Petit calls on Wenger to step aside at Arsenal


Arsene Wenger should step aside at the end of the season and allow Arsenal to go in a new direction, according to Emmanuel Petit.

The former Gunners midfielder - who made 118 appearances for the club and won the Premier League and FA Cup under Wenger - believes the time is right for his former mentor to move into a new role at Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal have not won the Premier League since 2004 and have fallen away again this season, with a run of only two wins from their last nine matches leaving them 11 points adrift of leaders Leicester City.

Wenger's side also crashed out of the FA Cup to Watford last weekend and need to overturn a 2-0 deficit to Barcelona to progress in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Petit said: "I am pretty sure he has to stay at the club but maybe it's time for him to open the door for something else as well. When I look at the former players from Arsenal, how many of them have their badges to manage a team?

"Dennis Bergkamp, Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira, many, many great players, they have their own statue in front of the stadium. 

"I think Arsene... it's good to share the place with someone else and try to open the door to the former players.

"Arsene has done a great job in the 20 years he has been there and I respect this very highly, but when you look at the title they won it was because they had great leaders in the team.

"They have great players but they are missing leaders and personality. If you want to win things, then you need to suffer."