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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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Wright: Wenger is to blame

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has warned the Gunners could soon emulate Liverpool's European struggles if manager Arsene Wenger is not replaced.

• Wenger backed by Gunners board

Wright, who made nearly 300 appearances for Arsenal in seven years at the club, believes Wenger should be sacrificed if Champions League qualification next season is to become a reality.

"Everything that is happening is down to the manager," he said. "He is to blame. [Swansea manager Michael] Laudrup could, maybe, step in. I hate to see Arsenal in this situation but something has got to give at some stage. It cannot carry on like this."

The 49-year-old fears Arsenal could soon resemble Liverpool's downfall from the top four, with the Reds failing to qualify for the Champions League in each of the last three seasons.

"Arsenal are in danger of slipping into a similar situation to Liverpool, struggling to get a squad together and attract players to get back into the Champions League," Wright said. "Liverpool have an unbelievable European record as a club but they just can't get back on track.

"I have been saying for years about the deficiencies in respect of replenishing the squad and getting Arsenal back to not just qualifying for the Champions League but getting past the quarter-final stages and really having a good go at it. If we are not careful we are going to end up going for fourth every season. And if that does not happen - then what?"

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