Got to go, please go: Right time for Arsene Wenger to leave Arsenal

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Suresh Nair

I make no apologies and even the Arsenal fans will agree with me: It is high time for long-serving manager Arsene Wenger to go.

It’s sad and ironical but the man who once revolutionised Arsenal is now dragging them into mediocrity.

Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at Wembley to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final and Friday’s 3-0 loss in the English Premier League (EPL) – second time in just five days! – may well be the last straw.

The Gunners were pathetic. No, hang on, that’s too generous. Pathetic means causing or evoking sympathy. I don’t feel any sympathy for the team who capitulated so appallingly in a major Cup final. I feel blind fury and bitter resentment, just as millions of Arsenal fans may well be feeling right now.

They just didn’t rise to the big occasion. In a nutshell, Wenger’s men were gutless, uninspired, creatively devoid and technically incompetent.

NO LEADERSHIP

Arsenal sorely lacked a leader like Tony Adams or Patrick Vieira, and this had ridiculed the team to become a soft touch and the players don’t know how to fight.

Looking at Wenger at Wembley, much as I admire the man, he looked like a death row inmate waiting to be taken to the electric chair!

I don’t apologise for writing this but Arsenal are disintegrating as a major club before my eyes. It’s time Arsene Wenger and Arsenal parted company.

The Gunners won three Premier League titles in Arsene Wenger’s first eight seasons in charge – but none in the following 13. Sitting sixth, they are closer to bottom-placed West Brom than leaders City in points this season.

Many red-eyed Arsenal fans will be moaning at the latest statistics: Out of the FA Cup, have just been humiliated in the League Cup final, and now face probable elimination from the Europa League against AC Milan.

Last season was Wenger’s worst at the club. This season is shaping up to be even poorer. Yet he clings on, dragging the club he once so gloriously revolutionised into further dismal mediocrity with every day he refuses to quit.

As Arsenal legend Ian Wright put it so well: “Watching Wenger now is like witnessing the ageing Muhammad Ali against Larry Holmes or Brazil’s Ronaldo when he got fat. The problem with Arsene is there is no one in his corner prepared to throw in the towel.”

Exactly.

The back-to-back Manchester City defeats were the latest of many recent humiliations for Wenger and Arsenal. It can’t go on. For his sake, the club’s sake and, most importantly, the fans’ sake.

GREATEST EVER MANAGER

Die-hard Arsenal fan Samuel Veerapandi from Bedok North says: “I think Arsene Wenger should have gone in a blaze of glory after the 2017 FA Cup final, so that probably reveals my thoughts on it. He has been Arsenal’s greatest ever manager and his successor will never repeat his glory, in my opinion. But all good things come to an end and it just feels a bit stale.

“He should go out as a hero but maybe he’s lost that privilege. There’s clearly a downscale in Wenger’s ambition and success. We’re going to have a trophyless season, yet again.”

Engineer Alex Louis, from Commonwealth Avenue, who supported Arsenal from the 1970s, says: “Arsenal are clinging on to their place in the top six, but the honest truth is they’re stagnating. That is why Wenger should be thinking of stepping down.

“He should have thought of it at the end of last season – surely the end of this season, shaping up to be an other underwhelming one, will be the time for him to make a dignified exit.”

Schoolteacher Jennifer Leong from Yishun Avenue 7, is holding the white flag for Wenger. She says: “I’m sure he must be fed up with the question coming up every time he loses a match. The tightrope he walks as he goes into every game is just incredible. The team were poor at Wembley and he must take full the responsibility.”

GO, WENGER, GO

In my opinion, Wenger is holding Arsenal back after failing to re-invent himself and his club in recent years. His unwillingness to adapt has left the club on exactly the same terrain as in the early days of his 22-year stint in north London.

The final word from Arsenal legend Wright, the prolific striker who scored 185 goals for the Gunners. He believes Wenger will not leave of his own accord.

“He is literally a hermit to the game,” Wright says. “He goes home and he’s probably on his phone. It’s all football and more importantly it’s all Arsenal. You do feel it’s almost like his blanket, his comfort blanket. If he’s not got Arsenal, I don’t know what would happen to him.”

Sorry, Arsene, it’s over.

For God’s sake man, GO.

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