Football

Ambitious Kroenke backs Wenger

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Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke has backed underfire manager Arsene Wenger and defended the club's difficult start to the season.

After seeing captain Cesc Fabregas and midfielder Samir Nasri leave during the summer, Wenger's plight has been further compounded by the club's worst start to a league campaign for over 50 years.

However, Kroenke is refusing to point the finger at Wenger, and insists the Frenchman can dictate how long he stays with the club.

“You know something,” he says. “Arsène is one of my favourite people I have met in the last 20 years. He is a great person and I love the way he handles himself. I love his focus. He is a very intelligent guy.

"I have tremendous confidence in him. He is one of the great managers in the world. With Arsène, it’s his decision and only he will know that.

“He still maintains himself in tremendous physical shape. You have to have stamina and energy. It’s an energy business. You are coaching, training, travelling and in stadiums packed with pressure. It’s almost like you are training like an athlete. Arsène has great energy and that will always be his decision.”

 

Victory over Bolton Wanderers last weekend was only Arsenal's second league win of the campaign, with defeats against Liverpool and Manchester United further raising fears the club could miss out on qualification for the Champions League next season.

Kroenke says that given the loses during the summer, and the awesome consistency the club has achieved under Wenger, the club shouldn't worry about their current tricky period.

"Sure it is a challenging start to the season," he added. "I know everyone thinks it is always going to be like that [pointing upwards], but it’s not. We would all love it if it did.

“If you look at the Arsenal’s history, it has not always been that way. To finish in the top four 14 times in a row is just unbelievable.

“You want to see people you care about achieve their potential. It’s a rocky start but what do people really expect? Cesc Fabregas is a great player whom Arsène developed from the age of 16. He decided last year that he wanted to leave.

“Maybe it is one of those times when we have to work our way through, maybe with some young players. Arsène has been really good at developing these guys, people like Alex Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere. There are some really good players that Arsène thinks can be special.

"Sometimes you go through periods like that. Arsène’s our man. As an owner, that’s who we put our confidence in.”

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Topics:
Arsenal
Football
Premier League

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