Former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein has urged Gunners fans to show Arsene Wenger respect or run the risk of losing him as manager as he comes under increasing pressure at the Emirates.
The Frenchman is enduring a difficult period in north London with the fans frustrated after six years without silverware and little investment.
Matters have been compounded by the departure of Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona and the apparently imminent switch to Manchester City by Samir Nasri.
Supporters vented their frustration at the end of last season and the lack of transfer activity has done little to mollify them while some fans became embroiled in a spat with Nasri this week.
However, Dein – who left Arsenal in 2007 – insists Wenger could choose to leave if he does not get the fans’ backing.
Dein told BBC Sport: “That’s always an option open to him because it could come to a stage when he will say, ’Well, I have had enough.’
“At least that’s how I feel and I feel the fans should feel that. They should at least give him the respect that he deserves for what he’s done. People talk about ’Has his time finished at the club?’
“That’s a very dangerous thing to say because it’s easy to get rid of people and then what? People talk about buying players. Well, you’ve got to get players who are better than the ones you’ve got at the moment.”
Dein was instrumental in appointing Wenger in 1996 and he admits he can empathise with the Gunners fans.
“I can understand their worry because the expectation level today is so high and Arsene has brought such success to the club.
“In 15 years that he’s been there every year we’ve been in the Champions League. So you can understand, perhaps, fans feeling a little bit frustrated that they haven’t seen a trophy for a few years.
“Under Arsene Wenger’s stewardship, they’ve had good times and very good times and there’s no reason to expect why we shouldn’t see them again.”