Football

Arsene Wenger must leave to protect his Arsenal legacy

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The Premier League has thrown up quite a few twists and turns this season. The title race looks like going right down to the wire. Manchester City, Chelsea or Liverpool could still triumph as we approach the climax of one of the most dramatic seasons in years.

Unfortunately for Arsenal, who were five points clear at the top at one stage, the dream of a fourth Premier League title has faded away. Instead the Gunners found themselves in the usual fight for fourth place.

It's a fight they have now won; mainly thanks to Everton's shortcomings against the likes of Crystal Palace and Southampton in recent weeks.

It has now been almost nine years since Arsenal last won a major piece of silverware when a certain Patrick Vieira lifted the FA Cup in 2005. Arsene Wenger has been under mountainous pressure ever since, as the club's best players depart every season in search of success. It seems as though that pressure could reach boiling if this season ends in similar fashion. 

Arsenal fans were flamboyant at the thought of winning the Premier League as they lead the chase for almost five months, but it was the games against the top teams that ultimately obliterated their chances.

Humiliating defeats against rivals who outwitted and outfought Arsenal on and off the pitch. The appearance of the matter is that it was only the fans that really felt they could win the league with pundits up and down the country continuously ruling them out despite being on top for so long.

Is this simply because the Arsenal team isn’t good enough or because the top managers know exactly how to set their teams up against Wenger? I would have to agree with the latter.

There has been much debate over the criticism Wenger has received. While some sections of the media and the fans would applaud the Frenchman for helping improve the club's financial stability, delivering Champions League football for the 16th year in a row, others are critical of his leadership with big names leaving and the somewhat dubious new players he has handpicked to replace them.

This has all cast a grey cloud over the Emirates Stadium but there is now a chance for that cloud to disappear as an FA Cup final approaches. They are clear favourites to take home the trophy against Hull City, a team that they beat 3-0 in the league only two weeks ago.

Many will agree that it will most certainly not be a walk in the park for Arsenal, a certain defeat to Birmingham in the 2008 Carling Cup Final will remind them not to take Steve Bruce's men for granted.

Despite all of this, Wenger and Arsenal have been handed a lifeline to kick start a run of success just like the good old days. The draw for each round was undoubtedly kind to them.

But to say that they have have been lucky to reach the FA Cup final may be a stretch. They won difficult games against Liverpool, Everton and arch rivals Tottenham, arguably earning their luck in the end.

Surprisingly, it was the semi-final against Wigan that could prove to be the defining moment not just for this season but for the future success of the club altogether.

Arsenal showed the fight and character they have been accused of lacking to come from behind and recover from what would of been a disastrous and embarrassing defeat, much to the emotional relief of Arsene Wenger.

With Champions League qualification for next season almost cemented yet again - they will face a qualifier if they finish fourth - and with an FA Cup final showdown against Hull on the horizon, it seems that now could be the perfect time for the Arsenal boss to retire at the height of his reign.

To win a major piece of silverware and continue Arsenal’s participation among Europe’s elite clubs will be counted a very successful season, especially by the disgruntled fans. Wenger now finds himself in a rare situation where he can leave and be remembered for the legacy he built.

There is no question that Wenger is a fantastic manager but over the past few years, he has not conquered the biggest moments against the best teams and coaches.

What Arsenal may need now to push on further is a fresh change in tactical approach and a manager who will be a bit braver if they are to compete for the biggest prizes of all, the Premier League and the Champions League.

A two-year contract extension is said to be on the cards for Wenger should he wants it but there is a reason it hasn't been signed. After all, do you retire a hero or carry on long enough to see yourself become the villain? Only time will tell.

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Topics:
Arsenal
Football
FA Cup

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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