Posted in Champions League, football, sport

‘Every Good Story Has An Ending’ is it time for Wenger to finally leave his beloved Arsenal?

No matter how much Arsene Wenger cares and works hard for his beloved Arsenal, it would seem only right if he was to depart the club and leave the door open for a new manger to come in. A decision that would help both himself and the club…

But there was once a time when Wenger’s Arsenal team were on fire.

In the year of 2004, Arsenal had officially completed the all-mighty task of going through a whole season unbeaten- a feat only achieved by Preston North End. This was in a special era when Arsenal possessed one of the finest players of their generation with Thierry Henry and Jens Lehmann amongst the club heros at the time.

Arsenal v Leicester CityArsenal players celebrate the Premiership title in 2004, a season where they went unbeaten

Two years later, Arsenal found themselves in the Champions League final against European giants Barcelona after memorable victories over Real Madrid and Juventus in the knockout stages. Eighteen minutes into the final, Arsenal went down to ten men after Jens Lehmann committed a professional foul on Samuel Eto’o. Despite the ten men disadvantage, Arsenal took the lead when Sol Campbell headed in Thierry Henry’s free-kick to give Arsenal a dream lead in the final…

Just when it looked as though the Arsenal fans were living the dream of their life, Samuel Eto’o finally broke Arsenal’s resistance to bring Barca on level terms with fifteen minutes remaining of the match. Five minutes after the goal, the Arsenal defence was breached again as Juliano Belleti scored for what was to be the winner in a pulsating final in Paris. Arsenal were completely shell-shocked. They were within fifteen minutes of completing the impossible dream only for Barca to level the match and then steal it by scoring moments later. From that point onwards, Arsenal had no trophy to their name for the exception of the FA Cup and the season-opening Community Shield.

Flash forward eleven years after the Paris final, Arsenal were on the back of seven consecutive Champions League last 16 exits and had lost 10-2 on aggregate to Bayern Munich. 10-2! And 5-1 at HOME! Just imagine how that would have looked like eleven years ago. From Champions League finalists to going seven years without a quarter-final (or better)!

The match started off brightly in Arsenal’s favour as high-pressing and attacking led to a deserved break through when Theo Walcott smashed home the opening goal to give all the Arsenal fans a sigh of relief.

walcott opener v bayernTheo Walcott gives the Arsenal fans some relief after smashing in the opener

Arsenal could have doubled their lead when it appeared that Theo Walcott was brought down to earth by Xabi Alonso…but no penalty given.

Early in the second half, Laurent Koscielny brought down Robert Lewandowski to gift Bayern a penalty and the chance to shatter any slim hopes of Arsenal’s to overturn that 5-1 deficit. Up stepped that man Robert Lewandowski…no chance David Ospina- easily put away in the bottom right corner. 1-1.

Arjen Robben robbed the ball of Alexis Sanchez (inside his own area) to easily give his side the lead. Douglas Costa curled home to make it 3-1 before Arturo Vidal completed the rout with two close-range finishes to rub salt further into the Gunners’ wounds. Preposterous. As you would call Arsenal on the night…

As I said before, the decision to leave the club would be both helping him and the club since it will give him an opportunity to manage at another club and progress slowly like he did here at Arsenal. However, with all this success Wenger has been showered in throughout his 20 year reign it would seem almost an impossible task to replace him but only time will tell…

 

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