<
>

Arsene Wenger might be tipped 'over the edge' by Bayern loss - Bob Wilson

play
Why would Wenger want to stay? (3:03)

ESPN FC's Julien Laurens assesses the reasons Arsene Wenger might want to stay at Arsenal. (3:03)

Bob Wilson fears Arsenal's 5-1 Champions League thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich might prove to be the final straw for manager Arsene Wenger.

Wenger has seen his position as Arsenal boss come under fresh scrutiny in recent weeks after back-to-back Premier League defeats to Watford and Chelsea damaged his side's title hopes.

Wednesday's humiliation at the Allianz Arena now leaves them set to exit the Champions League at the round-of-16 stage for a seventh consecutive season.

"The big question now is, is this going to tip Arsene over the edge?" Wilson, who played more than 200 games for Arsenal and was goalkeeping coach under Wenger before retiring in 2003, told BBC Radio 5 Live. "He's a hugely intelligent man; he can only take so much. He lives for the club, totally dedicated, very hurt when things go wrong.

"But as everybody knows and everybody sees now, his longevity in the job, 20 years, seems to be a little bit like a millstone round his neck when things go wrong.

"I wouldn't be at all surprised if Arsene, given the amount of headlines that are coming his way, might just look at that and say enough is enough. I think as a human being you can only take so much."

Wenger is out of contract at the end of the season and Wilson added that rival managers have now caught up with the Frenchman's methods.

"He's a very sensitive guy, and I was there when he arrived, saw that there was something different," Wilson said. "But of course you can argue now that other people have caught up.

"He will be so hurt by this that I doubt very much whether he will sleep between this and a horrible game on an artificial pitch at Sutton [in the FA Cup] on Monday night."

While Wenger's future has been called into question, Wilson believes the players must shoulder their share of the blame for Wednesday's defeat.

Arsenal were level at the break after Alexis Sanchez cancelled out Arjen Robben's opener but Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller scored either side of Thiago Alcantara's brace as the Gunners were blown away in the second half.

"This was as much about Arsenal's fragility, particularly when put under the cosh, as Bayern's brilliance," Wilson added. "They've won their last 14 home Champions League games, they're Bundesliga leaders, they are a brilliant side.

"But apart from the 20-minute spell when Arsenal came back to 1-1, when in fact Arsenal had two great chances, it was then a horror story, a total horror story.

"You have to point the finger at the players. When it comes down to a serious defeat, a really bad defeat, a capitulation almost, you have to look at the players. They are the ones that are letting themselves down, letting the manager down, letting the coaching staff down and most of all letting the fans down."

Wilson added: "The bottom line is that the blame is not with Arsene, it is with his players. The irony is, individually they are a good squad when they are all fit, it is one of the better squads. The real blame comes back on them.

"The old club crest that I used to wear, the famous old saying that was ground into us was 'Victoria Concordia Crescit,' which means 'Victory grows through harmony' -- they did not have that harmony.

"The players need to take a long, hard look at themselves; they should be thinking about not just themselves but also the club but also particularly about the fans, the fans are losing faith and their blame is directed at the manager. At the same time they should be pointing the finger at the players.

"I hope the players realise they are playing for one of the great football clubs, I'm hoping they realise how much they are letting themselves, their families, the club and the fans down."