Mourinho’s sacking, LVG’s struggles put Wenger in new light

By Hilton Yip Source:Global Times Published: 2015-12-21 23:23:02

This season's Premiership has been a crazy ride, but last week showed that it is in no danger of slowing down.

However, the biggest event last week happened off the pitch rather than on it.

The whole world probably knows by now that Jose Mourinho was fired by Chelsea after an extraordinary slump that has seen the defending champions languish near the bottom after 17 games. 

It was not a good week for top managers after Manchester United lost at home to Norwich, putting Louis van Gaal under serious pressure. While many fans can revel in the sight of the mighty being humbled, Arsenal fans can rest assured that they are in safe hands. They should give silent thanks for having one of the best managers in the business.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has often been criticized and ridiculed for his team's nine-year trophyless period, for his refusal to spend big, and for often playing ­second fiddle to Chelsea, ­United and Manchester City.

While those three have won the Premiership, FA and ­European cups multiple times in the past 10 years, Arsenal can only point to three FA Cups and a Champions League final ­appearance.

Arsenal have maintained a 19-year streak of finishing in the top four, but this has led them to be derided as a team that can't win the league but can only fight for fourth place.

When one looks at United's and Chelsea's struggles, Arsenal's consistency appears incredible, especially considering the Gunners were unable to spend much during the late 2000s, when they had to pay off the debt on their new ­stadium. 

In the past 10 years, United have only spent one season out of the top four - two seasons ago under David Moyes - but since then they have struggled to get back into the top four and have spent over $373 million in the process.

United have been under fire for playing very defensively, in contrast to Arsenal playing attacking soccer­. This has resulted in a few embarrassments, both in the league and in Europe, but no fan can ever accuse Wenger of being boring.

The author is a Beijing-based writer.

Posted in: Soccer, Extra Time

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