It was once thought pigs would fly before Arsene Wenger would leave Arsenal. Now it turns out to be planes.
Yet amid the latest chaotic happenings at West Brom on Saturday, and much sniggering about how gentrified the working man’s game has become in the Premier League when a group of fans can suddenly afford to charter rival planes to protest, there is also a serious point about the red arrows aimed towards Wenger.
This should really be the final twisting thorn in the Frenchman’s side at the Hawthorns, a message to the high fliers that all is far from well among the club’s ground troops.
One plane appeared with a banner with the words ‘No contract - Wenger Out’ before another plane, not a Spitfire mind you, emerged with the sign: ‘In Arsene we trust’. Is it time for Wenger to parachute out of his role? There are reports on Sunday that suggest he will sign a one-year contract, but it hardly fills fans with an appetite for more of the thin gruel that is being served up as part of the annual diet at the Emirates.
Not only is the sky high protest among the fans justified as their side’s season stands on the brink of collapse, it has also been previously endorsed and ratified by the club’s board as the only way they can force a manager to depart what is rapidly becoming a scene of much rancour.
If Arsenal fans don’t make their voices heard by land, sea or sky, Wenger will be in his post longer than Guy Roux in Auxerre.
"Arsene is ultimately accountable to the fans, they are the ones who ultimately make the judgement," said the Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis back in 2011.
They have the ability if they choose to do that to make it unsustainable for him to stay. I still believe most support Arsene and we are nowhere near an issue where has he has to consider his future. Very clearly what the board have to do is to make sure the fanbase remains engaged.
Well, the fanbase are clearly engaged these days. As the debate rages over whether the manager, players, board or American owner Stan Kroenke are performing their functions properly as representatives of the world’s seventh richest club, two groups of fans decided to take the issue to fresh heights.
And they should not be blamed for opting to focus on hostilities, shaping the debate to question the bloke picking and purchasing such underachieving millionaires. What comes next during the two-week pause for the international game should be the announcement that Wenger has opted to go rather than extending this farce, but do not hold your breath.
Big Robbie and the haggard crew at Arsenal Fan TV may soon all need to board a jumbo jet to effect change if Wenger opts to ride this out.
The 3-1 beating by West Brom was more than a black day in the Black Country, it should be the point of no return.
Craig Dawson helped himself to a free header in each half and the substitute Hal Robson Kanu scored the other after substitute David Ospina saw the ball slip from his grasp early in the second half. It was not just the goals that betrayed Wenger’s side, it was the attitude and body language of the players that was distressing, a point Thierry Henry pointed out on Sky Sports.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain actually appeared to look in a different direction ahead of a corner kick before Dawson headed the home side's third goal into the net. There are plenty of obvious candidates to bemoan.
Some of these players appear to be regressing under Wenger. They don’t appear to be coached properly, or know what to do in marking. Either that, or they simply do not care. Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Hector Bellerin all gave off the impression that they are lost souls.
For the sake of a legacy that risks turning toxic after 21 years, the best option would be Wenger to announce his exit strategy. Not only for the good of himself, but for the well-being of the supporters who respect the coach, but realise change is overdue.
Read the full article on eurosport.co.uk: Wenger’s Arsenal are a toxic brand, accepting plane truth to quit is only solution