'Let the man bow out with a bit of dignity' - John Aldridge shocked by the abuse flowing Wenger's way
John Aldridge believes the abuse flowing in the direction of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is ‘disgusting’, but thinks the time is right for the Frenchman to end his enduring reign as the club’s manager.
Wenger had come under-fire after his side’s humiliating 10-2 aggregate defeat against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, with Arsenal issuing a somewhat bizarre statement on Thursday hinting Wenger may not be the given a chance to decide his own destiny when his contract expires at the end of this season.
While former Liverpool and Ireland striker Aldridge is convinced Wenger should walk away from his role this summer, he suggests the treatment coming his way in recent months has been unwarranted.
“There are stupid kids popping up on these YouTube channels chanting ‘Wenger Out’ and they simply have no concept of what this man has done for the club,” Aldo tells us.
“The whole thing has become very nasty. This is a guy who has done fantastic things for Arsenal over the last two decades and it is sad to see the way it is going now.
“It probably is the right time for him to step down because Arsenal have stagnated for too long now and a new voice probably is needed. Wenger has had a great run, he has made a fortunate out of the game, so go off and enjoy your retirement.
“Sadly, the way the game works now, no one can be afforded a bit of respect, even if you have been at a club for 20 years. Let the man bow out with a bit of dignity, that is the least he deserves.”
Aldridge suggests Arsenal could still salvage their season with a top four finish and an FA Cup win, but he is hoping Wenger comes up short in the first of those targets.
“It could go either way for Arsenal from this point,” he adds. “They could either blow up and have a miserable end to the season, or they could get together and manage to scramble into the top four once more.
“From a Liverpool perspective, I hope they lose every game they have left in the Premier League as that would give my team the best chance to finish in the top four, but you can never write Wenger and Arsenal off.
“They have some good players and can beat the lesser teams in the Premier League, so they are top four contenders still, even after what happened to them against a very good Bayern Munich side.
“It might be nice if Wenger finished his time at Arsenal by winning the FA Cup and they are lucky to have a game against non-league Lincoln this weekend in the quarter-finals.
“They will get through that and then they are two games away from what could be the perfect end to the Wenger era at Arsenal.
“The FA Cup may have lost some of its sparkle in recent years, but it is still a massive competition to win and the Arsenal fans criticising Wenger now will all be delighted if they win that trophy again at Wembley in May.”