Patrick Vieira believes Arsene Wenger still has a clear vision for Arsenal’s future and will know when to step down as manager.
The former Gunners captain, now head coach at MLS franchise New York FC, fuelled rumours of a rift with his mentor in January by revealing he’d not spoken to his compatriot in ‘a very long time’.
Despite also claiming that Jose Mourinho had more influence on his career, the Frenchman has waded into the debate over Wenger’s future by claiming that the banner, displayed by supporters after the win at Hull City, showed a lack of respect.
“I was surprised and I was a bit disappointed at the same time [by the banner],” the Frenchman told TalkSport.
“Fans can be frustrated, but fans sometimes forget what Arsene has brought to this football club and I think he deserves a bit more respect. Fans can boo and show their anger, but the way they did it with that banner showed too much lack of respect. But this is the way it is, this is football but it shouldn’t be like that.”
“Arsene will know when it is time for him to go. He knows what he is doing,” the World Cup winner added.
“He loves the game, he works really hard, he’s a work addict. He watches every single game, every single league and has a clear vision of what he wants to achieve. People like it or don’t like it.
“He has done a fantastic, unbelievable job for Arsenal Football Club and fans, with that message after the Hull game, went a little bit too far.”
Arsenal’s current run of two wins out of eight games is close to their worst under Wenger – the 14-game stint after Eduardo’s leg break in 2007 included only two wins in 14 games – and has him under severe pressure ahead of two tough away games with Barcelona and Everton.
David Beckham also came out in support of Wenger yesterday after he dismissed the banner in a comment via social media. “Disgraceful… No respect attention seekers” he wrote from his Instagram account.
Beckham has forged a friendship with Wenger in the years after he left Manchester United even being invited to train with the Arsenal first team.