Is It Time for Arsenal to Say 'Au Revoir' to Arsene Wenger?

Blake BirtContributor IIFebruary 20, 2013

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 18:  Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger reacts during the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Sunderland and Arsenal at The Stadium of Light on February 18, 2012 in Sunderland, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

In the aftermath of Arsenal’s dismantling at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League, the Gunners face yet another season of jarring disappointment.

The trophy cabinet at the Emirates continues to gather dust while Arsene Wenger clings to past glory.

The Frenchman’s excuses are wearing thin at a time when his club has no real prospect for success in the near future.

The question must be asked again: Is now the time for Wenger to say goodbye to his employers for the past 17 years?

In the Premier League Arsenal face a real struggle to even make the top four, while they have been unceremoniously dumped from the FA Cup and the Capital One Cup by lower-league opponents.

The Gunners look at the risk of becoming English football’s forgotten team. They are continually stalling as teams all around them improve.

Tottenham arguably have developed into the most potent attacking side in the league, Liverpool have finally turned a corner under Brendan Rodgers and even Everton are defying their lack of financial muscle, consistently punching above their weight.

All this is happening as Arsenal continue to make the simplest of errors in defense while struggling to consistently fire at the other end of the field.

It is a grim outlook and while Wenger does not deserve to shoulder all of the blame, in football the manager is ultimately responsible for his team’s shortcomings.

Wenger has often seemed frustrated at his side’s constant failure to perform well for 90 minutes, but even more worrying is his inability to find answers.

At the end of this season (or possibly before then) a decision must be made on Wenger’s future. Should the club simply keep faith in the Frenchman and hope he can somehow find his old magic?

This has been Arsenal’s policy for the past seven trophyless years.

With every year that goes by those old glories seem even more distant: a vague memory that Wenger was a managerial genius one day in the past.

Keeping Wenger in charge is simply praying that those memories become reality.

A braver path would see Arsenal respectfully thank Wenger for all he has done for the club, while quietly ushering him out the back door. The Premier League is becoming more cutthroat than ever and there is simply no place at the top for clubs content to coast along without making improvements.

If Arsenal are to avoid becoming such a club, Wenger must start packing his bags.