Arsenal supporters hire van to continue anti-Arsene Wenger campaign ahead of Manchester City game

Luke Brown
The Independent
Arsenal fans have hired a special 'Wenger Out' van: Getty
Arsenal fans have hired a special 'Wenger Out' van: Getty

Arsenal supporters are to continue their protests against Arsene Wenger for the home match against Manchester City, by hiring a van to drive around the Emirates Stadium displaying anti-Wenger signs.

A group of fans hiring a light aircraft to drag a ‘#WengerOut’ banner over the Hawthorns during Arsenal’s last match – a shock 3-1 defeat to West Brom – and the same group of fans have now taken their protests to the streets.

The van features a sign quoting the club’s chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, who claimed in 2011 that Wenger will always be answerable to the club’s fans.

Underneath the headline “That time is now – Wenger out”, the billboard reads: “Arsene is accountable to the fans - they ultimately make judgement. If you are seeing the relationship between the fans and the manager break down over time that is unsustainable.”

The other side of the van mocks Arsenal’s record in Europe, with “Twenty years in Europe and we’re still waiting…” written alongside a picture featuring Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola celebrating their respective Champions League successes, while Wenger holds his head in his hands.

Wenger’s reaction after losing to Bayern Munich 10-2 in the Champions League – “I think we produced the game we wanted and we were really unlucky tonight with some of the decisions of the referee” – is also featured.

However, ahead of the game against City, Wenger has repeated his intention to stay in management next season, saying retirement would be like dying.

Calls for Wenger to end his 20-year reign at Arsenal have grown louder after the club were knocked out of the Champions League in the last-16 for a seventh successive season and lost four of their last five Premier League matches to slide down to sixth in the table.

"I will not retire," Wenger, who has yet to extend his contract which runs out at the end of the season, told reporters. "Retiring is for young people. For old people retirement is dying.

"Of course I'm as hungry as I was when I arrived. I carry a bit more pressure on my shoulders than 20 years ago but the hunger is exactly the same."

With the club's supporters divided over Wenger's future, Arsenal face the daunting task of hosting fourth-placed Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Wenger, however, was in a defiant mood.

"Fear? No. My next game is about hope and desire. I hate defeat," the Frenchman added.

"In your mind you can never afford to lose, you're always very focused on winning the next game. I can understand the fans that are unhappy with every defeat.

"But the only way to have victory is to stick together with the fans and give absolutely everything until the end of the season. That's all we can do."

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