Arsene Wenger 'honoured' by Stan Kroenke backing

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that he is 'honoured to receive the backing of Gunners' owner, Stan Kroenke.

Kroenke said he is proud of the Frenchman, and wants the 63-year-old to sign a new contract, ensuring his long-term stay in north London.

Wenger is in the final season of his contract, after managing Arsenal over three different decades, and celebrates his 17-year anniversary this weekend.

"The good thing with me is you don't need a lot of talks to extend the contract I have," he is quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.

Wenger is the longest serving Premier League manager, after being appointed in October, 1996. During his time at the helm, Arsenal have qualified for the Champions League in the past 16 seasons, and although the club has failed to win a trophy since 2006, Kroenke insists Wenger is in Arsenal's future.

"I am very honoured to have the support of Stan Kroenke - that is a huge confidence vote," Wenger said ahead of Saturday's trip to Swansea.

"I don't believe anyone can question my commitment to this club, I want to feel I do well and then the question of me staying will be secondary after that.

"I don't know where the last 17 years have gone. I always said our job is work like you are here forever and know it could end every day. What I would like to do as long as I am here is do my best because I love this club."

Wenger was urged to spend big, after Arsenal's opening 3-1 home defeat to Aston Villa, and their only signing being 19-year-old, Yaya Sanogo on a free transfer.

He listened, and spent £42.5million on German international, Mesut Ozil. He also brought back Mathieu Flamini, for his second spell at the club.

Since the defeat to Villa, Arsenal have won every Premier League game, taking them to the top of the table.

"The group has shown a positive response," said Wenger. "I think five or six teams could challenge for the title - Liverpool, the top four of last year [Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal] and Tottenham. It looks like a more open title race at this moment.

"I am very grateful to this club because during the 17 years there have been ups and downs and they have always shown faith in me. I turned many offers down because I rate what I have got here. I always thought this club was special."

The Arsenal boss insisted his team's on-field performances remained the priority and suggested signing a new deal would be a formality, thoughts backed up by Kroenke.

"There's no-one I feel more strongly about and he's doing a great job. Arsene knows how we feel," Kroenke is quoted by the Daily Mirror.

"We have been very supportive. We have never wavered. We are proud of him, proud of the club, the way the club is run and how it holds itself out to the world.

"Arsene knows how we feel, what our philosophy is, what we want to do and I feel like we are totally aligned.

"I think he wants to do it the exact same way as we do."

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