Thursday 8 December 2016

Top Guns fully behind Wenger

Paul Kelso

Published 21/09/2011 | 05:00

AFTER Arsenal's worst start to a league season in more than half a century and with his methods under greater scrutiny than at any time in his 14-year reign, Arsene Wenger has received the most glowing of endorsements from the Emirates leadership.

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Club chief executive Ivan Gazidis said that not only would the Frenchman not be sacked or walk away from the club, but that the philosophy that he has instilled at Arsenal would be pursued despite the apparent threat to their top-four status.

Describing the questions surrounding Wenger's leadership as a result of "short-term pressures," Gazidis insisted that the manager retains the confidence of the club, board, including owner Stan Kroenke, and that he could even play a part in appointing his successor.

Gazidis added: "We are in a culture where things are easily discarded, but if this club were to give up the fundamentals that have made it so strong -- the consistency and support we have for our manager -- we would do ourselves much more damage. It's not a sentimental position; it is what is best for the club.

"Arsene is not going to get a rush of blood to the head, he's not going to walk out. There is a story developing that is a non-story. There is no issue with Arsene leaving the club or the club pushing him out. We work together, we have some issues within the team and Arsene is very focused on addressing those."

While he admitted that the drawn-out summer transfer of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri were a "distraction," Gazidis defended Arsenal's business in the transfer window and indicated that Wenger would have money to spend in the January window and next summer if he required it. However, he emphasised that Wenger's commitment to youth remained.

Irish Independent

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