Arsene Wenger is facing an end-of-season fixture pile-up that is the only threat to his desire to stay in charge of Arsenal.
Boss Wenger has been left with the nightmare scenario of facing Everton on the final day of the season, but his Gunners also have to rearrange the home game with Sunderland which has been postponed because it clashes with the FA Cup semi-finals.
Any more toxic meltdowns from supporters following disappointing results – defeat in the FA Cup against Manchester City at Wembley on April 24 or the North London derby at Tottenham a week later – could see the mood get even worse, and that could deal a massive blow to Wenger’s hopes of staying.
Fed-up fans have already turned on the manager, and if the backlash from the punters becomes too great then the Frenchman would struggle to continue his reign into next season.
Currently sixth and seven points adrift of Manchester City in the final Champions League place, Arsenal know they could end up staging the last two home games of the season with nothing to play for and in a poisonous atmosphere.
The Gunners also still have to find a date to play the away game with Southampton, originally scheduled for February but shelved because Saints were in the EFL Cup final that weekend
Wenger is still determined to stay and there is a two-year contract on the table, but it would be hard to imagine another 24 months of the sort of fan fury seen during and after Monday’s defeat at Crystal Palace.
Arsenal insist it will still be a mutual decision on Wenger’s future, and the one factor that leaves some doubt is the reaction of the supporters.
If the club hierarchy feel the anger and bitterness has become too much it would come into their thoughts and recommendations, although any final decision rests with majority shareholder Stan Kroenke.
ARSENAL’S 2016-17 RUN-IN
|Monday, April 17||Middlesbrough (A)||Premier League|
|Sunday, April 23||vs Manchester City||FA Cup semis|
|Wednesday, April 26||Leicester (H)||Premier League|
|Sunday, April 30||Tottenham (A)||Premier League|
|Sunday, May 7||Manchester United (H)||Premier League|
|Saturday, May 13||Stoke (A)||Premier League|
|Sunday, May 21||Everton (H)||Premier League|
|To Be Scheduled||Southampton (A)||Premier League|
|To Be Scheduled||Sunderland (H)||Premier League|