Emmanuel Petit: Arsene Wenger should step aside at Arsenal
By Jefferson Lake
Last Updated: 16/03/16 3:24pm
Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit feels Arsene Wenger should step aside as manager and take up a supervisory role at the club.
Petit won the Premier League and FA Cup double under Wenger 18 years ago and while he accepts his former boss has had a remarkable career in north London, he thinks the time has come for him to hand the managerial duties to someone new.
Wenger takes charge of his 200th match in the European Cup/Champions League on Wednesday night when Arsenal face Barcelona, but he goes into that tie amid fresh criticism following the team's FA Cup quarter-final exit to Watford at the weekend.
With elimination from the Champions League looking likely, Arsenal would be left with just the Premier League to play for - a competition in which they are currently 11 points adrift of leaders Leicester City.
Petit feels this was "the perfect year" for the club to win a domestic title, and that Wenger should take some of the responsibility if they fail to do so.
"Arsene is one of the greatest managers I have played with," said Petit, who made 118 appearances for the Gunners between 1997 and 2000.
"You can see what he's done over the past 20 years for Arsenal but I think Arsene needs to understand one important thing.
"He needs to understand that if you want to win a trophy then you need great leaders and great warriors on the pitch.
"I think they are not strong enough. Arsene needs to bring in players who have the potential to play the Arsenal way but also with a great mind, a great spirit, a great heart.
"This was the perfect year for Arsenal to win the Premier League and they've missed it. That's it, and Arsene is quite responsible for that too."
And Petit feels that responsibility should lead to a change of club role for Wenger, with a new manager - and new additions to the playing staff - his suggestion.
"Should he stay as manager at the club? I don't know," said Petit. "It's probably the time for him to stay but in a different role at the club.
"Maybe he could be supervising but I think they need someone new that will lead to new players coming into the club."