Arsenal great Alan Smith has called for a managerial change at the Emirates Stadium, claiming current boss Arsene Wenger may have exhausted his relevance at the club.
Smith, who left Arsenal a year before Wenger was appointed, gave his thoughts after the Gunners beat West Brom 2-0 Thursday night to move third on the Premier League log but still 10 points adrift of Leicester City.
“You don’t want to go out on a low after what he’s achieved at this club, but he has always gone on record as saying if he felt he couldn’t take the team forward and improve the team he would walk away,” he told Sky Sports.
“Can he improve this team? I’ve got my doubts and I think a lot of other people have. He has been here a long time.
“When George Graham was here I played for him for eight years and by the end of that time we had heard all of his rollickings and all of his team talks. It does get a bit stale.
“Wenger has done well to last 20 years, but I go back to words like ‘optimism’ and ‘excitement’. Will there be that inside this stadium for the first kick-off of next season given the situation with the other clubs and all their new managers?
“With the group they have got I don’t think the chemistry is right in terms of leaders and nastiness sometimes, but I maintain you could get a better performance out of that group than Arsene Wenger has managed to get.
Also, Smith pointed out Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone the ideal man for the club, suggesting the Gunners would be a different group under the feisty Argentine.
“For instance, Diego Simeone is a complete contrast; black and white really,” he added. “They would be harder to beat with him at the helm.
“That’s probably a fair comment because of the steel he would bring to it. Arsene Wenger is a much different manager.”
There has been a #WengerOut campaign at the Emirates this season, with 10,000 vacant seats at the Emirates in the game against West Brom.
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