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Dublin: 4 °C Thursday 20 February, 2020

Arsenal board give Wenger the dreaded vote of confidence

Gazidis has criticised the portrayal of the manager as an “idiot”, saying it is damaging the club’s reputation.

Wenger's team have endured a difficult start to the season.
Wenger's team have endured a difficult start to the season.

ARSENE WENGER’S POSITION as Arsenal manager has been under scrutiny of late, and the side’s 4-3 defeat to Blackburn last Saturday raised further doubts about his future at the club.

However, the club’s chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, told the Associated Press that sacking Wenger is “a route we are not going to go down”.

Despite growing concerns about Wenger’s tenure among some supporters, Gazidis launched an impassioned defence of the Frenchman, who has been at the club since 1996. Gazidis said:

“He didn’t suddenly become a bad manager. To have him portrayed as some kind of idiot who is out of touch is profoundly damaging, not simply for Arsenal nor particularly for Arsene, but for football. It’s nonsense based on the need to always create a mini-crisis … we are incredibly fortunate to have a manager who has a vision of what the game can be. To have a manager that thinks about the future is relatively rare.”

Arsenal made a number of high-profile signings just before the recent closure of the transfer window, however players such as Mikel Arteta and Per Mertersacker have yet to make a substantial difference to the club’s fortunes.

However Gazidis defended their recent signings and claimed, in relation to the club’s transfer policy, that “we are where other clubs want to be”.

A recent poll backed Wenger, with 39% of people voting that he should remain as Arsenal manager.

For more information, read The Guardian>

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Paul Fennessy

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