Arsene knows best – Or does he? If you are a ‘Wengerista’ you will warm to the expression. If you are, let’s say, an ‘Arsenephobe’ you will get very aggravated. For over 22 years Arsene Wenger has been coaching Arsenal. As he prepares for another final the debate continues about the current merits of the Frenchman.
Arsene Knows Best? Maybe Not
The case for the defence points to the three Premier League titles, the seven FA Cup wins and the perennial qualification for the Champions League. In 2004 Wenger masterminded that unique Invincibles triumph. Mix in the successful stadium transition from Highbury to the Emirates and his contribution to the careful management of the Arsenal finances. Spice all that with a playing style that has had many pundits purring. Plus for most of his reign hated local rivals Tottenham have been kept below the Gunners. And you have a powerful argument in favour of the continued regime of Arsene Wenger. For Wengeristas he is truly ‘out of this world’.
But the Wenger Out advocates think he is well past his sell-by date. Of course, they recognise the past achievements and how Wenger changed the club culture, and indeed much of the English league culture. Yes, the attractive passing football is welcome but it has to have more of an end result. Many ‘phobes’ would prefer more of a Vieira or an Adams-type player in the side. Then they could galvanise the team when they’re at Stoke on a freezing Tuesday night. Wenger’s preference for certain types of players and his evident stubbornness in transfer activity are considered blind spots in his philosophy. They would emphasise the recent inability to qualify for the Champions League and the rise of Spurs. Matched with an ever-diminishing chance of winning the EPL.
A League Cup Win For Arsenal?
For his detractors Wenger’s long tenure, though much respected, has to come to an end soon. But perhaps on Sunday, against a much-lauded Manchester City team, he will surprise many and engineer their first League Cup win since 1993. Maybe that could act as his swan song. Then the club could commission his statue to add to the asteroid that is named after Monsieur Wenger. For Wengeristas he would be truly ‘out of this world’. Fail and the Arsenephobes will say ‘I told you so’.
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