Calls for Wenger to bring his 21-year tenure at Arsenal to an end when his contract expires in June intensified on Wednesday following his team’s second 5-1 capitulation to Bayern Munich in their round-of-16 tie, exiting the Champions League 10-2 on aggregate.
Petit, who made his name under Wenger at Monaco before reuniting with him in North London, hailed his compatriot’s achievements at the club, but suggested his former boss should now seriously consider leaving.
“The oeuvre he has put in place is colossal, you can’t deny that. If we focus only on what he has done in recent years, the overview is more than negative. But if we look at the first 10 years, what he has done is remarkable,” said Petit, highlighting the three Premier League titles and six FA Cup final victories Wenger has orchestrated.
“I hope people won’t only focus on the end. Love stories often finish badly. You have to know when the right moment comes to leave.”
The rout at home to Bayern bore all the hallmarks of the first leg in Germany: Wenger’s men were holding their own until they lost Laurent Koscielny early in the second half — through injury in the first leg, via a red card in the second — and then collapsed.
According to Petit, the incidents in the match are not the only similarities that can be drawn between the two performances, and the former Barcelona and Chelsea midfielder blames Wenger for making his squad too comfortable.
He said: “What I regret is that Arsene sticks to a 4-2-3-1 system come what may. Each game, whether they win or lose, you know the next game will be a 4-2-3-1 formed around almost the same eight players. Few are brought into question…oh yes, [Olivier] Giroud with [Alexis] Sanchez up front.
“But if it’s not [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right, it’ll be [Theo] Walcott. On the left, if it’s not [Alex] Iwobi it’s Sanchez with Giroud up front. If I’m their opponent, I know exactly what they’re going to do beforehand. In the 70th-minute, he’ll make two changes. It’s like Claudio Ranieri at Leicester, I think that was fatal for him too.
“There was no surprise. The players were put in a permanent state of conformism, no-one was called into question, they knew beforehand the scenario of the match.”
Support InfoStride News' Credible Journalism: Only credible journalism can guarantee a fair, accountable and transparent society, including democracy and government. It involves a lot of efforts and money. We need your support. Click here to Donate