Former Arsenal boss makes his feelings known on Gunners plight.
Former Arsenal boss Graham lays blame for Gunners’ crisis squarely at Wenger’s feet
Former Arsenal boss George Graham has launched a stinging attack on Arsene Wenger, blaming the Frenchman for allowing the north Londoners to slip into crisis.
And he also believes that star striker Robin van Persie is in real danger of leaving the Emirates.
Graham stated: ‘Yes, Arsenal are in crisis. It has been slipping away for the last couple of years. They’ve not been replacing those players who left four or five years ago.
‘They’re lacking leaders and the quality of the players they’re bringing in is just not up to the standard if you want to win the Premier League.’
‘I think he will still be there next season but he badly needs to refresh the playing side of the club. He needs to keep bringing youngsters through but he must buy quality, experienced players to win trophies.’
‘Some players at Chelsea and Manchester City are earning £175,000 a week or more,’ Graham added.
‘For Van Persie, this will be his last big contract. He’ll be 29 when his contract finishes and he’s going to be looking for a four-year contract, maybe even five.
‘You can’t expect Arsenal to pay that knowing that in his last two years he probably won’t be a regular in the team.
‘I would let Walcott go. He was a promising boy but his potential has never really been fulfilled. He has still got fabulous pace but he’s been there five years and I can’t see a great improvement.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail
A rather honest assessment from the former Arsenal boss and probably one that echoes what most Gunners fans feel about the situation. Whilst it’s true that Arsene Wenger has struggled over the past seven seasons it is also true that the Frenchman has been incredibly successful during his overall reign as manager of the North London club and he may well have one more season to pull things around.
Graham’s thoughts on Theo Walcott are pretty much spot on. The England international can be a hugely frustrating player to watch, undoubted talent though he is, now into his sixth season in the Arsenal first team and nearing his 23rd birthday it’s probably getting to the stage where he has to deliver more consistently and a new contract may well only be put on the table if the winger bucks up his ideas for the remainder of the campaign.
Robin Van Persie’s future at Arsenal is another thorny issue and one that may well get a lorry load of newspaper column inches devoted to it over the next few months. With just a year to run on his current deal come the summer, Wenger will hope that a top four finish would help to persuade the Arsenal captain to put pen to paper on a new deal, but without Champions League football to offer such a deal seems far less likely.
The issue of restructuring the club’s strict wage cap is another discussion that probably goes on up and down North London pubs and offices and one would imagine that if Wenger could offer prospective additions salaries that could complete with the likes of Man City then they would stand a better chance of winning the race to those signatures.