'Wenger needs to be more like Mourinho' - Merson urges Arsenal boss to learn from Man Utd rival

The former Gunners midfielder believes the Frenchman needs to change his ways if he is to stay on and drag the club out of a Premier League slump

Arsenal will not get “close to the top” if Arsene Wenger stays on and refuses to adopt a similar mindset to Jose Mourinho, says Paul Merson.

The Gunners still have the FA Cup final to come this season, but their efforts in the Premier League have resulted in a fifth-place finish and no Champions League football for 2017-18.

They are also yet to reveal what their plans are for Wenger’s future, as he approaches the end of his current contract.

Keown: Arsenal not ready for boss change

It is expected that the long-serving Frenchman will be offered an extension, but Merson says he cannot continue with his current approach and needs to take a leaf out of the coaching book of an arch-rival at Manchester United.

The former Arsenal midfielder told Sky Sports: "If they keep Wenger, I don't see them getting close to the top.

Paul Merson Arsene Wenger

"I just think tactically Wenger has lost it. Sometimes you've got to play games like horses for courses.

"Mourinho goes to places, sets up and makes sure they don't get beat, Wenger does not play that game. He opens the game up and says: 'You have a shot, we have a shot, best team wins'.

Wenger rejected 'every club' to stay put

"That doesn't work anymore. It's alright when you've got [Thierry] Henry, [Dennis] Bergkamp, [Robert] Pires, [Freddie] Ljungberg, [Marc] Overmars, [Emmanuel] Petit, Sol Campbell, [Patrick] Vieira, Lauren… saying: 'You have a shot, we have a shot' is alright then, they'll rip anybody to shreds! But not this team."

Arsenal ended their Premier League campaign with a run of five successive victories, but that was not enough to lift them back into the top four and they finished the season one point adrift of Liverpool.