Jamie Carragher believes the Arsenal board deserves more criticism and blame for the club’s current predicament than Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal suffered a 5-1 humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League tie in midweek, meaning a seventh consecutive exit at the last-16 stage is almost certain.
They are ten points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea, and although they face non-league Sutton in the FA Cup, the prospect of a third domestic cup win in four years is hardly tantalising to supporters.
Wenger’s contract expires in the summer and so his future has come under intense scrutiny. The Frenchman himself insists he will manage next season – although not necessarily at the Emirates Stadium.
Carragher believes that the Arsenal board deserves admonishment for allowing a situation where the manager decides whether he stays or goes.
He writes, in the Daily Mail:
‘Things cannot stay as they are, whether it is for Wenger, the team or their supporters. I’m not an Arsenal fan but a lot of the criticism comes from the fact the club have allowed a culture to develop where they accept they are second best.
‘For all those who have placed Wenger directly in the line of fire, what about Sir Chips Keswick, the Chairman, or Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis, or Stan Kroenke the owner? They are the ones who have fawned over Wenger for the way he has become a money maker not a trophy taker.
‘Who allowed Wenger to develop so much power to the point where he is unsackable and can decide his own future? They did. Whatever shortcomings you believe the Frenchman has, the board have been more culpable. What they have done is a dereliction of duty to the club.
‘But the board aren’t the only ones with shortcomings. You have to question Wenger for the character of his squad. They are in a comfort zone, which stems from the fact Wenger lacks the ruthlessness of Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho to send shockwaves through the dressing room.’