Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Cruyff hails Wenger record

Netherlands legend Johan Cruyff believes Arsenal would make a big mistake if they sacked manager Arsene Wenger.

The 63-year-old Wenger has experienced his worst start to a season with the Gunners, yet his side are still third in the Premier League and will face Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the Champions League.

And while the Frenchman has come under heavy criticism this season from fans and pundits, Cruyff believes Wenger is the right man to lead the club back to trophies.

“I cannot even imagine the board or the fans would ever think for a moment of putting (Wenger’s) position in doubt,” Cruyff told reporters.

“I find it incredible that Arsenal have stayed at the highest level of European competition and England under his management without ever ending up in debt.

“People do not realise the achievement of this manager at Arsenal. Wenger will always bring the club back to the top.”

Cruyff compared Wenger’s role at Arsenal to that of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, hailing the philosophy of the two English clubs as more sides adopt a short-term view regarding coaching staff.

He added: “I have so much respect for the football vision and philosophy at Manchester United and Arsenal. Both clubs have had the same manager for 15 or 25 years.

“(United manager) Alex Ferguson is not only the man who makes sure he performs miracles and keeps trophies flowing in. He, in my eyes, is also the symbol of values Manchester United stands for. In the same breath, I speak about Arsene Wenger.”

The former Dutch forward suggested that more clubs should look at how Wenger maintains the Gunners’ budget in the age of Financial Fair Play regulations.

“I cannot remember red figures at Arsenal over the last 15 years,” Cruyff said.

“How many clubs in Europe can say they have qualified for the Champions League for 16 consecutive seasons under the same management? Arsene Wenger has put his life and soul into Arsenal.

“In 15 years, I have not seen him make any irresponsible purchases in the transfer market.

“That is why the work of Arsene Wenger at Arsenal is the prime example for every club in Europe.”

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