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Rediff.com  » Sports » Calls for Wenger to be replaced as Arsenal stare at another exit

Calls for Wenger to be replaced as Arsenal stare at another exit

Last updated on: February 16, 2017 16:03 IST

According to BBC, the manager’s future will be decided at season end 

'This is 20 years of work here. He's been magnificent for the club. This is a massive low point for him. This brings forward the change that looks likely at the end of the season'

How I feel I don't think is the most important (thing) but of course it is disappointing, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said after the club's pummelling at the hands of Bayern Munich on Wednesday

IMAGE: How I feel I don't think is the most important (thing) but of course it is disappointing, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said after the club's pummelling at the hands of Bayern Munich on Wednesday. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Arsene Wenger's future as Arsenal manager will be decided at the end of the season, the BBC reported on Thursday without citing sources.

There was currently no prospect of Wenger leaving before the summer, it said, hours after Arsenal were thrashed 5-1 away to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Wenger is out of contract at the end of the season and has yet to accept fresh terms on offer. The decision on his future was expected to be taken mutually by the manager and the club, the report added. 

Earlier, Wenger said he was not looking for excuses after his team were demolished by Bayern in their Champions League round of 16 first-leg game on Wednesday.

Arsenal look certain to exit Europe's premier club competition at the first knockout stage for the seventh season in a row and the pressure on Wenger is mounting.

The result matched the 5-1 group-stage thrashing Arsenal received in Munich in November 2015 -- the club's joint record away defeat in Europe.

The Gunners were never in the game as they not only conceded five goals but over 75 percent possession in Germany.

"I do not look for excuses," the Frenchman told reporters.

"It is a shock of course to lose at that level. We made everything wrong, the fifth goal shows that."

Wenger has been Arsenal manager since 1996 but they have not won the Premier League title since 2004 and, 10 points behind leaders Chelsea, look very unlikely to achieve the feat this season.

"These kind of games you need to be focused for 90 minutes. I felt the third goal was a killer for our players and after that we had no response," Wenger said.

Wenger was asked if this result was his lowest point as manager.

"How I feel I don't think is the most important (thing) but of course it is disappointing," he said.

Arsenal recovered from conceding an early goal to equalise and the game was poised at 1-1 at halftime before the Premier League club's key defender Laurent Koscielny was forced off through injury early in the second half.

"It is difficult to explain. I felt we had two good chances to score just before halftime," Wenger said.

"I felt we were unlucky for the second goal, the referee gave a corner for us at first. Then we concede the second goal and then ... we lost Koscielny. We collapsed."

Former Arsenal players led the calls for Wenger to be replaced.

Lee Dixon has joined the growing list of former Arsenal players sensing manager Wenger will call time on his 21-year spell at the north London club after yet another rollercoaster season.

"It saddens me to see him like that, I know what a winner he is. I think he realises, he seems so low. This team is getting no response from him. I've never seen him like that before," Dixon, who played under Wenger for six years, told ITV Football.

"It's so obvious that they fight for so long and then they lose inspiration. He owes it to himself to change that. It is he who will pull the rug from under his own turf. I think he thinks it's time (to go)."

Ian Wright, Arsenal's second-highest goal-scorer, and Martin Keown, a member of Wenger's squad who went through the 2003-04 Premier League campaign unbeaten, also expect the Frenchman to draw the curtains on his career

"He looked particularly wounded. I feel for him -- he almost needs to be protected from himself," Martin Keown, a member of Wenger's squad who went through the 2003-04 Premier League campaign unbeaten, told BT Sport.

"This is 20 years of work here. He's been magnificent for the club. This is a massive low point for him. This brings forward the change that looks likely at the end of the season," the former England defender added.

"I think it will be him that makes the decision. The realisation that the decision needs to be made is more apparent tonight." 

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