Football

Dein: Wenger's still the best

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Former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein has launched a passionate defence of Arsene Wenger and told his critics to lay off the Gunners manager.

Before Saturday's 2-1 win over Manchester United, Arsenal had dropped four Barclays Premier League points against Tottenham and Stoke in successive games, followed by a 0-0 Champions League draw at home to Fenerbahce - results which led to suggestions that Wenger was losing his touch.

But Dein, who brought the Frenchman to Arsenal 12 years ago, said : "I call him a miracle worker. Never, ever lose faith in Arsene Wenger's judgement. He's the most focussed, dedicated and intelligent football man I have ever come across."

He added: "The team has a bad patch, a wobble, and everybody starts criticising him - and that's grossly unfair. See what happens at the end of the season and see if the team are good enough.

"You are seeing quality football week in, week out. If I'm not mistaken we're still in the early part of November - the season doesn't finish until May. So, let's see what happens then. Meanwhile we're six points behind (league leaders Chelsea) and you can't say we're not going to catch that. "

Speaking at the International Football Arena in Zurich, Dein, who confirmed that he parted company with Alisher Usmanov's Red and White Holdings earlier this year, also conceded that the credit crunch was hitting fans hard and that ticket prices could not go any higher.

"How much should it be for the price of a ticket?" asked Dein.

"I think frankly we've reached the top level now with prices and clubs really have to have a look under the microscope and say, 'we really can't charge any more'.

"There's a huge danger you are cutting off the pipeline which is necessary for the next generation. The average age has gone up, it's more expensive.

"It's a problem. But unfortunately the dynamics of the game have changed. It's not easy to go back to the past."

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Arsenal
Stoke City
Football
Chelsea
Premier League
Manchester United

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