Spotlight on Wenger after Arsenal embarrassment

Arsenal fans were left wondering about the possibility of life after Arsene Wenger as the manager came under intense pressure. The manner of Arsenal’s exit from the Capital One Cup, losing a penalty shootout to Division Two Bradford, has redoubled speculation that the Wenger era could be approaching its end.

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis apologised to fans for the lacklustre performance, admitting it was "not good enough". Bradford captain Gary Jones stuck the knife in, saying he was surprised by how poorly Arsenal had played, suggesting the stars should be embarrassed by their display, comparing them unfavourably to Torquay.

"I think Torquay gave us a tougher game," Jones said. "It was like a role reversal against them. Torquay defended well against us and we defended really well against Arsenal. The lads were unbelievable." Arsenal rarely looked threatening against their lowly opposition.

Gazidis and the majority shareholder Stan Kroenke have made their support of Wenger clear. "We all work here and are desperate to deliver the success and trophies we all want," Gazidis said. "Look into the eyes of the staff here, look at the way they talk. We will get this right."

Fans are frustrated by the regularity with which stars like Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Robin Van Persie are allowed to leave. Theo Walcott could be the next big-name departure with his contract approaching its conclusion. Wenger has relaxed his opposition to big money signings recently and may be willing to strengthen his squad in January.

Wenger has made his frustration with the contract negotiations clear and also seems to be at odds with his assistant Steve Bould, the former academy coach. Arsenal face a key run of games before the January transfer window and a failure to consolidate a challenge for a Champions League place could make the manager’s position vulnerable.

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