Arsenal’s 2-0 home defeat to Swansea has not only left them way behind their rivals in the scrap for a top-four berth, it has also seen long-serving boss Arsene Wenger’s price to be the next Premier League manager to leave his post slashed.
The 63-year-old Frenchman joined the Gunners in 1996 and has oversaw 919 games at the helm. Yet with the club’s well-documented search for silverware looking likely to continue and their participation in next year’s Champions League in serious jeopardy now, Wenger can be backed at 12/1 to be the next managerial casualty of the season, where he’s normally around the 50/1 mark.
Fans appear to have run out patience with Wenger’s reliance on youth over splashing the cash on blockbuster signings and it’s difficult to argue against this standpoint.
Wenger’s knack for spotting talent, as well as nurturing it, is directly responsible for producing some of the greatest players the Premier League has ever seen, but what good is investing all this time into players’ development only to see them jump ship when finally coming of age?
The clubs with the big bucks have cherry-picked Arsenal’s best players throughout the last decade with Theo Walcott set to become the latest player a rival will benefit from having cut his teeth with the Gunners and this has to be incredibly frustrating from a supporter’s perspective.
Wenger’s past achievements mean there is no way he should be relieved of his duties on the back of seven, going on eight years without a trophy – this is the norm for the majority of clubs. Yet Arsenal appear to be going backwards at the minute and this indicates that a change of direction could be needed.
His refusal to invest in proven Premier League defenders has been directly responsible for their shortcomings in recent seasons.
Had he splashed out on some first-rate centre backs when players such as Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie were at their disposal at the other end of the pitch, they would have surely celebrated a trophy or two in recent seasons.
Wenger himself has said that he will go when he feels he can longer do a job and possibly hinted he would be considering his future come the end of the campaign.
This is what makes the 12/1 a bet to avoid as the Arsenal board are not going to sack him and it’s unfathomable to imagine him walking away midway through the season.
Someone else is certain to lose their job between now and then, but this massive shortening suggests Wenger’s 16-year reign with the Gunners may finally be coming to an end.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date