With the Premier League kicking off this weekend, Arsenal begin another long journey, and many (maybe even most) fans are experiencing a strange combination of excitement and nervousness at this point.
With the new season comes a new opportunity for success, but memories of past disappointments are difficult to escape. Arsene Wenger leads a steady but shallow squad into this campaign, and only time will tell if he takes legitimate steps toward strengthening the team.
Wenger’s success at AFC is unquestionable. He’s cultivated some of the greatest players in the world and achieved all of the major victories a manager can hope for.
If his career ended now, it would be tarnished slightly by the eight-year trophy drought, but it would exist as much more. The last few seasons won’t overwhelm his accomplishments in North London.
Arsene Wenger is one of the greatest managers in Arsenal history, and that will always be true.
The only thing the drought proves is that this Arsenal squad, as it exists now, is in need of new leadership. Not better leadership, necessarily, though it could be.
Wenger’s tactics and managerial style lend themselves to the Gunners of the past. His methods, which were effective a decade ago, are far surpassed in today’s Premier League.
Arsenal is evolving as a club, and to realistically challenge for the top of the table they need to push further and harder than they ever have.
The Emirates must become a dream location where the best players in the world long to play. Wenger is undoubtedly capable and has had ample opportunity to take steps toward the future, but Arsenal fans have been consistently disappointed.
To reclaim the prestige that the club deserves, the Gunners need a manager that can unite the fans and build the team. It’s time that we thank Arsene Wenger for his accomplishments, put up a statue, and bring in someone new.
The next year will be a definitive one for the club. Wenger has one year left on his contract, and though he’s ‘in talks’ with the club, one has to wonder whether or not he’ll be the manager come next summer.
The transfer window will continue and, hopefully, Arsenal will have some new blood in the ranks.
The Premier League hierarchy is shifting and many clubs face transitions that could weaken their chances to reach the top of the table.
All of these details, along with the generally unpredictable nature of football, should make this season one to remember.
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