Football

Wenger to go? They 10-2 agree

Several of the Arsenal manager's former players suggest the end is near for the Frenchman

Arsene Wenger's former players and pundits alike have almost unanimously called for his exit after the Gunners were again hammered by Bayern Munich yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Arsenal conceded five second-half goals at the Emirates Stadium to slump to another 5-1 loss in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, going down 10-2 on aggregate.

Defeat, sparked when Laurent Koscielny was controversially dismissed after conceding a penalty which led to Bayern's equaliser, followed reports of a training ground bust-up involving star player Alexis Sanchez ahead of the match.

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright believes Arsene Wenger's reign at the club is "imploding".

He told BT Sport: "He looks like a lost man... It just seems to be mounting up.

IMPLODING

"You've got the fans, the protests. It's imploding.

"It's a sad day because we've gone out again at this stage and we're going through a period in our history which is the worst that I can ever remember.

"I think with everything that's going on, in the dressing room, performances, you have to say it will take some monumental effort, some cataclysmic effort for Arsenal to turn it round in respect to the attitude of the players and their drive and determination."

"It seems like something is coming to an end."

It is a sentiment shared by Wenger's former players Gilberto Silva and Emmanuel Petit.

Ahead of the match, Brazilian Silva told Sport 360: "I feel that the time has come...

"Not because he can't do the job any longer, but perhaps because the other clubs have changed their way of working.

"He hasn't changed much, he hasn't changed his way of working - not because he doesn't want to, but it is not so easy to compete with clubs who spend a lot of money every season."

Petit, meanwhile, told SFR Sport: "If we focus only on what he has done in recent years, the overview is more negative.

"But, if we look at the first 10 years, what he has done is remarkable.

"I hope people won't only focus on the end. Love stories often finish badly.

"You have to know when the right moment comes to leave."

Only Wenger's former No. 1 Jens Lehmann stood up for him.

He told talkSPORT: "I think he has to stay now - he's done so much for the club.

"People are talking about his age and they want a new manager to bring fresh air, but it's very difficult to replace intelligence.

THE FIRE

"He's still got the fire and for what he's done he deserves not to go out on such a bad result.

"Next season, it could be a completely difficult situation."

Another former Arsenal player Charlie Nicholas disagreed, saying Arsenal are "broken".

He told Sky Sports: "I hate to say it, but you can tell the team is broken...

"They are not even playing for themselves which is a bigger crime than anything because these are the same guys, who a couple of months ago were telling us they were a good bunch, spirited and got on well."

He added that Wenger was "tactically naive" and "the game has passed him by".

Former Celtic boss Neil Lennon, however, laid the blame squarely at the feet of Wenger's players, telling the BBC: "They look like a team of divas at times, they look like a team of spoiled brats." - WIRE SERVICES

arsenalbayern munichChampions League