Arsenal woes to continue unless Arsene Wenger is replaced
A 3-1 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium made it the Gunners’ fourth loss already this season in only 11 Premier League games. It's no surprise Arsenal’s problems have remained either unsolved or defied the probable solutions put up against them. Whichever way, the undeniable issues affecting the club are glaring for everyone to see.
Since Arsene Wenger entered his second decade as the coach, Arsenal has witnessed a downward turn in fortunes. After winning the Premier League with the invincibles in the 2003/2004 season, which was the last season they lifted the title, reaching the final of the Champions League in 2006 - the farthest they have gone in more than a decade in the competition - the London club is seemingly going from bad to worse.
Going down memory lane, Arsenal endured a trophy-less period between 2005, when they won the FA Cup, and 2013, when they lifted the same trophy again. They have won the FA Cup three times in the last four seasons, but the Premier League and the Champions League continue to elude them.
They also endured their worst campaign last season – only saved by winning the FA Cup - as they failed to qualify for the Champions League. It is their first absence in over 20 years.
It's not an overstatement that Wenger failed to find the appropriate solution to the problems, both on and off the pitch.
There were calls from large sections of the fans for the French boss to be replaced last season, as they saw in Wenger a man that can no longer turn around the club's fortunes. Instead, he was given a two-year contract extension to make things right, but the results obtained so far have been more damaging.
The Gunners have had a disappointing start to their Premier League campaign this season, once again highlighting the problems that have persisted year in year out. The loss to Stoke City, Watford, embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Liverpool and recently Manchester City are obvious signs that the FA Cup holders' woes will continue unless there is a change of manager.
They are currently 12 points behind league leaders Manchester City, and also have the worst defensive record in the top six, having conceded 15 goals in six away games. Wenger has simply failed to get it right with the defence leaking goals and lacking leadership, the midfield failing to deliver and the attack being anonymous in front of goal.
Off the pitch, matters are also piling up with the club set to lose their two top influential players for free at the end of the season. Both Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are in their final year at the Emirates. Both have refused to put pen to paper for a new contract, putting their commitment to the club under questioning.
The Gunners failed to sufficiently bolster their squad during the summer transfer window. Alexandre Lacazette, a £52m club-record signing from Lyon was the main acquisition, while Sead Kolasinac joined on a free transfer.
Unless major signings are made in the January transfer window, it is not difficult to say that the Gunners will finish outside the Premier League top four again this season.
Replacing Arsene Wenger at the end of the season would make sense.