Facing familiar foes Bayern Munich in the Champion’s league, Round of 16, Arsenal had a mammoth task in front of them. The team had constantly failed to proved their mettle against the big teams and facing Bayern at home turf was another chance for them to regain their lost pride. However, amid all the speculation and prediction, things remained as it is, and the eventual scoreline of 5-1 was enough to crush Arsenal’s European dream.
Long-serving manager Arsene Wenger was crestfallen after his side were overpowered in all segments of the game, exposing both him and the team to bitter comments from all corners of the world. Since the defeat, Arsenal fans calling for his head have grown in number exponentially and so, the question on everyone’s lips has been, “Are Wenger’s days numbered at Arsenal?”
Greatest margin of victory over two #UCL legs…
2008/09: Bayern 12-1 Sporting
2016/17: Bayern 10-2 Arsenal pic.twitter.com/hLc1Eip82u
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) 7 March 2017
Going on to win the Premier League title ruthlessly back in 2003-04, the fans could have never thought that Arsenal would never get crowned as English champions for more than a decade after that. But the reality is, the team has been unable to achieve any major accomplishments apart from the 2013-14, 2014-15 FA Cup triumph.
In the ongoing Premier League season, Arsenal stand in the fifth position with a huge 16-point-gap between them and the leaders Chelsea, who under Antonio Conte’s guidance are heading towards a second Premier League title in three years. Arsenal, like almost every opponent who have faced Chelsea this season were completely dominated and lost 3-1 the last time the two sides met.
The team has already been knocked out of the Champions League and the Premier League gap escalating quickly, fans have now become accustomed to look at their side collapse as the going gets tougher.
Even after being financially equipped Arsenal has often fallen short of making a big signing. Being a good observer with the ability to spot out young talents, Wenger has miserably failed to capitalise on this quality. Wenger’s faith and focus in an individual has led to his and the team’s downfall.
Ending up the alliance with striker Robin Van Persie and former skipper Cesc Fabregas and not being able to replace them with alternatives of the same caliber has been the Gunners primary crisis. Although it was Wenger’s presence at the Emirates that may have persuaded Mesut Ozil, to sign a 5-year contract with the Gunners, he still has not been able to execute as per his potentials. Being criticised for his lack of composure against big opponents, the attacking midfielder’s inconsistency over the past two seasons has been Arsenal’s biggest woe. Alexis Sanchez, on the other hand has been doing substantially well as compared to the other new comers. Scoring 17 goals in 25 appearance for Arsenal this season, the striker has been Wenger’s main man behind the attack line.
Looking at the last transfer window in January, Arsenal were once again closely linked with want away Wolfsburg midfielder Julian Draxler. Even after being perennially linked with the Gunners, the German international picked Paris as his next destination. Draxler signed a four-and-a-half-year contract with the French champions Paris Saint-Germain.
Potential replacements if Wenger departs
With Wenger’s contract terminating at the end of this season and the team’s terrible execution in crucial games, possibilities of seeing him continue as the boss are almost negligible. Out of all the possible Wenger replacements, Thomas Tuchel and Massimiliano Allegri are the ones who have been making the headlines at the North London almost every day.
Thomas Tuchel, who is currently in charge of Borussia Dortmund can prove to be a good deal for the Gunners. As Arsenal’s present run against the big teams has not been very impressive, Tuchel, on the other hand, has been well-admired for handling the pressure of big matches. Earning a good amount of reputation in Mainz and leading the team to their best ever Bundesliga finish he was the one who replaced Dortmund’s most favorite Jurgen Klopp.
Massimiliano Allegri’s link-up reports with Arsenal are very frequent, and the Italian is predicted to be the next manager at the Emirates. Juventus under his mentorship have been close to invincible, making the team a nightmare for every opponent in the world. Winning 29 out of the 38 league games in Serie A last season, the record reflects Allegri’s hunger for trophies. He has also led the Juventus side to the Champions League final in 2015, where they were eventually beaten by Barcelona 3-1.
Wenger’s fate at the Emirates is yet to be decided and we still have to wait for the club’s call on the Frenchman’s future. The uncertainty of Wenger departing from the club has now become quite clear, as the old boss recently expressed that his days in the club are not too bright.