Arsenal were hammered 5-1 by Bayern Munich on Wednesday night, in what club legend Martin Keown described as “embarassing” and manager Arsene Wenger’s “lowest point”.
The defeat in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie leaves Arsenal all but eliminated from the competition and led to intensified speculation about Wenger’s future.
It is now widely believed that Wenger will leave at the end of the season – bringing to an end his 21-year reign at Arsenal – with Juventus’ Max Allegri and Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe the bookies’ favourites to replace him.
Former Arsenal defender Lee Dixon said he expects Wenger, whom he worked with for six years, to step down: “That is the first time where I’ve seen him where I’ve thought, ‘he thinks it’s time'”.
The Frenchman cut a dejected figure after the defeat, and his terse post-match press conference was cut short after just three questions.
The forlorn Arsenal manager reflected ruefully: “I do not look for excuses. We made everything wrong; the fifth goal shows that.”
Wenger has never won the Champions League in an illustrious career, and after Wednesday night’s shellacking it appears as though he never will.