This season represents the best chance for Arsene Wenger to end Arsenal’s 12-year title drought but he is very close to throwing it away.
The Gunners’ 3-2 defeat to a weakened Manchester United on Sunday left them five points adrift of leaders Leicester with 11 games to play.
Many fans have reached the end of their tether. TV host Piers Morgan tweeted “#WengerOut” following the loss to United and he’s not alone in wanting the Frenchman gone.
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And now one of Wenger’s former players has joined in with the calls for the 66-year-old’s departure.
Paul Merson, who played under the Arsenal boss in the 1996-97 season, thinks Wenger should be sacked if either Leicester or Tottenham win the Premier League.
Merson added that Wenger’s decision not to sign a single outfield player in last summer’s transfer window should cost him his job if Arsenal fail to win the title.
The former England international told Sky Sports: “If Man City don't win the league and Tottenham or Leicester do then Arsene Wenger has to go.
"If you're sitting there telling those fans - loyal Arsenal fans - that they don't need any new players at the start of the season and then you don't win the league in front of Leicester or Tottenham then I don't see how you can justify it.
"If Man City win the league he can turn around and say 'they've got all the money in the world and can go and buy whoever they want, so would whoever I bought have made much difference?'
"But if Leicester or Tottenham win the league after he said they didn't need any players then I don't see how he can keep his job."
Lack of motivation
Arsenal were outclassed by a Manchester United team that was without Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial, Chris Smalling and Bastian Schweinsteiger and Wenger is to blame for failing to motivate his players, Merson thinks.
“Arsenal had 12 cup finals to play," he continued.
"But they went out on Sunday with an attitude of 'it's only Man United and they've got loads of injuries and kids playing, so we'll breeze through this game'.
"It just frustrates me and it absolutely does my head in.
"People point to the players, but the manager has to get the players up for these games. Man United might be fifth and not having a good season, but it's still Man United in front of 75,000 people.”
Merson, who won two First Division titles during a 10-year stay at Arsenal, added that there are “a thousand managers” who could get Arsenal in the top four, a feat Wenger has achieved in each of his 19 seasons at the club and is regularly praised for.
“A thousand managers would come to Arsenal and say 'don't give me a penny, but if I get Arsenal in the top four then pay me 10 million quid’,” Merson said.