Ex-Arsenal star: Arsene Wenger is a dictator
Arsenal news: Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is under fire from former Arsenal midfielder
Former Arsenal midfielder Stewart Robson has unleashed a stinging attack on Arsene Wenger, claiming he runs a dictatorial regime, has tactical failings and should have been sacked years ago.
The Gunners suffered a humiliating loss on penalties to League Two side Bradford City in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night, prompting many to call it the final straw and for Wenger to be let go.
Robson claimed the failure to turn the game around against Bradford showed their manager, Phil Parkinson, was a better coach, tactically, than Wenger.
Coaching methods at Emirates Stadium were also called into question by Robson; he claims new assistant manager Steve Bould is an accomplished coach but isn’t allowed to work his ideas under Wenger’s regime, likening the atmosphere at London Colney to that of a dictatorship.
“It was a poor performance, but one I'm not surprised about. Time and time again Arsenal don't earn the right to play, and tactically (Bradford boss) Phil Parkinson showed he's a better coach than Arsene Wenger,” he said on Sky Sports.
"I'm more embarrassed with the way Arsene Wenger conducts himself these days. He doesn't do any tactical stuff on the side of the field, they tell me he doesn't do too much work on the defensive side in training, yet he'll have a rant at everybody else.
"There's backroom staff that will challenge his decisions - Steve Bould, Neil Banfield, Terry Burton - but they can't challenge him because he's a dictator in many ways.
"Why isn't Steve Bould doing more coaching? Because - time and time again - I don't think Arsene Wenger sees the danger.
“When the team are making mistakes he doesn't rectify them, and the reason he doesn't rectify them is he doesn't know what the mistakes are.”
Robson’s attack did not stop there, he even went so far as to say Arsenal have had the wrong man in the job for a number of years, suggesting the slide is down to Wenger and that it will not be halted until the Frenchman has gone.
"In my view it was time up three or four years ago. The fans have stuck by him, they always say 'in Arsene we trust', that can't be the case anymore,” he added.
"Tactically Arsenal are all over the place at times, they're underprepared defensively, and if you have that you're always going to lose several football games in a season and not win trophies."
Wenger managed to turn a crisis around last season and secure third-placed finish, but he will have to wait until Monday before he can begin to do the same.
Arsenal travel to the Madejski Stadium to take on struggling Reading in a game that should be straightforward on paper, though nothing is certain when it comes to the north Londoners at the moment.