Ian Wright Piles Pressure on Arsene Wenger Amid Doubts Over Arsenal Future

Ian Wright has increased the pressure on Arsene Wenger by claiming there is no case for him to remain as Arsenal manager at the end of the season.

Wenger's future has already been plunged into further doubt this week after the 3-0 League Cup final defeat on Sunday (February 25) to Manchester City.

According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal plans to review Wenger's position at the club at the end of the season but Wright, his former player, has suggested he cannot remain.

"There are excuses [from Wenger] and he is mollycoddling a team," the former striker said on BBC Radio 5 Live.

"Whether he stays at the end of this season, I could not make a case. I am not sure anyone can. This development of mediocrity has to be arrested.

"How long would it take Arsenal to get back? It will take them a few years. Everyone is progressing and moving forward in that top five. Arsenal are going the other way. They need to stop it, get a successful manager then get players to go forward. It is a long road."

Ian Wright
Ian Wright at the Barclays office, Singapore, May 13, 2015. Wright says he cannot make a case for Arsene Wenger to remain as Arsenal manager. Charles Pertwee/Getty

Wright, now 54, spent seven years playing at Highbury, two under Wenger as part of the Arsenal team that won the Premier League for the first time and the FA Cup double in 1998.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Wright recalled speaking with Wenger ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. "During our conversation he said he accepts whatever criticism I make comes from a place of love," he said, and so Wright is willing to look at potential replacements.

He believes Arsenal need to look down the road, at Tottenham, for some advice on how to replace Wenger, aiming for an up-and-coming coach.

"The club need to start looking for somebody who is not old," he said. "They are talking about Carlo Ancelotti, but they need to find the next one like Mauricio Pochettino, who built his way up.

"Marco Silva stepped on his own ambition. Somebody like that is good and can build, have a philosophy and be enthused with drive; someone who can bring in a player that can see his philosophy through, like we are seeing at Manchester City.

"Thierry [Henry] is the king at our place. But for him to come from being assistant at Belgium to taking over at Arsenal in this current climate, with the changes that need to happen... we are talking about a legend who will have the world of Arsenal—when it is not going right—on his shoulders.

"Arsenal are not in a position where they can go from someone like Arsene Wenger, who we love so much, yet who you mention to some people in the fanbase and their faces screw up. They are so angry. I would not want that to happen to Thierry, because he has taken the job straight after Wenger."