A move to Madrid could be the only Real way to save Wenger
If Real Madrid want Arsene Wenger to replace Jose Mourinho and a genuine opportunity arises for him to do so, maybe he should go.
Not for the sake of Arsenal, who would face the unenviable task of finding an adequate replacement and a tricky transition to a new era. But for the good of the Frenchman, who looks increasingly like a manager on the road to nowhere.
Let's face it, Wenger's task at Arsenal is a thankless one. His job is to build brilliant, trophy winning teams on a budget far smaller than those of the club's main rivals.
End of the road Arsene Wenger's position is under more strain than ever
The evidence of the last few years suggests he is falling just short and there is no doubt that the frustration of that is eating away at him.
Even if the club’s moneymen are happy as long as Champions League qualification is secured, there is an additional negative element for him to cope with now, too.
Arsenal’s fans – and possibly even some of his players – are turning against him or doubting him. His competence has been questioned and the dignity which he has so often showed is being eroded.
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Exactly whose fault it is that Arsenal are in the position they are, is not crystal clear. The board and manager have not always given out the same messages about their transfer policy.
However, it is clear that at some point, if they are not to accept second best as the height of their ambitions, it will have to change.
Getting the extra investment in the club that it would require will not be easy, but the current approach is not working, however laudable it is.
Moving on to a different way of thinking with Wenger at the helm is highly unlikely. He is wedded to Arsenal's failing strategy for success regardless of whether he is its driving force or was its architect.
Wenger is stubborn, too, and seems to have become obsessed with proving he can beat the odds – and the vast wealth of his rivals – in the Premier League.
But if he is waiting for UEFA’s financial fair play rules to level the playing field, the 62-year-old will be waiting an awfully long time.
European football’s governing body have so seldom showed their teeth in the past that one could be forgiven for thinking they had taken them out.
Whatever threats they make about penalising Europe’s biggest, overspending clubs, it cannot be assumed they will make sure they bite.
Backlash: Fans turned on their manager during Sunday's defeat to Manchester United
So, the prospects for Wenger at Arsenal are relatively bleak and he deserves a better ending at the club than an ignominious exit accompanied by bleating about Michel Platini letting him down.
Whether he can let go of his demands for responsible spending at another club, remains to be seen.
Leaving for a club like Madrid would require Wenger to eat rather a lot of humble pie on how the game and its people should conduct themselves.
But even that stain on his record, after joining a club who would genuinely want him and give him a chance of finally beating Barcelona, would be better than the slow death he seems to be suffering at Arsenal.
Heart of gold: Gareth Bale scored an entry for goal of the season at Manchester City
The hullabaloo that has surrounded Tottenham, Manchester City and their dramatic meeting last Sunday means that Gareth Bale’s goal at the Etihad Stadium has not received the attention it deserves.
So, let’s put that right. His finish to draw the scores level at 2-2 was stunning, a goal that would have illuminated any game. The sort of strike, dare I say it, that you would expect of someone like Thierry Henry in his prime.
It was another encouraging sign in Bale’s development as a forward and well worth watching again if you can find the footage.
No fairytale ending
It is a shame that Crystal Palace narrowly failed to make the Carling Cup final this week, and not just for the Championship club and their fans. It is also a shame for the game in general because it could do with a fairytale right now.
With a potential England manager, Harry Redknapp, facing tax evasion charges in court this week a lift of any sort would do.
But with the country’s captain, John Terry, due to face another legal case next week – for a racially aggravated public order offence – something a bit unusual would certainly help.
Both men deny the charges against them but their cases are still what everyone is talking about.
Down and out: Crystal Palace suffered the heartache of a penalty shootout exit
The idea of Palace, a recently financially humbled club, blooming back into life by reaching Wembley would have been a cheery distraction.
The Cardiff players and fans, who have endured their own rollercoaster ride in recent years and made it to the final in place of Palace, will no doubt disagree.
But I think Palace going out of the cup in the semi-finals is a shame.
Did you know The latest additional ‘investment’ by chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold in West Ham has already earned them close to 109,000 in interest.
It came in the form of a 3million loan last May that was accompanied by an interest rate that is higher than for most of the rest of the club’s borrowing.
The five per cent rate is compared to around 3.5 per cent for most of the club’s debt – a rate which may go down – and even though the interest is only repaid whenever the rest of the loan is, it will have earned a tidy sum when that time comes.