At the end of the 2017-18 season, Arsene Wenger left Arsenal Football Club after 22 years with the Gunners. For the Frenchman, the writing was on the wall long before he eventually walked away from the Emirates, but supporters may now be ruing a collective desire to freshen things up. Despite winning three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups for Arsenal, there’s a belief that Wenger jumped before he was pushed, according to The Guardian.
Since the Frenchman, the Gunners have turned to both Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta in an effort to take them back to the pinnacle of English football, but such appointments have yet to pay dividends. As such, is it fair to question whether Arsenal supporters should have been careful what they wished for?
A Constant Struggle Since Wenger’s Departure
Throughout his near-22-year career with Arsenal, Wenger received immense credit for his ability to drive the North London club into the top four. Incredibly, only twice did the Frenchman’s side drop out of the Champions League, which came during the final two years of his tenure. Understandably, this would have disappointed the Gunners’ supporters, particularly as they expected the club to reach new heights following their move to the Emirates in 2006.
However, the club has made backward steps following Wenger’s departure. Although Arsenal finished one point off the Champions League in Emery’s first campaign in 2018-19, the Spaniard was sacked just a few months into the 2019-20 season. After temporarily turning to Freddie Ljungberg and then permanently appointing Arteta, the Gunners ended the campaign in eight, winning just 14 of their 38 league games, at the time of writing.
So far into this season, there’s little evidence that Arsenal are any closer to getting back into the top four. In their opening fixtures, the Gunners ended matchday 14 in 15th place, just four points above the relegation zone.
Short-Term Pain for Long-Term Gain?
Irrespective of his Premier League consistency, Wenger’s European performances indicated that it was perhaps time for a change in the Emirates dugout. In 2016-17, Arsenal fell to a 10-2 aggregate defeat to the current European champions, Bayern Munich. Unfortunately, things had gone a little stale at Arsenal, and perhaps Wenger went on for one season too long.
As suggested by Bleacher Report, the Gunners were likely to experience a period of the unknown in a post-Wenger era, and that’s certainly been the case. The squad was, and still is, in need of an overhaul, but that will require time. The 71-year-old’s departure and subsequent appointment of Emery was unlikely to revolutionize Arsenal, but the problems are perhaps far deeper than many supporters first imagined.
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Patience is Required
The rebuild at Arsenal won’t happen overnight. As such, if Arteta gets time, he will need the club’s faithful supporters to give him patience. On reflection, Arsenal fans can be forgiven for missing the golden days under Wenger, but a change was needed. The Emirates required an injection of new life. Now, the task centers around making forward steps.
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