Arsenal are currently fourth in the Premier League table, and Arsene Wenger’s position as the club manager is under threat, having won his last trophy since 2003/04 season.
However, Martin Keown, a former Arsenal defender (1984-2005), says the Frenchman will be offered a new contract at the club despite calls from disgruntled fans who wish the contrary.
Keown, 50, warned critics who are calling for Wenger’s head that they will surely regret their actions if the 67-year-old coach is sacked.
As a scout and part of Arsenal’s coaching crew, Keown understands football management, and can peep into the future. He now works with BBC, ESPN, TV3 and Aljazeera Sports +3.
Arsenal fans are already protesting against Wenger’s “over-due” sack after 20 years of selfless service from the soft-spoken Frenchman.
“Enough is enough time to go,” reads one of the banners displayed on the stands during Chelsea’s victory on Saturday night.
Wenger’s position as The Gunners’ boss became a trending topic after his side dropped 12 points behind league leaders Chelsea following a 3-1 loss to Antonio Conte’s team. His contract at the Emirates ends in June, and a satisfactory campaign for this 2016/17 season may be a deciding factor for any talks on contract extension.
Meanwhile, the coach says he will “focus 100 per cent” until the last day of his contract, adding that all hope is not lost for The Gunners with 14 games left to play. Football is about twists and turns, he admits.
Arsene Wenger and Martin Keown.
Keown said: “Arsene Wenger will decide when he leaves the club.
“I believe that he manages up and down within the club,” the defender told BT Sport..
“They’re going to want to have a run-up to a succession plan at Arsenal Football Club and that will mean Arsene Wenger signing a new deal. I don’t know if that sits completely well with the fans.
“If you look at other situations, Manchester United losing Sir Alex Ferguson, I believe he’ll sign a new contract. It’s just really the announcement. When is the right time?
“Of course he needs to continue to do well enough to stay in the job. If he gets in the Champions League once more, wins a trophy… I know people are dissatisfied with that and feel change is necessary.
“But it could also go completely the other way if Arsenal were to leap now and make a big change. It sits with the way he is as a manager to see the job through to the end of the season and I do see him signing a new deal. That will be the last one and Arsenal will be looking to make a plan in that period.”
Image: Martin Keown
Wenger became manager at Arsenal on 1 October, 1996 and has become the Premier League’s longest-serving football coach.
He was a midfielder during his days as a professional footballer.
The Professor, as he is called, managed AS Monaco between 1987-1994. He has won 3 Premier League titles, 6 FA Cup trophies and 6 FA Community Shields among other numerous individual awards.
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