Arsenal have been widely criticised this season for a lack of performance and consistency, with the Gunners falling well behind in the race for a top-four finish in the Premier League, losing in the Carabao Cup final and also experiencing a premature exit in the FA Cup.
Those woes have led to growing calls for Arsene Wenger to end his long-term association with the Gunners, despite the fact that the 68-year-old Frenchman only signed a new two-year deal last summer- which ended months of speculation.
Whilst Wenger has made it clear he will not walk before the end of the season, Arsenal legend Charlie Nicholas has made a bold claim as he believes the French boss could announce he’s stepping aside this summer- and believes that statement could come as early as this week.
Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League second-leg tie with AC Milan, he said:
“Well after the shambles of Arsenal’s last home game in this competition, when they nearly blew it against Ostersund, Arsene Wenger will play a strong line-up with a free weekend to follow.”
“This team still have issues despite the 3-0 win at the weekend but they are slowly getting a response. I do think at close to even money it is a great price on Arsenal to win given the quality of players who should play and it is another opportunity to build momentum, and get the fans that are there on side.”
“I’m actually going a step further and backing Arsenal to win by three or more goals against this bog-standard Milan side.”
“However, I also have a feeling that there might be an announcement by the manager either on Friday or over the weekend to confirm that he is going to step down in the summer, perhaps going upstairs, easing the tension and allowing the team to have a go for the Europa League without the same strain.”
“He knows the fans don’t hate him, they’re just angry with him, but it was the first time I’ve heard him use the word ‘hate’ and I just think he’s realising he needs to do something to ease the anger.”
“I think when he looks up and sees 25,000 fans in the stadium he created that he’ll come to a decision that something has to change.”