Former Arsenal forward Paul Merson expects the north London club, post Arsene Wenger, to go through a situation similar to what Manchester United experienced when they parted ways with Sir Alex Ferguson. The Red Devils had two managers before Jose Mourinho was brought in with neither David Moyes nor Louis van Gaal managing to live up to expectations.
The Frenchman is under massive pressure following back-to-back 3-0 defeats at the hands of Manchester City in less than a week – the first in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on Sunday, 25 February, and the second during the league tie at the Emirates on Thursday, 1 March.
Wenger is under contract until 2019 but may now leave the club early as fans demand his resignation. Their recent form has dealt a massive blow to the Gunners' hopes of finishing in the Premier League's top four as they remain 13 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, albeit with a game in hand.
A second year outside the Champions League is unlikely to sit well with the board, who have thus far persisted with Wenger for his ability to qualify for Europe's elite competition on a consistent basis.
They could still secure Champions League football next season if they win the Europa League. However, the London club first has to negotiate a daunting fixture against another fallen European giant in AC Milan in the Round of 16 before entertaining any thoughts of reaching the final.
On the other hand, despite the Gunners thinking of life beyond Wenger to stabilise the situation at the club, Merson believes it will not be easy sailing for them as they have to see through a few appointments before landing the perfect man at the helm.
"You're going to get a Man United situation when Sir Alex Ferguson left," Merson said on Sky Sports, as quoted by the Express. "The next manager will come in, it won't work out, they'll get rid of him within a year. Then another manager will come in.
"Things can't get any worse to be honest. They're sixth and that's where they're going to be. Surely it couldn't get worse than that. I look at the other teams and no one is going to catch them, I don't see anybody else coming above Arsenal in sixth.
"But this is Arsenal Football Club and they're becoming an also-run, an also-run. They're Everton, they're Everton. We've had this with Everton for the last 15 years. They're the next best team out of the top six, they're not going to get any better, and this is what's happening with Arsenal."