Answer To Arsenal FC Problems Not To Sack Arsene Wenger

Has the time come for Arsenal Football Club to sack Arsene Wenger? Many feel as though the time might be here for a change of the guard at Arsenal, but we are here to issue a warning to all of the Gunners out there: To fire Arsene Wenger would be a huge mistake.

Wenger has had himself a fantastic career with the Gunners, including running through a complete undefeated season in the Premier League table, something that had only happened one time since 1889. Of course, that year was a remarkable season with names like Patrick Vieira, Robert Pires, Thierry Henry, and Jens Lehman.

Alas, right away, we might be finding a part of the problem. The first three names that we listed all have one thing in common: They’re all French, just like Wenger. France’s soccer team, after finishing as a runner up in the 2006 World Cup, only qualified for the 2010 World Cup thanks to an Henry handball in the box to score a goal against Ireland, and even then, it was knocked out of the World Cup after going 0-1-2 in the group stage in South Africa.

Simply put, once the likes of Vieira, Pires, and Henry got too old to be able to be dominating on the international scene, so too went the chances of Arsenal truly being a competitive side in the Premier League.

This isn’t like what happened with Liverpool over the course of the last few seasons. That last positive thing that we heard from former skipper Rafael Benitez was winning the Championship League, including winning that epic 3-3 match in penalties against AC Milan in the finale. However, since that point, Benitez has been fired, and the Reds haven’t finished better than third in the Premier League, and they have slipped to fifth and sixth place finishes in the EPL since that point.

The simple fact is that the Gunners just don’t have the same type of backing right now that teams like Chelsea, Manchester United, and Manchester City have, and, just like baseball in the United States, the teams with the big bucks are often going to outclass the teams that just don’t have enough money to bring to the table. Teams like Barcelona, AC Milan, Real Madrid, Juventes… all of these giants on the European soccer scene are throwing money at footballers faster than the rest of the teams are catching up. Heck, we just had a Russian side sign Samuel Eto’o to the richest deal a soccer player has received in the history of the sport.

As of last April, the Sporting Intelligence ran an average weekly pay for teams across the global in all sports. The only Premier League team on the list was Chelsea at No. 6, paying out over $115,000 per week in wages to its footballers. Barcelona and Real Madrid both spent over $150,000 per week. Arsenal was still in the Top 30 worldwide, but one would have to assume, though the numbers haven’t been run since the transfer window, that losing Cesc Fabregas took the Gunners outside of the Top 30, a place where Chelsea, Man City, Man U, and Liverpool all are.

When Wenger started with Arsenal, he didn’t have a whole heck of a lot to work with. He was the first manager from outside of the UK to head up this team, and he has since won three Premier League crowns and finished as the runner up five other times. He has a runner up finish in the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Cup, and he was the Community Shield winner in 2003 and 2005, as well as the FA Cup winner in 1998, 2002, 2003, and 2005 (and runner up in 2001).

Wenger has built Arsenal from a team that was on the fringe of not being a relevant side in English football to one that commanded respect. Now, he faces a totally different challenge with a relatively dwindling budget and a side that has a ton more injuries than it does European caliber bodies. In time, the Gunners will figure this out. Will they finish in the Top 5 in the Premier League table this year? Probably not. But will they end up staving off relegation and rebuilding again for the future? That’s what Wenger did when he came to North London, and that’s what he will do again.

This TSS post was written by:

- who has written 62 posts on Total Soccer Source.

Jack Wilshire has always been a big time soccer nut in England. He has been an avid follower of Norwich for his entire life, and spent many years living right near Carrow Road. Jack has moved to Portland, OR, and though he is thousands of miles away from his team, he still keeps his finger on the pulse of all things involving the English Premier League.

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