Gazidis ex­plains Wenger exit plan

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

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.

Arsene Wenger

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