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Arsenal owner defends under-fire Wenger

Arsene Wenger has been given the full support of Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke after a rocky start to the Premier League campaign.

After managing just two wins from six games, the Gunners have made one of their poorest starts to the season, leading to many questioning the French boss’ future

However, Kroenke has insisted that he still has complete faith in the manager, writing off claims from critics that he should leave the Emirates.

“I have tremendous confidence in Arsene,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

“He is one of the great managers in the world. Arsene is one of my favourite people I have met in the last 20 years. He is a great person and I love the way he handles himself. He is a very intelligent guy.”

Arsenal’s start to the season followed captain Cesc Fabregas leaving for Barcelona, while midfielder Samir Nasri soon joined Manchester City, moves that heaped the pressure on Wenger even more.

But Kroenke maintains that while the sale of some of his side’s top players was not ideal, it was inevitable that they would go through at some point and it will allow young players to step up.

“It’s a rocky start but what do people really expect? Cesc Fabregas is a great player who Arsene developed from the age of 16. He decided last year that he wanted to leave,” he continued.

“Maybe it is one of those times when we have to work our way through, maybe with some young players. Arsene has been really good at developing these guys, people like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere. There are some really good players that Arsene thinks can be special. Arsene’s our man.”

When asked whether or not he had any influence over the sale of Fabregas, the American insisted that the decision was between manager and player, adding: “I like the kid but I’m not going to change his mind. Arsene made the decision.”

“I also get it on Samir Nasri. If we didn’t do something on Nasri people would be looking at us next summer and saying, ‘Why didn’t you do this?’ We bought in a lot of resources that we can use on other players.”

Fri 30 September, 2011
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