Wenger welcomes Kroenke support
Published 27/09/2013 | 11:31
Manager Arsene Wenger has welcomed the vote of confidence from Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke and says he is ready to sign a new deal sooner rather than later.
The Frenchman, who will turn 64 next month, has been in charge of the Gunners for 17 years but has not been able to deliver a trophy since 2005.
Nevertheless, Kroenke insists Wenger - who was linked with a move to Paris St Germain in the summer - remains the man for the job as the north London club embark on what they hope will be a new chapter backed by increased financial resources, which helped secure the record £43million signing of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid.
"I am very honoured to have the support of Stan Kroenke. That he thinks I can help the club is a huge confidence vote. That is something for me that is very positive," said Wenger, who takes his side to Swansea for Saturday afternoon's late kick-off.
Following the disappointment of an opening-day 3-1 home defeat by Aston Villa, Wenger has since guided his side safely into the group stages of the Champions League, to the top of the Barclays Premier League table and on Wednesday night saw the next generation come through a penalty shoot-out in the Capital One Cup at West Brom.
Wenger remains relaxed about his own long-term future, but made it clear he would have no issue with signing on again for the Gunners.
"What is important is that you feel you can do your job where you are and I am very grateful to this club because during the 17 years we had ups and downs, they have always shown a big faith in me and they always let me do the job like I thought it had to be done," he added.
"If I am still here today it is because I got that consistent support from inside the club."
Wenger continued: "The good thing with me, if I have one quality, (it is that) you don't need a lot of talks to extend the contract I have.
"I want to focus on the quality of our season. I don't believe that anybody can question my commitment to this club.
"I want to feel that I do well and then the question of me staying will be secondary after that."
However, the Arsenal manager remains relaxed about the continuing negotiations.
He said: "(We will do it) when we find time. I don't think that is the most important problem at the moment."
The arrival of the relatively unheralded former Monaco and Nagoya Grampus Eight coach was met by headlines of "Arsene Who?" when he succeeded Bruce Rioch in September 1996.
Wenger, though, has no intentions of revelling in a bit of nostalgia.
"It is a long time and a short time. I don't know where the 17 years have gone," he said.
"Our job has a good advantage - you just look forward to the next game.
"You never look back. I believe as well that is the most important. What is for me the most interesting is Saturday's game."
Wenger added: "I always said that our job is 'work like you are here forever and know that it can end every day'. That is how I do (my job)."
Arsenal head to Swansea looking to stay top of the table after four straight league wins.
Former Cardiff midfielder Aaron Ramsey is set to have a fitness test on a thigh problem, as is Mathieu Flamini (shoulder).
Ramsey has scored seven goals so far this season.
Wenger said: "You know Aaron Ramsey is a tough boy. He has a test and I think he will get through.
"He is going back to Wales, certainly, for him it is always special, but no (I wouldn't want to take a risk on him)."
England forward Theo Walcott, meanwhile, is set for more than a month of rehabilitation after a minor procedure on an abdominal problem.
"It (surgery) went as well as it could go. There were no complications," Wenger said.
"You know sometimes you open and you find an unexpected problem. It was very simple.
"Optimistically, (it will be) three weeks. Realistic? Five."