After another unconvincing win from Arsenal over Shrewsbury Town in the third round of the Carling Cup, Gunners manager Arsene Wenger has played down speculation that his position in the club is under threat, following fans’ criticism of him regarding his managerial performance in this league campaign.
Although Arsenal claimed a 3-1 victory against Shrewsbury, they gave yet another unconfident performance that was mirrored by the fans’ lack of attendance, with the match drawing in a crowd of just 46,539 – the lowest since the Emirates Stadium was opened in 2006.
Arsenal’s troubles this year have included a 4-3 defeat to Blackburn Rovers and an astonishing 8-2 loss against Manchester United, and have led many to believe that the Frenchman has lost his tactical edge.
However, the club’s chief executive Ivan Gazidis defending Wenger, saying that "There is absolutely no issue about Arsène leaving the club or the club pushing him out – that is a non-story."
"It's not a sentimental decision,” said the former MLS deputy commissioner, “it's what we think is right for the club. We've got the manager who has done the thing that's most difficult in the game, which is to deliver success consistently over time.”
Following the match Wenger confronted the replacement rumours, saying “I have just managed 14 years at this club and I have kept them 14 years in the Champions League and I wish it lasts another 14 years.
“I am completely focused on doing well. I can understand that people are unhappy and criticise but you know as well as I know people are very quick to go overboard.
"I accept critics and I do not say it doesn't matter that people criticise us. I prefer it like anybody else when they say I am good. But you cannot complain when you lose a game and you are criticised.”
When questioned over whether he should bring in senior defenders following his team’s shaky defensive performance, the manager succinctly replied "I've just completed 32 years of coaching – I do not want to answer this kind of question."
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