Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit believes that Arsene Wenger should change his role at the club at the end of this season.
The Frenchman insisted that although his former boss deserves plenty of credit and recognition for the job he has done with the north London giants during his tenure, the time has come for a change in approach from the club.
Wenger has faced intense criticism again in recent weeks, with his side crashing out of the FA Cup on Sunday and will likely be eliminated from the Champions League on Wednesday night as they look to overturn a two-goal deficit in Barcelona.
Meanwhile, the Gunners have also fallen 11 points adrift of Leicester City in the race for the Premier League title, and given that this year was seen as their best chance of ending their wait for domestic honours, Wenger has taken the brunt of the frustration.
Petit believes that the French tactician should stay on at the club, but in a different role in order to allow a new manager to bring in new ideas and players.
“Arsene is one of the greatest managers I have played with,” Petit told Sky Sports.
“You can see what he’s done over the past 20 years for Arsenal but I think Arsene needs to understand one important thing. He needs to understand that if you want to win a trophy then you need great leaders and great warriors on the pitch.
“I think they are not strong enough. Arsene needs to bring in players who have the potential to play the Arsenal way but also with a great mind, a great spirit, a great heart. This was the perfect year for Arsenal to win the Premier League and they’ve missed it. That’s it, and Arsene is quite responsible for that too.”
“Should he stay as manager at the club? I don’t know. It’s probably the time for him to stay but in a different role at the club. Maybe he could be supervising but I think they need someone new that will lead to new players coming into the club.”
Petit undoubtedly has a point, and the club’s failure to win silverware this season should see Wenger face the majority of the responsibility. Having been backed for years by supporters for his on-going work with the squad and developing some of the best talents in the country, trophies have to follow.
With back-to-back FA Cups not enough, Wenger could pay a heavy price this summer for his inability to take full advantage of the struggles of Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City, with Leicester and Tottenham arguably now involved in a two-horse race for the league title.