Sport

Debate rages over how long Wenger's reign will last

Manager Arsene Wenger of Arsenal reacts during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Arsenal and Bayern Muenchen at Emirates Stadium on February 19, 2013 in London, England.
Manager Arsene Wenger of Arsenal reacts during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Arsenal and Bayern Muenchen at Emirates Stadium on February 19, 2013 in London, England. Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

FOR as long as I have been following football professionally, Arsene Wenger has been the manager of Arsenal.

For him not to be in charge of the Gunners would be like strawberries without cream, toast without vegemite and meat pie without sauce.

But another season - an eighth in his reign - without a trophy, could spell the end for the man they call "Le Professeur".

The 3-1 first-leg last 16 defeat to Bayern Munich earlier this week might well be the final straw for fans and owners alike at the Emirates.

Of course, Arsenal could spring a surprise and make a remarkable comeback against the Germans.

But that seems highly unlikely and with the Gunners sitting fifth, 21 points behind Premier League leader Manchester United and four points behind rival Tottenham, which is in the Champions League qualifying spot, another trophyless season is on the cards.

Add to that the losses to League Two side Bradford City in the Capital One League Cup and Blackburn Rovers from the Championship in the FA Cup and you can understand why the patience could be wearing thin for supporters and the men in charge.

The debate about whether the 63-year-old Frenchman, who has been a doyen of British football since 1996, should stay in his job is certainly a live one.

Fans I have spoken to and those on social media seem split down the middle too.

Some say he should go and some believe he is still the man to lead the good ship Arsenal through the choppy waters.

Players such as Jack Wilshere, a youngster who Wenger has helped nurture into arguably England's greatest asset at the moment, said the boss was not to blame for the Gunners' failures this season.

"A manager can put us on the pitch and motivate us but we have to do it when we're on the pitch," Wilshire said after losing to Blackburn.

"But we're starting badly and getting punished for it.

"I think the players will take responsibility, we're man enough to take it.

"The boss has been here for 16 years and he's been doing a great job so you can't question him."

There is no question that Wenger has done a fantastic job for Arsenal since taking over in 1996 and the players he has had at the club, such as Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie are world class players.

But it's trophies that fans and owners want and another season without one could be just one to many.

Even Wenger, famous for not saying he has not seeing incidents on the pitch, might see that one coming.

Just imagine if Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United had gone eight years without a trophy or Roman Abramovic putting up with one trophyless season, let alone eight - it just would not happen.

So I suppose if you look at from that perspective Wenger is lucky to be still in charge of the Gunners.

That he had so much success early on in his Arsenal years has probably saved him so far.

But just for how long? That is the burning question.

Topics:  arsenal fc, barclays premier league, fa cup, football, soccer, uefa champions league




Why Ipswich is hooked on cruising

PACIFIC CRUISE: The beauty of an Island cruise is the opportunity to go ashore to swim and snorkel.

Tropical weather calls to travellers

Odd jobs on hold for sports feast

LEGEND: Jamaican sensation Usain Bolt.

Time to let those sleepless nights begin

Chipping in for new strings

ON SHOW: Ipswich Girls' Grammar has traditionally joined forced with IGS to produce top quality stage productions like 'Thoroughly Modern Millie'. (INSET) Old Girls' Association chair Leah Bell.

Senior Matters with QT columnist Wayne Macdonnell

Latest deals and offers

Drowning Pool gig review at Max Watt's

Drowning Pool played Brisbane with A Breach of Silence and She Cries Wolf at the Max Watt's House of Music.

Drowning Pool prove that 'bodies' hit the floor when they play

#SaveMarinaJoyce: How ISIS theory took over youtube channel

One young Youtuber accidentally gave rise to a conspiracy theory

Talking whiskey with Jack Daniel’s master distiller

It all comes down to the distillery

10 things to do this weekend

Luke Heggie is appearing at the Ipswich Civic Centre as part of the 2016 Sydney Comedy Festival Showcase

Looking for something to do in Ipswich this weekend?

SIXTY MILES AHEAD sign with Eclipse Records, prepare new album 'Insanity'

Sixty Miles Ahead sign with Eclipse. Photo Contributed

Sixty Miles Ahead to release new album on Eclipse

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Australia Post to open at Orion

Australia Post.

Service to open to customers in late August

Town with 'unique country flair' will be ruined: resident

Jonathan Emms of Rosewood is concerned about a proposed townhouse development for this John Street block of land.

Residents concerned by high density development proposal

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb