Arsenal under Arsene Wenger was once a true force to be reckoned with. In the first 8 years of his reign, the Frenchman won the league 3 times along with several other domestic titles. He turned the teamfrom ‘boring Arsenal’, known for always winning 1-0, to a stylish, attacking team that troubled the dominant force that was Manchester United, and became their genuine title rivals for many years. However, since the ‘invincibles’ of the ‘03/’04 season, the league title has become everelusive and it is quite clear that the Frenchman has lost his touch when it comes to building and leading a squad that can truly challenge for the title.

Here are three reasons why Arsenal will most probably not win the league again under the reign of their longest serving manager.

The manager’s stubborn inflexibility

Over the last 12 years, Arsene Wenger has proved time and time again just how incredibly inflexible he can be. Despite the obvious rapid evolution of club football worldwide, ‘The Professor’ has refused to evolve his management style. Many a game in the last decade required an obvious tactical alteration, but Wenger has almost exclusively preferred to maintain ‘Plan A’, leading to some commentators labelling him ‘The Stubborn One’. He has also proven to be very inflexible when it comes to contract negotiations with players, i.e. his refusal to give players aged 30 or above a contract extension of more than one year, and his refusal to spend big money on special players, even when the funds are available, e.g.

the ridiculous Luis Suarez bids saga.

The recruitment policy

Arsene Wenger’s lasting legacy may very well be the part he played in the construction of the magnificent Emirates stadium. And for many years, fans and commentators alike accepted that this was going to limit the spending capacity of the club on players.

The fact that he still managed to consistently deliverChampion’s Leaguefootballendeared many fans and commentators to him and some lauded him as a genius. However, his extremely economical approach toplayer recruitment drove away too many talented players who were disillusioned by the manager’s apparent lack of ambition, and despite finally caving in and spending $110 million on Oziland Sanchez, Wenger is still well renowned for being extremely frugal.

This was further illustrated by his failure to acquire any outfield players in the summer before this season, and the addition of only one in the January transfer window. Wenger and his scouting team are also no longer capable of identifying the right players to recruit, and this is evinced by the high number of players who came and went without establishing themselves in the league. Chamakh and Podolski come to mind, but the list is long.

The inability to motivate his players

The final reason is the fact that he apparently cannot motivate his players when the going gets tough. He does not seem to have the ability to put the proverbial fire in his players’ bellies and get them roused up when things start falling apart.

To put this in perspective, Sir Alex Ferguson was able to get the very best out of mediocre squads that he found himself with at certain points during his glittering managerial career at Manchester United, and he still wontitles with such squads. His infamous ‘hairdryer treatment’ was known to rouse his team whenever they had a wobble and they managed to grind out results. Wenger does not possess this quality and never has. It might not have mattered at the start of his career, but it is evidently a crucial element ofmodern football management nowadays.

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