Gaz rules out Wenger chop

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By MATT JOHN­SON

ARSENE WENGER has been strongly backed by Arse­nal chief ex­ec­u­tive Ivan Gazidis de­spite his team’s poor start to the sea­son.

Wenger has had a test­ing time over the last few months, los­ing cap­tain Cesc Fabre­gas and star player Samir Nasri be­fore the club went on to make their worst start to a sea­son in 58 years.

The Gun­ners have won just one Premier League game – against newly-pro­moted Swansea – and sit 17th in the ta­ble.

Wenger suf­fered the hu­milia- tion of an 8-2 ham­mer­ing at Manch­ester United and has looked in­creas­ingly strained fol­low­ing crit­i­cism of his side from the me­dia and sec­tions of the Arse­nal sup­port.

But Gazidis de­nies Wenger, who has won three Premier League ti­tles, is los­ing his touch and is adamant that he and Amer­i­can owner Stan Kroenke are fully be­hind their man­ager.

“Arsene is not a bro­ken man. He did not sud­denly be­come a bad man­ager or some­body who be­came out of touch with the game. It is com­plete non­sense,” said Gazidis.

“Sack­ing him is a route we are not go­ing to go down. Stan Kroenke is very sup­port­ive of Arse­nal’s self-sus­tain­ing model and of Arsene Wenger.

“To see him por­trayed as some kind of id­iot is pro­foundly dam­ag­ing, not to Arse­nal or Arsene, but for the game.”

Wenger has failed to win any sil­ver­ware in the last six-and-ahalf years.

Gazidis says Wenger fully un­der­stands why the fans are un­happy but in­sists that con­sis­tent top-four fin­ishes mean the last few years have not been a fail­ure.

Frus­trated

“When we look at Arse­nal over the last six years that we haven’t won a tro­phy, many peo­ple will say that is a to­tal fail­ure,” said Gazidis.

“I un­der­stand that, I ac­cept it and I em­brace it be­cause in a sense it shows where we are as a club which is right at the top of the game.

“But at the same time I can­not ac­cept it’s a to­tal fail­ure be­cause ac­tu­ally we have been in­cred­i­bly con­sis­tent over a long pe­riod of time – along with Manch­ester United and Real Madrid, the most con­sis­tent of clubs in Europe.

“Arsene is frus­trated and he shares the same frus­tra­tions that we all do.”

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