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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Arsenal Boss Under Fire, Bookies Like His Odds

LONDON -- Arsenal manager George Graham is looking to the European Cup Winners' Cup to provide a lifeline as his job appears increasingly under threat.


The London side, champions in 1989 and 1991 and pre-season favorites for the last two campaigns, are in 13th place. They have not won in six matches.


They were bundled out of the FA Cup, the trophy they won in 1993, by first division Millwall on Wednesday and were eliminated from the League Cup by Liverpool last week.


Graham is under investigation by the Premier League over allegations that he accepted a kickback of ?280,000 ($440,000) from a Scandinavian agent who handled Danish midfielder John Jensen's move to Highbury from Brondby two years ago.


Graham has said he has not profited from any of Arsenal's transactions in the transfer market.


A Premier League commission is due to make its findings known within two weeks. A guilty verdict is likely to mean them recommending to the Football Association a ban on Graham from football, clearly forcing Arsenal's hand.


While that remains in the balance, Arsenal appears to be giving their embattled manager more time to salvage something from the ruins of Highbury's traumatic season with retention of the Cup Winners' Cup the prime objective.


But the beleaguered Arsenal boss has received a vote of confidence from one quarter -- the bookies.


Bookmakers William Hill are offering odds of 1-2 that Graham will still be Highbury manager at the end of the season and 6-4 against that he will no longer be in charge by then.


Graham, reacting to questions after the defeat by Millwall as to whether he would resign, said: "I'm not enjoying this, but I believe in fate. Perhaps all this has been set to test me at the club."


"But me resign? I think we are in danger of getting carried away here, aren't we. This is only my second bad spell at Arsenal in nine years and I can live with that."


Arsenal could find it difficult to get those victories. They have won only three times in their last 15 games. But Graham, who is planning a trip to Italy next week to watch AC Milan, Arsenal's rivals in the two-legged European Super Cup next month, said: "I will carry on with business as usual."


Neither club chairman Peter Hill-Wood nor vice-chairman David Dein were available for comment Thursday on Graham's position.


Graham added: "As far as I'm concerned it is back to work on the training field to get things right. I still think we can be formidable when we have our strongest team in action, which we haven't had for months through suspensions and injuries."


England midfielder Paul Merson has been undergoing treatment for a drugs and drink problem since confessing two months ago to becoming a cocaine addict.


Arsenal is also facing a new crisis over England striker Ian Wright, booked for the 12th time this season Wednesday night.