Jamie Carragher has urged the Arsenal board to provide clarity over Arsene Wenger’s future and believes the Frenchman should stand down in the summer.
Wenger signed a new two-year deal at the end of last season but remains under scrutiny with his side ousted from both domestic cups – convincingly beaten by Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final – and cut adrift in the battle for a top-four place.
The 68-year-old has so far shrugged off talk he could leave his longstanding position a year early, claiming he has “turned down the biggest clubs in the world to respect his contract” but Carragher thinks the prospect of change would revitalise the club and help preserve the legacy of “legend” Wenger.
Carragher, speaking from the Sky Sports studio ahead of what proved another 3-0 defeat for Arsenal, said: “Forget tonight, the only way you can turn this negative at Arsenal into a positive is if the board – together with the manager – comes out and announces that Wenger will move on in the summer.
“Everyone could get behind them. We’d then start saying: ‘What a man – one of the great managers in the Premier League, one of the greatest managers in British football.
“That’s what should be being said but I think some Arsenal fans may even think they don’t want to win the Europa League to get into the Champions League because then the manager may then stay and that’s sad.”I love Wenger, he’s a legend, but I think the time has come now for the people above to say: ‘Enough is enough – it’s time for someone else to come in and take us in a different direction.
“It’s not that he’s doing a bad job – he’s won three FA Cups in the last four years and that’s a good job – but someone needs to come and do a greatjob.
“People are questioning the manager and the players but they have to look at those in charge of the club.”
Speaking after the 3-0 defeat, Carragher reiterated his stance, saying: “This man is a legend in the English game. But they have to change it, it has to be done.
“There’s no way the end of this season should be about this man being hounded out and going through that in empty stadiums.
“Make the decision now and give this man the send-off he deserves for what he’s done over 20 years, not what he’s done over the last five, six, 10 years.”
Fellow Sky Sports pundit Thierry Henry, who won two Premier League titles under Wenger, said: “The man has been more than magnificent for this club and everyone knows how magnificent he has been for me.
“So it pains me to see this situation, for the man. I feel sad because this is the club that I love and a man I have a lot of respect for.”
Adding a final reflection on the night, Carragher said: “It feels like an end. The supporters were tired and flat. It felt like a resignation that it was a parting of the ways.”