Wenger can still prove everyone wrong if Arsenal stand by him, Neville claims
Arsene Wenger should be allowed to prove his Arsenal critics wrong amid growing scrutiny, Gary Neville has told Omnisport.
Gary Neville acknowledges Arsene Wenger is on shaky ground but the former Manchester United captain would love to see Arsenal stand by their under-fire manager.
Dark clouds have descended on Wenger and the Emirates Stadium after Arsenal's humiliating Champions League last-16 exit was sealed by another 5-1 defeat to Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
It was an identical scoreline from the opening leg in Munich as a sorry curtain was brought down on another disappointing European campaign in north London, while only intensifying the scrutiny on long-serving boss Wenger, who is out of contract at the end of the season.
It was 2004 when the Gunners won the third and most recent Premier League trophy of Wenger's tenure and, with that drought looking set to continue this season, there is mounting pressure from many Arsenal supporters for the 67-year-old Frenchman to walk away after more than two decades in charge.
But former England international Neville - who won eight Premier League titles and two Champions League crowns among many other honours during his illustrious career at Old Trafford - wants Wenger to be given a chance to prove his critics wrong.
Speaking to Omnisport, the 42-year-old said: "There is no doubt there is a lot of suffering [experienced by] Wenger in terms of the exposure, attention, the scrutiny. It's actually uncomfortable.
"Ultimately, it is a decision for the board and Wenger.
"I made my stance very clear when I finished playing football. I would never ask a player to be sacked based on performance and I would never ask a manager to be sacked based upon performance."
Neville, who spent time in charge of LaLiga side Valencia in 2015-16 before returning to his role as a pundit for Sky Sports, continued: "Wenger deserves an incredible amount of respect. I accept the arguments around why some people think his time has come to an end. But what I would say, there is a way to do that and not to do it in terms of what he has achieved at the club.
"I suppose it's traditional principles, there is nothing more I'd like to see than a club stand by a manager and Wenger.
"In a time when managers get sacked every five minutes, when you think of the Claudio Ranieri sacking this season, I'd love Arsenal to stand by him and somehow prove everyone wrong in the next few seasons.
"I accept in this moment in time, the ground is very shaky."
Arsenal are back in action in the FA Cup this weekend, hosting Lincoln City on Saturday.