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Keane blasts 'weak group of players' as pressure mounts on Arsene Wenger

Is the Arsenal boss nearing the end of the line?

 Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

FORMER ARSENAL STRIKER Ian Wright believes the end might be near for Arsene Wenger as Gunners manager after the Frenchman saw his side crash out of the Champions League.

Arsenal were nowhere near Barcelona for much of the two legs during their round of 16 tie, losing 5-1 on aggregate following last night’s 3-1 defeat at Camp Nou.

The loss sent Arsenal out of a second competition in the space of a week, having been eliminated from the FA Cup at the hands of Watford last weekend.

Wright believes that sooner or later something has to give, particularly if Arsenal fail to win the Premier League in a season where their traditional rivals have all faltered.

“I’m not sure if he [Wenger] still will be there after the summer if they don’t win the league,” Wright told BT Sport. “If they finish third or fourth again, I don’t know what will happen.

“Especially with how it is with Leicester and Tottenham above them and with Arsenal out of the Champions League and the FA Cup. The natives have turned now; more people want him out than want him in.”

But Wright said that Wenger should not shoulder all the blame: “All I will say is change is coming, something’s got to happen. [Arsenal's owner, Stan] Kroenke is the one they should be putting more emphasis on. Not just the boss.”

Republic of Ireland assistant manager and former Manchester United captain Roy Keane voiced his own criticisms of Arsenal after their Champions League exit, though his assertions were directed at the players as opposed to the manager.

“They’ve got a weak group of players who can’t seem to lift it for certain games,” Keane told ITV. “The pressure seems to have got to them over the last few months. If you’re at Arsenal football club and can’t deal with the pressure, you shouldn’t be there.

“It must be hard for the manager to stomach that and the supporters when they see their players lifting it for certain games and they can’t do it for Watford at home or Swansea at home. They’re cheating the supporters in that sense.”

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