Arsène Wenger is currently in his 20th season with Arsenal. He has transformed English football with Arsenal’s free flowing style of play, and has molded the greatest Premier League team ever, in the Invincibles. Wenger has won the English Premier League three times, the F.A. Cup six times, and the English Super Cup four times. He has brought legends to the Premier League including Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pirès, Marc Overmars, Patrick Vieira, Freddie Ljungberg, Jens Lehmann, and many more.
Wenger is also the most important person in Arsenal’s proud and long history, as he has overseen the most successful time period in his 20 years in charge by the trophies they have won, the stability of the club, and the great financial state in which Arsenal are in. However, just like the banners say that are raised after games when Arsenal performs poorly, “All good things must come to an end”, and Arsène Wenger finally after 20 years needs to say goodbye.
The reasons for Arsène Wenger needing to resign have been evident for more than five years now. He has been at the club for so long because he has built Arsenal into what they are today. Wenger deserves almost all of the credit for the situation Arsenal are in. Arsenal are one of Europe’s richest clubs, they are one of the most consistent clubs, they have one of the nicest stadiums, and they are one of the most recognizable football teams in the world.
Due to Wenger sculpting this club into what it is today, most people would say he deserves to leave the red side of North London on his own terms, and not to be fired. However, since 2004, which is the last time Arsenal won the league, what has Wenger produced? A Champions Cup final where they lost, two F.A. Cups, a few big signings, and a new stadium. That’s not enough for Arsenal Football Club in 12 seasons. Not being able to win the league for 12 seasons, and not being able to get further than the first round of the Champions League for seven seasons is unacceptable for a club with the stature of Arsenal.
Another factor contributing to Wenger and Arsenal just being able to settle for top four each year is the boards lack of ambition. The board doesn’t see anything wrong with the stagnation of Arsenal over the past ten years. The board run Arsenal like a business not a football club. They don’t feel like they need to compete with Europe’s Elite by trying to win a Champions League trophy, and they don’t feel like they need to try to win the English Premier League since they just finish in the top four each season, which produces enough money for the board to gain some exceptional profits.
It’s a process each year with Arsenal, they get knocked out in the first round of the Champions League, but finish somewhere in the top four, but not in first since 2004. The top four finish ensures Champions League football for next year, then the cycle repeats the next year.
Arsène Wenger does not deserve to be fired, but he does need to go at the end of the season so Arsenal can progress as a club, as they haven’t for ten years. Some would argue that maybe the board needs to go instead of Wenger. This argument could be very true, but the likelihood of the owner Stan Kroenke selling his shares is highly unlikely due to the amount of money he makes each year.
So, with that option not possible in the near future, Arsenal F.C. must take the first step in growing their club to the next level by not renewing Arsène Wenger’s contract and letting him go, and saying goodbye to an incredible era, because one man is not as big as one club.