Most Arsenal supporters feel the manager’s time has passed and identify as “Wenger Out”. They want him gone in summer, so should he listen or cling on for another season?
Wenger In or Wenger Out?
A recent survey conducted among more than a thousand members of Arsenal Supporters Trust (AST) showed that a big majority of “Gooners” want to see Arsene Wenger out. More than 88% of Arsenal fans voted Yes when asked whether Wenger should leave Arsenal post at the end of the season.
According to AST spokesperson, Nigel Phillips, “We just can’t go on like this. Maybe we are at a time [when] change is coming and surely the board and owner must realize that. [Wenger] is like a desperate man clinging on.”
“Vox Populi, Vox Dei” – Perhaps the solution is to listen to the voice of the people? So, if you’re reading this Arsene, maybe it’s time to step away!
Perhaps the Fans Really Know Best?
Democracy is a system that’s proven to work, so why not apply the same principles to sports?
For example, every citizen of Switzerland must cast a vote on every important issue related to their country’s politics. So far, they’ve been doing very well. Actually, more than well – this country has the highest average wages in the world, amongst other things.
So, why not do the same in football? Maybe rather than letting one man decide everything, the clubs should let the fans have their say?
If such scenario sounds impossible, you should know that it already happened!
The Story of PK-35
In 2001, a Finnish football team, PK-35 (based in Vantaa) was struggling in Kakkonen, the third tier of Finnish league system. The club decided that the way to improve their position was to let the fans get involved in the team’s management.
All team tactics were to be decided by the fans sending in text messages using a system called ClubManager. They could vote on what the team practised during the week, what systems to use and what players to pick. They didn’t have to sit aside the field and shout their opinions to the manager with no real influence. Instead, the coach had to abide by their decisions.
Did it work? After a few seasons with the new system, the club won promotion into the Second Tier.
Is the Role of Manager Really That Important?
At the moment, the highest-paid football manager in the world is Marcello Lippi, who’s currently in charge of the Chinese national team. His yearly salary is almost $24 million!
Still, despite receiving head-spinning wages, Lippi hasn’t been too successful. Actually, his team failed to book a spot in the World Cup 2018, ending on the next-to-last spot in the qualifying group.
To be fair, his predecessor is to be blamed even more, but still, some people were expecting wonders from the richest manager on the planet. That brought out the question of how important the role of the manager really is?
Legendary football managers like Jupp Heynckes and Pep Guardiola are much more than just tactical planners. They’re also able to inspire, drive and lead their team to victory. These are all natural qualities that are very hard to learn by those who don’t already have them.
Could Players do Just as Well Without the Guidance of a Manager?
Well, it’s pretty difficult to say for sure given that every serious club does have a manager. However, there are plenty of examples of teams winning solely thanks to their very talented players.
When you have several star players in your team you’re very likely to win with or without a manager. But since football is a team game, you can only expect to get all three points if all players cooperate. In this case, a manager might be able to instil some discipline.
Perhaps that’s exactly what needs to happen in Arsenal locker room? Maybe a sort of disciplinarian approach is going to make the whole “Wenger out” craze stop?
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