Belfast Telegraph

Wenger is 'not broken' - Gazidis

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis backed Arsene Wenger to lead the Gunners out of their current slump and insisted sacking the Frenchman is "a route we are not going to go down".

Arsenal have won just one of their opening five Barclays Premier League games and lie 17th, one point above the relegation zone. Wenger, who lost key midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri to Barcelona and Manchester City respectively over the summer, retains Gazidis' support though.

Speaking at the Sport Industry Breakfast Club in London on Tuesday morning, he said: "He is not broken...he did not suddenly become a bad manager or somebody who became out of touch with the game. It is complete nonsense. (Sacking him) is a route we are not going to go down."

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.

They came agonisingly close to winning some silverware last term when they reached the Carling Cup final but they were defeated by Birmingham, who then went on to be relegated to the npower Championship.

Gazidis says Wenger understands why the club's supporters are unhappy but has urged them to be patient in their demand for success.

"Arsene is frustrated, he shares the same frustrations that we all do," said Gazidis. "The potential is very high but we have found self-inflicted ways not to achieve that full potential and that is why he is deeply frustrated.

"If you look at the last six years, we haven't quite got over the line for a trophy. That is something we need to correct because the potential is there.

"That is the frustration I think Arsene is wrestling with but he is absolutely not broken. He is as focused on delivering success to this football club as he has ever been."

Much of Arsenal fans' ire against Wenger concentrates on his refusal to pay big transfer fees. The Frenchman prefers to spend money on signing young players and watching them develop into top performers.


From Belfast Telegraph