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The Gunners' latest defeat, to League Two side Bradford, has prompted a fresh round of criticism for their manager, who is under pressure to deliver a first trophy since 2005

DEBATE

A dreadful defeat to League Two Bradford City in the Capital One Cup has led to a fresh round of criticism for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

Unlike in previous years, the Frenchman could not claim to be taking this particular competition lightly due to the pursuit of other goals.

He fielded a near full-strength side against the Bantams, yet they could not win in 120 minutes of action and eventually succumbed in a penalty shoot-out.

A quarter-final tie against a team from the fourth tier of the English game, with Chelsea the only other top-six side left in the competition, it was a real opportunity for Arsenal.

The best chance of ending a barren run of not winning any silverware since 2005 is now over, though, leaving just the Champions League and FA Cup to play for in the Gunners’ pursuit of a trophy this season.
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For fans of Arsenal it must seem like the same old story. Another summer where a key player – this time Robin van Persie - has gone, new players have come in to mixed impact and speculation is surrounding the future of the team’s current key men, most notably Theo Walcott.

On the pitch, they look no closer to ending their run without a trophy after Tuesday night’s defeat. In the Premier League, they are already 15 points adrift of leaders Manchester United after just 16 games.

As tends to happen as each season begins to unravel, question marks and criticism is beginning to come the way of Wenger for his stewardship of the club.

Whether it his decisions in the transfer market, team selections or tactics, all aspects of his management are now being scrutinised by fans and the media.

Fans often call for their manager to be sacked after a run of poor results and that has been no different for Wenger, but the question remains over whether he should be considered a special case.

If Sir Alex Ferguson or Roberto Mancini had gone as long without winning a trophy, there is little doubt they would be fired, yet, with the Frenchman his past successes and the club’s progress off the pitch during his time in charge are often cited as reasons to look past the empty trophy cabinet of recent years.

Wenger has undoubtedly been an exceptional manager over his 16 years as Gunners boss, but is the time now right for a change? Crucially, is there anyone else good or suitable enough to improve things should they be appointed to replace him?

HAVE YOUR SAY

What do you think about the current situation at Arsenal? Should Arsene Wenger be sacked or leave at the end of the season? Or is life without him at the Emirates Stadium unthinkable despite the recent lack of silverware?

Let us know your views by posting a comment below or by engaging with the debate on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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