For all the familiar failings, the odds of Wenger being sacked have never been smaller.
Not every Arsenal defeat needs to be followed by calls for the manager to leave, but when deja vu continues to strike, it’s tempting to think there has to be a breaking point.
Gauging where that breaking point is, though, is near impossible. Arsenal have gone from title winners, to challengers, to top four to finishing outside of the top four, but their faith in Arsene Wenger has endured. This is a club that has had the opportunities to make a clean break and start anew, but have passed them by to embrace the tried and tested.
It’d take some remarkable circumstances for that to change.
The next step on the regressive path is a mid-table finish; a season so bad that Arsenal fall out of the top six altogether. At most top clubs, that’d be an offence worthy of a sacking. Arsenal, though, are skilled at moving the goalposts to justify their continued faith in the manager. Even as they fell out of the top four and came nowhere the near the title, Ivan Gazidis still said, in his trademark, long-winded way, that there was no one better for the job.
Let’s check the doom and gloom for the time being.
If our current plight has people entertaining a mid-table finish, they need to be aware that this team does have a habit of pulling itself together just when you think there’s no coming back. The timing of Arsenal’s turnarounds have likely contributed to Wenger’s longevity. Just when you think he’s finished, he pulls off enough magic to make you think, if only for a moment, that he still has it.
It’s in that moment that he usually gets his new contract.
It wouldn’t be at all surprising if Arsenal managed the same again this season. We’ve always wondered what would happen if Arsenal continued to under perform, but we’ve never been in such a situation, and the reason for that is because the manager is just about good enough to prevent it from happening.
Hence, we wind up in a cycle of feeling like it’s time for change but being convinced at the last second to give Wenger another go.
For that to be broken, somebody has to stand up and say: enough is enough.
Yet, who at the club is going to do that? Certainly not Stan Kroenke and Ivan Gazidis. It was those two who locked Wenger in at the club until 2019 in the face of mounting evidence that iy wouldn’t be a good idea.
In fact, last season proved, without a doubt, that the only one who determines Wenger’s fate is Wenger himself. A period of two to three months where results plummeted, players were unhappy, contract situations went unresolved and fans protested still wasn’t enough for the club to make a break.
If a manager can survive that at a top club, he can survive anything.
Even if Arsenal continue to under-perform under his leadership, Wenger’s position at the club remains as strong as ever.