Charlie Nicholas thinks the fan apathy towards Arsenal’s Premier League campaign at the moment could convince Arsene Wenger to announce his departure on Friday.
Speaking to Sky Sports on the European action this week, Nicholas predicted a comfortable 3-0 win for Arsenal over Milan.
Despite his guess at a 5-0 aggregate victory, the former Gunner still thinks Wenger will announce the end of his 22-year spell this weekend.
“I also have a feeling that there might be an announcement by the manager either on Friday or over the weekend to confirm that he is going to step down in the summer,” Nicholas said.
“Perhaps going upstairs, easing the tension and allowing the team to have a go for the Europa League without the same strain.”
The 56-year-old went on to explain that he thinks the empty seats at recent home matches will finally persuade the manager that he needs to move on.
“He knows the fans don’t hate him, they’re just angry with him. But it was the first time I’ve heard him use the word ‘hate’ and I just think he’s realising he needs to do something to ease the anger. I think when he looks up and sees 25,000 fans in the stadium he created that he’ll come to a decision that something has to change.”
The stands should be a lot more full on Thursday. Fans are usually happy to turn up for a European tie against a top club. They just don’t want to make the effort for the comparatively aimless league campaign.
Personally, I think you should turn up every week if you’re a season ticket holder. That or give your ticket up, and let someone take your place.
I do agree that Wenger will probably see the empty seats more as a sign of his failings though. Perhaps that could convince him to announce he’s moving on, but from past experience the club tend to wait until the last minute.
We’ll see if things are different this time around.