Martin Keown believes Arsene Wenger will quit as manager if Arsenal go out of the FA Cup.
The Gunners face National League side Sutton at their 5,000-capacity Gander Green Lane stadium in the fifth round.
And former Gunners defender Keown – who played under Wenger for eight years – expects his former boss to consider his position if they are on the wrong end of a giant-killing.
“If he gets knocked out of the FA Cup I think this would be Wenger’s last season in charge,” he told the Daily Mail.
“Wenger said that had he lost the FA Cup final in 2014, when they were 2-0 down against Hull, then he would have gone.
“If Wenger were to lose this I think it would seriously question whether he should stay on.
“But if they win the FA Cup, finish in the top four and progress in the Champions League then he could stay.”
Wenger’s current contract, signed in May 2014, expires at the end of the season.
And Keown, who won three Premier League titles and three FA Cups under Wenger, believes any decision on whether he is offered – or accepts – a new deal would hang heavily on the result of the Sutton game.
“Everything will be done at the end of the season so let’s wait and see what happens,” he said.
“Wenger would be seriously looking at whether his Arsenal career should continue if he goes out of the FA Cup.
“What bigger incentive could there be for the manager to make sure they win this game?”