Petit: Firing Wenger Would Have Come Back to Haunt Arsenal

Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit has said that Arsene Wenger is the only solution to the Gunners’ problems and he is relieved that his countryman wasn’t fired by the Arsenal board when the club was going through a dark period earlier this year.

Before their resurgence in league form that began with the 7-1 mauling of Aston Villa at the Emirates on February 4, Wenger was under immense pressure from Arsenal’s own fans, who had grown disillusioned with their club’s deteriorating results and their trophy-drought that is now almost seven-year long. The fans were so distraught that the 62-year-old manager’s sacking seemed like a genuine possibility for the very first time in the last 16 years.

Petit, who spent a large part of his professional career playing in Wengers’ teams (Monaco and Arsenal), believes that if the board had bowed down to the fans’ wishes and fired their long serving manager, then that decision would have come back to haunt Arsenal.

Speaking at the Soccerex conference earlier today, Petit said: “Sacking Wenger would have been the biggest mistake Arsenal could have made. He is the solution for Arsenal. He just needed to change a few things, then it would come back again.

“Arsene Wenger’s contribution to the Premier League is huge. Football has changed so much in England, Arsene has been part of that. He is like the stone of Arsenal, if you kick him out you don’t know where they will go.”

Petit then urged the Gunners to splash some cash so that their talismanic captain Robin van Persie would extend his stay at the club by signing a contract extension.

“…I do hope Robin will stay. I would understand it if he left because players like him need titles on their CV. Arsenal have to pay the loans back but if you want to fight for titles, you need to find the right mix. That is why the criticism of Arsenal this season has been justified and they need to try everything they can to keep him,” he said.

But in spite of his emotional backing for Wenger, Petit rued the late timing of Arsenal’s resurgence and said that if Arsenal players had improved their form a little earlier, then they would have been alive in multiple cup competitions, with a chance to end their title drought this season.

“Arsenal received huge criticism after the AC Milan disappointment. This affected the belief and ego of the players, which is why they came back with such a big hunger to show to everyone they were wrong. The performances since then have been magnificent. But I am disappointed as well. Why did they have to wait for the criticism to show people what they can do? I am quite frustrated because it proved they can do more,” the World Cup-winning defensive midfielder said.

He then again advised the North London giants to scrap their traditional transfer strategy of buying young and said that for future success, Arsenal must go for experienced players with proven pedigrees.

“It always seems to be the same news. You believe Arsenal will sell their best players every year. I understand they don’t want to be paying the same transfer fees as some clubs, it is nonsense to pay £40million for a player. But betting all your money on a young team? You need experienced players at some point in the season. Maybe this team have discovered themselves mentally now but you can’t wait for outside help, you have to take your pen and write your own history,” Petit added.

21 Comments on "Petit: Firing Wenger Would Have Come Back to Haunt Arsenal"

  1. i have  a simple comment to all doubters anywhere!

    Other than for money elsewhere, any player who wont play in Englands premier league doesnt have have the balls!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ask your self a question, if Messi is the world #1. how well would he do in the Premier League!

    Please circulate widely.

  2. wenger is gagoots | 29/03/2012 at 02:13 |

    Cut the losses and sack him now. This is false dawn. Wenger is still ruining the club. 

  3. Petit  your an idiot, on one hand wenger is the best thing for us then on the other he must change a few thing and spend some money, where have you been these last 7 years, Hibernating?????

    Mark my words, wenger will never change, podolski might come in BUT not too much more because we have a list of young players as long as the nile, some good and some rubbish, more than not they will come in, wenger will say we have jack, and diaby who are like new signings and that we have all we need inside and the whole ball starts over again, am sick of wenger and shit tricks.

    And so that you know the only reason podolski will come is because there is a real fear that Robin will leave so its not really a complement BUT more a replacement, and i forgot he’s CHEAP too.

    So next season You and all the wenger band will still be saying the same thing after 9 years without a trophy Remember 10 years represents a Decade.

  4. Less than a week since the last victory, that’s seven on the trot don’t forget, and already the numpties are calling for Wenger’s head again.

    Kel, I sincerely hope Wenger never changes, he has no need to.

    • Seven wins on the trot doesn’t change the fact that we haven’t won anything in SEVEN years. The drought will keep on growing if Wenger doesn’t go. The board is too nice to sack him so he should do the club a favour and get the fk outta here

  5. I have a simple comment, if wenger is so tight and so good why are you winning fuck all yet sit 5th in the prem point spend league.

                   outlay                                prem points          spend per point

    Arse          48mil                                     58                     £827,587
    yids            5mil                                      55                      £90,909

    you tell me who the better run club is ?

  6. There are lies, damn lies and statistics thought up by sad spud supporters who need to get out more.

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