Arsenal & Arsene Wenger parting company 'would be right decision'

Alexis Sanchez
Jermaine Jenas: "The players have shown a real softness to the way they are playing."

Arsenal would be making the "right decision for the club" if they were to part company with manager Arsene Wenger, says former Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas.

His comments follow the team's 10-2 aggregate defeat by Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the Champions League.

"Changes seem inevitable," Jenas told BBC Radio 5 live.

"This is a pivotal moment in Arsenal's history, a moment to look on. There needs to be a cleansing."

The Gunners, managed by 67-year-old Frenchman Wenger since 1996, were knocked of this stage of the Champions League for the seventh successive season.

They faced an uphill struggle going into Tuesday's second leg having suffered a 5-1 defeat in Germany three weeks ago.

Theo Walcott's first-half strike gave them a sliver of hope, but that diminished when Robert Lewandowski scored from the spot shortly after the restart and defender Laurent Koscielny was sent off for the foul that led to the penalty.

Arsenal lost any momentum and conceded four goals in 17 minutes as they suffered the worst aggregate defeat of an English side in the Champions League.

"Arsenal fans are within their rights to vent their frustrations, the players have not turned up," added Jenas.

"They have shown a real softness to the way they are playing. They have proved the critics right."

Arsenal's best chance of silverware this season is in the FA Cup and they host non-league Lincoln City in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

They are fifth in the Premier League, 16 points behind leaders Chelsea and two points adrift of fourth-place Liverpool, although they have a game in hand.

"It will be a tough ask to get into the top four," said Jenas. "You have seen over the last two games how far away they are from being able to progress in European competitions - the way they fell apart has not been great for Wenger."

'He can't seem to find an answer'

Arsenal fans
Arsenal fans protested before the game and also held banners inside Emirates Stadium calling for Arsene Wenger to leave the club

There was also reaction from other former professionals, including ex-Arsenal striker Ian Wright.

He told BT Sport: "The first game was more upsetting than this. I thought the guys had a bit of a go. After the penalty decision it started to go against us.

"It's a sad day because we've gone out again at this stage. We're going through a period in our history that's the worst.

"With everything that's going on you have to say it will take some sort of monumental effort for Arsenal to turn it around in terms of the drive and determination of the players. It feels like something is coming to an end."

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand added: "The last 10 years in terms of league trophies and the Champions League, it's been a disappointing time for Wenger.

"It's disappointing to see him go out on this note after all he's done. At this moment in time things are not going right and he can't seem to find the answer."

What did the fans say?

James Holness: Wenger points the finger of blame elsewhere for Arsenal's failings, but ultimately he MUST take responsibility. He has to go.

Grumpy Expat: I love Arsene Wenger. Given me many happy memories. I loved my ex-girlfriend too. As difficult as it was, that had to end too.

Craig Smith: Sad day for Arsenal as Wenger's legacy is going down in flames. Hope he quits early so can be given a positive send off.

Tim: Wenger shouldn't be given the option of turning down new deal. No one is bigger than the club. Sack him. Now.

Johnny Magrinho: Wenger to blame? Ridiculous. The success he's brought to this club is astronomical. This? Not his fault. Blame the players.

RobroyMan: Arsenal need a serious rebuild from the board down. Mentality is marshmallow. Bellerin, Ozil and Sanchez gone. Manager is responsible for the character of his team, full stop. Bring In Allegri.

Rewstep: Well now go, Walk out the door, Just turn around now, you're not manager any more...

Selected from user comments and tweets sent to #bbcfootball

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