Arsenal legend and club ambassador Liam Brady accepts that sections of the club’s fanbase are restless for a change of manager, but warns they may not find better than the “proven” Arsene Wenger.
Speaking on Eamon Dunphy’s podcast The Stand, Brady said: “There’s a lot of uncertainty around the club. There’s a lot of the fanbase who would be unhappy to see Arsene Wenger in charge next year.
“But then, are clubs always going to listen to what the fans want to say?
“If you asked every fan to pick a team they’d probably pick a different team, each and every one of them. They all have their own views. But Arsene Wenger, I think, is proven at running this club.”
Brady did hint that the targets of the club’s hierarchy may not necessarily marry with the fans’ ambitions.
“He’s like the CEO of a big business and he’s delivered year in year out as regards the results that the owners are looking for. Maybe not the fans, but it’s only two years ago that he won the FA Cup. The year before he won the FA Cup and he’s constantly, consistently in the top four of the Premier League. To sack a man who has a record like that would seem unfair.”
But Brady stopped short of predicting Wenger will remain in charge next season.
“I think Arsene Wenger is in a position himself where he has to reflect on what he wants to do and I’m sure he’s doing to do that over the next few weeks.
“But some serious discussions are going to have to go on between Arsene and the principal owner Stan Kroenke and they’ve got to work it out between them whether Arsene is going to go on managing this club.”
Brady went on to defend Arsenal’s 13-year absence from the winner’s enclosure in the Premier League and the continued lack of a Champions League win.
“You have to look at the financial clout of the clubs he’s competing against. In those (early) days, he wasn’t competing against a Chelsea with Abramovich or a Man City with Abu Dhabi money. Even Tottenham were a poor shadow of what they are now. Liverpool have invested a lot of money. Man United are a money machine.
“To keep the team consistently in the last 10 years in the top four, without having the money to spend… I know he’s spent money, but nothing compared to the likes of Chelsea, Man City and Man United have been able to afford, I think you have to take all that into consideration. Man United spent £90m (€106.3m) on Pogba. Arsenal are not in that (space).
“Arsenal’s business plan is not going into debt. (With) Man City and Chelsea there is no debt. It’s just benefactors. You’re being bankrolled by a country and you’re being bankrolled by an oligarch. As Arsene said in the press conference the other day, Arsenal had no European pedigree until he came to the club and we didn’t really. We competed maybe twice in the old European Cup, once under George Graham and once under Bertie Mee.
“(Arsene’s) a victim of his own success really. Bayern Munich have the run of Germany. Look at all the players they have that played in other German clubs. As soon as they have one or two good seasons they’re in the Bayern Munich team. That doesn’t happen in England. Arsenal don’t have that clout.
“Lots of fans have been brought up on the team he created. And they are craving those days again. But it’s easier said than done. Be careful what you wish for.
“A new manager doesn’t guarantee you success.”
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