Five reasons why Wenger's expiry date is long overdue
1. Everyone has caught up to the French market
When Wenger arrived at Arsenal, scouting wasn't the stats-driven algorithm-ridden industry we see today. In addition to that, the French weren't exactly known to be world-beaters at this time in history. They were similar to Spain pre-2008: talented but not very successful (which if course changed in 1998).
So to know what kind of talent lay hidden in and around France's national team, you kind of had to be French. And there was only really one French manager on the planet at that time in charge of a club big enough to attract emerging French players.
Wenger knew all about the French players scattered across the globe. Maybe he even had a feeling greatness was about to come true. Within just a few years of arriving at the club he signed Vieira, Anelka, Petit and Henry - key reasons for why we were successful in those years.
But by the early 2000s, other clubs had caught on to the whole "hidden gem" approach, and everyone started re-structuring their scouting approach to also gain an advantage in the market. And suddenly Wenger's edge was erased.
Nowadays Wenger has no chance at emerging French talent, even admitting to losing out on several big French names like Mbappe, Lemar, Martial, etc. Gone is the monopoly of knowledge of the French football market.
2. Wenger's league record is too consistent
I've been talking about this a lot in the recent years, but essentially it's important to look at historic trends to predict likely futures.
The basics of the points problem goes like this: in order to win the Premier League, you need at least 80 points in a season. This is supported by the fact that every winner since 1999 has ended on at least 80 points.
However, Wenger has only ever reached 80+ points four times in his entire Arsenal career, the last time being in 2008. His average since we last won the league is 73-74 points per season, which simply is not enough to push for a title.
The interesting part about this is that Wenger is eerily consistent. He hovers around 73-74 points per season regardless of what players he has at his disposal. His deviation from average is minimal (one or two wins either way), and this was just as true with Chamakh and Denilson as it was with Ozil and Sanchez.
In other words: it doesn't matter who we sign. Wenger's maximum managerial capability seems to be 73-74 points in the league. Unless every other team has a nightmare season, we're not winning the league anytime soon on 74 points.
3. Riding the high horse of financial morality
Arsenal is one of the richest clubs in the world. Richer than billionaire-playgrounds PSG and Chelsea. And yet we struggle to compete financially with either of those clubs. Why? Well, first of all: rich doesn't automatically mean cash-rich. But that wouldn't matter, as assets and commercial influence could easily be used to secure cash injections towards player purchases.
But Arsenal doesn't do that. For years we've been repeating the mantra of "self-sustainability", as if that would somehow result in sporting karma and eventually turn Arsenal into a world-beater by transfer market ethics alone.
The problem here is that Arsenal have chosen this path. It wasn't forced upon them. There is no rule saying you have to finance a new stadium with your own money. There especially wasn't such a rule in place in the mid-2000s when Chelsea were spending £20 trillion on players every year.
Oh and by the way: we were sitting on this high horse long before Stan Kroenke or Ivan Gazidis knew Arsenal existed. They are not the authors of our frugal existence. Wenger is.
4. The only constant in the equation
Many variables have changed since 1996. The board is different, the players are different, the staff is different, the stadium is different, our training facilities are different...even our club crest is different. But there is one constant: Arsene Wenger.
Now, if you have an equation that always results in roughly the same answer no matter how much you change the variables...the culprit is likely to be the constant. We've had first teams featuring Van Persie up top and Fabregas in the middle...and we've also had first teams featuring Bendtner up top and Song in the middle...and yet we can't break that 80 point barrier.
Maybe the problem has never been our players, maybe the problem is how they are being utilised?
5. Lack of tactical flexibility
Ex-players tell us all the time: under Wenger you have full creative freedom. He wants you to express yourself, to be yourself on the pitch. But this also means players are left to figure out their role on their own, with very few tactical instructions.
Where most top managers usually creates a system based on what players they have at their disposal, Wenger does the opposite. He decides what system he wants to play for the next decade and then shoehorns players into that shape (which is why so many of our players are constantly played out of position).
Wenger also refuses to change his strategy based on who we're playing. For ten years he played the exact same possession-based 4-2-3-1 regardless of opposition. And even worse, he did the same thing over and over again expecting a magical change in outcome. Now he's doing the same with his carbon copy of Conte's 3-4-3.
Lastly, where other managers would approach games with specific player instructions (like for example instructing your forward to man-mark the opposition's best midfielder to take him out of the game), Wenger sticks religiously to pure zonal marking as if he owes it money.
The result is that Arsenal has become a predictable side, and other teams know exactly how to drastically increase their chances of beating us. High pressure def-counters have been the bane of Wenger's existence for 20+ years, and he has never found a way to counter them.