Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger has come under increased pressure from fans and pundits in recent seasons, but some people just don’t know how good they have it.
The Gunners are on course for their 12th consecutive season without winning the Premier League title, which has led to increased frustration, but there a number of factors that need to be considered when analysing the manager’s job.
This season we have been delighted by the emergence of Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck, as well as the impressive Mohamed Elneny, who has hit the ground running in an Arsenal shirt.
The Egyptian midfielder was a player who I had little-to-no knowledge about, although I do not have a team of scouts to send off around the continent watching these stars.
On his arrival, many fans were bemused by his signing, but he is quickly becoming a fans favourite, and at the weekend set the record for highest amount of completed passes in a match this season.
Iwobi’s rise to prominence has also been extra special, having come through the youth ranks to stamp his mark on the Premier League this term, and at the weekend scored in his second successive game for the club, as well as bagging the Man Of The Match award against Watford.
How many other clubs can boast consistently bringing youth players and unknowns into the team who are simply the perfect fit?
Chelsea have changed managers 10 times since we last won the league, and that means that they have had their philosophy chopped and changed almost as many times, with no real progression of youth bled into the side. Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been in and around the first-team over the last 18 months, but has only started in four league matches in his career, despite showing very bright signs.
Manchester United have been forced to bring through some of their younger players thanks to a huge number of injuries, but the players who you would expect to making their marks on the first-team, such as Adnan Januzaj, just aren’t making the grade. Marcus Rashford has shown glimpses of what he can do, but do we really expect him to be ahead of Wayne Rooney on his return?
Arsene Wenger is building a team with a philosophy of young players, playing the Arsenal way, and as hard as it is not winning trophies when our supposed main rivals are faltering is disheartening, we remain in the top four.
Manchester City, Manchester United and West Ham United are all currently battling for fourth place, with us four points ahead of the former, and six ahead of the latter two. In a freak season, we are the only said ‘big club’ to be comfortable in their bid for Champions League football.
Why would you want to change manager in hope of landing the illustrious title? The difference between Chelsea, Man City, Man United and us, is that they have an unlimited amount of wealth to splash out when they fail to achieve a top-four finish, whereas we work within stricter budgets.
Next season, Leicester and Tottenham WILL struggle with the challenge of playing in the Champions League, as well as trying to retain their top four position, while we have come accustomed to doing so for the last 18 consecutive seasons, leaving us as the favourites on this season’s table.
Of course with Man City ONCE AGAIN changing manager, they are expected to make wholesale changes to their club, and Pep Guardiola will be expected to get his side firing from the off, but the Spaniard has no experience of the Premier League, and we all know the players he will be bringing in will have limited experience also. Why should we expect them to hit the ground running?
Manchester United are way too inconsistent to judge as strong contenders for next season’s PL title, and may also be set to change manager, if you believe what is written in the newspapers, which could also mean they may take time to get into the groove next year also.
Chelsea could well be our biggest challengers for next year’s title, with no Champions League (and possibly no Europa), their squad could well stay fresh enough to challenge, but AGAIN, they are expected to bring in a new boss, and he will want some new players integrated into the squad.
Many people have been saying this year should have been our best shot at the Premier League title, but I put it to you that next season should be our best chance. Who do you expect to win the title next year? Name another club who consistently play CL football and can integrate youth into the first-team apart from (Barcelona and Bayern Munich)?