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Calls mount for Le Professeur to quit Arsenal

Is it time for Arsène Wenger to stand down? Arsenal were humiliated in the League Cup final on Sunday and now a club legend says there is ‘no case’ for ‘Le Professeur’ keeping his job. "Arsenal are on the road to nowhere under Arsene Wenger," wrote Henry Winter inn The Times. They were "so bad they made children cry", said Paul Hayward inn The Telegraph. Gary Neville was even blunter in commentary: "They're a disgrace. An absolute disgrace." The Gunners collapsed to a 3-0 defeat in the League Cup final to Manchester City on Sunday. Much of the blame for this abject display has been piled on manager Arsene Wenger. Wenger, who signed a new two-year contract last summer, is fast running out of backers. Speaking on the BBC on Monday, Arsenal legend Ian WrightA former Arsenal and England player who is now a TV pundit. said he "could not make a case" for Wenger to still be Arsenal manager next season. Arsenal are closer to the bottom of the Premier League than to the top, and few believe they will win it any time soon. The fans have been split for years: you are either an "AKB" ("Arsene Knows Best") or a member of the "WOB" - the "Wenger Out Brigade". Every day the latter movement swells, while the AKBs fast resemble Japanese soldiers who continued fighting days after the second world war had officially ended. These are the charges: that Wenger is tactically stubborn, that his teams are mentally weak, that he has too much power, that he dithers in the transfer market and that he is too lenient with under-performing players. In his time at the North London club, Wenger has won three league titles (including one without losing a game) and eight FA Cups. He is easily England's longest-serving manager. Since he arrived in the tough, insular world of English football, his influence has been huge. He was the first manager in England to place great importance on players' diets. Now every club rigorously monitors what their stars eat. He has changed Arsenal too: from 1925 until 1996 they were known for a defensive brand of football, but under Wenger their fast-flowing, attractive style has been lauded all over the world. Arsène FC? There is a flag that sometimes appears at Arsenal games. It reads: "Arsene: thanks for the memories but it's time to say goodbye." No-one will ever forget the success they have had under Wenger. But it has become stale. Their failures this season have been entirely predictable, and by staying Wenger would only be harming his reputation. He should resign; and if he does not, the club should sack him. How shabby it would be if Arsenal became so driven by results that they sacked their greatest manager! reply those whose faith in Wenger has not wavered. They point to Manchester United, who have still not recovered from the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, as an example of what happens when such a major figure leaves. As another flag at the Emirates Stadium proclaims: "In Arsene we trust". KeywordsIan Wright - A former Arsenal and England player who is now a TV pundit.

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