Arsene Wenger recently admitted he is unperturbed by the growing number of Arsenal fans calling for his departure, but that might not be true.
The Daily Mail are reporting the Frenchman could quit the club due to the intense backlash from the Gunners’ faithful.
Arsenal supporters unfurled a banner during last week’s FA Cup victory over Hull which read: “Arsene, thanks for the memories but it’s time to say goodbye”.
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The 66-year-old’s contract expires at the end of next season and club’s board, headed by owner Stan Kroenke, will reward Wenger’s 20 years of service by allowing him to plan his own exit.
And that could come sooner than expected. This season looks set to be a trophyless one unless Wenger’s side can overturn an 11-point deficit in the Premier League.
Their Champions League hopes are all but over after a 2-0 loss to Barcelona in the first leg of their last-16 clash.
According to Daily Mail sources, the fans’ unrest has shaken the coach to the point where he is seriously considering walking away from the club he joined in 1996.
Recent string of poor results
Successive league defeats to Manchester United and Swansea caused supporters to express their anger and the 2-1 defeat to Watford in the FA Cup quarter-final certainly didn’t help Wenger’s cause.
But his reaction to the criticism following the 2-2 draw at Tottenham suggested that, although he acknowledges the Arsenal job isn’t his forever, he isn’t thinking of stepping aside just yet.
Wenger said, per the Daily Mail: “I believe that opinions are opinions. I do my job, some day someone will replace me and someone will replace you. That’s part of life.
“I always try to do my best so when I leave the club the guy coming in after me will have a good potential to work.
“I have always the same pressure, the pressure I apply to myself. There are more people talking, more opinions. The real pressure is your desire to win the next game, the only one that matters really.”
But Wenger must understand where fans are coming from. The north London club haven’t won the Premier League title since 2004 and, with Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea far from their clinical best, this season has represented a glorious opportunity to end their 12-year drought.
Yet, with an 11-point gap between them and Leicester, Arsenal’s title hopes are fading rapidly. They have nine games remaining to turn this around but, in all honesty, they need a miracle.
Though Kroenke is willing to let Wenger decide his future, the American is developing a succession plan to decide Arsenal’s next manager.
And the Daily Mail reckon the strategy could be implemented as early as next season if the 2016-17 campaign gets off to a rocky start.