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Robson: Arsenal must win trophies or sack Wenger

ESPN staff
May 24, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Arsene Wenger has been criticised by Arsenal fans for not spending big © Getty Images
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Stewart Robson believes Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger should be dismissed next season if the club fail to end their eight-year run without a trophy at The Emirates.

Wenger guided Arsenal into qualification for the Champions League for the 16th consecutive season last Sunday when the Gunners fended off the challenge of bitter North London rivals Tottenham for fourth spot.

However, Arsenal have endured an eighth straight campaign without silverware, and the manager has come in for criticism by Gunners fans for refusing to spend large amounts of money on players.

Former Arsenal footballer Robson feels the 17-year reign of Wenger could come to an end if Arsenal do not land a trophy next season. "If you're an average club then you need continuity because you can't keep getting rid of players when a new manager comes in," Robson told talkSPORT.

"I know we've seen Sir Alex Ferguson stay at Man United for a long time and get that continuity and be successful, but look at other big clubs, look at Chelsea. They have sacked their manager many, many times and are still successful and Man City have won trophies in recent years.

"Arsenal have kept their manager and kept continuity, but continuity of being just above average at the moment. That can't be right. So at some point Arsene Wenger has got to change or the club have got to change Arsene Wenger and this has to be the season."

Robson added he feels Wenger is afraid of splashing the cash because the Frenchman will be blamed if the club do not succeed.

"If Arsene Wenger goes out and spends big money, say he buys three big players, he is then culpable when they don't succeed," he said. "All the time that he is selling players and not spending big, when they come fourth, everyone says 'Arsenal are doing okay because they are not spending what the other clubs spend'.

"As soon as he spends big money Arsenal fans and everyone in the media will expect them to compete for the Premier League and the Champions League. If he doesn't do that then he puts himself under pressure and that's why he doesn't spend. There's been money there for years."

Arsenal have not won the Premier League since the 'Invincibles' side of 2004 triumphed after going the entire season unbeaten, and Robson insists a title challenge can be ignited if Wenger invests.

"They've got a chance [to win the Premier League] but they've got to spend some money wisely. Arsenal have got to make sure that Arsene Wenger, in my view, coaches the players better and gets a better understanding of what it takes to win the title," he said.

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