Arsenal will face a crossroad if Wenger leaves the club

After the international break, Premier League’s current third place ranker Arsenal will be facing Swansea City.  The match will be on 15th October. Some ticketing websites have already declared that tickets for the game at Arsenal’s home turf Emirates Stadium has sold out. This is not at all surprising as Arsenal has one of the most supportive home crowds in the Premier League.  As the day looms nearer, fans from both Arsenal and Swansea sides are waiting with bated breath. Many are placing their bets online.  If you are looking for more excitement, other engaging online games are available at landmark-bingo.

Things are looking good for Arsenal as we gun for the sixth consecutive win. Club manager Arsene Wenger will welcome back his injured players forward Olivier Giroud, and midfielders Francis Coquelin and Aaron Ramsey.

Amidst a steady season with five consecutive wins, Arsenal is set to face a significant crossroad as talks of Arsene Wenger’s imminent departure looms.  The Frenchman celebrated his 20th year with the club on the 1st of October, making him the longest-serving manager that the club has ever had. He led the team to three Premiere League victories –   1997 – 1998, 2001 – 2002, and 2003 – 2004.  In 1998, he set a new club record of ten consecutive wins.  However, since those golden years, a League championship trophy seems to be very elusive.  Many ardent fans think that it may be time to replace the 66 year old manager, whose contract expires at the end of the 2016-17 season.

Wenger has continued to sign contract extensions since the urge for his sack/resignation arose amongst the fans. The first one was in 2007, which extended his contract to 2011.  This is because he had committed to see the completion of the Emirates stadium.  In 2011, he signed another extension which brought him up to 2014.  During those years, there was growing frustration because the club seems to stagnate and the League title seem to be out of reach.

Football insiders are questioning many of Wenger’s tactics and strategies, including why the club cannot source a reliable forward ever since Bergkamp’s departure years ago. Bergkamp is a beloved former Arsenal forward who scored some of the club’s greatest ever goals.  He’s so beloved that he has a statue outside the Emirates Stadium. Dutchman Bergkamp is currently assistant manager at Ajax, and has been since 2011.

Last season, many Arsenal supporters launched a “Time for Change” campaign, calling for Wenger to leave the club. However, club owner Stan Kroenke loves Wenger and the easiest thing for the board to do is just to extend his contract once more. They finished second last season, after all.

According to Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis, ultimately, the decision will depend on many factors, and Arsenal is accountable to its loyal fanbase. During a Vatican conference on “Sport at the Service of Humanity”, Gazidis goes on to say that it will be a clear mutual decision if and when Wenger decides to leave the club.

The question is who could succeed Wenger?  Many are looking to Bergkamp to fill his shoes. Another former player, Thierry Henry is also being considered.  Belgium’s current second assistant manager still holds the record for Arsenal’s all-time top goal scorer.  However, there are other worthy candidates to consider.  Borussia Dortmund’s Thomas Tuchel, Frank de Boer and Diego Simeone are some other names that are being floated around.

Perhaps Wenger himself sums it all up perfectly. In a video produced by the Evening Standard to commemorate his 20th anniversary as Arsenal manager, he is quoted as saying, “Someday, somebody will replace me…that’s part of life…since I’m here I’ve shown true commitment and that’s all I can do…”

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