Arsene Wenger must step down as Arsenal manager after Wednesday night’s Champions League elimination at the hands of Barcelona put the club on the precipice of another damaging and trophyless season.
Barring a minor miracle in the title race, which would require not one, but two sides to slip up badly, the Gunners look set to end the season with nothing to show for their efforts.
Dumped out of the League Cup in inglorious fashion at Sheffield Wednesday; seeing their two-time defence of the FA Cup end with a whimper at home to Watford; and now out of the Champions League after a 3-1 defeat at the Nou Camp on Wednesday night.
Going into the second leg chasing a 2-0 deficit, Arsenal at least showed a little bit of the fight they have recently lacked by pulling the scorelines level at 1-1 early in the second half at the Nou Camp. But goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi scored to put the tie out of sight and ensure Arsenal once again fell short. It’s not just the story of their season – but the story of the last 10 years of Wenger’s reign at Arsenal.
Let’s not forget the Gunners were fortunate to get this far after making ridiculously hard work of getting through a group that contained (what should have been, let’s face it, cannon fodder) Olympiacos and Dinamo Zagreb. Either way, Wednesday’s defeat to Barcelona now makes it six successive last-16 Champions League exits.
It’s a well-worn phrase to say a manager has ‘taken a club as far as he can’, but has this ever been better exemplified by Arsenal’s recent record in Europe’s premier competition?