Wenger has ambitions to make Gunner best club in world
Published 30/09/2011 | 15:47
Arsene Wenger celebrated his 15th anniversary in charge of Arsenal today insisting his ambition remains to make the Gunners the best club in the world.
The Arsenal manager also thanked owner Stan Kroenke for a message of resounding support after the club's troubled start to the season.
Wenger has not won a trophy for six years and the club's struggles will be brought into sharp focus on Sunday in the north London derby against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.
Wenger, however, is certain the Emirates trophy cabinet will soon be required.
He said: "The vision is to make this club the best club in the world, it is as simple as that. To carry through the values we think are important in the game. I'm very proud of the values I defend in the game and we will try to continue to do that."
When asked how long it might take to put Arsenal on top, Wenger added: "In my life I hope. You may say to me I have to live very long, I don't know. I want to try to give my best because only the best is acceptable and if I don't manage to do it I am very sad. Like when we had a bad start to the season, it is uncomfortable but we keep going."
How long did Wenger think he would last at Arsenal when he arrived in 1996.
"One week, two weeks if I was lucky," he said. "I didn't know. I was in exactly the same frame of mind as I am now. I try to do well and see if it works or not, rejected or not, can win or not, like any manager when you come in somewhere."
Wenger had earlier received a rousing vote of confidence from Kroenke who said: "Arsene's our man. As an owner, that's who we put our confidence in. Maybe it is one of those times when we have to work our way through, maybe with some young players.
"There are some really good players that Arsene thinks can be special. Sometimes you go through periods like that."
Wenger admitted he was grateful for the public support, adding: "There is never need to panic, panic doesn't solve problems. I am grateful he (Kroenke) has confidence in my abilities to sort our problems out because that is not easy to find in football.
"I have been very lucky to spend 15 years at this club. I live in the present and the future so I hate to look back. I use the history to improve, that's what I want to do. I am grateful and lucky to have spent so much time at this club."
Wenger also urged the fans to respect former striker Emmanuel Adebayor who returns to the Emirates with Tottenham, amid his one-year loan spell from Manchester City.
Adebayor has been a focus of abuse in the past and Wenger said: "That's what you don't want. You want people to support the team in a positive way, all the hate, a football game is a fantastic day that everyone has to enjoy and with a positive atmosphere it is even more fantastic so let our fans get behind our team and forget about the rest. If the game is great the attention will be on the game."
Arsenal winger Theo Walcott looks set to return following a knee injury along with Gervinho (hamstring) but central defender Laurent Koscielny is out.
Defender Thomas Vermaelen's return from an ankle injury, however, looks like being a couple of weeks later than anticipated, some time towards the end of October.
Wenger refused to accept the derby was any more important than usual but admitted: "It is a very important game, you know the next game is always the most important in your life. We do not try to play down its importance at all, I just think it's the same home or away, if you play well you win.
"Every win makes you stronger, especially when you come from a difficult period. For us it's important to get wins together and get the confidence back."