Arsene Wenger’s exit not the solution for Arsenal: EPL talking points

Thomas Woods argues Arsenal fans should be careful what they wish for, noting what a change of manager did to Manchester United.
Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger urges on his side during their 1-0 win against Southampton last Wednesday. Ian Kington / AFP / December 3, 2014
Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger urges on his side during their 1-0 win against Southampton last Wednesday. Ian Kington / AFP / December 3, 2014

Wenger the best option

Some Arsenal fans have turned on their manager, Arsene Wenger. There have been protests at games and a horrible video emerged of the Frenchman being verbally abused by “supporters” while boarding a train with his players.

Arsenal fans have a right to be frustrated, as the club don’t seem any nearer to challenging for a title, which they last won in 2004. Their loss at Stoke City on Saturday was worse than the 3-2 scoreline suggested. They were three goals down and it should have been 4-0 after a Bojan Krkic goal was dubiously disallowed. But Arsenal are in the Uefa Champions League knockout rounds. They will more than likely finish in the top four in the Premier League and qualify for Europe again. Every fan wants their club to contend for first, not be content with fourth, but Arsenal supporters should ask themselves – who would do better?

A look at rivals Manchester United should be a warning to them. Held together by Alex Ferguson for 26 years, United dropped seven league places the season after he left.

The club acted fast to remedy the issue – and spent a whole lot of money – but it will be at least another season before they are title contenders.

Arsenal don’t have the same spending power to throw money at their mistakes and if Wenger leaves after 19 years at the helm, the club will be in transition and it might be a long time before they see the top four again.

City’s luck is in

Sergio Aguero is playing the role that Luis Suarez performed for Liverpool last season. Chief goalscorer, major creator, leading from the front inspirationally.

Manchester City are not quite as reliant on him as Liverpool were on Suarez, since they also have Yaya Toure, David Silva, Vincent Kompany and a support act of quality players.

But with Aguero expected to miss at least a month with a knee injury, and Kompany and Silva also out, City enter a key period in which their title challenge could easily falter.

They could not have asked for a better run of games without Aguero. Leicester City, West Brom, Burnley and Sunderland are their next opponents, placed 20th, 19th, 16th and 14th in the table. The luck of champions, perhaps.

Carroll shows a trend

Andy Carroll performs miserably for most of his West Ham United career, then scores twice in a game and is suddenly “unplayable”. It says a lot about just how hard it can be to stop a big striker when you play to his strengths.

Wilfried Bony, Graziano Pelle, Peter Crouch – the target man is back in fashion.

Because, for all your patient build-up and passing football, there is little more devastating than an inch-perfect cross placed on the head of someone who knows how to head the ball.

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Published: December 9, 2014 04:00 AM


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