Arsene Wenger admits Arsenal need to rebuild, and can make that easier by signing up Mesut Özil and Jack Wilshere. Even if they manage to do so, should Wenger be in charge?
Alexis Sanchez seems very likely to leave after he was left out of Arsenal’s squad against Bournemouth.
Wenger is much less resigned on the other two with expiring contracts though. He told reporters (via NBC Sport): “There is still an opportunity for him [Ozil] to stay. That’s very much open. It looks like Sanchez will not extend his contract. But we want to keep Jack, and we have an opportunity maybe to keep Ozil. So the rebuild will be less deep than if all three left.”
Clearly the Frenchman hasn’t given up on either player just yet.
It’s true that keeping them both makes the manager’s rebuild job easier, but should that manager be Wenger?
On Sunday, Arsenal slipped to yet another embarrassing away defeat. The Gunners didn’t look threatening at all, but managed to take the lead thanks to wing-back Hector Bellerin.
Anyone who’s been paying attention this season knew what was coming after that.
First, a Petr Cech mistake allowed Bournemouth back into the game. The goalkeeper was simply too slow off his line and Wilson snuck in ahead of him. Then Granit Xhaka went to sleep and let Jordon Ibe have a free run at the ball to score the winner.
They were individual errors, but the same errors we’ve seen over and over again with Arsenal in recent years. Goalkeeping mistakes happen year after year and signings are rarely made in that position. Defensive midfielders at the club don’t actually do much defending.
Those problems suggest either a coaching deficiency, or a scouting issue. The Gunners are either bringing in players with the same unsolvable flaws, or ignoring problems they could fix with coaching when they arrive.
You have to put the blame for that on the staff, and Arsene Wenger.
I’ve never strongly wanted Wenger to leave a contract early in the past. But it’s getting more and more difficult to justify Arsenal investing in his targets when the team keeps turning out the same way.
Sven Mislintat and the other behind-the-scenes changes should help, but we don’t have another season to waste figuring out if that’s enough.
The board need to make a big decision now, and I’m not sure they’re even working on one.
Hopefully I’m wrong.