnover of £31m in 1996), and made them one of Europe’s elite Clubs.
|The Emirates - One of the best stadiums in the World|
Key-words here: made them one of
The people who are asking for Wenger’s head seem to have forgotten that he was the one who once again made them one of Europe’s strongest after years of isolation from
biggest competition, the Champions League.
If he wasn’t there, Arsenal might not have been one of the biggest Clubs in
Europe. The ‘sack Wenger because
Arsenal are a big Club and haven’t won anything in years’ argument wouldn’t
have been there now.
Sack the manager, who re-established the Club’s position as one of Europe’s finest, because the Club is one of
mightiest but haven’t won a trophy in seven years? Ironic, to say the least.
Majority of young fans – especially the ones in their teens and were sucking on a lollypop when Wenger joined Arsenal – wouldn’t have been Arsenal fans if it weren’t for Wenger. Be it directly or indirectly, The Professor is the reason why there are so many young Gooners around the World.
A lot of Clubs have risen and fallen since Wenger took charge at Arsenal. Deportivo, for instance, won the Spanish League in 2000, but are now fighting to stay in the first division of
Deportivo showed promise, but then manager Javier Irureta failed to secure the financial future of the Clubs despite having one of the best teams in the World. Same could be said for Rafa Benitez’s
won the Spanish League twice in an era where Real and Barca are almost
unbeatable, but are now content with 3rd spot in the League and are
still in debt. Benitez won them trophies, but couldn’t secure their financial
Even though Wenger hasn’t won anything in 7 years, and having arguably his worst team last season, he still manages to get Arsenal in the Champions League every year.
A lot of people criticise Wenger for not spending money for buying World-class players, despite Arsenal making huge profits, but very few people know what is going on behind the scenes – the board might be the one who aren’t giving Arsene the money to spend, this is a point which people can’t rule out.
Regardless of that, Wenger shouldn’t be sacked and be given the privilege to leave the Club when he wants.
Arsenal is like Wenger’s adopted kid: he adopted her, nurtured her, and raised her to become a very successful woman. But then she fell from grace and is going through a tough patch – she is still earning money, though, but isn’t winning accolades. So should the adoption agency take her away from Wenger because of this? No. They shouldn’t.