NEWCASTLE boss Alan Pardew believes counterpart Arsene Wenger deserves to have Arsenal’s stadium named in his honour rather than be the target of abuse by a section of the club’s supporters.
A banner calling for Wenger’s resignation was unfurled during games against West Brom and Galatasaray while a group of fans harangued the 65-year-old Frenchman as he boarded the train to London following the Gunners’ defeat at Stoke last Saturday.
Pardew was the recipient of Newcastle fans’ ire earlier this season before a remarkable transformation of results elevated the Magpies to seventh in the Premier League, level on points with Arsenal who they face at Emirates Stadium tomorrow. “This is a guy that’s done unbelievably well and in some ways the stadium should be named after him,” said Pardew.
Wenger has a defensive crisis to contend with as Calum Chambers is suspended, Nacho Monreal out with a foot injury and Laurent Koscielny struggling with an achilles problem, potentially leaving Per Mertesacker as the only fit centre-half.
Newcastle have their own concerns and are set to start with third-choice keeper Jak Alnwick.