If Arsene Wenger leaves Arsenal will he go with his reputation intact?

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 03 March 2017, 11:06

ARSENE WENGER must realise it’s surely time to go after sharing a stage with Donald Trump in the past week, writes Andy Dillon (@andydillon70).

A ‘Wenger Out’ banner at a protest march against the oafish U.S President in London means there is no way back.

It’s the ultimate humiliation and an interesting link: Trump is hell bent on keeping the rest of the world out of America and a rapidly growing number of Arsenal fans want their manager out. A match made in heaven.

The only question remaining is that should Wenger leave in the summer will he go with his reputation intact?

That of course depends on what Wenger’s reputation is.

Memories of the fabled ‘Invincibles’ of 2004 - the last time Arsenal won the league of course.

Theo Walcott - Arsenal’s longest serving player - was 14 then. Still two years before he signed the club.

For more recent arrivals what does Arsenal mean to them and more importantly what is the image of Arsene Wenger?

It’s certainly not that of a serial winner, a ruthless title-eater, a manager who pushes his players to the limits in pursuit of glory and gets there more often than not.

There has been one Champions League final appearance - 11 years ago - and there won’t be another one in the foreseeable future.

A few FA Cups and regular top four finishes. It’s good but it ain’t great.

Players like Mezut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez signed up to play for Wenger believing they would help put Arsenal up there again. And that they were signing for one of the best coaches in the world for his methods and philosophy of playing the beautiful game.

Now even that is on the wane and with it the last dregs of Wenger’s standing as one of the world’s uber coaches.

Arsenal want to know his decision on whether to stay or go by the end of this month.

Yet even if Wenger were to leave today it is too late to salvage his reputation as the man who could bring silver to the trophy cabinet and make Arsenal a major force.

Instead he will be remembered, fondly of course, but still remembered as the manager who revolutionised Arsenal but did not quite revolutionise football - other than leading the way with the foreign invasion of players and coaches into England.

It’s still better than Liverpool of course who Arsenal play on Saturday and who have never won the Premier League yet are still considered one of the titans of our game.

But Wenger is now at that moment where he has to seriously consider whether staying on will be for the good of Arsenal and for him.

 

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