It was a great win for Arsenal last night, but it won't make stop the calls for Arsene Wegner to go. Even if they win the Europa League and secure a Champions League place through that route, it won't be enough to warrant Wenger sticking around any longer, as far as his critics are concerned.
I think he's definitely gone a season too far and I do wish that last year he had walked away, as now it just feels like the same story as 12 months ago, with everyone repeating what they said back then, perhaps with more urgency now. I do remember at that point hoping he wouldn't sign a new contract and that he'd just call it a day.
An unhappy ending for Wenger
I think it's a shame that it is ending this way. For the club, the players, but more so for Wenger himself. He might want to finish on a high and maybe he is stubborn and trying to stick around to get that perfect swansong, which maybe he will in the Europa League (Arsenal are 5.24/1 to win the tournament), but managers and players don't always get to write their own happy ending and it would be disappointing to see someone with such an incredible career go out on such a low.
Wenger, alongside Sir Alex Ferguson, is the manager I have respected the most in the last 20 years. He was such a pioneer and he brought something so different to the league. However, I feel like all the amazing work he's done is now in danger of being tarnished.
Barring last night's performance, you can see when the Arsenal players are out on the pitch that the distraction of all the Wenger talk is taking its toll. They look short of confidence, vulnerable, and like they don't have much of a strategy.
German innovator could be ideal Wenger successor
Sadly for Arsenal, the team has done worse in the last couple of years than it did in the previous 15 years. They're not just standing still, they're going backwards and they are not good to watch. It's a shame for the reputation of the club as at their best they were wonderful to watch.
It will be so strange when he leaves the club to see a different manager on the sidelines, but just who that will be is a huge question at the moment.
I think Arsenal will go for someone in same mold as Wenger, and I think Joachim Low (5/2 on Betfair's Next Arsenal Manager market) and Thomas Tuchel (12/1) will fit the bill. While I haven't heard his name mentioned, I think Laurent Blanc (55/1) would also be a good fit.
There has been talk of Thierry Henry being in the running (he's an 11/2 chance) but, while he's an Arsenal legend and would be great to have involved, I don't think he's got the track record to be of interest to them yet. You've got to have a body of work and managerial experience to get the top job at one of the big clubs and it wouldn't be very Arsenal-like for them to go out on a limb with someone so inexperienced.