It was a perfect epitaph for an extraordinary season of missed opportunities. Arsenal have not been able to take their chances throughout the campaign, failed to assert themselves when openings have come in matches and beyond, and so it was proved yet again when Danny Welbeck inexplicably contrived to miss from just seven yards out in the dying minutes of their 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final defeat at the hands of Watford.
This season will be remembered for squandered open goals; most notably in the Premier League. Leicester’s ascent has been labelled as a modern day fairytale, but with Arsenal, it is only a painful story of what could have been achieved in the most open season Premier League has experienced. Even in such fortunate circumstances, Arsenal have surprisingly wilted. And now their season lies in tatters. The FA Cup remained only firewall preventing Wenger from renewed scrutiny and now that firewall has collapsed after the latest defeat.
It leaves a serious question mark over Arsene Wenger and his future at Emirates. Is he still the right person to guide the team? Many fans don’t even want to discuss it, and while he is still clearly a good manager, his failings are clear to see and are for sure harming the club.
Here are five undeniable reasons why Wenger should leave this summer.
Arsene Wenger never learns from his mistakes
You can always predict an Arsenal season before it even begun. Key areas of the squad would not be addressed in the summer before a positive start ends up falling apart breaking thousands of hearts through injuries and they ultimately blow their chance.
Critics say, Wenger just doesn’t want to learn from his past mistakes; it may be sticking with rubbish players, not buying a holding midfielder or even tactical errors. It always looks to be somebody else’s fault and he is far too stubborn to confess he did not get it right and has the knack to prove doubters wrong.
Players don’t seem to believe him
The players don’t seem to believe him and this is the most concerning part.
In crucial matches against Manchester United and then the must-win encounter with Swansea, even in the latest defeat to Watford, the players didn’t seem even bothered. Getting them fired up and going for the kill is the job of a manager but the players don’t look to have the mentality to fight for him anymore and that’s certainly worrying.
Arsenal’s players say there has been always a good spirit among them so it can only lead us to believe they don’t want to do it for the manager. Surely it’s time to go?
Frustrating and monotonous tactics of the Frenchman
When it comes to tactical gameplay, Wenger is often found out.
It has taken him years to finally understand you have to give up some possession for being tighter in bigger matches, but there is still not that much real variation.
He starts every game with a 4-2-3-1 and it’s hard to remember times he has actually switched the system to capitalise on the opponent’s weakness. All the top managers in modern football have a range of different tactics but Arsenal very rarely come up with a plan B and most clubs now know how to frustrate and nick points against this Arsenal side.
Wenger’s transfer mojo has long been gone
You cannot deny Petr Cech, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil were blockbuster signings; but they were already superstars and were available to sign.
Actually, it’s the hidden gem obsession of Wenger which creates so many problems. Once he used to find unknown stars for hardly any money who later turned out to be class performers.
But just look at his recent signings of largely unknowns: Gabriel, Yaya Sanogo, Kim Kallstrom, Gervinho, Andre Santos, Park Chu-Young. All flops.
He has clearly lost his transfer mojo and should move for proven quality rather than costly gambles.
Arsenal needs a fresh mind at the helm of affairs
This summer will come with some superstar manager’s rock up at Man United, Manchester City and Chelsea; while Liverpool will spend some big money with Jurgen Klopp in full control.
There will be a scrap for top transfers and matches will be more tactical and harder to win than ever. Things will get really tough.
Meanwhile, Arsenal should be sitting pretty, with the largest cash reserves in recent times, but the story is – Wenger will refuse to spend and the club will risk being left behind.
He is so fussy with signings and won’t pay over the top for anybody, so all the big players available in the transfer market will make rivals even stronger. It’s crazy enough.