Leicester City’s seemingly unstoppable march towards the Premier League title has “exposed” Arsene Wenger’s explanations for Arsenal’s failure to finish in top spot since 2004 as a “sham”, claims Arsenal fan Piers Morgan.
Speaking to Stan Collymore on talkSPORT’s Call Collymore show, following Leicester’s 2-0 win at Sunderland, which sent the Foxes 10 points clear in first, Morgan compared the Foxes’ spirit unfavourably with that of the Gunners.
“Leicester City have got a hunger and desire I’ve not seen in the Arsenal squad for about 10 years, since the Invincibles did their stuff and got shipped out within 18 months,” Morgan said on talkSPORT.
“I’ve said for eight years now that Arsene Wenger had run his course at Arsenal.
“He had a spectacular first eight, nine years [as Arsenal manager], culminating in that extraordinary invincible season.
“I watch Leicester and I’m watching a team with real determination, with focus, with no big stars, with no super, fancy stadium. They’re just a regular team who are being managed to play out of their skins.
“At Arsenal I see a bunch of spoilt prima donnas with Lamborghinis in the car park, who don’t have anything like the drive and hunger of this Leicester team.
“But more importantly I see a manager who’s earning four or five times what [Leicester manager Claudio] Ranieri is – £8m-a-year Wenger gets – presiding over season tickets which are the highest in European football, a man who has not won the Premier League for 11 years, a man who’s constantly boasted of his European record, yet he’s never won the Champions League – he’s only reached one final and two semi-finals – and for the last six consecutive years Arsenal have gone out in the last 16.
“This, by any yard stick of a way of judging a supposed big team manager, would have led to Wenger going years ago.
“I simply ask Arsenal fans who still cling to the wreckage of what used to be Arsene Wenger as a world class manager, what more does he have to do in terms of under-delivery and under-performance, to warrant his dismissal?”
When asked if Arsenal are more concerned with finishing in the top four and making money than winning the title, Morgan tore into the club’s majority shareholder, American Stan Kroenke.
“We have a foreign billionaire, Stan Kroenke, who’s never at the games. I see more of him in Los Angeles, where he’s now got a big development to bring an NFL team to LA, I bump into him, I see him walking around LA more than I do at the Emirates.
“This is a man who has zero interest in winning major trophies, is very happy for Wenger to tick along, to bank the cash, to make his money; he wouldn’t know one end of the Emirates pitch to the other.”
Morgan also believes sticking with Wenger will end up costing Arsenal their place among the Champions League qualifiers, despite the Frenchman’s record of qualifying for the competition every year since 1998.
“Wenger was an extraordinary manager, he’s an extraordinary man – I’ve got great respect for him personally – but at what point does his own self-respect and pride kick in and he stand aside for the good of the club?” asked Morgan.
“I look at Guardiola coming in to Man City and we have to assume Mourinho is going to Man United; where will Arsenal be next season with Arsene Wenger yet again? I’ll tell you where we will be: we’ll be out of the top four. It’s not going to get better, it’s going to get worse.
“Wenger now is not the man to drive Arsenal forward.
“Every single excuse he’s come out with for the last 11 years of Premier League failure has now been exposed by Leicester and Ranieri, and that incredible team of players, with their team spirit and desire, as a complete and utter sham.”