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Two Arsenal fans divided over Arsene Wenger's future give their views


Protests against Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger continued during Saturday's defeat at West Brom

Protests against Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger continued during Saturday's defeat at West Brom

Protests against Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger continued during Saturday's defeat at West Brom

Arsene Wenger is yet to announce whether he will sign a new deal to remain as Arsenal manager beyond this season.

The 67-year-old has said he has made a decision but, following six defeats in nine games and with the club sitting sixth in the table, the Arsenal fan-base continues to become ever-increasingly split on whether they want the man who has delivered three Premier League titles and a record-equalling six FA Cups to remain in the job.

Press Association Sport's Mark Mann-Bryans sat down with two supporters with largely opposing views: Kane Hopps, a vocal protester who was labelled an 'idiot' by pundit Gary Neville for holding up an anti-Wenger sign, and Josh Landy from the 'Footballistically Arsenal' podcast who has a differing opinion on the Frenchman.

Q: Are the protests harming the club and the team?

KH: "I am one of those protesters, I have been holding up banners. I don't necessarily think it is a good thing, I don't think it helps the club or comes across as good but as fans, I feel like to get our voice across to Wenger and the board I think it is the best way to do it."

JL: "But do you actually think the board are taking significant notice, will it impact whether he signs a new contract?"

KH: "The only way to make it clear is to do the protest because if we don't say something and the board all think it is rosy and no-one is saying anything, they will think they will have got away with it."

"In the past everyone has been a bit 'we want him to go' but they haven't been vocal, and he ends up signing a new contract.

Q: What about the mantra of 'be careful watch you wish for'?

JL: "We don't know. There is one example that we have got in recent times where a club has had a manager for 20 years, 25 years in Sir Alex Ferguson's case, and then has had a change. As predicted by many people it was incredibly difficult for the man who followed him."

KH: "What do we currently have that is so amazing that we are going to leave behind and change?

"Is it that great where we are at the moment that, w ith the squad we have got, the money we have available to us and the facilities we have, I don't see us ever dropping out of the top six, top seven at worst."

Q: What does this look like to fans of other clubs?

JL: "It sort of saddens me a bit that we have got to a point where there is a toxic nature between our fan-base.

"More than that, I feel a bit embarrassed, I feel for non-Arsenal fans, are they just incredibly bored hearing about it?

"We are just in a state of flux where we know there are people who would call for Arsene to leave, we know there are fans that are still going to back him and that has never been clearer than two planes flying over the Hawthorns on Saturday.

"A borderline lack of respect has been shown, the wording on banners, 'thanks for the memories' you could argue it is polite but it is like saying 'it's not you, it's me' after you've been on a date with a girl you no longer want to see."

Q: Is the perceived lack of investment in the team an issue?

KH: "If you look at just solely the last two years, for example, and you look at this summer just gone and see he spent nearly £100million on (Shkodran) Mustafi, on (Granit) Xhaka, on (Lucas) Perez, have those signings been good enough? They clearly haven't improved us.

"If you look solely at his transfer activity it has been nowhere near good enough to improve the squad that we need to and I think that is showing on the pitch now."

Q: What happens if Arsenal drop into the Europa League for next season?

JL: "Of course it would be a step down and the idea of playing on a Thursday night does lose the appeal but I support Arsenal, I will go relentlessly until I am no longer able to and the idea that I wouldn't turn up to see us play on a Thursday night just doesn't sit with me."

KH: "I personally wouldn't be going and I think 20-30,000 others might join me..."

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