Wenger’s reign at Arsenal is ending – The only question is when….

Life after Wenger by AndersS

Whether you are looking forward to it or not, it is a fact that Wenger’s reign will come to an end. It can be anything between a few days and a few years. But it will end in the foreseeable future.

A large number of fans, and possibly a growing number, are looking forward to it and can’t wait for it to happen. Quite a few of us actually can’t understand that his reign has been allowed to continue long after it has become apparent that not only are we standing still, we are moving backwards.

Nobody can deny Wenger has done a lot of great things as manager for Arsenal.

He has also been well rewarded financially and he may also have been allowed to stay on longer than he should have these last few years. At least it is my conviction that any other manager, who didn’t have Wenger’s history with the club, would have been sacked if he had produced the league and Champions League results we have seen over the last 5-6 years. They are simply not good enough for one of the biggest (and richest) clubs in Europe.

But Wenger has stayed on, and has got the record.

My point is, that even though we now have a manager who has a unique record in number of years and number of matches, we have entered a new phase, where the outlook for Wenger is similar to what other managers have to contend with; contracts with a relatively short time frame.

Alone because of Wenger’s age, it is not probable that he, from now on, will be a long-term solution. Whether it is the club’s ambition to try to find a manager who can be the manager for many years after Wenger, we don’t know. But even if it is, it is not very likely that a new manager will stay for long if he doesn’t produce results within the first 2-3 years of his reign.

So, in reality we have a situation where we can hope that, from now on, our manager will actually be held accountable for the results we achieve. If Wenger doesn’t produce any acceptable results this year either, why should he be allowed to stay? He is not the long-term solution, and he obviously wouldn’t be the short-term solution either.

Yes, I know it can be argued, that as long as the financial results are fine, then he will be allowed to stay. But I really don’t think that is the case. First of all, I am sure the income from tickets, merchandise and sponsors already may be under pressure due to:

* Lack of Champions League participation, which means less direct income but also less exposure for our sponsors. The value of the Arsenal brand is simply falling.

* Diminishing fan support, which means less tickets and less merchandise sold.

* Even if the owners’ main objective is to make money, this is a correlation between achieving results and income, which I very much doubt can be overlooked.

My guess is, the owners’ are very much aware, that it is no longer a question of whether Wenger should be replaced, but rather a question of when, and this is where it becomes really interesting.

Personally, I have long time ago lost all belief that Wenger can make us contenders for the PL title again, and nor can he get us success in the Champions League. I have also lost belief that he can get us back into the Champions League. But I admit, it can’t yet be ruled out, he can get us top 4 or even a Europa League win this year. I just don’t believe it will happen. So I of course think, the time to replace him is now, so a new manager can get the best chance of rebuilding for next year. And if it doesn’t happen soon, maybe because the owners still believe, we will get back into the Champions League, it may drag out a month or two, before we are so far behind top 4 and are out of the Europa League, Champions League qualification is as good as out of the equation.

Life after Wenger could soon be reality, but when? And will Arsenal be looking for a new manager who, like in almost any other big football clubs, will only keep his job as long as he produces results in the big competitions?



  1. Tatgooner says:

    Nah he will stay for atleast another decade

    1. Declan says:

      Don’t be rediculous. He’s already on his way and will be gone at the end of THIS season, trust me!

  2. Roy says:

    New manager and new owner
    A new manager of any repute will
    want funds which the present owners
    are reluctant to invest unlike our rival
    owners. Catch 22 me thinks.

    1. Gooner100 says:

      Totally agree. Big catch 22. It’s less about Wenger more about Arsenal FC as to where we go.

      When Wenger does go, he will go down as the last great manager of his generation. There will never we another Ferguson, Wenger, or all the past greats who were in love with their clubs and built dynasties. What there will be is rich clubs who bankroll the ‘latest managerial talent’ (aka Pep, Klopp, Mourhinho…in the early days) who will be dumped at the first sign of underperformance and replaced. Football is changing like never before.

  3. Arnold says:

    I also think his power are starting to diminish he was very negative on press conference before N.forest game towards our Head of recruitment trying to say they know every player in Europe even before Sven came in the only way to push him out is to make decision buying players behind his back he will not like it and he will leave on his own

    1. Godswill says:

      Probably by May if he’s not shameless. Am not disputing his great work at the Club before now.

    2. McLovin says:

      Damm, I catched that too. Him saying they already knew every player in Europe before Mislintat I interpreted almost as an insult to the man. Or at least diminishing his abilities.

      People at his age usually don’t like changes, it almost angers them. Wenger must feel the heat.

      1. Arnold says:

        Is being isolated slowly, Sven and Sanllehi need a new manager to start fresh! with Wenger i see not chemistry they are on two different direction – Arsenal as a football club is being run backwards where a Manager has more say/power than CEO and board members combine but i see Gazidis is starting to change that when mr Wenger was against Director of fooball we got one Mr Sanllehi with just a different name!

    3. Jens says:

      It’s called a comma.

      1. Declan says:

        And breath…… but I believe Arnold is dead right, it’s happening now and the job of getting Wenger out will be complete at the end of this season.

  4. John0711 says:

    Everyone should take criticism for r the downfall of our club
    Mainly wenger but also the board, players and fans
    Wenger because he’s made most of the decisions so if there has been a lack of funding he accepted it and ran with it on 8-10 m a year, he also made some poor decisions on selection and the buying of players e. G Xhaka for 35m. The biggest crime was alienating the fans. Blaming everything apart from the obvious

    The board for lack of investment and the teartment of the fans.

    The players for not playing for the shirt and demanding high wages

    And the fans for tolerating mediocracy year after year, even now some are happy with the situation, many in this site have often thumbed down any criticism of wenger.

    If wenger leaves it will take a massive change within the club to become successful again. I’m not sure the board are prepared for those changes.

    Very few of our squad is good enough to compete with the top teams

    1. Ray says:

      Well said @John0711!

      The thing is, I don’t think any of us are really that surprised to be in this position at this stage of the season, are we?

      We knew what we were getting when the summer transfer window closed. We didn’t buy that well again and the squad was no stronger than it was the season before.

      I feel bad today not because of last night so much but, because I knew it would be like this again (ground-hog day). Only, this time I feel we may not even qualify for Europe and will most definitely not be winning any silverware!!

      Onward and downward..

      1. Gavana says:

        And very good managers graced the premier league unlike before!

    2. jon fox says:

      John 0711, If we ever meet , I would like to shake your hand and but you a drink. An excellent and well put post.

    3. Ddog says:

      hmm, I agree with you sort of. What i think is unfair is the implications that Wenger is greedy, he could have, and still could earn a bigger salary elsewhere. PSG would snap him up if he left. Although I admit 10m is a lot. On that subject, I do have a problem when people talk about the money spent on players in transfer fees and wages. People say the money paid for Neymar is ridiculous?? well, of course it is. The money in football has been ridiculous ever since the 1m player was sold in the 80’s. It’s obscene.Yet each time a new insane price is thrown about we normalise it. 140m for Coutinho, barely battered an eyelid. and the madness will continue. Emile heskey would be worth at least 50 in todays market, think about that!

  5. gotanidea says:

    It could be at the end of this season. But before that, I want to see how they face Chelsea in the League Cup.

    Wenger is so predictable, I think he would use 3-4-2-1 again, to man-mark Chelsea players and because the 4-2-3-1 formation is very vulnerable to counter-attacks. Before this match, I wish to hear a positive transfer news.

  6. Ray says:

    He will manage this club on a zimmer if he has his way!

    I hear he’s thinking of moving up and letting Arteta manage but that just means he can manage above Arteta, his way still. No, please just leave the club Wenger!

    It’s costing the club too much now and we’re losing money all over the place..

    No Champions League football =£££££?
    No FA Cup = ££££££?
    Empty seats because of the s**t performances = ££££££?
    Reduction in merchandise sales because the club is not attractive enough = ££££££?
    Sanchez and Ozil walk away for nothing = ££££££?
    TV coverage may be reduced next year if Arsenal don’t finish in top 5 = ££££££?
    Lower finish in the Premier League financial impact = £££££££?

    All the revenue we’re losing is ridiculous. Surely it would have been better to pay the players their worth? And shit out sh*t (Walcott and Co)!!

    Arsene, thanks for the hard work over the years but goodbye and farewell!!

    1. AWout says:

      In an another word we are doomed especially when you take into account close to £300m is required to replace Ozil & Sanchez and a top defender in today’s market….something Kronke will not agree to.

      1. That is simply not true! Even man city don’t spend 300M in one window! 100-130 will be enough.

  7. DANDY GUNNER says:

    When you Ask How about right NOW. The sooner the better.

  8. Arsenal1Again says:

    The sooner the better. I wanted him gone from 2010.

    The way he allowed Leicester to win the title and to allow Spurs almost finish above us that same season I thought that was it for him, I couldn’t believe he STILL kept his job.

    I’ve not liked him since he got rid of Paul Merson. Then he gave Razor the same ultimatum a few seasons later.

    I credit Adams, Vieira, Campbell, Gilberto for managing the team in the early reign of Wenger. It’s no coincidence he ran out of ideas when these team managers in the dressing room were gone.

    fk off Wenger.

    1. John says:

      Hahaha…….everything has an ending………Wenger’s is just ahead……he does not want to accept it…….I hope he quits or moves into a non footballing role in order to save his legacy……….sad…..he should have left five years ago……….

    2. Jens says:

      never go full retard.

      now go and support those 4 “managers” lol

  9. jon fox says:

    An excellent article, perhaps among the finest I have read on this site. Needless to add, I agree with it all word for word. A cynic might say, yes, and that is the only reason I find it excellent. But more than that, it is stylistically well put, facts abound and the conclusions it draws are surely obvious you might think .But no; there are some who differ but if you have both the language and the patience to argue your case and can do it this well, then congratulations are in order and I give them willingly. Well written Anders!

  10. barryglik says:

    To respond to some of your
    points Anders.
    1. Diminishing fan support?
    90,000 on the Arsenal waiting list
    for season tickets.
    Exponential overseas growth due to proliferation and affordability
    of super fast super modern digital communications world wide
    resulting in massive increasing fees paid by broadcasters.
    2. Lack of ECL participation?
    Well lets see the figures at the end of the season first.
    We should stay a lot longer in the Europa than we do in the ECL.
    Lack of ECL has not stopped Liverpool spending like crazy
    while even Westham and Everton have spent mega recently
    while Man City spend multi mega despite never having won the ECL.
    3. Correlation between results and income?
    Arsenal has not won the title since Mr Kroenke became
    major share holder in 2009 which does not concern him one iota
    or should that be one idiotota 🙂
    In fact Mr Kroenke is on record as saying
    he did not buy a sports team to win trophies.
    More proof of that comes as 2 years ago Mr Kroenkes transferred
    his NFL Franchise from St Louis back to LA which cost 370 mill pound
    not necessarily to win titles but to attract a larger paying fan base.
    He is building a new 2 Billion pound stadium for the Rams.
    This despite the fact that the Rams last won the super bowl 20 years ago.
    I think if Arsenal fail to make top 4 this season making it
    two seasons in a row Arsene will step down.
    If Arsenal do make top 4 Arsene will complete his final year
    of the present contract which runs out in July 2019.
    But what then?
    We will have all next season to consult the football Gods and seek the answers 🙂

    1. jon fox says:

      barryglik, A good try and you are playing a rank bad hand with some fine language skills I MUST CONCEDE. But you seem to be defending the indefensible and a far more obvious conclusion would have been to NOT simply accept the damaging status quo and to demand – as I and countless others have – rightful change. I can agree only with your comment that Wenger will finally go if -I would rather say WHEN- we fail to make top four this year. THAT, ALONE IN YOUR POST, IS A BLESSED RELIEF!

      1. Ken 1945 says:

        Your thoughts are something that MOST GOONERS WILL AGREE WITH.
        I must also add that the point you made regarding champions league participation is so valid.
        For the past few years WE HAVE BEEN TOLD that this was of no consequence, along with winning the FA cup A DEVALUED TROPHY.
        Now, however, they are being used as benchmarks to measure Arsene Wengers failures.

    2. pires says:

      i think arsenal fans are very irritating.when we won it ,the fa cup was a Mickey Mous cup and now it’s a disaster hat we are out of it.I understand your frustration (as i am also frustrated) let’s not forget that wenger has won this competition SEVEN TIMES(a record which will not be matched in 50 years).What you would have done in his place,put your first team and get destroyed by Chelsea wednesday?

      1. Ken 1945 says:

        You are like your namesake A VERY CLEVER THOUGHTFUL PERSON.
        I was even told that we only beat Chelsea in last years final because they had been at a party celebrating winning the league.
        Sir A.F. cannot hold a candle to Arsenes FA cup record, THE BEST THERE IS.

    3. John0711 says:

      Read my above comments you are as much to blame for the clubs downfall as anyone. Not only settling for mediocrity but trying to get others to accept the same. There is no 90,000 waiting list for fans there is empty seats the club is in free fall. You will disappear soon as most of the the AKB have amazingly done over the year

      1. Declan says:

        The empty seats are where season ticket holders have not attended. Look at the all the tourists outside the stadium every game looking for tickets. If you don’t believe there is a waiting list, apply for a season ticket and see what answer you get! I want Wenger gone and big changes but please don’t resort to cheap lies to try and blame the fan base for what’s happening.

    4. Ray says:

      90,000 on the Arsenal waiting list? Is that all???????

      It’s worse than I thought!!

  11. Robin Vanpayslip says:

    The shocking thing is how progressively worse he has got over the last few years. Arsenal don’t even play beautiful football anymore – just boring sideways passing.

  12. john hodges says:

    i think we could get wenger gonn if all arsenal fans flood arsenal with letters complaning with the state of the club.

  13. puntamarina says:

    Be carefull what you wish for. Arsenal fans take for granted being the Premier league. Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, Derby, Leeds, Queen Park, Birmingham City, Rangers and Coventry are former Premier league clubs. Leeds, Nottingham Forest and Villa were massive clubs winning major titles. My point is Arsene Wenger have kept your club in the premier league. Those former clubs premier league mentioned would love to had the opportunity of Wenger as their manager. I agreed that Arsenal requires managerial and governance changes. Don’t forget the many clubs are envious of Arsenal and wished they had wenger as their manager. If he was manager of those clubs they would be in the premier league today. He’s worth it.

    1. Durand says:

      Are you serious?
      You forgot Man city after they fired Pellagrini; why not list them?
      You forgot united after they fired LVG and David;
      Also forgot Chelsea after they fired Jose
      You forgot Liverpool after they fired Rodgers and hired Klopp.

      Stop making Wenger out to be Greatest ever. Other clubs improved firing bad managers, so why not us.

      Obvious you are Arsene FC, not Arsenal first. You can’t defend the indefensible

      1. Midkemma says:

        Did you read it all?
        “I agreed that Arsenal requires managerial and governance changes.”

        Basically, the message I got was thanks for the hard work up till now, we know it is a gamble but it is worth it… Happy retirement.

        To say there is no risk in swapping managers would be foolish, wouldn’t you agree?
        Would you also agree that the risk is worth it?

  14. Me says:

    For a start this is just opinion and not based on any fact.
    Wenger is making Kroenke lots and lots of money with zero expenditure – last summer is a perfect example of this.
    This is the success he is gauged on.
    If they cared about results and what the fans want he would have been done years ago.
    That is the reason why he will be here for many years to come.
    Can’t have managers spending the club money can we – how will Silent Stan afford another million acre ranch?

    1. Midkemma says:

      Wenger wanted signings, he didn’t want AFC to get him a cheap panic buy like years gone by, he pushed for AFC to spend and it failed.

      We all read about how Wenger was desperate for Lemar, why didn’t AFC offer the money… well offer a good figure before arranging sale of Alexis to raise the funds for the transfer?

      This is not Wenger, he wanted AFC to spend, Gazidis didn’t pay.

      I am looking forward to Raul Sallehi to take up his role as from what I have read, he will be helping in making transfers happen and also a friend to Gazidis, maybe he can get the CEO to spend some decent money.

      The big transfers AFC have made are the ones that Wenger as pushing for.

      I’m hoping Raul Sallehi will allow the next manager to get the players he wants, not the same old BS that Wenger has had to put up with since Gazidis arrived (check the dates and AFC transfers).

  15. Gooner100 says:

    There needs to be a complete overhaul or reset of fan expectations.

    The way the prem is going now, accelerated by the events of last summer in Spain, China and France and tv money, we will only compete for the big trophies if we spend massively. AFC is just not set up to do that and it is not the philosophy of the board.

    City, Utd, Chelsea and perhaps Liverpool are all going to permanently eclipse AFC, unless the board rethink. Top club football is now the play thing for incredibly rich people or benefactors.

    Kroenke needs to sell up whilst he can still get a great return..Take Usamovs money and let him bankroll the club back to the top.

    If not, then fellow gooners, get used to playing in the europa or worse.

    Top flight football is simply now a money business. Players seeking 200/300k or more a week, winding down contracts, transfers fees over 100m becoming a regular event, it’s changed for ever.

    Don’t expect to hear this from AFC. Kroenke is Kroenke, he has no emotional bond with us and unfortunately my view is Gazidis is happy to take his money. Wenger gets all the flack and irrespective of his flaws, he is probably the only one who actually loves the club and no doubt despises how money is changing the game.

    1. John0711 says:

      How money is changing the game, yet he pockets 8-10 m a YEAR!!!

      1. Gooner100 says:

        Wtf have Wengers wages got to do with it?

        1. John0711 says:

          YOU said money is changing the game well 10m a year is very high for failure

          1. stubill says:

            Failure in our eyes, a raving success in Kroenkes’ eyes, he makes him money!

  16. Rkw says:

    Not soon enough is the answer to the question posed

  17. AB says:

    Sadly my wish of waking up to a wenger sacking did not come true. I am not as hopeful as some of my fellow gooners regarding wenger’s exit. I am wondering if kroenke will just get average players to keep us in Europa league so that he keeps making money. He has no desire to win, and wenger is the best guy for him. Fans are the least of his concerns. Hoping I am wrong and we see a wenger free, gazidis free and kroenke free arsenal soon…

    1. Ken 1945 says:

      AB, Brilliant thoughts…can you tell me who you think will replace these guys AND AT WHAT COST?
      Anyway, what’s all the fuss about?
      Everyone was going on about the FA cup not worth winning and didn’t count as a trophy?
      In my view the people to blame are ten of the players who started the game. Even Per has said this, but still we get the complete blame put on Wengers shoulders.
      I am certain he didn’t send the team out there to play like that and we all know they should have played better.
      I would also ask what Steve Bould was doing? His job is to organise our defence isn’t it?
      Finally, Mike Dean has admitted he made a mistake awarding the WBA penalty, so for all the PUNDITS who insisted Arsene was wrong, eat humble pie.
      Gooner100 a brilliant observation that I AGREE WITH COMPLETELY.
      You should write some articles of your own, SO THAT WE CAN DEBATE ON EQUAL TERMS.

  18. Andcliff says:

    I hoped for a great New Year but I got the flu, my wife broke her arm and Wenger is still here.

    By the way, I’m not kidding.

    1. Ray says:

      LOL, bummer..

  19. KaTs says:

    Wenger WILL NOT leave the club anway. After his time as a coach, he would definetly stay in the club in some way and keep the strategy and style of current players set-up. I think he did stay that indirectely some times.
    For changes, not neccessarly the steering management but the philosophy, we fans need to consolidate our protests and boycott the club for a while.

  20. Jack reacher says:

    It’s got so sad I’m thinking Jonny Evans be good signing because I’m thinking he’s better than wat we have sad but true mustafi is a lerk one min good next min tackles fresh air , BFG is a wheelchair it’s embarrassing kos is injury away from retirement oh but we have Monreal great player but not center back it’s joke wenger loves football so that’s why going forward we look good but defending not he’s game bring back George graham just as defensive coach jez even Sam allardyce has Everton a lot tighter it’s fact we can’t defend for years I’m sick saying wenger is and will always be arsenal great always in my eyes but he has go for good of everyone we need young fresh manager and not someone mr wenger hand picks and he goes upstairs won’t work can’t work we need let new coaches do there job and let new manager do he’s and please give him money spend and laugh if ye want but the man for new job has be allergi has be if can’t get den Luis Enrique if not him get Henry with vieria wat a buzz it be with them 2 my point. Is there loads options Thomas tuchel another I’d settle for even slaven bilic it’s so bad da key is whoever gets job give him time 4 year contract be careful wat u wish for well I just have?

  21. Larry says:

    No point in changing the manager if you don’t change the the owners too. Bit like same shite different day.

  22. Ray says:

    Are we all finished?

    Right, who’s for a game of Arsenal F.C Monopoly? ..

    ..Bagsy the boot!!

  23. Kieron Blandford says:

    It should be at the end of the season.
    Mess of of the sanchez and ozil situation, it of fa cup and won’t finish in top 4.
    How can he stay?

  24. JULIUS OUKO says:

    The top teams have improved their performances simply because they sacked non-performing managers. There is no reason why Wenger should have stayed that long at Arsenal considering that the team has been going backwards in the last couple of years. What I cannot understand is why Wenger would want to destroy his legacy by hanging on like an African dictator unless his goal is to oversee the complete destruction of the team. It is a sad situation when top players prefer to move to our rivals, something that was not the case a few years ago.
    What Stan has to realize (before it is too late) that Arsenal’s current market valuation will not hold for long if the brand becomes unattractive to sponsors and fans.

  25. Bobby says:

    As much as I agree that Wenger may not be the right man going forward, I think Roy was spot on and I agree that getting Wenger out is not exactly the solution to our problem. The board is outdated and has no foresight to understand that the name of the game is money now. Even Pep got the money before he started performing, check how many players he brought in before we started seeing the football we are seeing now. So even if we get pep today, the board will still need to spend the money otherwise, he won’t succeed. I think we should worry more about the board’s attitude than getting Wenger out.. that is secondary for me.

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