Starved of funds for reinforcements and with his best players Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri wanting to leave, the Frenchman's dream of an Ajax on the Thames looks to have stalled perhaps for good.
With no trophies for six seasons and prospects of a title challenge or Champions League success slim, Gunners supporters are increasingly questioning the status of their semi-iconic coach, who revolutionised English football's approach to management and took Arsenal from their historic Highbury home to a new stadium at Ashburton Grove.
All a far cry from '96 when Wenger left Nagoya Grampus Eight for London full of high-minded dreams of transforming a club and country's soccer culture.
Writing in the Evening Standard, Cowley opines,
"It's obvious, too, that what he once offered when he arrived in London in 1996 and what gave him such a competitive advantage - knowledge of sports science, new ideas about diet and the use of technologies such as Prozone to monitor and improve players' performances, and so on - is now routine.
Wenger the continental sophisticate once seemed like a very progressive and modern figure, part-boffin, part-romantic visionary. Now, more than ever, he is beginning to resemble a man out of time, one who has stayed too long in the same job and who is forced to look on, perplexed and anguished, as the game changes around him, and in ways he does not like and over which he has no control. This new season could test him to the very limit"
Premier League 2011/12 opening fixtures:
Sat 13th Aug - Blackburn v Wolves, Fulham v Aston Villa, Liverpool v Sunderland, QPR v Bolton, Tottenham v Everton, Wigan v Norwich, Newcastle v Arsenal.
Sun 14th Aug - Stoke v Chelsea, West Brom v Man Utd
Mon 15th Aug - Man City v Swansea
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