Ian Wright discusses the new era of Arsenal fans

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Arsene Wenger has this week signed a new two-year contract to keep him in charge of Arsenal until 2018. 

After 21 years with the club, it looked as if he was beginning to struggle, failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in his Gunners career. 

It's not just how his side perform on the pitch that has been disappointing in the eyes of fans and pundits. 

The Frenchman is often criticised for failing to make a big enough impact in the transfer market. With the Premier League so competitive, buying poorly has a huge effect on the outcome of the season.  

It was perhaps a poor transfer window that set up a disappointing 2016/17 campaign, with Arsenal finishing fifth in the league, meaning they will play Europa League football next term.  

Of course, they did win the FA Cup last weekend, beating champions Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley. But for some fans, it's not enough.

The Arsenal fanbase has been split for a while between those that are pro-Wenger, who want to see him stay, and anti-Wenger fans, who want to see him leave.

This week, the 67-year-old announced he will stay on at the club, news that was unsurprising but still frustrating for many.  

It's not just fans who have been having their say on Wenger's future recently. A number of former players and pundits have also been weighing in on the debate, and ex-Gunners striker Ian Wright has been one of those. 

The Englishman scored 128 goals in 221 league games between 1991 and 1998, so he arguably knows Wenger, and success, better than anybody. 

Speaking to radio presenter Colin Murray, he recently discussed how Arsenal fans may be damaging their club.

He said, as per 11versus11:  

"The new era, the new age of Arsenal fan. That’s not a nice person."

There's no denying that Wright himself has been critical of the Arsenal boss this season, but he believes, and Wenger knows, that he did so for the good of the club. 

"I love the club more than anything. What Arsenal means to me now, I have to say what I say and I have to say it with my heart and passion," he explained. 

"When I met Arsene Wenger in Brazil he said the reason he hasn’t got a problem with me is because he knows it comes from a place of love. There’s a set of new Arsenal fans and they are just abusive and nasty."

Of course, the average fan does not have the same luxury of talking to the boss as Wright does.

However, they do pay to watch their team each week and are entitled to an opinion, but the now 53-year-old believes some fans are voicing it in the wrong way. 

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Arsene Wenger
Ian Wright

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