Wenger: Hanging on for Grim Death

Making his début for Pele Confidential, Rich Ward looks at what might lie ahead for the beleaguered Arsenal manager.

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Red cards, injuries, dropped points, bans, fines and players heading out the exit. For Arsène Wenger and his Arsenal team, it is proving a very ominous start to the new season – certainly not what Arsenal fans want to be seeing after six trophy-less years. However, even the most cynical among them would surely not have predicted the total humiliation they suffered at the hands of Manchester United.

Their worst drubbing since the 19th century strongly underlined the championship winning potential of the new-look United and, with Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea all finding their feet after transitional periods, Arsène Wenger is facing a difficult task just to get in to the Champions League qualifying spots, let alone win something.

This is a damning indictment of how far Arsenal’s stock has fallen in recent years and, surely, a clear sign that fresh insight is needed at the Emirates. While Wenger’s long time foe Alex Ferguson shows a remarkable ability to keep regenerating his side to win championships – mixing new blood with experience – Arsenal have seen early-noughties domination dissolve into end-of-decade stagnation.

The fans have been told to keep the faith by Cesc Fàbregas, but his words sound pretty hollow given that he has just jumped ship to Barcelona. However, his sentiments are echoed by Alex Ferguson – who has criticised the media for turning on Wenger – and pundits like Alan Hansen.

 Frankly though, compared to the “no trophies and you’re  out” policy of Roman Ambramovich at Chelsea, Wenger has  already been given a generous amount of time to improve  the situation – and the scramble for signatures on deadline  day certainly looked like the desperate moves of a man who  knows his time is nearly up.

While inbound players such as Mikel Arteta look good on  paper, if they don’t have an immediate and necessary impact following the international break, whatever the protestations from fellow professionals, the Frenchman will be saying au revoir to the Emirates.

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