A march to protest against the South African president Jacob Zuma. The entrance to the Melbourne Cricket Ground. A World Cup qualifier between New Zealand and Fiji. Wrestlemania in Orlando. A Coldplay concert in Singapore. A Saudi Arabian basketball game. A rugby sevens match in Vancouver. A music festival in Miami. An anti-Donald Trump rally in London.
One thing links them, and almost certainly only one: Wenger Out banners.
If the situation is both profoundly sad and rather ridiculous, there have been rather fewer sightings of 2017’s must-have accessory on the grounds of America’s ninth-biggest landowner.
The sense is that ‘Silent Stan' Kroenke is quietly hoping for an upturn in form, preferably accompanied by Arsenal’s annual top-four finish, to smooth the path for Wenger to sign a new contract. The signs are that Arsenal’s decline is too dramatic and too public for that to happen. Unrest has become entrenched, underperforming contagious.
The probability is that Arsenal’s powerbrokers have been taken aback, and not merely because Wenger was a guarantee of a brand of relentless, if divisive, consistency. Succession planning seems conspicuous by its absence. If Kroenke and co never considered replacing Wenger before, now they may need to fast-track it just as it seems at its most difficult.
Look for available candidates with proven expertise at major clubs and the field is comparatively bare. Many of the best suited committed themselves elsewhere last summer. Pep Guardiola, Antonio Conte, Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti all found new employers in 2016.
Now three names seem to dominate discussions. Each, potentially, has much to offer. Diego Simeone’s intensity might jolt Arsenal into life. Massimiliano Allegri could be the latest to show that the tactical nous required to prosper in Serie A equips a manager to win the Premier League. Thomas Tuchel seems to promise the exciting football and faith in youth that were once Wenger’s calling cards.
But the indications are that the Argentinian is likelier to leave Atletico Madrid in 2018, not 2017; that the Italian will remain at Juventus while postponing his plan to work in England; and that the German sees himself at Borussia Dortmund in the longer term. Even if not, each is managing a possible Champions League semi-finalist. Arsenal’s slide has been ill-timed in more ways than one. Each might look at his current team and argue they are considerably better than the increasingly shambolic Gunners now. Considering Monaco’s precocious brilliance, Leonardo Jardim could come to the same conclusion.
All of which threatens to leave a void.
Read the full article on eurosport.co.uk: Wenger Out is a catchy slogan - but Arsenal are short of options