The demise of Arsene Wenger and Louis van Gaal

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 13 April 2016, 10:26

The refreshingly unpredictable nature of the 2015/16 Premier League season has seen Claudio Ranieri's Leicester City leave the division's superpowers in their wake, as they cruise to within touching distance of accomplishing football's most staggering success story.

The Sun's Andy Dillon (@andydillon70) looks at how the demise of veteran gaffers Arsene Wenger and Louis van Gaal has given other managers the chance to shine in the spotlight.

ARSENE WENGER and Louis van Gaal deserve special mention in this most remarkable of football seasons.

Louis van Gaal

Thanks be to them for messing up so spectacularly and allowing the Premier League to breathe again.

Not so many years ago Arsenal and Manchester United had a stranglehold on our national game and were snuffing the life out of it.

For five of six seasons between 1997 & 2003 they took turns to win the title and the so-called best league in the world was a two horse race.

And ever since then four clubs have shared the biggest domestic trophy between them which in other circumstances would trigger an investigation by the monopolies and mergers commission.

Those who love a punt on the horses accept that it is the huge field that makes the Grand National one of the high points of the entire sporting calendar.

When Arsenal and Manchester United were at their imperious best English football was like Spain is now under the odd joint-domination of Barcelona and Real Madrid.

With the odd exception a coin is flipped each August to decide who carries off the title the following Spring.

Of course, the startling performance of Leicester City must be recognised in itself but let's face it they have had some help along the way.

Chelsea's dramatic implosion and the erratic performances of Man City have put added wind in their sails.

However, when Arsenal and Manchester United, the two biggest and most established of the modern day big guns stumble so badly, the side effects are electrifying.

Louis van Gaal

Leicester and Tottenham and to a lesser extent West Ham have been allowed to gatecrash the top six party.

In particular, there is not a neutral in the land who is not willing City on to an historic championship which will become the most romantic story ever told on a football pitch.

Wenger and Van Gaal's regular failings have set the stage for it.

When those two giants of the game are in tune there aren't many clubs which can compete with the combination of budget, attitude and energy those teams carry before them in differing measures.

You only need cast your mind back to the days of Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira and you get my drift,

But LVG's poor signings and baffling tactics and Wenger's flaky fancy dans as the Frenchman slowly loses his grip on The Gunners have been as important to this season as Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane.

And let's all raise a glass in toast to them and pray it continues.

The number of people who will remember this season above many others for its rabid unpredictability, sparkle and adrenaline rush vastly outnumbers those who wish Leicester luck through gritted teeth.

Next season may well be totally different of course, The £5 billion TV windfall heading the top clubs' way will only fuel the passion among the relative ‘old money' clubs to up their game a bit.

Chelsea, Manchester City, Man Utd and Arsenal could well be back on top.

But let's hope not - it's only just getting good.

sackrace

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Gary Bowyer
Gary Bowyer
(Blackpool)
6th August
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