'It would be a real shame if Wenger is remembered as a glorified accountant' - Niall Quinn on the Arsenal crisis
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is in danger of being remember as ‘a glorified accountant’, according to former Gunners and Ireland striker Niall Quinn.
In an exclusive interview with Independent.ie, Quinn has suggested what should be a glorious legacy for the Arsenal boss is being tarnished by a miserable run of form this season, with Monday night’s 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace the latest low point.
While Quinn believes Wenger could revive Arsenal if he stays on as manager, he accepts the tide of popular opinion may have turned against the Frenchman among the club’s supporters.
“It would be a real shame if Arsene Wenger is remembered as a glorified accountant, the guy who kept the finances in order and helped Arsenal to pay for the Emirates Stadium,” stated Sky Sports pundit Quinn.
“He should be remembered as more than that. The way he changed the game when he came in to Arsenal in terms of the discipline and the fitness he instilled, not to mention the success he brought, he deserves better than a tarnished legacy.
“However, there is a shadow over the club right now and Arsene is under serious pressure. It’s restricting the team and the situation needs to be resolved.
“I am an Arsene Wenger fan and even if the crowd are now split and a certain section are adamant he must go, I’m not so certain.
“What’s clear is that Arsenal need to end the speculation over the manager’s future and even if we are told Arsene will have the final stay on whether he stays or goes, the board have to be involved in some way in that decision.”
Quinn has urged the Arsenal board to step in and end the confusion over Wenger’s future, in a bid to salvage what is left of a season that appears to be collapsing in horrible fashion.
“They have not had to do this kind of thing for 21 years at Arsenal and suddenly they are like any other club trying to make the right decision over the future of a manager,” continues Quinn.
“The fans need to be assured that Arsenal and whoever their manager is going to be have the ambition to challenge for the title and you would be surprised how quickly this can turn around.
“It’s tricky for Arsene at the moment. It’s almost like he is standing in quicksand and everything is going against him, but Arsenal are still in a decent position to finish in the top four and that would be consolation for a disappointing season.”
Quinn believes the rise of Tottenham under their manager Mauricio Pochettino is adding to Wenger’s woes, with Arsenal’s supporters struggling to comprehend the reality that their local rivals have now moved past them.
“They could put up with Chelsea throwing loads of money at it and winning titles and the same with Manchester City,” adds Quinn.
“What they can’t put up with is the reality that Tottenham are so far ahead of them in the Premier League and it’s not helping Wenger’s position.
“This man has given so much to Arsenal and deserves to be remembered as a great manager, so hopefully the club can find a way to restructure and move forward, even if Wenger remains as manager.
“I hope he stays, I really do, but the gloom that is hovering over the club right now needs to lift and everyone involved has to decide whether Arsene is the man who can do that.”
Sky Sports is the best place to see the Premier League run-in, with Manchester United v Chelsea and the last North London Derby between Tottenham and Arsenal at White Hart Lane live and exclusive this month.