Arsenal

Why It's Time for Arsenal to Replace Arsene Wenger

LONDON - APRIL 05:  Arsene Wenger, manager of Arsenal is angry as he urges his team on during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool held at the Emirates Stadium on April 5, 2008 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Bell MalleyAnalyst IIIOctober 1, 2011

Change.

This has been a common theme in North London this summer—the departures of star midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri being the epitome.

Arsenal also added long-time targets Per Mertesacker and Mikel Arteta to the fold, and the squad that played the mid-week fixture at the Emirates on Wednesday did not look anything like the one they played in a 2-2 draw with Fulham to close up last season.

One elemental piece remained unchanged. Now, however, it is time for a fresh face to lead the Gunners.

Frenchman Arsene Wenger has managed the club since 1996, and in his time in London, he has led Arsenal brilliantly, and his keen eye for talent has been a key reason that his squads have lifted the Premier League title three times. The last one of those came in the 2003-04 campaign.

Arsene has done almost everything an Arsenal fan could ask of him.

Recently, however, they have been on a bit of a cold streak.

Not only have they not won a trophy in six years, but they can no longer hold onto the youngsters that they have so carefully groomed over the years—Fabregas and Nasri included.

Watching the North London side this year has been frustrating, to say the least. The players look uninspired, tired, and clueless on the pitch.

In no way is Wenger to blame for these problems, but sometimes a new boss can re-energize a depleted squad.

Arsene's strategies have been great: He has followed his principles and made some ridiculously good purchases, most notably Thierry Henry, whom he molded into the world's best striker.

The Gunners still have a great group of youngsters on the horizon, the best of the bunch being Jack Wilshere and Emmanuel Frimpong.

These players, however, might turn their backs on the club when they reach peak ages—an issue that has finally started to sink in around the Emirates.

Although he went on a spending spree on the final day of the transfer window, the Frenchman didn't make any especially good buys, and needs to buy someone who is neither before or after his prime—in other words, one who is almost guaranteed to produce right away.

With big clubs like Manchester City buying their way into the Premier League's title discussion, Arsenal need to get on board before they fall too far behind.

Gunners faithful had championship aspirations going into the season, however, they should probably now be content with a final position of sixth through tenth.

As a soccer fan, all my respect must go out to Wenger, and the change doesn't really have to do with him.

The man may have just run out of tricks.

Arsenal should let him finish the year, and maybe keep him later on, but if he is going to be stubborn to stick to his philosophies, he can't be held onto as manager.

Many good managers could be in line to take the reigns at such a big club, the biggest of names probably being Jose Mourinho or Guus Hiddink.

Although the Arsenal manager has been given reassuring words from owners and players alike, it might be a guise to the end of a career.

Wenger is one of the greatest managers ever, and just like a new manager can re-energize a club, a new club can re-energize a manager. So heading out might fuel up both parties.

The last era is clearly being ushered out, and the final piece should be on its way.

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