Former Arsenal star Paul Merson says manager Arsene Wenger must be sacked if Leicester City or Tottenham beat them to the Premier League title.
Arsenal have not been crowned champions since 2004 and are five points adrift of Leicester following Sunday’s 3-2 defeat at an injury-hit Manchester United.
Meanwhile, fierce rivals Tottenham came from behind to beat Swansea City 2-1 and stay within two points of Claudio Ranieri’s surprise leaders.
Wenger’s men take on Swansea on Wednesday before a crucial London derby against Spurs and Merson – who played in the Frenchman’s maiden season at the Gunners helm in 1996-97 – feels the 66-year-old’s near 20-year tenure at Arsenal should come to an end if they lose out to Leicester or Tottenham.
“If Man City don’t win the league and Tottenham or Leicester do then Arsene Wenger has to go,” he told Sky Sports.
“If you’re sitting there telling those fans – loyal Arsenal fans – that they don’t need any new players at the start of the season and then you don’t win the league in front of Leicester or Tottenham then I don’t see how you can justify it.
“If Man City win the league he can turn around and say ‘they’ve got all the money in the world and can go and buy whoever they want, so would whoever I bought have made much difference?’.
“But if Leicester or Tottenham win the league after he said they didn’t need any players then I don’t see how he can keep his job.
“People may say there’s nobody better than him, but there’s a thousand managers who could come in and get Arsenal in the top four.
“A thousand managers would come to Arsenal and say ‘don’t give me a penny, but if I get Arsenal in the top four then pay me 10 million quid’.
“Every football manager in the world would take that deal. Arsenal are always going to get in the top four.
“If Leicester or Tottenham win the title then I just don’t see how he can keep his job.”