Game may be up for Wenger as Arsenal decline continues

Feb 20, 2013

There was an end-of-an-era feel about the Emirates as the Gunners slumped to another grim defeat

THERE'S nothing like kicking a man when he's down, and the boots have duly been applied to Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal team after they were outclassed by Bayern Munich at the Emirates last night.

The Gunners' unlikely hopes of ending an eight-year trophy drought by winning the Champions League came to a predictable end as they surrendered 3-1 at home to a superior German outfit. It will take something extraordinary in the second leg for them to make it into the next round, and it seems their race is run for another season.

The limp display came after a home defeat to Blackburn Rovers of the Championship in the FA Cup. With Arsenal now 21 points behind league leaders Manchester United and four off local rivals Spurs in fourth place, the Daily Mail is blunt about what it all means. "After 16 years anyone associated with this fine football club, with the exception of Arsene Wenger, knows the game is up," it announced.

No wonder the fans are unhappy, says the Mail's Neil Ashton: "They get taken to the cleaners off the field, paying the highest prices in world football to watch a team taken apart on it ... It's embarrassing, it really is."

The humiliation capped what The Guardian calls "Wenger's most troubled week in England". Arsenal are now "a team with too many pale imitations of what was once the real deal – a Thierry Henry-lite here, an own-brand Cesc Fabregas there", writes Barney Ronay. And the problem is compounded by Wenger's "fixed-wheel tactical plan".

The fans are growing tired of his insistence on playing "lightweight passing football, where another manager might have the instinct to spoil successfully against superior opponents".

The future looks bleak, says Matt Dickinson of The Times. "There is an end-of-empire feel about the Emirates which came not from a predictable thrashing but the knowledge that nothing seems to change."

He also has a sobering question for those fans who left the Emirates early: "When will they see Champions League football here again?"

Something needs to change, says Paul Hayward of the Daily Telegraph. Wenger must end "the policy of buying inferior players to replace top-class ones, and of allowing the squad to fester with passengers and has-beens".

He adds: "A child could diagnose the constant downgrading of Arsenal's median talent level."

But there is another problem. "Wenger's players are not working as a collective, not covering each other's backs and not reacting to danger. Part scattiness, part indolence, this pattern of responsibility-evading is making every game an ordeal of mishap and recovery."

James Lawton in The Independent said the Gunners' decline "is one which simply would not be sustained or allowed at any of Arsenal's leading rivals". Wenger left the Emirates knowing "his task has never been so formidable or discouraging".

Website Football 365 has a different take."This was not about Arsenal lacking mental fortitude, Arsene Wenger losing the power of motivation, the manager 'losing the plot' or any other tired story arc," argues Sarah Winterburn. "This was simply one of the best two teams in European football playing against the fifth-best team in English football and predictably winning."

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Utter rubbish this a tree arsenal side have been together one season and half some half more players come in summer still around top four highe TTF next year to many arsenal bloggers can't you get passed a


Yes we have a problem? but not by loosing to Bayern. Better english teams are already out of this competition, so spare your knifes. If we do not get the 4th place and still keep (faith in ) players that do not belong in this level. Then, kick him out and the members of the board also

Obi Van: Even if we do get fourth then it will all be exactly the same again next season. Lets be honest whats the point (apart from the money - which doesn't get spent) on qualifying for a competition year on year we have no chance of winning.

Liverpool fan...let's get that out of the way...Arsene Wenger should go only if he wants to!...he has earned and deserves the support and respect of the club and the fans...

Arsenal Fan .... Getting rid of Arsene Wenger is not the answer, if the board dont give him the money to spend on high class players, the answer is get rid of the board, do they want to be the riches club in England, if Arsene Wenger did go bring in a young manager, I would like to see someone the players respect Thierry Henry would make a good manager

It is this very cult worship of Wenger that has led to the current shambles. This whole idea that he is owed 'support and respect' because of what he achieved a decade ago is astonishing for its sheer idiocy.

Isn't it about time these over paid players
Showed a bit if back bone and worked
Harder on the pitch and helped this talented
Manager to affirm his position as one
Of the finest managers this country
Has ever seen...?
All I see is very little effort poor defending
And as for tracking back to get the ball
Back forget it ..!
Too much procrastinating and greed...
Make them all self employed half the team
Would not earn an income ..!

Bruce Worthington

Gues Arsene Wenger on his way to Liverpool next season well done !