Now in his 20th season with the club, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has taken heat for failing to guide the team to success, or at least not in the form of trophies.
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Arsenal supporters have arranged a protest for Saturday’s match against Norwich City, and that hasn’t been too pleasing for the team’s coach.
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Are the fans right though? Should they be protesting the club’s lack of success?
The Gunners, who currently sit third in the Barclays Premier League as the season winds down, have been eliminated from the title race, something that has eluded the club since the 2003-04 campaign.
The only title that Arsenal has won since that season is the FA Cup, which they captured in back-to-back seasons (2013-14 and 2014-15).
In all, Wenger has captured nine trophies while with Arsenal, but only the FA Cup crowns have come in the past decade. Consistent top four finishes have aided the Frenchman’s chances of staying with the team, but now scrutiny is really taking shape amongst the Gunners supporters.
Wenger recently tried defending his lack of titles by citing the club’s financial struggles that resulted from Arsenal’s move to the Emirates Stadium in 2006.
“You have to remember that when we built the stadium we had 5-7 difficult financial years when we had to pay back,” Wenger said earlier at a news conference. “And I think the club is now out of that period and is in a much stronger position. It is today in a position where we can compete again financially with our main opponents. But during that time it was very difficult.”
While his position in regards to the club’s finances may have played a bit of a factor, Arsenal still spends money like the rest of England’s top clubs.
Current players in the squad such as Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil didn’t come cheap, and while injuries have hampered the team’s success, Wenger is truly running out of excuses with the squad that lies in front of him.
Additionally, the team’s failure to find success in the most important competition of them all, the UEFA Champions League, has fans extremely antsy, and rightfully so.
Under Wenger, the Gunners have made it to the Champions League just twice and in neither case was Arsenal able to hoist the trophy. The Champions League is undoubtedly one of the most difficult competitions to find success in, but the club has exited the tournament in the Round of 16 during five straight seasons.
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Wenger will likely be retained next season, but the leash for the 66-year old is wearing thin. With Antonio Conte and Pep Guardiola entering new positions at Chelsea and Manchester City, respectively, it’s fair to say that Wenger’s days could be numbered if he doesn’t secure any title in 2016-17.