Freddie Ljungberg claims Arsenal fans may ‘regret’ how they treated Arsene Wenger in his final few years in charge as the Gunners continue to regress – with Martin Keown claiming old boss ‘carried the club on his back for 22 years’

Freddie Ljungberg claims Arsenal fans may be ‘regretting’ how they behaved towards Arsene Wenger during his final years in charge of the club. 

Thursday marks three years to the day since Wenger’s last Arsenal home game after 22 years of service in north London – but the Gunners have regressed even further since the Frenchman’s departure.

Arsenal legend Ljungberg was there at Wenger’s final game – a 5-0 victory over Burnley – and believes the iconic manager received unfair treatment.

Speaking before Arsenal’s Europa League semi-final tie with Villarreal, Ljungberg said: ‘I flew back from Sweden to say goodbye to Arsene. 

‘The fans were complaining about him at the end of his term. Now maybe they are regretting how they behaved towards him. He’s so big at this club.’

Speaking about Arsenal’s decline, the Swede added: ‘It’s disappointing to see.

‘I love the club and respect them but to be ninth or tenth in the league and not challenging for the Europa League spots and we have to rely on the Europa League, that’s quite hard to take.’

Arsenal finished fifth and reached the Europa League final under Unai Emery in their first season without Wenger but have been in mid-table since the start of the 2019-20 season.

The Gunners take on Villarreal on Thursday night looking to reach the Europa League final – in the competition which stands as their only realistic chance of qualifying for European football next season.

Fellow BT Sport pundit Martin Keown claimed Wenger deserves to remain behind the scenes at the club now, as fans continue to protest against current owners Stan Kroenke.  

The former Gunners defender said: ‘I think he (Wenger) carried the club on his back for those 22 years. From the old ground to the new ground, all the work behind the scenes as well. And now the club is slipping back. 

‘He’s not within the club as a president or part of the board. I can’t understand that.

Let’s look to the future, they current owners don’t want to put money in. Maybe it’s time for a change. Maybe that’s afoot.’

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