Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has come in for a scathing review from former club legend Paul Merson for his failure to abdicate the thrown at the Emirates and allow the club compete for Premier League glory.
Merson, who made 425 appearances for Gunners over a 16 year period, now plies his trade as a football pundit with Sky Sports and has often been vocal of his former clubs fortunes, good and bad.
Now, while speaking to Four Four Two magazine, and reported by the Daily Star, Merson has delivered a blistering assessment of the club’s chances of ever winning the Premier League again while Wenger is at the helm.
“Will Arsenal win the league while Arsene Wenger is manager? I don’t think so.
“He has to take responsibility for why they’re not winning the league.
“He has done great things for the club but he should have gone to the board halfway through last season and said: ‘I’ve had a great time, but go and get one of these managers who are available.'”
The other managers Merson refers to relates to the shake up at the top of all of Arsenal’s title rivals over the last year.
The arrival of Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho at Arsenal’s main title rivals has arrested the flagging fortunes of each club and returned them to title chasing outfits.
Following this managerial spring clean, Merson laments where the Arsenal board can now turn to find a similarly qualified, big name manager.
“Who else is going to be manager? All the top managers have gone.
“They were top managers who hadn’t been sacked from their jobs but were leaving clubs of their own choice.
“He didn’t do that – and they’ve all gone to other Premier League clubs now.”
Following a stuttering run of form over Christmas which saw Arsenal tumble down to fifth in the league table, Wenger now has it all to do again if he wishes to entertain notions of a fourth Premier League title.
Failing that, fans might finally demand, in one voice, an end to the reign of one of their most successful managers.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena