Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger would be irreplaceable if he left Arsenal, according to former Gunners manager Bruce Rioch, with the 64 year old claiming that the club's frugal spending will do them endless favours in the long run.

Arsenal have always been tighter with the purse strings than sides such as Chelsea and Manchester United, and while big spending clubs have dominated the title and Champions League trophy chase, the Gunners have held their own in the top four and always presented a threat, despite their modest spending.

But this season, after losing big names Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, boasting their worst start to a campaign in over 50 years, and looking set to topple out of the Champions League after losing to AC Milan 4-0 this week, Wenger has been under more pressure than ever over his future at the Emirates.

And Rioch, who managed Arsenal in the 1990s, believes that Arsenal are in a much better position with Wenger than without him.

"I am not one that is campaigning for Arsene to leave, that's for sure," Rioch told

"I think that he has done a magnificent job. He hasn't got worse as a manager through the years. He has got better, he is more experienced.

"I don't think it is time for him to go. Who is going to replace him and where are the resources? Would a replacement have the resources to do more than he has in terms of finance? To replace him you really would have to find a damned good manager.

"We have to get lot of things in perspective. There is a balance between spending an awful lot of money and putting yourself in a situation that Rangers have just done and being a viable, solid football club.

"I know from my own experience at Middlesbrough the pain and the difficulties the club suffered when the club went into provisional liquidation in 1986.

"It was extremely damaging and hurtful to an awful lot of people. I get the feeling that a lot of other clubs up and down the country are on the brink as well but I do not think Arsenal are."

Wenger has been touted as a possible replacement for the departed Fabio Capello, though the appointment of a non-English manager looks unlikely, with Harry Redknapp the runaway favourite to take on the role.

The France manager position might also be open after the 2012 Euros, with Laurent Blanc's contract coming to an end in the summer.

Former Arsenal midfielder Remi Garde admitted at the start of the month that he thought Wenger would be perfect for the role, and if the Gunners continue to go downhill this season, the Frenchman could well consider a move back to his home country after 15 years in north London.

"Wenger as the new national team coach? I believe that position would suit him well," Garde said at the time.

"He knows European football very well, and also has good knowledge of world football and the French players because he follows the league closely.

"He would definitely be an interesting option in case Blanc leaves his position. He is a very big name in the world of football."