Date: 21st May 2011 at 2:41am
Written by:

Another season without silverware for Arsenal and a summer on the way that’s sure to be full of a great deal of finger-pointing, contemplation and changes around the Emirates.

The Gunners lack of success over the past six years is something that’s likely to be analysed into the ground over the coming months and not something that I’m too keen to touch on here. Whether or not Arsene Wenger should stay is a touchy issue, which could be argued either way and doesn’t have a definitive answer.

It may be worth considering just what would happen if Arsenal’s lack of success were to occur at other clubs that share a similarity with Arsenal in terms of stature.

Would the Old Trafford faithful, for example, continue to hold Sir Alex Ferguson in such high-esteem if he had failed to secure any silverware in six years, or would the fans want Fergie out?

Of course, it’s difficult to make a direct comparison between how fans would treat Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson differently. Ferguson achieved so much before 2005 (the start of Arsenal’s decline) that it’s difficult to find an entry point for any such discussion.

We also have to take circumstances into account. Arsenal fans would do well to remember that their team has been put together on a strict budget (a necessity thanks to the Emirates) and still manages to play Arsene’s trademark flowing football. Whilst the lack of success must be a huge source of frustration for the fans, I don’t think Wenger’s done as bad a job as many are keen to suggest.

Manchester United fans may well suggest that they’d stick with Sir Alex through thick and thin. Back in 2006 when United had gone for three years without a trophy, a small minority had already begun to take to messages boards to call for Sir Alex’s head. I can only imagine that this crowd would have grown if United had remained trophy-less for six years. Even more so than Arsenal, Manchester United have evolved into a club that demands success.

I would question, however, if Sir Alex Ferguson would ever let one of his sides collapse in a similar manner as Arsenal have done this season. Would he ever be willing to put up with players that just aren’t carrying their weight in the same way that Arsene Wenger seems to have been content to do so over the last couple of seasons? That just doesn’t seem to be part of Fergie’s make-up and if he were to let this weakness creep into his managerial style, I wouldn’t be surprised if United fans did eventually begin to turn on him.

Whilst United fans, like Arsenal fans, can deal with limited-spending power affecting their team’s success rate, a manager’s inability to motivate players is an unforgivable attribute. As time marches on and Wenger’s ability to inspire his troops continues to be questioned the Anti-Wenger faction will continue to grow in strength.

That’s something that I would argue would be true of any manager, at any club.

It is irrefutable that back in the middle part of the last decade there was an idiotic minority that wanted Sir Alex out. I have even had people comment on here this season that Sir Alex is slipping and should go in favour of Jose Mourinho (You know who you are and I’ll spare you the shame of calling you by name!) but whilst I hate doing this you must question if these people are really fans?

I hate putting people into brackets of real and fake fans but there is a clear difference between the two.

Man United are a different club to Arsenal as the piece indicates and Sir Alex’s past record dictates he should be above such things as morons saying he should quit/be moved on but that is the nature of the game.

In regards to the reaction of him going 6 years trophyless I don’t feel the fans would call for his head (beyond the stupid minority) many of us have faith in Sir Alex and the fact he has been around so long means invariably he knows what he is doing, so if he said he was building a team and that’s how long it would take then most, if not all, would trust that. – Ed.

Written by Harry Cloke of This Is Futbol


11 responses to “Fergie Out! Would United ever suffer from this Arsenal problem?”

  1. Hal says:

    Agree with everything here.

    However, one thing is important when questioning Wenger’s performance as Arsenal manager – Are the wishes of Arsenal’s board and Arsenal’s fans the same?

    I think not. Economically, Arsene Wenger is probably the best manager out there. He has delivered a top 4 finish (and therefore Champions League football) for every one of his 14 seasons in charge thus far. This is despite having a transfer budget of the likes of a Blackburn, Birminhgam or Everton. Arsenal’s board seems to have the one objective, which is to make money. Now winning trophies would require investment of £100 million plus, and the short term financial game would translate this as a loss for every season in the near future.

    The fans, of course, want silverware to back up their ‘sexy’ football of passing the ball in equilateral triangles. However, although Arsenal have come close to silverware in previous seasons, they do lack that mental strength that United, Chelsea and even (unfortunately) City now have.

    Wenger has built title winning sides before, so there’s no reason to think he simply isn’t good enough to. But Arsenal’s experience is lacking, and winners cost money.

    • hatrungttha says:

      Must agree with Hal. Great point about Wenger and Arsenal’s board.
      I have a question though, would the same thing happen with us if Sir Alex retire and someone else get the job? The Glazers’ objective is to make money, I am sure.

    • Sinkar says:

      stop this gentleman, tired of such things.

      In sports trophies are the first priority and the rest follows … Of late, sports become business, our great AW turned more of an investment banker rather than a football Manager.

      As a fan i guess we all have rights to question when didn’t go well?

      We declined from a title winning side to competing for automatic qualification for CL.

      Few may say, AW only made this club as title winners. Ok, understand, but what is next. The bar has been raised already when you have reached certain level than your target is to go to next level but isn’t the case here.

      This article appears to praise the way how things have been handled economically, of course, at the cost of winning silverware.

      Gentlemen, get real, in the corporate world when things didn’t go well they change the leadership. This may mean the founder or once the great CEO has to step down give way for the new blood.

      Asking once the great … to step down, doesn’t necessarily mean disrespect. Having said that, are we (club) prepared to give AW one more season as a last chance?

  2. Marlowe says:

    In SAF I trust. always and forever

  3. Cripes! says:

    it’s a strange day when a united blog should be compulsory reading for the ‘Arsene out/is useless etc’ Gooner brigade. Nice one BW.

  4. mikeB says:

    The fact that Arsenal fans are reading this is in no way strange.

    For whatever reason, you have taken to analysing our team, and as that analysis is both thought provoking and lucid, rather than the rabid aggression we read from so many, it can only add to the interest generated.

    To that contributor who wrote that football is only about winning trophies, I can understand his feelings. Many Arsenal fans feel the same way. However, while you enjoy your golden years spare a thought for all those tens of millions of football supporters up and down the country who will never visit Wembley to support their team, and never see them break any records; then ask yourself this… is their faithful support any less legitimate than yours?

    Arsenal probably has more blogs, spouting more crap, than any other team in the PL. For six years we have suffered the rantings of the anti-Wenger brigade, peppered only with nonsensical transfer rumours spread by second-rate sites secure in the knowledge that the higher the reported fee, and the more celebrated the reported target, the greater the number of hits they can expect.

    I can’t bring myself to wish you well in the CL final (you wouldn’t expect me to would you?) even though your opponents are some of the most arrogant, self-obsessed, and pretentious individuals in the footballing world, but I do hope it’s a good game and I do thank you for sharing your perspective.

  5. Gunners are losers!
    SAF is a magician and Vidic is a captain that has inspired United to another glorious year. 14 clean sheets in its own is an achievement.
    Nicely written. 🙂

    • kenneth says:

      gunners are not losers ! they win sometimes.SAF is NOT a magician ! he is an angry old scotch man.Vidic has NOT inspired any glory this year.he has been injured you muppet. YOU ARE A GLORY…GLORY….GLORY…HUNTER !

  6. king gooner says:

    “kratik” or is it crap it?you’re a typical arrogant MANURE prat!this has is an INTELLIGENT discussion but all it takes is one PRAT to lower the tone/content hey?today’s award goes to you son-as for how long manu u fans would put up with no trophies from saf ?it would be two seasons min!why?because of his would get the johhny come lately,glory hunters,saying he’s lost the plot,make no mistake…

  7. Yashi says:

    3-4 trophyless years at one of the top clubs in England is likely to get anyone sacked.

    But Fergie (and Wenger) has obviously done so much for his club that it doesn’t really apply to him.

    The main difference is that if we did go 6 years without winning anything, I wouldn’t say that the club needs a change, but rather than Fergie needs to change! The problem with Wenger is probably that he refuses to change, whereas Fergie has always changed in order to keep up. That’s why he has been so successful consistently.

  8. Yosh says:

    Thos guys in the picture should be shot on sight.