A recent picture of under-pressure Wenger
Arsene Wenger this day received resounding backing from Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis despite his team’s poor begin to the season.
Wenger has endured a testing time over the last few months, losing captain Cesc Fabregas and star player Samir Nasri before the club went on to make their worst begin to a season in 58 years.
The Gunners have recorded just one league win so far – against newly-promoted Swansea – and sit 17th in the Barclays Premier League table after five games.
The London club endured the humiliation of an 8-2 hammering at Manchester United, and looked a shadow of their former selves on Saturday when they lost 4-3 to strugglers Blackburn.
Wenger has looked increasingly strained in recent days following criticism of his side from the media and sections of the Arsenal support.
But chief executive Gazidis denies Wenger, who has won three Premier League titles, is losing his touch and was adamant this day that he and American owner Stan Kroenke are fully behind their manager.
“Arsene is not a broken man. He did not suddenly become a bad manager or somebody who became out of touch with the game. It is complete nonsense,” Gazidis said.
“(Sacking him) is a route we are not going to go down. Stan Kroenke is very supportive of Arsenal’s self-sustaining model and of Arsene Wenger.
“To see him (Wenger) portrayed as some kind of idiot is profoundly damaging, not to Arsenal or Arsene, but for the game.”
Wenger became the only manager to win a Premier League title with an unbeaten team in 2004, but has not won a competition in the last six and a half years.
Arsenal came agonisingly close to winning some silverware last term when they reached the Carling Cup final only to lose to Birmingham, who then went on to be relegated to the npower Championship.
Gazidis states Wenger comprehends why the club’s supporters are unhappy but insists that the club’s consistent top-four finishes mean the last few years have not been a failure.
“When we look at Arsenal over the last six years that we haven’t won a trophy, many people will state that is a total failure,” stated Gazidis, who was talking at the Nolan Partners Sport Industry Breakfast Club in London this morning.
“I comprehend that, I accept it and I embrace it because in a sense it shows where we are as a club which is right at the top of the game.
“But at the same time, I can’t accept it’s a total failure because actually we have been incredibly consistent over a long period of time – along with Manchester United and Real Madrid, the most consistent of clubs in Europe.
“Arsene is frustrated, he shares the same frustrations that we all do. If you look at the last six years when we haven’t quite got over the line for a trophy, that is something we need to correct because the potential is there.”
Much of the Arsenal fans’ ire at Wenger’s management style is his perceived refusal to pay out huge transfer fees.
Wenger’s policy of signing young players has worked at times, but Arsenal fans are growing increasingly frustrated at the club’s inability to land huge name signings like Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City have done this summer.
Wenger has repeatedly stated that he has money to spend, but Gazidis does not want to see the Gunners boss waste it on an extravagant spree.
“Our strategy continues to focus on young players. We know we can’t go out and compete with the spending that’s out there and frankly, if we did, it would just push the spending to another level so it wouldn’t be a successful strategy,” he said.
Gazidis also launched a staunch defence of Kroenke, who has still not attended a game this season.
Kroenke, who owns American football, ice hockey and basketball teams, rarely talks to the media – a move which has led to him being labeled ’Silent Stan’ – but Gazidis insists the tag is unfair.
“The truth is that Stan is not silent. He has been very involved throughout and for a number of years with the club,” Gazidis said. “Stan has stated that he will speak to the fans the next time he is in the UK and he will.”
- Indian trip the country feather could singles gamers out of your very first circular, similar to a sadness
- Four Jays ready to see where draft sends them
- Afshin Ghotbi Pulsing in Japan
- Soccer Capsules: Euro 2012 and News & Notes: Disarray deflates England ...
- Best El Clasico Face-Offs of All Time
- Sand Sharks boys claim U16 beach soccer championship
- 2012 Premier League Fixtures
- Union (0) at Scotch Plains (1), Union County Tournament, Final Round - Boys Soccer
- Soccer: Premiership's top prospects
- Soccer-Media, sponsors boost Man Utd profit
Submited by chuck - Comment RSS 2.0 - leave a comment - trackback