By Chris Myson
Ex-Arsenal star Stewart Robson has hit out at manager Arsene Wenger following the Gunners' humilating Capital One Cup exit at the hands of Bradford City on Tuesday evening.
The former midfielder played over 200 times for the Gunners between 1981 and 1986 and says the Frenchman is a "dictator" who does not understand the game.
In an astonishing rant, Robson criticised Wenger for his behaviour on the touchline during matches, his apparent lack of tactical awareness and his general running of the club in recent years.
“Against Bradford, tactically, Phil Parkinson showed he was a better coach than Arsene Wenger," Robson said to Sky Sports.
“As usual there were no instructions coming from Arsene Wenger on the touchline. Yes, he will rant at the fourth official, rant at the linesman and rant at the referee but he needs to start doing some actual coaching both in games and on the training ground.
“I am embarrassed with the way Arsene Wenger conducts himself these days. He doesn’t give any information to players on the field. He doesn’t do any tactical stuff and I’m told he doesn’t do much training either, yet he’ll happily have a rant at everyone else.
“There are good backroom staff at Arsenal, Steve Bould, Neil Banfield, Terry Burton – all top football people – but they can’t challenge him because Wenger is a dictator. Look at the relationship between Wenger and Bould on the touchline – they hardly speak.
“Why on earth would you appoint someone like Steve Bould, a good coach who did a great job with the youth team and has a sound understanding of the game and then not let him do any of the coaching? I’m told he hardly gets to do any at all.
“Arsene Wenger doesn’t see the danger, he doesn’t read the game. When things are going wrong and the team are making mistakes, he doesn’t rectify them and the reason he doesn’t is because he doesn’t know what the mistakes are.
“In my view it was time up for him three or four years ago. The fans have stuck by him, they always say ‘In Arsene We Trust’ but I don’t think that can be the case anymore. Tactically Arsenal are all over the place, they are underprepared defensively, and he doesn’t understand the game well enough. If you have that combination, you will always lose several football games.
“The board won’t do anything because Arsene runs the board. He is a dictator; he was even part of the appointment of Ivan Gazidis. When the manager is appointing the chief executive you have a real problem.
“The board are happy with him; they are making a lot of money and getting into Europe every year. Arsene Wenger is happy enough with that but now the fans, who pay maximum dollar for their tickets here, are not.
“Wenger was responsible for costing the side the title four or five years ago when they were top of the table by five points with a game in hand. Last year he said the press are brainwashing the public, but the only person who is brainwashing people is Arsene Wenger.
“Arsenal have good players. Good but not great. With a better manager the team would be much improved.
"There are so many easy things they can rectify and if they did that they would have a much better chance of winning things, but having Wenger in charge doesn’t let them do that.”