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Is Arsene Wenger the true problem at Arsenal?
09 March 2018, 12:58
Is Arsene Wenger the true problem at Arsenal?
CosminIftode / Shutterstock.com

Arsenal supporters and the English media are like a broken record. The two groups continually cry for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to quit or be fired. It is unfortunate as Wenger has done so much for both Arsenal Football Club and English football.

Without the Frenchman, Arsenal would not have had the amazing Premier League title and FA Cup winning seasons they have. Wenger's knowledge and forward thinking helped the club obtain success it wouldn't have otherwise. His off-field management also led to English football being brought out of the dark ages as diet and fitness became more important than ever.

Wenger is wrongly blamed for Arsenal's poor results. Yes, Wenger does have a lot of say in the transfer dealings of the club and the players that are signed. However, the Frenchman is a lightning rod when it comes to criticism. He takes the blame when owner Stan Kroenke or CEO Ivan Gazidis should be in the firing line instead.

Since joining Arsenal, Wenger has won 17 domestic trophies. That includes three FA Cups in the last five seasons. Most supporters would bite off their mother's hand to have that kind of return. In fact, Arsenal's trophy haul has been better than rivals Tottenham and Liverpool in that timespan, yet those teams are completely satisfied with their managers.

Fans seem to look past the way in which Wenger guided Arsenal through their transition to the Emirates Stadium. A reported £390 million was sunk into the stadium, and Wenger still put a high-quality team on the pitch despite money going toward the venue. It is an easily overlooked aspect as modern supporters believe money for football players grows on trees.

If Wenger does leave Arsenal, which Gunners' supporters are currently lobbying for, they better understand what they may get in return. There is no guarantee Wenger's replacement will improve the team and its results. Manchester United tried to replace a legend and the club is still waiting to win a Premier League title. Liverpool had two glorious decades but haven't been able to win a first division title since 1990. The devil you know is sometimes better than the devil you don't.

Wenger is a scapegoat when it comes to the club. Fans should be far more worried about Arsenal owner Kroenke and his intentions for Arsenal. The 70-year-old billionaire owns sports teams in all the major United States sports leagues. Kroenke owns NHL, NFL, NBA and MLS franchises. All of which are underfunded but still generate Kroenke millions of dollars.

Due to the structure of the US sports league landscape, Kroenke doesn't have to win to make money. He simply needs to own a team in the league. In 2016 alone, it was announced the NFL's owners each made $222.6m in national revenue. Kroenke is said to be the fifth richest NFL owner, according to Forbes. With all of those riches, it seems he could buy more world-class players for Wenger to use? The reality is, Kroenke doesn't care about winning in football just as he doesn't in the American sports leagues. Arsenal will continue to make money, because fans will always buy their tickets, shirts and other item, regardless if Kroenke spends money to improve the team as a whole.

Arsenal's 2-0 Europa League win on Thursday night shows there is still plenty of life in Wenger as a manager. Unfortunately, he may need to go elsewhere to prove it. Before he does, he could go out in style by winning his first European trophy.

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OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Liverpool FC 42 16 13 3 0 34 6 28
2. Manchester City 41 16 13 2 1 45 9 36
3. Tottenham 36 16 12 0 4 30 16 14
4. Chelsea FC 34 16 10 4 2 33 13 20
5. Arsenal 34 16 10 4 2 35 20 15
6. Manchester United 26 16 7 5 4 28 26 2
7. Everton FC 24 16 6 6 4 23 19 4
8. Bournemouth 23 16 7 2 7 25 26 -1
9. Leicester City 22 16 6 4 6 21 20 1
10. Wolverhampton 22 16 6 4 6 17 19 -2
11. West Ham 21 16 6 3 7 23 25 -2
12. Watford FC 21 16 6 3 7 20 23 -3
13. Brighton 21 16 6 3 7 19 22 -3
14. Cardiff City 14 16 4 2 10 15 30 -15
15. Newcastle Utd 13 16 3 4 9 13 22 -9
16. Crystal Palace 12 16 3 3 10 13 23 -10
17. Burnley FC 12 16 3 3 10 15 32 -17
18. Huddersfield 10 16 2 4 10 10 27 -17
19. Southampton 9 16 1 6 9 13 30 -17
20. Fulham FC 9 16 2 3 11 16 40 -24

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