Wenger in line for new deal at Arsenal
LONDON: Arsene Wenger is set to be offered a new contract with Arsenal despite the club’s seven-year trophy drought, Gunners chief executive Ivan Gazidis hinted on Thursday.
Wenger has been unable to find a solution to Arsenal’s fall from grace since they won their last trophy, the 2005 FA Cup, and a host of top players, including Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas, have left the club in frustration at their failure to compete for major honours.
It is eight years since Arsenal were last crowned English champions and Wenger has increasingly seemed to settle for qualifying for the Champions League via a top-four finish in the Premier League rather than battling Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea for first place.
But Gazidis is adamant the 62-year-old, who is under contract until 2014, remains the right man for the job.
“It’s not a sense of sentimentalism, not a reward for our services, it’s a belief that we have an incredible manager who loves this club and is the best man to lead us forward,” Gazidis told The Daily Mirror.
“We’re really confident about the direction that the club is heading. We’re coming through strongly and we believe we’re really well placed.
“We hope and believe that Arsene will be a part of that as we move forward. He is written into our DNA.”
Despite his recent struggles, Wenger is regarded as Arsenal’s greatest ever manager, having led the club to three Premier League titles and four FA Cups since arriving in north London in 1996.
And Gazidis insisted that Wenger’s impact on Arsenal has been so significant that his eventual successor will have to hold a similiar footballing philosophy to the Frenchman.
“As a club, we have to make sure that all of the things that Arsene has brought to the club are enshrined in our DNA to make sure that when the day comes when Arsene decides it’s time to hang up his boots that we are in a position to take his ideas and work forward,” Gazidis said.
“The values that Arsene has brought to the club, together with the values the club had before Arsene, are what will inform us – and I don’t want to give any indication that this is happening – and give us the framework as to who might take over from him in the longer term.”