12th January 2018.
ArsÃ¨ne Wenger's time at Arsenal has now reached the point where the candle has been burnt right down to its core and is on it's last flicker.
It has been sad to see one of the all-time Premier League greats become a focal point of humiliation and desperation from the Arsenal fans in recent years. It has been a long time coming that the French manager is being ushered to leave the club.
Unfortunately for Arsenal fans, their team has not progressed for over a decade. While they go in and out of winning the FA Cup, their domestic form and European record is forever on the decline.
Last year, Wenger failed to finish in the top four for the first time since the 1994-95 season, over two decades ago. It was a sad indictment of his power and presence at his beloved club, but the truth of the matter is that Wenger simply cannot take Arsenal to the next level anymore.
While the former Monaco manager is one of the most respected coaches of all-time, it is clear that some players over the past five years have gone against Wenger's orders or have simply stopped giving their all.
Alexis SÃ¡nchez fits into that category. The Chilean has been an incredible player for Arsenal, but now that the Gunners are out of the Champions League, and he did not get his move to Manchester City last summer, SÃ¡nchez has been playing at a lower rate and is not portraying what he is capable of every week. The decline in his performances has been real and noticeable.
It is now believed that SÃ¡nchez is so desperate to leave Arsenal that he is willing to turn down a £15m signing-on bonus in order to move to the North West this January.
The problem that Wenger has found out is that he has lost his appeal of being trained under. He has lost out on many targets, not only because of the difference in money, but because of the different projects clubs have to offer and the overall uncertainty of the Arsenal manager.
It is clear to see that Wenger has taken a hit in confidence over the past few years, especially with an outbreak of social media and continuous negativity around the Emirates stadium. The Frenchman lacks the charisma that he had earlier in his career and it shows in press conferences and when sitting on the bench.
Wenger was the Mr. Arsenal up until recently. He looked after renewing players' contracts, scouting operations, and bringing in new faces to the club, as well as his obvious day-to-day role of head coach.
Ivan Gazidis, the Arsenal chief executive, has decided that Wenger finally needs some help and to not run the club from top to bottom - it is the only way that Arsenal are going to evolve.
Gazidis has recently acquired the services of former Borussia Dortmund transfer guru Sven Mislintat. The German is a wonderful talent spotter and made his name by signing Shinji Kagawa from Cerezo Osaka for a measly €350,000 in 2010.
By employing Mislintat, Gazidis is making a big, but subtle, change to the set up of the club which has a direct effect on Wenger's responsibilities. The German takes up the role of Head of Recruitment.
One new face was not enough for the CEO given a few weeks later Arsenal announced they were bringing in highly respected and well connected Raul Sanllehi from FC Barcelona, to take up the position of Director of Football at the Gunners.
Two changes that is going to set the benchmark for Arsenal moving forward and allow more people to have influence over the running of the club.
Wenger was once a pioneer of English football with introducing specialised diets for football players, but his power has slowly diminished in front of his eyes and he is now hanging on by a thread year after year.
The Arsenal manager will eventually leave, on his own accord, and there will be a stark improvement in the Gunners' overall outlook in how they play football and how competitive they become.
It might not be this year that Wenger leaves, but he should really consider it to better the club he so much adores.
This article was written by Liam Canning for Soccer Box, where we stock the official Arsenal football shirts, kit and accessories.
Arsène Wenger's time is up at Arsenal, he has to step aside come the end of the season
12th January 2018.