Gooner Column

Where does Arsenal go from here?
Arsenal football Club will reach a new low in almost a decade, if the table stays the way it is right now.Champions league football.

To quote Arsene Wenger, “Champions league football is a trophy, qualifying for the champions league is a trophy in itself”.

And to not achieve this will be a disaster and no one knows it more than the manager himself.  
Over the years the wrinkles on his face have increased in number, a new stadium, letting go of the old guard, building a new team, maintaining a profit-line, keeping the fans and shareholders happy. Le Professor has taken many bold decisions, stubborn decisions, wrong decisions, correct decisions. But through all of this, one thing has always been clear – His love for Arsenal football club.

Real madrid, Bayern among others have tried to get his signature without success. Just recently Bayern have admitted that had it not been for Wenger’s love for Arsenal Pep would never be where he is right now. His tenacity and stubbornness to stick to his principles have kept this club up above the water.   
If we are talking about the future of Arsenal we are inadvertently talking about the future Mr Wenger. So where does he go from here ?  
He has achieved everything he can at this club if not more. He doesn’t need to prove to anyone that he is a top manager. He has already done it. Also everyone knows that PSG is waiting for the stone to drop. They would welcome him with arms open. What is going to happen if he leaves ? Only time will tell.

Instead lets rewind back to the 2010-11 season.   
Around 3 years back Arsenal were playing the most beautiful football any team ever had in the Premier League. It was Fast, brutal and efficient. But above all, it was just so beautiful to watch. Pleasing on the eyes.  It was when the managers were beginning to understand the new flowing type of football, the 4-3-3, that has Become a rage now with Barcelona. Wenger had already mastered it then. By January Arsenal were competing in all of the their competitions and were doing well, very well actually. Second in the league by 1 point, semi-finals in champions league. Competing in F.A cup having reached the final in the league cup. 
And then Birmingham happened. How in a few weeks your world can turn upside down. That is exactly what happened. There was one thing that Le professor had got wrong his formula for success – Experience. The average age of the this team which included the likes of Arshavin, Fabregas, Nasri, Wilshere, Gibbs, Szczęsny was 21. We were in the semi-finals of the champions league and lost the second leg horribly after losing in the finals of the capital one cup. This was supposed to a masterful transition from Highbury to Emirates, passing of the baton from the old guard to the new. This was going to be Arsenal’s year. It was supposed to be Arsene Wenger’s Year. Everything Arsene Wenger had worked for after 2006 culminated to this point, this moment. But it was not to be. The wheels just came off the wagon.  And since then it has never been the same. The flowing football dissolved into possession driven play which we see nowadays. Players left, Fabregas, Nasri, RVP. Arsene Wenger is still reeling from the affect that year had on him. He tried to pick up the fallen pieces but truly it never has been the same at Arsenal.  
And this season was one of the worst for an arsenal supporter.  
So Now we come to the real question.

Where do we go from here? For one thing if Arsene Wenger does leave, he will leave but his quality, principles and philosophy will live on. Arsenal is one of the few clubs to not suffer from debt, thanks to Arsene. The likes of United, Barcelona are in major debts. He has set up a brilliant youth academy, his insistence on playing football will always remain, he has armed arsenal against the financial play rules and accumulated enough profit over the years, the fruits of which we will be seeing in the coming seasons. The next manager that comes in will have 70mil Transfer budget. 
Also he made sure that this team has a core for the years to come by signing Chamberlain, Wilshere, Ramsey, Gibbs, Walcott, Jenkinson and Szczęsny for the long term. Some of them have been together since they were only 12. Everything the manager did was to make sure that arsenal have a bright future, which we will.   
So all is not lost for arsenal. They are just one point behind Chelsea in 5th place. Chelsea are sure to drop points. But maybe just maybe dropping out of the champions league might just be the spring board for a new resurgent arsenal. Sixteen years back arsenal were in a similar position. But then le professor came and conquered, took arsenal to new levels of success. Maybe there is someone out there, who is destined to do the same. Lets hope, there is because if Wenger leaves, it is going to be a bitter pill to swallow.

This may be one of the lowest points in the illustrious history of the Arsenal. But Arsenal will rise again, like a phoenix rises from its ashes. The seeds for success have been planted and the fruits of success are just around the corner. With the core of talented players already at the club, a 70mil Kitty for the summer, and the philosophy ingrained in the club through Arsene Wenger, Arsenal will become a major force again, with or without him.