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HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014

Football

Arsene Wenger lucky to avoid sack, says Wright
AFP
London, December 15, 2012
First Published: 09:20 IST(15/12/2012)
Last Updated: 09:22 IST(15/12/2012)

Arsenal legend Ian Wright claims Gunners manager Arsene Wenger is lucky to still have a job because any other boss would have been sacked for going so long without success.

Wright, one of the club's all-time greats, has added his voice to the growing criticism of Wenger in the aftermath of Tuesday's humiliating League Cup quarter-final defeat at Bradford.

Wenger, 63, has not delivered a trophy since the FA Cup in 2005 and the dismal display against League Two minnows Bradford, which ended with a penalty shoot-out loss, has only increased Wright's belief that the Frenchman is losing his fight to stop Arsenal sliding into obscurity.

Wright, who played under Wenger at the end of his seven-year spell with Arsenal, claims his former boss is now living off past glories that will take years to recapture.

"I wouldn't say 'surely he has to go', but it is a unique position he's in because I think any manager in any country in any world with a record like this and no prospect of light at the end of the tunnel, they would've been gone," Wright told Absolute Radio's RocknRoll Football show.

"People are holding onto the fact to what Arsene has done, and people are saying he is going to tarnish what he has done, but I don't think that will ever happen.

"However, it is a long way back. I feel there are a lot of deluded Arsenal fans who are out in the wilderness still saying 'in Arsene we trust' and stuff like that."

Wenger is rightly regarded as Arsenal's greatest ever manager after leading the club to three Premier League titles, four FA Cup and a Champions League final during his 16-year reign, as well introducing an eye-catching style of play that became the envy of the rest of Europe for several years.

But there has been a gradual disintegration of Wenger's squad in recent years, with the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie all making moves to more successful clubs.

Wright, who lost his status as Arsenal's record goalscorer to Thierry Henry, believes Wenger needs to be more honest about the state of his squad rather than continually defending the indefensible.

"You hear him doing interviews afterwards saying, 'I have got a great team with a great spirit', but we are not seeing that," Wright added.

"He does not tell the truth for me, he does not say what is happening.

"What is going on? Have you got any money to spend or haven't you? Is it the fact the board are giving you the money and you are not spending? Is that too hard a question to answer for Arsenal?


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