Arsenal should send Arsene Wenger, Cesc Fabregas and Nicklas Bendtner on their way and start afresh
That means getting rid of Coach Arsene Wenger, getting rid of midfielder Cesc Fabregas and getting rid of forward Nicklas Bendtner.
Wenger has been at the club for 24 years and is justifiably regarded as one of the world's most astute coaches. But he cannot inspire this team any longer. A new man in charge is needed, a fresh face with fresh ideas and a fresh attitude.
It was only a couple of weeks ago that Wenger was talking about Arsenal winning four trophies this season. Then the team lost the League Cup final to lowly Birmingham City at Wembley. On Tuesday, after winning the first game, 2-1, it was beaten, 3-1, by Barcelona and ousted from the European Champions League.
Two down and two to go. The chances of Arsenal catching Manchester United in the English Premier League are problematic at best, and Arsenal also has to get past Manchester United on Saturday to stay alive in the English F.A. Cup. It is by no means a sure thing.
So Wenger could go 0-for-4 in a season in which his team already has improbably and dramatically allowed a 4-0 lead at Newcastle United to turn into a 4-4 tie and has been unable to beat lowly Sunderland when a victory would have put the Gunners right on Manchester United's heels in the Premier League.
It is time for a change at the top.
Fabregas, for all his gifts as a player, has never had his heart at Arsenal. He has said all the right things, but having been brought up in the Barcelona academy he still wears Barcelona colors under his Arsenal shirt. Allow him to go back to Spain and move on.
As for Bendtner, the wonder is why the Dane made the Arsenal team in the first place. Like the proverbial blind pig who occasionally stumbles upon an acorn, Bendtner occasionally stumbles upon a goal. But not when it matters, not when it is needed. Tuesday was a case in point. He simply does not have the class that Arsenal needs to spearpoint the Gunners' attack. Again, let him go.
Until such changes are made, it is unlikely there will be any new silverware showing up on Arsenal's boardroom shelves. It is conceivable that I might have to eat these words, but I doubt it.
-- Grahame L. Jones
Photo: Arsene Wenger. Credit: Gustau Nacarino / Reuters