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Wenger In Or Out - Is There An Alternative?

As tensions rise between Arsenal fans and civil war looms on the horizon, there are few who have managed to avoid the nasty confrontations taking place over the future of our manager. To sum up the conflict in a nutshell, some people passionately believe Arsene Wenger should leave his post, and some are convinced that he should remain at the club for as long as possible. As with any large-scale argument, there are extremists on both sides, there are the fickle supporters who change their minds constantly based on each game’s performance and the mainstream perception of it, and there are people who are just sort of irrelevantly floating in the middle.

That's me.

Now, that's a slight problem, especially when it comes to labelling my stance. As I'm sure you are all aware, there are two distinct sides of the argument: the WOBs (those who call for Wenger's departure) and the AKBs (those who feel Arsene should stay). However, I can't really identify with either. I would say I'm more of a MITFACBOIWACCTTIASRWOMOGCBDGROWJYBTWERQB. You can probably figure it out by yourself, but if not, that stands for "Maybe It's Time For A Change, But Only If We Are Completely Convinced That There Is A Suitable Replacement Worthy Of Managing Our Great Club, But Don't Get Rid Of Wenger Just Yet Because That Would End Really Quite Badly."

You see, I wouldn't say I'm convinced that we would benefit from getting a new gaffer. There's a whole lot of risk involved with doing so, and it's not a certainty that we will find someone who can do better than Arsene. If it gets to this summer and there isn't a viable candidate who is clearly good enough for the role, then I don't think we should get rid of Wenger. Settling for mediocrity is the last thing we need at a period that could potentially define this new era of financial strength.

If someone like Guardiola or Ancelotti became available at the end of the season, I would be all for a switch. They're widely known as world class managers, and rightly so. We would finally have someone altering tactics based on upcoming opponents, buying players that we actually need, and not wearing a silly coat with a poorly designed zipper.

wenger zip

However, the likelihood of managers of that level departing their superclubs for our messy situation is fairly small. It's more probable that we would have to end up taking a large gamble on someone significantly less proven. Managers like Frank de Boer and Roberto Martinez spring to mind in that category. Hiring someone of that sort of calibre could potentially work really well (see Arsene Wenger), or maybe not as well (see David Moyes), and the amount of risk involved makes me extremely nervous.

Personally, I don't feel like the future of our club should be put on the line by some unnecessary risk taking. If Wenger is to leave, then it should only happen under the circumstances that we have someone proven to be world class lined up. Until then, I think we'll just have to make do with what we've got.

And, to be fair, we have got quite a lot. Obviously this season has been unspeakably sh!t, but you can't forget the frankly ridiculous number of injuries that we have had to endure. It's difficult to do much when you permanently have at least one of your best players sidelined.

Mesut Ozil, for instance, is probably our best playmaker. He thrives when he has a pacey outlet who can latch onto his deliciously perfect through balls. Theo Walcott is the best player to fit that role. Do you know how many games they have played together?

If you guessed a number other than twelve, you're wrong, because the answer is twelve. But even then, that's not telling the whole story, because of those twelve coinciding appearances, only in six did Theo and Ozil both start.

The two players seem to be perfect for each other, and yet injuries prohibit us from being able to take advantage of this match made in football heaven. Given enough games together, I'm almost certain that their performances would put any doubts about Ozil's quality to bed.

And that's just one example of the injury gods totally f*cking us over. There are many, many more instances that display our misfortune, showing that we really shouldn't put all of the blame on the manager. Ultimately, football comes down to luck, and in virtually every instance, the champions have it on their side. This year we don't, and it would be ludicrous to blame that on any one individual.

Now, that isn't to say Wenger shouldn't be blamed at all. In fact, I would say most of our failings this season are mainly because of him. His tactical naivety has costed us quite a few matches, and I still haven't forgiven his decision not to sign the players we needed. I said at the time (and was criticized for doing so) that going into a season with just two experienced centre-backs is one of the most idiotic things a manager can possibly do. It's almost as if we were asking for our injury crisis with that level of ignorance, and by George did we get it.

Anyway, that's my stance on the issue that people won't stop harking on about. Before I leave this topic completely, I'd like to suggest to everyone reading this to debate such topics peacefully. At the end of the day, we all love the Arsenal. Don't ever forget that.

Hopefully the boys can put in some solid performances that will restore tranquility among our supporters. Our showings against Dortmund and West Brom looked promising, and if we keep improving, this season could end up a lot better than many people think. After all, we're only six points off Southampton in third, and they're due a mid-season collapse.

The game against them on tonight will surely be tough though, especially with a potential injury crisis 2.0 on the way. There are strong doubts over both of our left backs at the time of writing, which shouldn't surprise anyone at this point.

I think we'll see Flamini at left back, and then either Diaby in the holding midfield role or Chambers shuffling up there and Bellerin filling in at right back. I don't think we'll see either of our available right backs swapping sides, since Wenger seems to prefer keeping the defence as experienced as possible, but don't take my word for it.

Whatever the team, I'm hoping for the best and for the supporters to be fully behind the squad. Banners calling for the manager's head are not going to do anyone any good in a time when team confidence is vital. Besides, it's not like a bit of fabric is actually going to convince the club to do anything.

Enjoy the week and don't do anything you'll regret. By that, I mean don't be on Arsenal Fan TV. It's embarrassing for all of us.

http://twitter.com/dnarse Tell us what you think! If you agree, or have a different view, please leave a comment in the comments section or why not write a response or your own article on YouWrite?

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Tags: Arsenal, Arsenal FC, Goonersphere, Wenger, Arsenal Football Club

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