Sunday Supplement panel feel Arsene Wenger's Arsenal career is coming to an end
Last Updated: February 17, 2013 5:03pm
Time up for Wenger?
Arsene Wenger's time at Arsenal is running out, Jason Burt told The Sunday Supplement.
The Gunners boss saw his side booed from the field at the Emirates on Saturday after a shock 1-0 FA Cup defeat to Championship side Blackburn Rovers.
With the club already out of the League Cup and facing a tough test against Bayern Munich in the Champions League it seems their trophy drought, which stretches back to 2005, is unlikely to end this year - and The Sunday Telegraph's Burt reckons Wenger could depart the club in the near future.
"He deserves respect but I can't see it carrying on for much longer. I think they will have to make a change."
"Nobody thought Arsenal would lose that game but they're out and now the inquest starts on Arsene Wenger again and how long he's got left at Arsenal ahead of a huge Champions League game on Tuesday night," he said.
"He will see out the season, come what may. Even if they go out to Bayern Munich I don't think there's any chance at all he won't be there come the end of the season.
"But the big question is: what happens to the club now?
"In the last few months I've heard people round the club start to put more distance between the club and the manager, talking about the money he's had to spend but not used and perhaps pinning the blame for recent events on him, rather than saying 'he's done a fantastic job keeping the team competitive with limited resources'.
"That makes me think the possibility of him going this summer is greater than it was before and maybe some people in the club may not be too upset if that does happen."
Burt doesn't believe the Blackburn result is an incident enough on its own to end Wenger's spell at Arsenal, but rather yet more evidence for the Gunner's steady decline in recent seasons.
"It's been a drip, drip situation," he said.
"Nothing's come to a shuddering hault at Arsenal but over a number of years we've seen a gradual decline. Then we've had the argument about fourth place being good enough.
"They're less competitive and not winning trophies. It seems like Wenger is King Canute - the waves are lapping at his feet and he believes he can change it, but I don't think he can.
"This is a great manager who has achieved great things in the game - he went a season unbeaten - and he deserves respect but I can't see it carrying on for much longer. I think they will have to make a change."
John Dillon from the Daily Express agreed and suggested Arsenal's frugal attitude to spending money in the transfer market has come back to haunt them.
"This is a results business, so it doesn't matter how many chances Arsenal had against Blackburn. Wenger took a gamble with his team selection and he has to live with the consequences of that," he said.
"I've always liked the fact Arsenal have tried to stand for something different - especially in the era of financial fairplay coming in - and Arsenal, on the surface, have tried to make it look like they're different.
"While supporters have complained about them not winning anything it's important your club stands for something and Arsenal has.
"But that's looking flawed now. At the same time they're charging the highest ticket prices in the game and Wenger's earning £7.5m a year. He doesn't need to earn that much.
"If this club has this idea, this philosophy, about finances why is everyone doing so well out of it apart from the supporters? That eventually begins to gnaw away at the fans.
"Certainly the quality of players they have brought in haven't matched the quality of the past. They do not seem to have enough quality to compete at the level they have to now."