An open letter to Arsene Wenger by a non-Arsenal fan

Dear Mr. Wenger,

The polite way to start a letter would be to ask you how you are or wish you well, but I know that you are not well—and on the off-chance that you are, I would be very surprised. But I will keep the norm intact and wish you: I hope that you are fine.

When I was a child and football was a little inscrutable to me, I used to think that you owned Arsenal since your name and the club’s name match. Right now, as a 24-year-old grown man, I am starting to think that I—the kid Umid Dey—might have been right after all.

It is becoming exhausting, isn’t it? And I am not even an Arsenal fan. Looking at you feels like watching a man so old that he has forgotten the point of his existence and has absolutely no idea about what is happening or what he is doing.

You look horribly out of time, Mr. Wenger. You refuse to spend because you feel it is disgraceful to football and that players should be moulded into stars rather than directly buying them. And when you finally do sign a world class player, you don’t go the extra mile to sign other players that complement your star signing and forges a title-winning team in the process.

At first, you signed Mesut Ozil, but you refused to sign a striker to make the best use of the German’s ability. Poor Ozil had to go one whole season without a proper striker in front of him and people—the ‘glory, glory Premier League’ bandwagoners, to be precise—were out in full force, claiming that the league was just too hard for the man who destroyed so many defenses with his magical left foot.

The next season you signed Alexis. It was a signing that could have won you the title had you sanctioned it a year earlier. Never mind a world class player in. All that was needed was a defensive midfielder and an out-and-out striker. But none came.

It wasn’t until this season that you finally accepted the fact that a proper defensive midfielder was needed and that’s when Granit Xhaka came in. But no striker still. It seems as though playing Alexis in the centre has made you oblivion of the fact that a striker is required, someone who can make an impact while playing alongside Alexis Sanchez—making Arsenal have two goal-scorers in the process on the playing field at the same time.

You are so horribly out of time, Mr. Wenger. Your methods are old school and that is only timeless when it comes to music. When it comes to football, however, it is not. You are racing with a Toyota Corolla in a race where other drivers use Ferraris and Lamborghinis—and no matter how many modifications you add to your vehicle, it just won’t be enough.

The car—and its mechanic—needs to be changed. You need to go, Mr. Wenger, and allow someone else to do what you did in 1996. When you came to Arsenal in 1996, you were the happening mechanic that made the hottest car in town. Now Arsenal needs someone like that someone who can make a new car that fits this era.

Arsenal need a modernised Arsene Wenger, but not Arsene Wenger himself. It is time for you to accept it and let go. Every year, you stay at the club to give yourself another chance––a shot to repair the cracks that the failures of the previous season inflicts on your legacy, but, instead, you end up forming more crevices by the end of each season.

As an admirer of your work, Mr.Wenger, it pains me to see you try so hard and fail so miserably. Maybe in your mind, you want the fitting end—a Champions League title or the Premier League before you finally say adieu. Maybe, in your mind, that is the only way to redeem yourself after years of failure.

However, if you don’t leave now, your legacy will be so tainted that people won’t be able to see the good that you did with your beloved club. If that isn’t enough of a reason for you to leave, then consider this: if you truly love Arsenal, you would want the good of the club—and the good can only come with a change.


Your admirer.


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