Arsene Wenger is undoubtedly responsible for some of the greatest moments in Arsenal Football Club’s history. But in recent years he is also responsible for some of the worst too.
We have highlighted a few of the occasions in which some fans would have jumped on the ‘Wenger Out’ bandwagon, and when Mr Wenger probably should have been sacked.
The end of season meltdown 2011
With the final of the League Cup poised to go to extra time, a last-gasp mix up between Koscielny and Szczeny led to Obafami Martins scoring the most simple of tap-ins to win the trophy for Birmingham.
The manner and shock of the defeat went on to devastate Arsenal’s season. Barcelona easily overcame a first-leg deficit, Arsenal fell apart in the league and were knocked out of the FA Cup by a Manchester United XI full of defenders. It would be Arsenal’s 6th consecutive trophy-less season, one that saw an exodus of top stars.
Manchester United 8 Arsenal 2
Quite simply the worst Arsenal side ever taken to Old Trafford. Following the departures of Gael Clichy, Sami Nasri and Cesc Fabregas, Arsene Wenger decided not to reinforce his squad. Instead of waiting until after Man United handed us the most humiliating of defeats to sign players like Park Chu-Young and Andre Santos.
A full strength team couldn’t beat League 2 Bradford in the League Cup. Yes, that’s right. A full strength line up. A last-minute Vermaelen header was needed to send the game into extra time. But no winner came and Bradford beat the Gunners on penalties.
Liverpool 5 Arsenal 1
A very open looking title race looked set to go to the end with City, Liverpool and Arsenal amongst the front-runners. But come of the hour, come of the implosion. Liverpool’s SAS cut through the Arsenal defence like a hot knife through butter. It would set a trend for the next few seasons of embarrassing defeats away from home.
Chelsea 6 Arsenal 0
Arsene Wenger’s 800th game in charge of Arsenal. How better to celebrate than with his heaviest defeat as Arsenal manager? It shouldn’t have come at a surprise though, as it meant this was Wenger’s gazillionth defeat to Jose Mourinho. Oh yeah and then there was that mistaken identity episode, but not even that was Wenger’s fault.
Arsenal knocked out of the Champions League by Monaco
After years of tough last 16 draws the Football Gods finally smiled upon Arsenal. Monaco were the opponents that Arsenal should beat in the last 16 to reach their first Quarter Final of the Champions League in years. But it was same old, same old. A naive Arsenal side went down 2-0 only to half the deficit in the final minute. Instead of cutting their losses and looking forward to the second leg, Wenger’s men went after an equaliser and was then unlocked at the other end.
Arsenal would go on to win the second leg but yet again fall due to the away goals rule.
Man United 3 Arsenal 2
This was meant to be the year for Arsenal. Chelsea, City and Man United had all fallen behind in the title chase so the opportunity was there. Just a few days earlier Danny Welbeck’s last-gasp header had given Arsenal a win over surprise package Leicester City. The wait for a Premier League crown was over! Or so you thought.
Despite being heavily favoured against LVG’s terrible looking United side, Arsenal did their typical . . . well Arsenal impression, losing 3-2 to a team led by youngster Marcus Rashford.
Every time we have lost to Watford or Swansea
Is it just me or do Arsenal seem to lose to Watford and Swansea a lot? Once or twice can be forgiven but it seems like these two teams have Wenger’s number.
Bayern Munich 10 Arsenal 2
Surely the more you play a team, the better you should be able to deal with them, right? Not to go into too many details but the Germans completely destroyed the North London side, cementing that Arsenal’s time as a big team in European competition was now well and truly over.
West Brom 3 Arsenal 1
Ah, the flying banner game. The ‘Wenger In’ boys will say that it was the distraction from the ‘Wenger Out’ brigade that caused Arsenal to defend like statues that lunchtime in the Midlands. If ever you want a lesson on how not to defend corners, then watch this game.
Man City 3 Arsenal 0
Despite another disappointing league campaign Arsenal found themselves in the League Cup final against Manchester City. In last seasons FA Cup final no one would have picked Arsenal to win but a very impressive performance against a Chelsea team that were newly crowned Premier League champions saw Arsenal lift the cup with a 2-1 win. Would history repeat itself? In a word, no. Arsenal was bettered by City all over the pitch who went on to a comfortable 3-0 win. After an early chance for Aubaneyang at 0-0 the game turned into a one-sided affair, it was like no one had told the Arsenal players it was a cup final. They certainly weren’t playing like it was.