Speculation is rife regarding Arsene Wenger’s future at the Emirates Stadium after Arsenal lost out in the race for the Premier League title and reports now suggest that the board has given him two weeks to decide his future.
The Frenchman has come under heavy criticism following Arsenal’s shocking decline that saw them drop from being the title contenders to fighting for a 4th place finish against Everton last weekend. His contract with the Gunners is set to end this season and it was earlier reported that the manager would sign an extension following Arsenal’s commanding position in the Premier League at the start of this season.
However after a string of heavy losses, the most recent being to Everton last weekend, Arsenal find themselves fighting for a 4th place finish once again. This turn in Arsenal’s fortunes has alienated Wenger from the fans, many of whom have vocally criticized their manager. It is now being believed that Wenger is reconsidering his future at Arsenal and might decide to leave at the end of this season following 9 year barren spell.
It was earlier reported on a social media site that Arsene Wenger was subjected to a lot of abuse from disillusioned fans as they made their way to the Liverpool Lime Street station hence symbolizing the fan’s deep disappointment with their manager who was dubbed as a ‘specialist in failure’ earlier by Jose Mourinho.
However Arsene Wenger continues to have the board’s support regarding his future and majority stake holder Stan Kroenke is reportedly supporting the Frenchman to extend his contract with the Gunners. The Independent reported that the Americans believe that the dip in Arsenal’s fortunes do not rest solely on Wenger’s shoulders as the manager lost out on his key players due to injuries at a very crucial time in the season. Key members of Arsenals’ starting line up such as Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil suffered serious injuries at crucial junctures leaving the squad stretched and ill-equipped to handle the mounting pressure. The report suggested that the board will back Arsene Wenger even if he fails to finish outside the top four in the league and loses out in the FA Cup.
Reports suggest that the board has instructed the manager to take the decision regarding his future in the coming two weeks. The ones in charge of the club are reportedly comfortable with the decision going either way and hence, while they are ready to offer the Frenchman an extension, plans have been made to find his replacement in case Wenger does decide to leave.
According to recent reports, Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola and Roberto Martinez have been identified as possible replacements but the above three names could be a result of mere enthusiastic speculation. While the chances of Pep Guardiola joining Arsenal is close to negligible, Roberto Martinez does seem to have a good chance of replacing the Frenchman. He has successfully managed Everton following David Moyes’ spell and is close to qualifying for Champions League with the Toffees.
Hence as the clock ticks down on Arsene Wenger, it will be interesting to see what the Frenchman decides for himself. Having been in charge for 17 long years, will he leave Arsenal following another disappointing season or will he stay back and look to leave on a high? We will find out in the coming weeks.