Ian Wright has suggested in-demand Swansea manager Michael Laudrup could be a candidate to replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal as calls for the Frenchman’s head gain momentum.
It has been seven years, nine months since Arsenal last lifted a piece of silverware and after the recent FA Cup knockout at the hands of Championship side Blackburn and the 3-1 defeat at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, there is not much hope left for ending their barren trophy-less run this season.
The lack of investment over the years in the squad as key players depart has been instrumental in Arsenal’s downfall and consequently Wenger’s ability to manage a trophy-winning side has been seriously questioned. Wright has suggested Arsenal’s situation is down to both the manager and the players, as the Gunners have a lack of desire in their approach and during a match.
The Arsenal striking legend dropped Laudrup’s name when discussing possible manager appointment’s should Wenger be ousted from the Emirates this summer, as the former La Liga star has engineered Swansea’s rise to the top half of the table and within touching distance of Europe – despite only their second season in the top flight.
The Englishman said on his Absolute Radio Rock ‘N’ Roll Football Podcast:
Laudrup could maybe step in, who knows.
There is so much pressure mounting on Arsene now I would hate to see him go out like that.
I have been shouting from the rooftops for many years now about the deficiencies in respect of replenishing the squad and buying the kind of player that is going to get Arsenal back to, not just qualifying for the Champions League, but getting past the quarter-final stages and really having a good go at it.
If we are not careful we are going to end up going for fourth spot every single season and if that does not happen — then what?
With Arsenal, apart from the Bruce Rioch situation, they aren’t too quick to sack people.
They’ve given Wenger time and put their faith in him.
If I’m totally honest I think he deserves the time because of what he’s done for the club and many people will agree.
Personally I don’t want to see Wenger go out on his shield, I want to see Arsenal get back to a situation where they are fighting it out with the big boys again.
Wenger let the footballing world know of his stress as reporters pushed him into loosing his nerve during the pre-match press conference for the Bayern fixture (watch here), and Wright, who is a massive fan of his former manager, still believes at the end of the day the Frenchman is to blame as he is either too stubborn to spend or he is protecting the boards restrictions.
The Gunners legend continue:
Watching Arsene Wenger in that press conference hurt me.
It made me feel very, very sad because as much as I don’t think he would ever admit it, everything that is happening right now is ultimately down to him.
Yes, he sends the players out to do the business but you have to say he is to blame.
We’re all still very much in the dark about the money situation at the club, whether he has money and doesn’t want to spend it or he’s a company man and he’s protecting the board.
Whatever it is I think we should have found out a long time ago because all of the mystery just adds to this unnecessary pressure on Wengers shoulders.
Arsenal are in danger of slipping into a similar situation to Liverpool, struggling to get a squad together and attract players to get back into the Champions League.
Liverpool have an unbelievable European record as a club but they just can’t get back on track at the moment.
You have to agree with elements of what Wright said, Wenger has bought badly. He dropped Mertesacker’s name as not an Arsenal-grade defender, I tend to disagree as I still rate the lanky German international especially when he is teamed with Thomas Vermaelen. Koscielny has struggled with form of late but I think we can put that down to inconsistent match experience of late due to injuries and the ‘Sack’ and Vermaelen picked as the first choice centre half pairing. But players like Chamakh, Santos, Gervinho and Denilson have been poor, but there is always risks when purchasing players from abroad.
In regards to Laudrup, the Dane has been lined up by Real Madrid fans as their chosen candidate to succeed Jose Mourinho as their boss ahead of experienced managers in Paris Saint-Germain’s Carlo Ancelotti or Chelsea’s Rafael Benitez. As a player he won numerous titles with both Barcelona and Real Madrid, and has done a brilliant job of progressing Brendan Rodgers’ hard work with Swansea and transforming them into European contenders. But is he the right candidate for succeeding Wenger should he resign this summer?
Firstly Wenger is contracted until next year, so it is highly likely that the Frenchman will actually see out his contract as he has repeatedly maintained. He for one, like Wright, would love to get Arsenal back to being a title contender during his reign while another season for Laudrup in the Premier League would not hurt to help clarify if he has the ingredients to be a top level coach, or another scenario is Madrid take a risk and snap him up at the end of this season. Either way he is not the answer for this summer and money must be spent during the transfer window..plenty of it.