LONDON — Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has given his total backing to under-fire manager Arsene Wenger amid the backdrop of training ground tensions.
While being aware of the unrest among supporters after Tuesday night’s embarrassing defeat against Bradford, the club’s American owner is unequivocal in his belief the Frenchman remains the man to lead the Gunners.
Kroenke will back up his support with a massive January transfer budget and will tell Wenger to spend heavily in a bid to transform the club’s faltering season.
Wenger’s current contract expires in 2014 and there is currently no thought in the mind of Kroenke and the Gunners board to terminate the deal. Kroenke, chief executive Ivan Gazidis and the club’s key decision-makers still view Wenger as one of the best managers in world football.
In fact, Sportsmail understands it will be left to Wenger to decide whether he wants to extend his tenure at the Emirates Stadium once his current deal expires.
On Wednesday, Gazidis told members of Arsenal Supporters Trust: “I am frankly tired of getting up here and delivering the same message. Last night was not good enough and it made us all upset and angry.
“I would like to apologise to all of you, especially the fans who travelled up there. It was unbelievable support, as ever, and you deserved better.
“We all work here and are desperate to deliver the success and trophies we all want. Look into the eyes of the staff here, look at the way they talk. We will get this right. That is something we will work hard to put right.”
Speaking on Wednesday, former Arsenal player Stewart Robson, who was employed by the club until last year, added weight to the talk of training ground problems.
“Arsene Wenger, because he has got a massive ego, because he’s a dictator when it comes to Arsenal Football Club, he’s not allowing Steve Bould to do any work,” said Robson.
“He’s got a reputation for developing players. Maybe he did that six or seven years ago. He’s actually putting players backwards now.
“I’ve seen Gervinho play for the Ivory Coast before he came to Arsenal, he was a good player. I saw (Andrey) Arshavin play for Russia and Zenit St Petersburg, he was a good player. I’ve seen (Aaron) Ramsey play for the Welsh Under-21s, he’s a good player.” — Daily Mail