Arsenal have ended months of uncertainly by confirming Arsène Wenger has signed a new two-year deal to remain in charge at the Emirates.
Arsène Wenger’s new contract seems unlikely to break the cycle at Arsenal
The news follows Arsenal’s FA Cup final victory – a 2-1 win over Chelsea – which ended a turbulent season on a high. They missed out on a Champions League place but won nine of their last 10 games of the season after Wenger switched to a back three.
Wenger told the club’s website: “I love this club and I am looking forward to the future with optimism and excitement. We are looking at what we do well and how we can be stronger everywhere. This is a strong group of players and with some additions we can be even more successful.
- What’s your reaction to agreeing a new contract, boss?
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“We’re committed to mounting a sustained league challenge and that will be our focus this summer and next season. I am grateful to have the support of the board in doing everything we can to win more trophies. It’s what we all want and I know it’s what our fans around the world demand.”
The announcement is likely to be greeted with dismay by the section of supporters who have led the protests against the Frenchman. Arsenal fans have been divided on the issue of whether the man who has been in charge since October 1996 should go. At the away game at West Bromwich Albion in March there were two planes circling the stadium, one trailing a banner that called for the manager to leave and another that said he should stay.
An increasing number of Gunners’ fans have become frustrated at the lack of progress at the club but the feeling behind the scenes is that the unrest on social media is not representative of the whole support.
Stan Kroenke, the club’s majority owner, said: “Our ambition is to win the Premier League and other major trophies in Europe. It’s what the fans, players, staff, manager and board expect and we won’t rest until that is achieved. Arsène is the best person to help us make that happen. He has a fantastic track record and has our full backing.”
The decision came after what the club called “a full review of our on and off pitch activities” led by the chief executive, Ivan Gazidis. “There is no complacency anywhere at this club,” said Gazidis. “Our goal is to compete for and win trophies here and in Europe.
“Everything we do is designed to make that happen and we will be working hard on and off the pitch this summer to improve and make a strong challenge next season. The club has grown beyond recognition in every aspect in recent years and we have the platform to be successful and meet the ambitions we and our fans share.”