Sunday 18 February 2018

'Be careful what you wish for' - Liam Brady issues warning to Arsenal fans looking for Wenger's departure

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Liam Brady has backed Arsene Wenger to make the right decision as he ponders whether to sign a new contract and continue his reign as Arsenal manager.

Wenger has come under increasing pressure to bring down the curtain on his enduring reign at Arsenal, with last week’s 5-1 Champions League defeat at Bayern Munich viewed by many as a result that should signal his exit as the club’s manager.

With his current contract set to expire next summer, Brady stopped short of backing Wenger to remain in charge into 2018, as he suggested the Frenchman he worked with during his time as Arsenal academy manager needs to weigh up his options.

“I think Arsene Wenger is in a position himself where he has to reflect on what he wants to do and I’m sure he’s doing to do that over the next few weeks,” he said on Eamon Dunphy’s The Stand podcast.

“Some serious discussions are going to have to go on between Arsene and the principal owner Stan Kroenke and they’ve got to work it out between them whether Arsene is going to go on managing this club.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty around the club. There’s a lot of the fanbase would be unhappy to see Arsene Wenger in charge next year.

“But then, are clubs always going to listen to what the fans want to say?

“If you asked every fan to pick a team they’d probably pick a different team, each and every one of them. They all have their own views, but Arsene Wenger, I think, is proven at running this club.”

Brady sprinkled some perspective on the current eagerness for change at Arsenal, as he suggested Wenger is paying a price for raising expectations during his time as Gunners boss.

“He’s a victim of his own success really,” added Brady. “As he said in the press conference the other day, Arsenal had no European pedigree until he came to the club and we didn’t really.

“Lots of fans have been brought up on the team he created. (Patrick) Vieira and (Emmanuel) Petit and they are craving those days again, but it’s easier said than done. Be careful what you wish for.

“We competed maybe twice in the old European Cup, once under George Graham and once under Bertie Mee.

“You have to look at the financial clout of the clubs he’s competing against. In those (early) days, he wasn’t competing against a Chelsea with (Roman) Abramovich or a Man City with Abu Dhabi money. Even Tottenham were a poor shadow of what they are now. Liverpool have invested a lot of money. Man United are a money machine.

“To keep the team consistently in the last 10 years in the top four, without having the money to spend… I know he’s spent money, but nothing compared to the likes of Chelsea, Man City and Man United have been able to afford, I think you have to take all that into consideration.

“Arsenal’s business plan is not going into debt. Manchester City and Chelsea there is no debt. It’s just benefactors. You’re being bankrolled by a county and you’re being bankrolled by an oligarch.”

Wenger is believed to have the offer of a new two-year contract on the table from Arsenal for several months and confirmed last week that he will make a final decision on his future “in March or April”.

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