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Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis revealed why the club retained Arsene Wenger’s services and gave him a two-year extension this summer, insisting it wasn’t a sentimental decision.
Speaking to Sky Sports via the Mirror, Gazidis said: “We’re in a society now where we are encouraged to throw away the old and buy the new thing which will make you happy and solve your issues.
“For us we thought about the issue of who we wanted to take us forward. When we thought about the key qualities, the gravitas for a club like this, a record of success in the game, we kept coming back to Arsene.
“We wanted someone who could represent our values as a club, what we stand for in the world of football and with our fans. We wanted someone who would play attacking, attractive football, that is a core part of this football club, and finally someone who would give young players a chance.
“We see players like Hector Bellerin, Alex Iwobi coming through, Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock have had a fantastic pre-season. If you look across the world of football this is a plum position, people want to be manager of Arsenal.
“If you look across the world of football, you don’t find better candidates than Arsene Wenger. It wasn’t a sentimental decision, it wasn’t based on 20 years of history with the club, although there is tremendous loyalty which comes with that.
“It wasn’t a decision made out of loyalty, but out of the qualities the club has and what we feel we need over the next two years to take this club forward.”
Arsenal supporters staged protests last season, demanding the removal of Wenger as manager after the Gunners missed out on the top-four and endured a poor campaign.
The Gunners once again exited the Champions League at the last-16 stage and finished some distance off the eventual Premier League champions. But Wenger signed a two-year deal and insisted things would change.
From the outside, that appears to have rung true, with the appointment of Jens Lehmann as first-team coach, Darren Burgess as Head of High Performance and Huss Fahmy to help with negotiating players’ contracts.
However, with the likes of Wojciech Szczesny being sold, while so many below-par players are still at the club on high wages, Arsenal still aren’t winning many fans back just yet.
So many clubs are refusing to meet their asking prices which means the club may not bring in any new additions, limiting the club’s growth as a result.