Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he will leave Arsenal at the end of the season, after 22 years at the club.
He is the current longest serving manager in the Premeir League, having managed 823 games at the Gunners. However, having not the Premier League since 2004 fans have turned on the Frenchman. This has not been helped by this season, with Arsenal sixth in the Premier League, 14 points behind rivals Tottenham Hotspur in fourth place, as well as being knocked out of the FA Cup and losing the Carabao Cup final to Manchester City.
They have reached the Europa League semi-finals, but face favourites Atletico Madrid. Meanwhile, Sunday’s defeat to Newcastle was their 11th of the season, their equal worst tally under Wenger.
With all this in consideration, it is clear why the fans want they man they all once hailed as a God, out of the club. Wenger has quite simply outstayed his welcome, undoing all the good work he achieved when he first joined which included three Premier League trophies; and the Invincible side of 2004.
Many felt he should have left the club in 2014 after winning the FA Cup and securing a top four finish, but he signed a new deal after the cup final. Four years later and he will depart, but the question is who will replace him.
Patrick Vieria has been mentioned a lot of late, and would make sense given his illustrious playing career at the club. He would know the style the club fans crave and would be an ideal long term manager to replicate Wengers early years. However, as shown by Manchester United since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, this approach does not work now-a-days. The time of one manager for 20 years are well and truly gone with clubs craving instant success.
This is what the fans want and which is why former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique looks like the best man for the job. The Spainard has been out of work since departing Barcelona at the end of last season; but won the treble in his first season at the club and plays the attacking football which suits Arsenal best.
Then there is the question on what the board will do. A major spending spree is needed to replace a squad with a lot of deadwood and not enough balance, but will they give the new manager the funds needed to address this?
Then it all comes back to Wenger. In the statement released he has not said he did not mention retiring, so could he be in another managerial dugout next season? PSG have made it common knowledge that they will have a new manager next season, but would a return to his home country be the best move for both parties?