The Frenchman has been on the end of a lot of criticism this term, with the Gunners underwhelming both domestically and in Europe. But Seaman, who was a key figure in Wenger’s early successes with the club, has called for calm in the midst of recent fan angst, per Anthony Clavane of the Sunday Mirror:
I’m so fed up of all this negative stuff about Arsenal. A change at the top? Not for me. I’m a massive fan of Arsene.
Let’s see what happens at the end of this season. Let’s see what’s gone wrong and then sort it out. But, for me, he’s been brilliant. I worked with him for about seven or eight years and he was fantastic. I would stick by Arsene. I’ve always said that and I haven’t reason to change my mind.
Seaman thinks the Gunners only need to look to Manchester United to see what can happen when a football club loses a key figurehead. “They lost a great manager in Alex Ferguson,” he said. “He retired. It’s always greener on the other side. Arsene has a great record, but he’s always under pressure. He’ll be under pressure until we win the league.”
Those sentiments have been echoed by another former Arsenal player and current club scout, Luis Boa Morte.
“Be careful what you wish for,” the former Portugal winger said when asked about a possible departure for Wenger, according to Joe Bernstein of the MailOnline. “Look at Manchester United after Ferguson left, who has been successful? Nobody. It is the same thing.”
At Arsenal’s last match, a 2-0 win at Everton, a banner was on display in the away section calling for the manager to depart.
For some who frequent the Emirates Stadium, the perennial underachievement of this team in recent seasons is tarnishing the legacy of the Frenchman. Indeed, while Wenger can look back on six FA Cup triumphs and three Premier League wins, the last league title came in 2004; that’s been deemed not good enough by a section of supporters.
World Soccer Talk’s Kartik Krishnaiyer tried to take some positives from what’s been a poor 2015-16 season for the Gunners, though:
Arsenal might actually finish 3rd now. Progress. Two straight 3rd place finishes for Wenger after two straight 4th's.— Kartik Krishnaiyer (@kkfla737) March 20, 2016
While it’s a point made in jest, for a lot of supporters, having the safety blanket of Wenger—who has always steered the club into the UEFA Champions League—is vital. The Frenchman may have done things differently over the last few years, but he’s always delivered consistent results that see Arsenal mix it with European football’s elite sides.
When the Gunners are in the groove they’re superb to watch, too. Chris Bascombe of the Daily Telegraph is unsure why some supporters want Wenger gone:
Not seen them much up close before today, but there's slight possibility those of Arsenal persuasion wanting Wenger out are off their heads…— Chris Bascombe (@_ChrisBascombe) March 19, 2016
Should Arsenal axe Wenger at the end of the season?
Fear of the future should not be enough to prevent the club from making tough decisions, though. As well as Wenger has done at Arsenal, he should be held accountable to the same standards as any other Premier League manager with the resources to compete for the title. And when you think of the players he’s had over the past decade, 11 years without being champions is a failure.
With his contract up at the end of the 2016-17 season, developments on Wenger’s future will be fascinating in the months to come. Of course, it’ll take the club some time to adjust when he eventually walks away, although the foundations the Frenchman has put in place are secure enough for another coach to come in and succeed.