Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has finally put pen to paper, signing a new three year contract with the club. The new deal will keep him at the Emirates until 2017, putting an end to any speculation over his future.
The French manager finally ended a long 9-year trophy drought this season, lifting the FA Cup after a 3-2 extra time win over Hull City. He also steered the Gunners to another top four finish, securing yet another year of Champions League football.
The 64 year old, who has led Arsenal to eight major trophies since joining them in September 1996, believes his team can make history in the coming seasons.
Speaking to Arsenal’s official website, he said:
I want to stay and to continue to develop the team and the club. We are entering a very exciting period. We have a strong squad, financial stability and huge support around the world. We are all determined to bring more success to this club.
The club has always shown faith in me and I’m very grateful for that. We have gone through fantastic periods and also periods where we have had to stick together. Every time when that togetherness was tested I got the right response. I think I have shown some loyalty as well towards this club and hopefully we can make some more history. I am sure we can.
Arsenal’s majority shareholder Stan Kroenke added:
Sustained excellence is the hardest thing to achieve in sport and the fact Arsenal has competed at the top of the game in England and Europe throughout the time Arsène has been manager, is the ultimate testimony to his consistency of performance, talent and ambition.
We are delighted with the FA Cup success which has added to his already outstanding record. Under his guidance we look forward to adding more trophies in future seasons.
The Gunners chairman Sir Chips Keswick also hailed Wenger’s commitment to the north London club. He said:
We are delighted that Arsène has renewed his contract for a further three years. He is a man of principle, who lives and breathes Arsenal. He has established Arsenal for its exciting playing style around the world, continues his commitment to young players and has the ability to bring top-class players to the club. I have no doubt we have an exciting future ahead of us with him leading the team.
It’s a major victory for the club, who would have found it extremely difficult to find another manager with Wenger’s experience and history of success to fill the void. Arsenal were at the top of the table at the start of the year, and it looked as though they might go on to win it. But a number of injuries, combined with a drop in form over the second half of the season put paid to all that.
The silver lining however, was securing the club’s first piece of silverware in years with the FA Cup win, and although it didn’t make up for the lost opportunity at the League crown, any trophy is a positive for a club that was desperate for one. With the contract extension complete, winning more championships must be on the agenda, and making good transfer decisions will move Arsenal closer to that goal.
Wenger represents a classic case of not knowing what you’ve got ’til it’s gone, with certain sections of the fan base failing to appreciate what he’s achieved on a shoestring budget. He deserves far more credit than he gets for keeping the club consistently in the mix, despite lacking the same level of resources as other top clubs in the league.
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