By ‘Toyin Akiode
After two games in charge, Craig Shakespeare has totally validated the decision of the owners of Leicester City to sack Claudio Ranieri. Unlike the ‘people’ at the Emirates, these guys are not ready to wait until decay sets in on their treasured feet. They quickly decided to pull the plug on what has suddenly become an unprofitable journey.
When it was time to move on, a decision was taken and the club is back on track. The Foxes are likely to avoid the drop that seemed certain to be their fate in the hands of their erstwhile Italian handler. Arguably, Ranieri will look back and feel a bit grateful that the history that he helped to create was also not destroyed under his watch. His was like the case of a parent who nurtured a child to manhood who shouldn’t be bent on cutting him down at the peak of his exploits.
The reverse to all the above is the rule rather than exception at the Emirates. With only two FA cup trophies to show as silverware in almost 13 years of football barrenness; Arsene Wenger still hold sway in North London like the Lord of the Manor proffering watery excuses for abject failure on a seasonal basis. Pretending not to notice; so called less elegant and illustrious clubs have moved on and are now ‘eminent’ in their own rights.
During the period of the Frenchman’s sabbatical of winning the Premier League, certain gentlemen – Jose Mourinho, Roberto Mancini, Manuel Pellegrini and of course, the incomparable Sir Alex Ferguson won the coveted silverware. In the case of Mourinho; he left, came back and won again and Wenger is still concretely in charge of a team that has not really improved beyond Champions League qualifications (they get out of the group stage only to lose out in the round of 16 or get slammed in the quarter finals) and who struggles against quality oppositions in the EPL and Europe. Nauseating!
Someone said “with Wenger and the thinkers at the Emirate, you get the same thing”. The big question is – What does a football club that doesn’t win major trophies have to boast about? New stadium, perfect training facilities and yes; a new private jet…All these and many more are incomparable to a sight of the Champions League trophy in a cabinet even at extinct Highbury!
Monsieur Wenger and his backers surely know that the sheer size, elegance and beauty of the Emirates Stadium will never take away the shine from Leicester EPL trophy! Efficiency is good; but in football – Effectiveness is the key!
In the circumstance that the foregoing is not the case, permit a reiteration that should command absolute attention – Fiercest and loathed local rivals; Tottenham Hotspur are playing better football and much more competitive than the once fearsome Gunners. This reality came to be under the poor management of Arsene Wenger and those that are bent on wrecking the football credibility of one of the most supported and beloved clubs in the world.
Forget about ‘Spuds’; they are arch enemies, aren’t they? How about Chelsea? Lackluster and almost irrelevant – How things have changed at Stamford Bridge and winning is no longer a pipe dream but actual reality. Four league titles, UEFA champions League Holy Grail, four FA cups and another major one almost bagged; it is a given that the Blues have arrived and all under Wenger’s watch; more like slumber.
It is seven consecutive years that Arsenal gets knocked out in the UEFA Champions League round of 16. History was repeated but in a more disgraceful manner as the Gunners were rubbished by Bayern Munich 10 – 2 goals on aggregate. Had the Bavarian been given additional five minutes, it would have been more. Just like the first leg; Arsenal flattered early only to deceive. And the man ‘who knows’ has given the perfect excuse that ‘’the referee killed the game”. Haba!
Time and space constrains one to continue but suffice to say that it is time for a change at the Emirate. If it wasn’t very clear till now, the way Arsenal cowed against Liverpool on Saturday making the Merseysiders look like the greats from Catalonia and the disgraceful outing against Bayern Munich yesterday urgently warrants self-surrender. Wenger will do well to give it!