Wenger’s legacy to be tarnished?
Five years have passed since Arsenal last won a major trophy, and it’s just possible that in what seems increasingly likely to be Wenger’s last year with the Gunners, the Frenchman may be battling not only to win a trophy for the team, but also to secure his legacy as Arsenal’s greatest ever manager.
Had Wenger led the Gunners to their first Champions League success back in 2006, or successfully defended the Premier League trophy following any of his three successes, he could have walked away knowing that few Gooners or English Premier League betting pundits would be able to dispute his status as the Gunners’ greatest ever manager.
However, after five seasons that have represented a disappointing trophy drought, Wenger is under pressure to live up to the ‘in Arsene we trust’ belief held by Gooners. With this trust becoming more and more strained, Wenger knows that his ability to replace veteran defenders Sol Campbell and William Gallas with another Vermaelen rather than a Cygan, could decide his legacy.
With Wenger himself openly admitting to those who bet on football the need to bring in defensive reinforcements, and aware of the growing sense of frustration from fans who have failed to see the Gunners reach even a major final since 2008, this is the time to deliver success in any of the 4 major trophies.
With Wenger unlikely to change his strategy of using the Carling Cup as a training competition for youth players, the FA Cup is a competition that many Arsenal fans will be hoping he takes more seriously this season.
Following semi-final disappointment in 2009, with Arsenal fans bewildered by Wenger’s decision not to pick the in-form Andrei Arshavin, and a humiliating 3-1 defeat at Stoke last season, during which a vastly inexperienced Arsenal side came grossly unstuck at the Britannia stadium, Wenger may need to reconsider how he views one of the world’s greatest domestic competitions.