New deal looming for Wenger
Arsene Wenger is reportedly close to being offered a new contract to remain in charge of Arsenal.
It has been seven years since Arsenal last won a trophy and for a time last season it looked as though Wenger’s time at the club was drawing to a close as the Gunners struggled to secure a top four finish.
A late run of results saw them finish third behind Manchester City and Manchester United before Wenger went on a shopping spree, bringing in Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski.
However, Wenger failed in his attempt to persuade Robin Van Persie to remain at the club, allowing the skipper to join Manchester United, while Alex Song also departed for Barcelona.
Wenger’s contract runs until 2014 and there have been some suggestions that he will leave London when the deal runs out.
Chief executive Ivan Gazidis, however, remains convinced Wenger is the right man to bring the club forward and he has revealed a new deal will be put before the Frenchman sooner rather than later.
“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.”
For the second year running Arsenal went into the season without their former skipper – Cesc Fabregas joined Barcelona ahead of the 2011-12 campaign – leading to suggestions that the Gunners no longer had the ability to attract big name players, while fans have grown frustrated at the lack of silverware.
Gazidis insists the failure to win a trophy in recent seasons is a concern but he has assured fans they are doing all they can to ensure things turn around this year.
“We get accused of a lack of ambition or complacency because, apparently, the board are only interested in the top four – that is absolute rubbish,” he added.
“We’re trying to win. In fact, we try to do more than that, we try to win with style – we have a certain way of playing football that we take pride in. So again, it’s a high ambition.
“I know we haven’t achieved that in recent years. There’s no-one at this football club that doesn’t feel the pain of not being able to do that in recent years but absolutely that’s what we’re trying to do and we want to do it on a sustainable basis going forward.
“We’re very optimistic about this season, even through the loss of a player as important as Robin van Persie.
“We went through some major challenges last season and yet still came near the top of the game. But it’s not what we’re aiming to do. We’re absolutely trying to win silverware and we’re trying desperately hard to do it this year.”by: Michelle, September 13, 2012