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Arsène Wenger

Wenger out: Arsenal fans' group votes overwhelmingly for under-fire boss to leave

16:54 GMT+4 06/03/2018
ArseneWenger - cropped
A poll by members of the Arsenal Supporters' Trust on the future of a long-serving manager has resulted in a landslide calling for his departure

An overwhelming majority of voters in an Arsenal Supporters' Trust poll have called for long-serving manager Arsene Wenger to leave the club at the end of the season.

Following a run of four consecutive defeats across three competitions for the Gunners, 88 per cent of AST members at a meeting on Monday called for Wenger's tenure to end when his position is reviewed after the current campaign.

Seven per cent of members voted for Wenger to stay, with five per cent undecided.

Uncertainty over Wenger's future dominated the second half of last season but the 68-year-old Frenchman, who became Arsenal boss back in 1996, penned a two-year contract extension on the back of the superb 2-1 FA Cup final win over Premier League champions Chelsea.

However, Arsenal's progress has been familiarly stunted this time around, with the January arrivals of club-record signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan – the latter in a swap deal that saw Alexis Sanchez join Manchester United – doing nothing to prevent dwindling form.

Wenger's side lie sixth in the Premier League after Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion, 13 points shy of fourth-placed Tottenham, with nine games remaining this season.

They progressed to the last 16 of the Europa League, where AC Milan lie in wait this week, despite a 2-1 second-leg loss to Swedish minnows Ostersunds.

Manchester City followed up a 3-0 Carabao Cup final victory over Arsenal at Wembley nine days ago with an emphatic Premier League triumph by the same scoreline at Emirates Stadium last Thursday.

Various former Gunners have added their voice to those calling for Wenger to leave of late, with Lee Dixon among those of the opinion that a fresh start is required.

He was in attendance at Monday’s AGM and said of recent transfer dealings: "I didn’t think the players that Wenger brought in are good enough. Six of the current starting XI aren't good enough.

"But I thought give them a chance, if they get coached and trained to improve."

Dixon went on to suggest that Wenger is responsible for those at his disposal failing to improve, with Steve Bould not being granted enough freedom in which to shore up a leaky defence.

The ex-England international added: "Bouldy does get to do some stuff in training, but not as much as he would like.

"Arsene went through a period of allowing him to do a little bit more.

"There was recognition in the press that Arsenal looked a bit more solid. Then it all went away."