Another disappointing defeat on the weekend for Arsène Wenger, as he watched his team fall to West Brom on Saturday afternoon, leaving the Gunners in 6th place in the league and six points adrift from their nearest rivals in 4th position. There was a mixed reception at The Hawthorns, with the tension and pressure growing on Wenger, Arsenal have dug themselves a really deep hole after falling to another defeat. Following the game there were bemoans for the supporters, who have been calling for their manager to clarify his future for weeks, as well as extravagant protests before and after the game. Wenger has yet to speak out against the protests against the club and himself. However he did put out the following statement,”I have made my decision and I will announce it soon.” What did he mean by this and is this the end?
Six defeats in nine games have left the Gunners in a fight to secure Champions League football next year after losing to West Brom on the weekend. Wenger was the subject of conflicting aeroplane banners during the game on Saturday, one that called for his exit and another backing him as Arsenal manager. There were also banners in the stands saying, No New Contract and Wenger Out, however the Arsenal manager dismissed these acts against him and claimed he didn’t see the protests.
Pressure has been growing on the underperforming Arsenal team with many sporting pundits saying that he has lost the dressing room. With performances like we have seen lately from the Gunners, many have predicted that Wenger would be sacked, however it seems like during the international break he may sign a new two year contract. There have been rumours of this contract being offered, many supporters have objected this, stating he does not deserve it.
The international break comes as a welcomes distraction as Arsène Wenger looks to get his team out of the spotlight and back playing to their normal selves. Rumours have been circulating that the board have asked Wenger, to clarify his future as Arsenal manager, so they can put plans in place for the summer. Much has been made of the board waiting this long to speak out, however insiders believe that Wenger will be given a new contract, as well as substantial transfer funds to bring in new players in the summer.
Arsenal stand to lose three of their best players in the summer with Mesut Ozil, Alex Oxlade Chamberlein and Alexis Sanchez, all subject to transfers away from the club in the summer. Wenger has a lot of things to sort out with the club who are in a, “unique peril” in his own words, with many things to sort out between now and the end of the season.
Does Wenger have other options?
The Arsenal manager is the most consistent manager in the Premier League, guiding the Gunners to a top four place in many consecutive seasons, as well as a recent FA Cup victory. Luiz Enrique the Barcelona manager, has recently come out and said he will be stepping down from his position, many insiders have made Wenger the favourite for his position at Barcelona. This position would be a great fit as the Arsenal team have the same philosophy, Wenger will also have the advantage of match winners in his dressing room, something he currently does not have. It will not come as a surprise if he decides to depart, however it will be a dark day in footballing history, should he be sacked.
The club is definitely in a transition period, as the club have failed to recruit players who are able to make a difference on and off the field. The footballing public has described the Arsenal team, as weak who have no spine, after failing to win against top opposition in nine games. The have been calling for change for many years and they may finally get their wish.
We will be following this story as it unfolds, check back here for the latest updates.