Darren Bent says winning the FA Cup only helped to paper over the cracks at Arsenal and Mikel Arteta could be sacked if his team crashes out of the Europa League and cannot finish this season in a European place.
The Gunners started the season as FA Cup and Community Shield winners and there was a lot of hope that this would be the campaign that they finally return to the top four.
But it has been a poor one with Arteta’s side now struggling to finish inside the European places and on the verge of a Europa League exit.
They will visit Slavia Prague for the second leg of their quarterfinal Europa League game this Thursday.
Prague scored a late leveller to earn an away goal at the Emirates last week and Arsenal has it all to do now.
If they crash out of the competition, they could face a season without European football and Bent says it could be the end of the road for Arteta.
“The early signs were really good in terms of look how quickly he picked up a trophy. Yes, this season has been really inconsistent but I don’t want Arsenal to turn into a club where they keep sacking managers – at some stage you’ve got to give someone a little bit of time,” he said on TalkSPORT.
“The FA Cup papers over a lot of cracks and if Arsenal go out of the Europa League and finish tenth or eleventh, I think he could be out of a job.
“I would like to see him stay and turn it around because I’m not big on sacking managers. Arsenal are not Chelsea.
“Chelsea have been very successful doing it that way but I don’t think that will work for Arsenal.”