Date: 12th April 2017 at 12:23pm
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Arsene Wenger’s time at Arsenal is up, at least it should be according to the membership majority of the Arsenal Supporters Trust (AST) – board member Akhil Vyas has revealed to Sky Sports an overwhelming 78% of AST voters feel this way.

Vyas, who was one of those Arsenal fans present at Selhurst Park for the defeat at Crystal Palace, has spoken of the hostility towards the players, who ‘really got it’.

He told Sky Sports: ‘Well going back two days to the away end at Selhurst Park, it was very hostile. That was probably the first time I’ve seen the fans go for the players. It’s usually been the manager that’s taken the brunt, sometimes the owner and the board, but the players really got it.’

Wenger’s future at Arsenal isn’t being confirmed by the boss or the club itself, with a statement of intent needed to clarify the Frenchman’s position.

Should this come with conformation he is indeed leaving the Gunners in the summer it could lead to an upturn in support for the club – if nothing else see Wenger’s 20 years could be recognised and celebrated in the final games of the season.

‘Some sort of announcement could really add clarity, and if they announced that this was Arsene Wenger’s last season, then suddenly that hostility might go and people would get behind the team a lot more,’ added Vyas. ‘The last eight games, regardless of results, would just be a celebration for a fantastic career to this football club but not knowing is causing problems and issues for fans, as it is maybe for players.’

A lot of respect was shown towards the boss, despite 78% of the AST voters voicing the opinion it’s time for Wenger to take his leave of the Emirates Stadium – a stance Vyas added has been a common feeling seen at games home and away throughout the campaign:

‘We’ve recently announced our results from an Arsenal Supporters Trust survey from all our members on the future of Arsene Wenger, and 78 per cent have decided that it is time for Arsene to leave the football club in the summer. Only about three per cent called for him to leave right now, so 78 per cent think it’s time. We had comments as well and we did get it independently looked at by a company who identified respect for Arsene Wenger. So from the 78 per cent a lot of them think it’s time but a lot are very grateful for what he’s done and I think that’s the feeling around the fan-base from what I’ve seen home and away.’

Vyas went on to say missing out on a top-four finish – for the first time under Wenger – could be the wakeup call Arsenal needed with it ‘absolutely’ about winning trophies as finishing in the Champions League spots alone wasn’t enough, admittedly it was important.

Defeat for Arsenal, sixth, at Middlesbrough on Monday would not only completely end the chances of finishing in the top-four it could see the crowd reaction worse than that at Crystal Palace. But the FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City could have a ‘bigger impact’ on Wenger’s future.

‘A loss there [Middlesbrough] and it could be similar to Palace with the away end unbearable again,’ Vyas continued.

Finishing: ‘If you look ahead to the FA Cup semi-final, that could be a bigger game because of the opponent and putting the top four to one side, losing that could have a bigger impact on the future of Wenger.’

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