Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann believes a change is needed at the club after a week which saw the Gunners leave the European Super League.
Lehmann, who was part of Arsenal’s Invincibles side, previously coached alongside Arsene Wenger during a spell at the club in 2018.
And the former Germany international shot stopper suggests the situation with Mikel Arteta would be different if the Frenchman was in his shoes instead.
“I am following Arsenal and I am disappointed at the way they are performing sometimes and that they are not even close to the top.” said Lehmann speaking ahead of the 2021 Laureus World Sports Awards.
“I always say, imagine if that would have happened when Arsene Wenger was there. I experienced that when I was there with him that last year (2018 Lehmann was a coach at Arsenal). There was a lot of pressure and he had to take a lot of blame and now I think it’s a situation where Covid plays into their favour.
“Nobody is allowed to come into the stadium because if people were in the stadium the pressure would have been different now. I don’t know what it is right now because I am only following on television their games but I think there needs to be a change there.
Supporters have recently urged the government to implement the 50+1 ownership model used in Germany that gives supporters a say in what their clubs do, and Lehmann insists the system is not as perfect as it’s cracked up to be.
“We see that apart from Bayern Munich no other team was strong enough to compete year in and year out in the Champions League. You cannot say that the German model is fantastic, because in terms of competition, there needs to be a hybrid thing which is going to be established.
“I am on the Board of Hertha Berlin which is run by the club. The investors have put a lot of money in and the club is managing the investment and we don’t have anything to say and they are fighting relegation now. So there you can see that there are some inefficiencies and it tells you that a club that is only run by members of the club, sometimes it is not such a great example.
“Sometimes you ask “where is the expertise?” Hertha had the biggest investment this year and they still can get relegated which could be a catastrophe.
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“If you look at Arsenal, people are not happy there because Arsenal is not performing well and they cannot even get into the Champions League any more. They say that the owner structure is not right but when you look at Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, it is still working there. But in Germany, where most of the clubs are owned by the fans, we are way behind these clubs.
“I love the Arsenal fans and what I love about them is that they are still against this format even knowing that they could not qualify for the Champions League this year. But otherwise they would have been part of it but they said ‘No, we want a fair competition where we have to qualify on the pitch, not because we are a great brand.’ For that, these fans have to be loved.”