Ray Parlour is convinced Arsenal will sack manager Unai Emery in the summer if he fails to guide the club back to the Champions League this season.
The Gunners were one win away from booking a return to Europe’s top table during the Spaniard’s first season in charge, as they progressed to the Europa League final.
But they blew their chance with a miserable performance against Chelsea, losing 4-1 to leave them in Europe’s second tier for the third straight campaign.
That is not enough for the club hierarchy or supporters, who are hungry for their team to be competing at the top once again.
And Parlour believes the club will look for a new boss at the end of the season if Emery again misses out on a Champions League place.
Arsenal have endure a torrid start to the season, winning just four of their opening 11 league games.
They currently sit fifth, but there is a six-point gap to fourth-place Chelsea and after a run of four straight draws in competitions – with the Gunners throwing away a lead in each one – supporters are beginning to turn on their manager.
But Parlour doesn’t believe they will pull the trigger just yet, unless things get really bad.
“I think they will stick with Emery now until the end of the season,” the Gunners legend said on Friday’s Sports Breakfast.
“They’ll give him the opportunity, they’ll still look at the Europa League [as a way to qualify for the Champions League] because they got to the final last year.
“But if he doesn’t make the Champions League I don’t think his future is at Arsenal.
“The biggest question mark is whether they can or not. At the moment with the way they’re playing, they’re nowhere near the top four.
“They’ve got to improve. Defensively they’ve got to improve.
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“How many times have they gone in front and then given an opportunity away to the other side? We’ve seen it in so many games, against Palace, Liverpool, Wolves and in the Europa League this week!”
Brendan Rodgers has been linked as a potential replacement for Emery at the Emirates Stadium, and the Northern Irishman could well prove be the catalyst for the Spaniard’s demise this weekend.
Leicester City host the Arsenal on Saturday – with LIVE and EXCLUSIVE commentary on talkSPORT – and a win for the third-place Foxes would pile even more pressure on the Gunners boss.
Watch a clip of Ray Parlour on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast above!
Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT as we bring you THREE live Premier League commentaries across our network, including Leicester vs Arsenal at 17:30