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Arsenal run just how Wenger desires

For the past few seasons, the debate over whether Arsene Wenger should be relieved of his duties has divided fans.

The Frenchman has never been under more pressure following the 5-1 mauling at Bayern Munich, with the majority of fans now calling for change at the helm. Even the most staunch Wenger romantics have given up.

Yet, it is not a simple of matter of replacing Wenger and all with be well at the Emirates. Wenger is the last of his kind, a patriarchal figure who are all-but extinct in the modern game.

Wenger controls everything at the club, and usurping the 66-year-old will leave a gaping chasm at the top of the clubs’ hierarchy, a greater void than most managerial sackings would leave. Replacing Wenger will not be an easy task, and failure to consider their options properly could spell trouble in north London.

Wenger stays, not much will change. The Gunners will continue to live out their very own Groundhog Day. Champions League qualification will remain the target, but consistently battling in and around the top of the league will be almost guaranteed.

He will continue to be in charge of the recruitment, team selection and even plan future infrastructure expansion. His obsessive nature means he wants to oversee everything. Arsenal is his life.

Get rid of that, and you are effectively getting rid of the entire management structure. Wenger is the Director of Football, he is Head of Recruitment, he is first-team coach.

Gunners board far too detached

Since the departure of David Dein, the Gunners hierarchy has lacked any real figurehead who has even the remotest interest in the football side of things, giving Wenger yet further autonomy.

Majority shareholder Stan Kroenke is rarely seen at games. Preferring to focus his efforts on expanding his American sporting empire, while the likes of Chairman Sir Chips Keswick and Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis have been keen to back Wenger in the past, with the financial stability of the club clouding their judgement.

“Who allowed Wenger to develop so much power to the point where he is unsackable and can decide his own future?” Jamie Carragher asked in his Daily Mail column. “They [the board] did. Whatever shortcomings you believe the Frenchman has, the board have been more culpable. What they have done is a dereliction of duty to the club.”

Who could take over?

To sack a manager in this day and age means not only deposing one man, but his entire staff, and with Wenger stating that he will not retire, he will likely take even those who are offered the chance to stay with him on his next venture, wherever that may be.

Massimiliano Allegri has been linked with the position, along with the usual suspects – Diego Simeone, Eddie Howe and Thomas Tuchel – but would any of them want the job?

Replacing such a long-standing figure, regardless of recent failings is a monumental task.

Wenger has everything done his way, from the wallpaper on the walls to the brand of tea in the staff canteen.

Additions further up the hierarchical chain could make it more appealing, but getting that right is a fine line. Too much interference puts many more totalitarian coaches off, while people in power often clash – responsibility does that to people.

We have heard all the ‘be careful what you wish for’ lines aimed at the Gunners’ increasingly angry following. Claude wants Wenger out, as does Ty, but who could turn the club around?

One things for sure, things are about to get very interesting in north London, with or without Wenger at the helm. Buckle up, Gunners.

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