Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has launched a strong defence of his reign after a section of fans urged him to quit on Saturday.
The Gunners have had a stuttering start to their new season, which is in fact their worst start in the Premier League era. The North Londoners are already 13 points behind league leaders Chelsea, and once again going through a wretched luck with injuries.
It seems like Wenger managed to pull things back on track, after the Gunners qualified to the knock-out rounds of the Champions League by defeating Borussia Dortmund 2-0 at home, and winning 1-0 against West Brom on Saturday.
Danny Welbeck scored his sixth goal for Arsenal and made sure the Gunners left the Hawthorns with their first Premier League win in four weeks.
Wenger is hugely respected by the Arsenal fans for his immense contribution to the club. But having failed to deliver the Premier League in almost a decade now, a section of Arsenal fans have grown restless over this gradual stooping to mediocrity.
A section of disgruntled Arsenal fans revealed a large banner after the final whistle that read: “Arsene, thanks for the memories but it’s time to say goodbye.”
However Wenger is unfazed with such criticisms as he feels he is still the right man to turn things around, and that he does his job with “honesty” and “commitment”. Wenger said as noted by James Nursey of The Mirror:
“I started to manage a team at the top level in 1983. If I am completely useless tactically, I am a genius [because] I can hide it very well.
“Look, in [each of] the last 15 years, we are qualified for the last 16 in the Champions League. Give me another club who has done that. I think we have shown extreme consistency and that’s all we can do.
He added: “We’ve had ups and downs in the league – yes, it’s true, but you only come back again when the spirit is strong and healthy and united inside the club. And I think if you have shown such a consistency, it’s because we have that at the club. We have values and we respect them.”
“Am I hurt by any of the criticism? No. Honestly, no.”
Recently, Arsenal have been linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund’s manager/coach Jurgen Klopp. The German masterminded Dortmund in winning two bac-to-back Bundesliga titles and took them to the Champions League final in Wembley 18 months ago. However, Dortmund are flirting with relegation this season, occupying the bottom place in the Bundesliga.
Wenger enjoys the full backing of Arsenal board members, but recently club’s second major share-holder Alisher Usmanov criticised the Frenchman’s transfer dealings saying club needs to strengthen in “every position” to challenge Europe’s top clubs.
The business tycoon stated that despite having money to spend, it is Wenger’s philosophy that is restricting the club in moving forward. Wenger hit back with a sharp riposte claimed that Usmanov first needs to know the values and traditions of Arsenal.
Do you think time has come for Arsenal to say good-bye to Wenger? Or is he still the right-man for the Arsenal managerial job?