Wednesday 17 January 2018

Gunners want Wenger to extend stay

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger Photo: John Walton/PA Wire
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger Photo: John Walton/PA Wire

Jeremy Wilson

the Arsenal majority owner Stan Kroenke has clearly indicated a desire to keep Arsène Wenger beyond the end of this season, by describing the club's board as "very high" on their manager and admitting that he will be an extremely hard act to follow.

A framed montage of all the 210 players to have performed under Wenger was presented to the Arsenal manager at the start of yesterday's annual general meeting in recognition of his 20 years at the club and, once the meeting had closed, Kroenke noted the challenge that Manchester United had experienced in replacing a similar figure in Sir Alex Ferguson.

"You see it (at United), you bring up a comment like that," Kroenke said. "It's very hard. We are all very high on Arsène. We are at the top of the table right now. He's a great manager. He's been a wonderful influence on the club.

"I know a number of (sports team) owners who are very successful who say the same thing: the hardest thing to do is be consistently competitive at the top of the league. Arsène has always done that and Arsenal has always been in that position. We have always been competitive.

"Arsène's been consistently at the top and I will tell you: it's very, very hard to do if you look around sports."

As he did in 2014, Wenger intends to wait until the end of the season before deciding his future. He has indicated that he would like to stay, but that his decision will rest on whether he senses that the fans also want him.

Wenger told shareholders that the squad had never been better equipped to challenge across all four competitions.

"The amount of selling players was a big part of our income and we have survived quite well during that period," he said.

"We are in a much more competitive position than five or six years ago to fight for the championship. I believe we have a squad that is more mature and better equipped."

Independent News Service

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