Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has suggested that Arsene Wenger will stay another year, but Patrick Vieira should succeed him.
Wenger has come under intense scrutiny and fierce criticism from supporters in recent weeks, as protests and calls for him to go have grown louder.
Results on the pitch certainly haven’t helped matters, although there is still no official word from the club as to whether the Frenchman will remain with his current contract expiring this summer.
While Wenger himself hinted that the media and supporters would know soon in his post-match press conference after the West Bromwich Albion defeat last weekend, everyone is still waiting for an answer.
However, Merson believes that his old boss will stay at the Emirates for one more year, but believes that Arsenal should be putting together a succession plan in that time which involves Vieira taking over the reins.
“My instincts tell me he’s going to sign and he’s waiting for a big win and he’ll sign for another year,” he told Sky Sports.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he stays a year and then Patrick Vieira comes in. Arsenal look too nice at the moment. I think that could happen and the fans would love that.
“The players don’t seem like they’re working that hard for the manager at the moment, which is sad. He’s a legend, which gives you some leeway. I just think he’ll get his team playing the way he played the game, which is what they need at the moment.”
Given that he hasn’t been offered a position at the club since hanging up his boots, and in turn moved on to Manchester City who provided him with a new career in management before joining New York City FC, it’s unclear at this stage as to whether Vieira is even being considered.
Nevertheless, aside from Thierry Henry, from a sentimental point of view, it would be an ideal appointment as Vieira was an integral part of the club’s most recent success and is an icon for most supporters.
Whether or not he’s experienced enough will be the main talking point, but Merson seems to like the idea and it remains to be seen if it comes to fruition.