Former Arsenal legend Stewart Robson has issued a warning to his former club – to get rid of manager Arsene Wenger or face further crisis.
The former Gunners player also insisted there are two ready and willing replacements for the Frenchman, already within the ranks at the club. He named Terry Burton and assistant manager Steve Bould as worthy successors to the current manager.
Robson revealed in recent weeks his knowledge of a growing rift amongst the staff at the club – he claimed Wenger operated a dictatorship in which Bould and youth team manager Liam Brady been frozen out of their responsibilities with the first team.
The Arsenal manager has taken heated criticism in recent weeks and months, amid calls from sections of the Arsenal fan base for him to be replaced.
“Arsenal still have good players,” started Robson.
“If somebody got hold of them and taught them how to defend, had a solid game plan and worked hard on them then I think Arsenal can still be a very, very good side.”
One has to wonder why the former employee of Arsenal Football Club feels the need, with such voracity, to rock the boat – yes, there are institutionalized problems at the club but I wonder whether there is an element of underlying personal conflicts that underpin Robson’s comments.
I could be wrong, but I don’t think his claims that either Steve Bould or Terry Burton, or even the likes of Liam Brady have between them what it would take to end the Gunners’ seven-year trophy drought.
“For me, there's no reason why they can't promote from within,” he continued.
“Terry Burton who is the reserve team boss is an excellent coach and Steve Bould, who isn't allowed to do any work at the moment, are both candidates.”
I understand that promoting from within brings with it a certain kind of cohesion and continuity in a football club but, for me, I think if Wenger can’t make it work within the current structure, then the structure needs an overhaul as much as they need a change of personnel.
"I would like to see somebody else given a chance at Arsenal, so they can take the club forward to where it should be.”
Despite what Robson claims he would like to see, I can’t see Wenger being replaced this season. I’m inclined to suggest he’ll see out the remainder of his contract at the Emirates and, after that, he’ll be replaced by an outsider who has proven credentials on the world stage.
Arsene Wenger is one of the best managers on the continent – experience, success at a high level, and longevity. Anybody coming in to replace him will have to meet those requirements.