Looking at Arsene Wenger’s face during the 3-1 defeat at Chelsea spoke of a man who looked defeated and forlorn. The 67 year old manager was into the third game of his four game ban for physically assaulting a referee some weeks back, but the story of the day was not the legendary manager’s face, but the style of play of the team on the pitch. They were easily too bullied on and off the ball, and leading to a defeat which has seen them slip further in the title race, as they are 12 points behind leaders, Chelsea. The players looked as though they’ll rather be somewhere else. There was no player ready to take the game by the scruff of the neck, willing to stand up and be counted.
The likes of Sanchez and Ozil, who have been drawn in contract wranglings were virtually anonymous against Antonio Conte’s men. The Gunners thrashed their London rivals in September, a victory which was to herald a era of domination, but as it has proved in recent years, the mentality of the club is to wilt under pressure, and crumble spectacularly. Losses in consecutive matches against Manchester City and Everton in December almost crumbled their fading title aspirations but results picked up in January.
12 years without a league title is not acceptable for a team of Arsenal’s stature, yet the presence of Wenger is kind of limiting the club. The manager revolutionized the English game, but his methods have proved outdated against newer, more sciences inclined managers like Conte and Klopp. Wenger is into the final four months of his contract, and while there have been divisions within the fans about whether their most successful manager ever should go or stay. Wenger needs to leave the club before the last tinge of pride left him goes up in flames.
The man loves the club, but needs to go. He will surely be missed, not oy by Arsenal fans, but by every fan in the league. There are really no happy ever after all the time.