Arsenal are in a sticky period, regardless of results over the next week-or-so the fans relationship with manager Arsene Wenger is in pieces.
The backlash on social media and channels such as Arsenal Fan TV has been more toxic than ever before and has, for the first time, dragged the more mainstream media, specifically Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville, into the fans’ debate.
What had seemed clear, though, is that former Arsenal players had been giving their backing to the manager, having been close to the club and understood his methods. The likes of Martin Keown and Sol Campbell have all been singing the praises of the Frenchman and claiming that it will undoubtedly be Wenger who makes the call as to when he leaves.
However, one man who is held in high regard in north London has now spun on the Gunners boss and admitted that it may well be time he stepped down.
Former Arsenal striker, Alan Smith, who won two league titles with the club, had told Sky Sports that he feels the club has become stale and that the club’s relationship with their manager, who has been at the helm for over two decades now, has run its natural course.
Whilst Smith, who scored 32 goals in 111 games with the Gunners, never played under Wenger his will understandably be well connected with those in the know at the club and will have spoken to those that did player under Le Prof over the years.
Therefore, it may have come as quite a shock to Wenger that the former England striker striker decided to come out and make such comments.
However, whilst they are not what Wenger would want to hear, it may be just what he needs.
With the club seemingly in their usual stagnant new year form, something needs to click and give the manager a bit of a boot before they get into the nitty gritty of a Champions League clash with Bayern Munich.
Get past the German giants and Arsenal will be into the quarter finals of the Champions League for the first time since they were knocked out at that stage by Barcelona back in 2010.
If the Frenchman can make a good fist of Europe’s top club competition this time around then he may well have saved face with plenty of fans inside The Emirates. There will always be some who are firmly in the ‘Wenger Out’ camp, regardless of what happens, however, a run in Europe should bring back the voices of those backing him, those who have been worryingly quite in recent weeks.