Gazidis explains Wenger exit plan
CAPE TOWN — Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis says that Arsene Wenger’s exit from the club will come as the result of a mutual decision between the club and its manager of 20 years.
Wenger was tipped to take over as England boss following Sam Allardyce’s recent dismissal and with his contract set to expire at the end of the season it remains a realistic option that the Frenchman could become the next Three Lions boss.
Speaking at a Vatican conference on faith and sport, Gazidis said: “He’s been clear and we’ve always been clear, that’s a mutual decision as to how long he’ll continue. Both need to be on the same page on that.
“Arsenal is not Arsene Wenger. They’re not one in the same thing. What Arsene has done is to capture and understand and embrace the values of the club and enhance them.
“In a football sense, he has transformed the club. But I think from a value standpoint, we’ve been doing work in our local community for 30 years, before Arsène Wenger came to the club.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea keeper Asmir Begovic has rubbished speculation that he could have left Stamford Bridge during the summer.
Back-up stopper Begovic has started just 15 Premier League games since moving from Stoke City last year, with Everton and Sunderland among the sides linked with the Bosnian prior to the start of the season.
But despite Chelsea boosting their goalkeeping ranks with the capture of Portugese international Eduardo, Begovic insists boss Antonio Conte made it clear that he was part of his plans.
Conte is keen to maintain competition for firstchoice keeper Thibaut Courtois, with Begovic seemingly happy to be a bit-part figure.
Begovic said: “It was a clear situation. He (Conte) made it clear, his philosophy. I never talked about leaving.
“Of course I want to play but at a big club you also have to accept you are part of a squad going for several trophies, different cups and be part of a big group.
“It’s nice that the manager wants you to be part of that. We have three top keepers. We train hard, we need to stay at the top of our games.”
Courtois has come under scrutiny during Chelsea’s troubles over recent weeks, with Conte’s side ending a three-game winless run with victory at Hull last weekend.
However, Begovic believes it is entirely normal that Chelsea are experiencing teething troubles under a new manager.
“We had a good start, first four games we played really well, everything was going our way and then we had a couple of bad results with Arsenal and Liverpool,” he added to the Daily Mirror.
“I think it is teething problems. You have to go through a process before it becomes a success. It takes a bit of time. As time goes on, we know more what to expect and what he expects from us.” — Sport24.— Sport24.