Arsenal Supporters' Trust Survey Shows 88% of Responders Want Arsene Wenger Out

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 6, 2018

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 04:  Fans protest towards Arsene Wenger, Manager of Arsenal (not pictured) following the Premier League match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Arsenal at Amex Stadium on March 4, 2018 in Brighton, England.  (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

A survey conducted by the Arsenal Supporters' Trust has revealed a majority of those who responded, 88 per cent, want Arsene Wenger to leave the club in the summer, but the manager has told his coaching staff he will not stand down.

The Trust announced the results of the poll on Twitter after their annual general meeting on Monday night:

Per Sky Sports' Husmukh Kerai, the survey was responded to by 450 of the AST's members, which exceed 1,000 fans in total, and representatives of the Trust will be presenting the results to chief executive Ivan Gazidis in a private meeting.

Spokesperson Nigel Phillips told Sky Sports News: "We just can't go on like this. Maybe we are at a time change is coming and surely the board and owner must realise that. [Wenger] is like a desperate man clinging on."

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 04: Arsene Wenger manager / head coach of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Arsenal at Amex Stadium on March 4, 2018 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Arsenal will reportedly have to fire him to engineer his exit before his contract expires next summer. According to The Times' Matt Hughes, Wenger wants to see out his deal as he still believes he is the ideal choice to lead the club forward—which he has communicated to his coaching staff.

Wenger has been under pressure from the fans for much of the last decade, but FA Cup wins in 2014, 2015 and 2017, along with regular UEFA Champions League qualification prior to last year, have helped the Frenchman remain at the club.

The coach is facing a number of calls from supporters for him to leave this year, though, given their results of late, per ESPN FC:

Arsenal's form this season has left them closer to the relegation zone in terms of points than first place in the Premier League. They have little hope of finishing in the top four, they're out of the FA Cup and their listless performance in the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City was humiliating.

On Sunday, they lost 2-1 to Brighton & Hove Albion. The Mirror's John Cross felt Wenger's reign had plumbed new depths:

The Gunners have long appeared to pay little attention to the supporters' wishes—Wenger would have been relieved of his duties years ago if they did—but this could be the year they finally take notice.

Winning the UEFA Europa League looks to be Arsenal's only realistic method of reaching the UEFA Champions League, but that will be difficult on current form, so the Gunners may well end the campaign without major silverware or a passage into Europe's elite competition.

That will be despite breaking their transfer record last summer and in January, and the club will surely have been expecting more.

It's still far from guaranteed Wenger will go before his contract expires, but if Arsenal want to avoid dropping even further behind their rivals, they need to make a change this summer.  

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