Arsene Wenger is now under great pressure to keep his job as the Arsenal manager. His side was booed of the pitch after losing at home to Blackburn Rovers in the fifth round of the English FA Cup. The defeat marked the first time that Arsenal had been eliminated from the competition by a side outside the Premier League while Wenger has managed the club.
The Frenchman joined the club in 1996 and only Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United has been in his job for more years amongst managers working at clubs in the Premier League. Arsenal have not won a trophy since 2005 which means their tie against Bayern Munich in the Champions League now takes on even more significance.
Munich look certain to win the Bundesliga in Germany. They have a 15 point lead over the team in second place, Borussia Dortmund. In 22 league games Munich have conceded just seven goals with only one of those goals being let in away from home. The German side look just about the best team in Europe on current form which means Arsenal have a huge task in trying to eliminate them from the competition.
Arsenal had 26 shots against Blackburn, 12 of which were on target. They beat the opposition on the corner count by 16 to 2 and had 54% of the possession. However, they were not able to score and Blackburn scored the decisive goal from one of just their two shots on target.
Wenger sent out a side against Blackburn that did not include their best players this season, Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott (pictured playing for England). Both came on in the 70th minute to try to create the winning goal but two minutes later it was Blackburn that scored the goal which meant the side progressed to the sixth round and an away match against Millwall which they will be confident can be won.
Wenger’s future is in doubt and even his most loyal supporters believe now is the right time for him to move on. However, he is unlikely to leave the club before the summer. By then Arsenal may not have qualified for next season’s Champions League and Wenger would be vulnerable and unlikely to be allowed to extend his stay at the club.