Arsene Wenger. Picture: REUTERS
Arsene Wenger. Picture: REUTERS

London — Former players were brutal in their criticism of manager Arsene Wenger in the aftermath of Arsenal’s latest Champions League humiliation.

And newspapers were no less scathing of Wednesday night’s "nightmare" 5-1 thrashing at Bayern Munich.

Just a few days after defending his former boss by saying it was "too soon" for Wenger to leave, Martin Keown, a centre-back in all three of Arsenal’s Premier League title triumphs under the Frenchman, pulled no punches this time, saying that
it had been a clash of "men against boys".

"It’s almost embarrassing — outclassed, outplayed," Keown, now a pundit, told BT Sport.

"This is his [Wenger’s] lowest point ever. Twenty years and Arsene must be considering his future now. Arsenal were bullied, weren’t they? Completely."

Another former defender, Lee Dixon, said he felt Wenger’s demeanour has finally changed after years of belligerent defiance in the face of numerous failures. "He just seems so low," Dixon told ITV. "I think he’s realising that with this team, he’s getting no response from them. They’re not doing themselves justice, or him.

"That is the first time where I’ve seen him where I’ve thought, ‘he thinks it’s time’."

Former goalkeeper Bob Wilson pondered whether this result would "tip Arsene over the edge. He can only take so much," Wilson said.

Barring a minor miracle in the second leg in three weeks’ time, it will be the seventh year in a row that Arsenal have been knocked out of the Champions League in the last 16 and the third time in five years by Bayern. And that on top of their failure to win the Premier League since 2004 and 2016’s abject challenge when Leicester City ran away to a shock triumph.

"Spineless!" screamed Britain’s Daily Mail, while The Times described Arsenal’s latest European chastisement as "Groundhog Day".


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