Wenger In or Out? The Choice Facing Arsenal Fans on May 15th
Writer Chris Weir looks at the pros and cons of Arsene Wenger finally calling an end to his long reign as Arsenal manager this summer.
This summer, a familiar argument will dominate our lives. We’ve been debating the issue for years now, with both sides of the question vociferous and passionate in their defence. Social media is ablaze with the pros and cons of a decision that could change our daily lives forever.
The Leave camp thinks we’ll be stronger alone, free to pursue our own destiny and without being tied down to a suffocating ideology. The Remain camp disagrees – look how far we’ve come under this regime, look how much we’ve prospered. We, they argue, are better together.
We’ll know in less than a month, when a relegated Aston Villa travel to the Emirates to face Arsenal on May 15th. When the final whistle blows, we’ll know where the Gunners end up in the Premier League table.
The ‘remain’ camp will point to a 19th successive season in the Champions League. They’ll extol the virtues of two FA Cups in 3 years, putting their faith in a revitalised transfer policy that has seen deadwood shifted and replaced by proven quality. They’ll say the greatest manager in the club’s history, who has guided the team to three Premier League titles and established them as a top-level club, deserves to leave on his own terms. This summer, they argue, could also bring a chance to change things from the inside, with Wenger promising a busy transfer window to reinforce his squad.
The ‘Leave’ camp will wave away this defence. In their mind, fear is the only thing stopping Arsenal from stepping away from past glories and becoming competitive once again. They’ll argue that no Premiership in twelve years is a disastrous return, that one Champions League Final appearance is not enough for a club that has boasted some of the world’s finest players. They’ll point towards Leicester ( or worse, Tottenham) claiming a Premier League title that should have ended up in the red half of North London. Its time, they’ll suggest, that a new man comes in and has a go. Its clear, they reason, that the current system works only for those at the top, who are happy to let the sporting side stagnate as long as the revenues keep coming in.
What will happen on May 15th? In all likelihood, our lives will be very much the same. Arsène Wenger has a year left on his current deal , having always committed to seeing out his contracts.
Arsenal fans will also be wary of the Wenger dynasty collapsing, taking note of Manchester United’s ongoing struggles after the resignation of Sir Alex Ferguson. Nearly three years on, they continue to toil under a struggling manager and a prosaic football style that bores their fans to tears. Letting Wenger go does not guarantee that things will get better.
The lack of a credible alternative means that the leave and remain camps will be facing off for another 12 months. For neutrals and Arsenal fans alike, it is a daunting prospect.
What do you think? Are you ‘in’ or ‘out’?
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