Kroenke gives Wenger backing

Arsenal chief Stan Kroenke wants Arsene Wenger to stay at the club long-term and deliver the Premier League title.

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Arsene Wenger: Strong start to Arsenal&#

Arsene Wenger: Strong start to Arsenal&#

Arsenal chief Stan Kroenke wants manager Arsene Wenger to stay at the club long-term and deliver the Barclays Premier League title to the Emirates.

The Frenchman has been at the club for 17 years and with the Gunners' trophy drought now into its ninth season there has been talk of him stepping aside, especially with his contract due to expire in the summer.

But majority shareholder Kroenke is in no doubt he wants Wenger to stay.

The American told the Daily Telegraph "There's no one I feel more strongly about and I think he is doing a great job.

"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."

Asked if the 63-year-old remains part of the club's long-term plans, Kroenke added: "That's exactly right. 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."

Following the club record signing of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid, Kroenke made it clear that funds would continue to be made available for squad strengthening.

But he also rejected the idea he could influence the way Wenger did his job.

Kroenke said: "I really enjoy Arsene - very smart, very intelligent. He has an absolute view on how he runs that team and the club. He has earned that right.

"Don't look for me to interfere with that. I have learnt over the years that sometimes owners try do that and it is not so good.

"We've always said that there are resources available. There are guys who say that we should push Arsene harder to spend. That's fair enough - there are always lots of opinions but Arsene is an independent thinker and planner.

"He works very hard at it and has a wonderful record. He was trained in economics, my undergraduate study was in economics."

Kroenke - whose business also runs among others the NBA's Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer and ice hockey team the Colorado Avalanche - firmly rejected at the suggestion, sometimes put forward by fans, that he is not interested in winning trophies for the club.

"There would be nothing more thrilling," says Kroenke. "I'm not getting any younger. It's something I would like to achieve. I've done it a couple of times in the US and it was unbelievable.

"For the players, for the coaches and the manager, as well everyone around the club, I can't imagine the level of excitement. The idea that no one cares or is passionate about that sort of thing is just beyond the realms of imagination."


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