By David de Winter – Sports Editor
Over two-thirds of Arsenal fans have run out of patience with manager Arsene Wenger, Ladbrokes has claimed. After Sunday’s calamitous defeat to Swansea City it seems that the tide is turning against the Premier League’s longest serving manager.
A poll of 400 fans run by Ladbokes News reveals that only 32% of those asked wanted to persevere with Wenger, with the remainder keen to see a new man brought in to revive the fortunes of the Gunners. Wenger himself admitted that the title is already out of Arsenal’s reach and many fans are dismayed that the club has not built on last season’s FA Cup success. The odds are still in their favour to get into the Champions League places at the end of the seson (1/2) but for many supporters, that is not enough.
Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes said: “Arsenal fans’ patience is clearly wearing thin. We expected the survey to be closer, but it seems Wenger’s supporters are very much in the minority despite the betting suggesting he should steer them to another top four finish.”
The list of potential replacements to fill the Frenchman’s shoes is not short on managerial talent. According to Ladbrokes current Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp is the favourite to take over at 12/1. Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola and Ronald Koeman of high-flying Southampton are both at 14/1 and Michael Laudrup and Roberto Martinez are apparently 20/1. But what about current Ajax assistant manager and ex-Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp? The non-flying Dutchman has been biding his time under Frank De Boer at the Amsterdam Arena. Could this be the job to tempt him into the hot seat? Ladbrokes certainly think it isn’t out of the question and have Bergkamp at 25/1 to be the next Arsenal boss.
Can I see Arsene Wenger being sacked on the back of a couple of poor results? Not really. The board has shown immense patience to stick with a man who has solidified Arsenal as one of the top four clubs in the country for the past 15 seasons. I agree that it’s frustrating that even with spending £35 million on Alexis Sanchez there is still no overall improvement in results. For me that stems from a) an injury hit back four but also b) refusing to strengthen at the vastly important position at centre-back. Until Wenger rectifies this, the mumbles of complaint will continue. If you’re feeling really brave you can still back Arsenal to win the title at 40/1. I’m going to keep my money in my pocket for now.
For more information, visit sports.ladbrokes.com