Bayern Munich a gift for the anti-Arsenal narrative 1

And here come Bayern Munich, right on time.

The Germans arrive at The Emirates having appeared in both of the last two Champions League finals, as the reigning champions of their domestic league, and in the middle of a season in which they look, with no exaggeration, almost unbeatable. They have conceded just nine goals in twenty-one league games, they have a forward line to die for, and they are coached by arguably the best manager on the continent.

So, isn’t it strange that, should Arsenal lose this tie, the narrative will focus on their failings than on a side who are by far and away the best club team in the world? Because that’s exactly what will happen.

Arsene Wenger is a curious entity within English football, because opinions on his job performance never seem to change - there’s never any room for re-evaluation. During a poor season his apologists will reference past glories in his defence, whereas during a largely successful campaign his detractors will sit and wait for the single poor result they need to re-mobilise.

It’s never-ending and it’s extremely boring.

There always seems to be a lack of context when judging Wenger, and this season is no different. In 2012/13, the complaint du jour was Arsenal’s failure to compete for the Premier League title, but twelve months later with the side clearly in the hunt for the championship the complaints have become more localised: the defeat at Liverpool, the failure to beat Manchester City away from home. Different situations, but seemingly just causes to have a moan at ‘the same old Wenger’.

Managerial job performance isn’t assessed by binary code - it’s not just good or bad, there are shades of grey. With that in mind it’s remarkable that so much negativity still exists around this club despite the tangible progress that has been made this season and their success in rivaling clubs who operate within a different financial stratosphere.

If, as expected, Arsenal succumb to Bayern Munich, let’s just hope that the reaction is tempered with a little realism. It’s very sad that, even with the obvious 12-month progression, this is a club who never seem to be much more than a single loss away from another AST statement.

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