WENGER TO EX­TEND

Gun­ners boss set to sign new deal

New Straits Times - - Sport -

his con­tract ex­pires next month.

The 67-year-old has been heav­ily crit­i­cised this sea­son, with Arse­nal fans call­ing for his res­ig­na­tion af­ter their team failed to q u a l i f y f o r t h e Ch a m p i o n s League for the first time in 20 years.

Sug­ges­tions that Arse­nal may in­sist on hir­ing a direc­tor of foot­ball to work with Wenger had sparked claims he was con­sid­er­ing end­ing his 21-year reign.

“It’s huge what it means for Hud­der­s­field, we’re on the big stage.”

Hoyle, who has been on the board since 2008 and chair­man and ma­jor­ity share­holder since June 2009, said it showed you didn’t need to spend big to rise to the top league — their pay roll is just £12mil­lion.

“It proves you don’t have to blow your brains to get pro­moted. We’ve done it the right way,” he said.

“It’s our turn. We de­serve it be­cause of the way we’ve done it.

“We can give lots of peo­ple hope, smaller clubs that keep be­liev­ing — you can achieve the im­pos­si­ble.”

Hud­der­s­field man­ager David Wag­ner, an in­spired choice when he was plucked from coach­ing Borus­sia Dort­mund’s re­serve team in Novem­ber 2015, said he was de­lighted he and the team had dis­proved the crit­ics.

“A lot of the pun­dits wrote us off be­fore the sea­son,” said the 45-year-old Ger­man-born former United States in­ter­na­tional.

“Over the sea­son I thought we could do a lit­tle bit more, I thought around Christ­mas when we’d played ev­ery­one we had a chance.

“What hap­pened is an un­be­liev­able story — a fairy­tale.

“I am so happy be­cause when I ar­rived peo­ple said I had no ex­pe­ri­ence, no ex­pe­ri­ence of Bri­tish foot­ball, no ex­pe­ri­ence of play­ers — I al­ways had to fight against that.

“It’s proved ex­pe­ri­ence is im­por­tant but not ev­ery­thing. It’s heart and de­sire,” added Wag­ner, who was at one point thought more likely to be as­sis­tant to close friend and Liver­pool man­ager Jur­gen Klopp.

Wag­ner’s com­pa­triot Michael He­fele, who was signed from Dy­namo Dres­den in July last year, said for such a club to be in the Premier League was sur­real.

“This has noth­ing to do with a dream. This is a re­al­ity,” the 26year-old de­fender who can also play up front told Sky Sports.

“These guys have achieved such a big thing — such a small club to be in the best league in the world. Just crazy.”

REUTERS PIC

Hud­der­s­field cel­e­brate with the tro­phy af­ter win­ning the Cham­pi­onship play-off fi­nal on Mon­day.

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