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




Radiology clinic evacuated after gas leak

Firefighters called to imaging clinic following smoke alarm

Explained: What are those two extra bright evening 'stars'?

Kingaroy astronomer James Barclay captured these images of Venus and Jupiter appearing low and bright in the sky this month.

The two stars you are seeing around sunset aren't stars at all.

Site helps teen expand hologram business

Little Tokyo community experience manager Sara Watling at the launch of Little Tokyo Two in Springfield.

VIDEO: Check out Ipswich's new businsess hub

Latest deals and offers

Ipswich people love heritage

'It's a great vote of confidence for a program that was launched in 1992 and has since provided thousands of property owners with heritage conservation'


This week's community billboard

Want to get involved in gardening? The Glebe Rd Uniting Church Garden Club meets first Saturday of each month.

Toastmaster, Tai Chi, Scouts, the Men's Shed and more

Willy Wonka star, Gene Wilder dead at 83

A still of Gene Wilder in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Social media has already lit up with tributes to the late actor.

Gladstone couple's spontaneous Gympie Muster wedding

Craig Oglesby and Brenda Strong celebrate their wedding at the Gympie Muster with punters in front of the Main Stage.

The Gympie Music Muster was the perfect place for a wedding.

Australian Survivor's Peter: I'm no quitter

Australian Survivor contestant Peter Fiegehen.

ILLNESS forces castaway's early exit from Samoa.

Diva's sister on soliciting charge

FILE - In this May 14, 2016 file photo, Mariah Carey attends the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, in New York. Carey will appear on the Oct. 5 episode of the Fox series, \"Empire,\" the network confirmed Monday at a TV critics bi-annual press tour. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Mariah Carey's sister has been arrested on charges of prostitution.

Tom Cruise private jets his gym kit around the world

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise charters private to take his gym kit around the world

Movie behind Depp and Heard split to be released

Soon you'll be able to see the movie that ended the marriage

Palm Lake Resort set to move in to Coast with 276 villas

Palm Lake Group has been given approval by Sunshine Coast Council to build a 276-villa over 50s resort and 120-bed aged care facility at the intersection of Caloundra Rd and Caloundra Mooloolaba Rd in Little Mountain.

New facility planned for Caloundra Rd

Warning for unit investors with price plummet prediction

The warning signs are flashing for one real estate sector in 2017 despite others performing the best they have in years and it's not going to be pretty.

One real estate sector looks set for a rocky 2017

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m