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‘You don’t sack world-class people!’ – Gazidis defends Wenger contract

The Gunners chief executive believes there are no better candidates to bring success to the club than the Frenchman after a difficult season

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has defended the club’s decision to hand manager Arsene Wenger a two-year contract extension.

Arsenal fans must now back Wenger

As reported by Goal on Tuesday, the veteran coach has put pen to paper on an extension of his current deal which will keep him at the Emirates Stadium until the summer of 2019.

The decision has left sections of Gunners supporters dismayed after a campaign that saw the club fail to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since Wenger arrived over two decades ago.

Victory over Chelsea in the FA Cup final did mean they finished the season with silverware, however, and Gazidis believes there are no better candidates to lead the club to further success than Wenger.

“When you look at the world of football, and you think about the great candidates that there are – and there are many great coaching candidates in the world and Arsenal is a club that all of them would want to work for because of the things we represent in football – but when you look around and make that assessment, you don’t find any better candidates than Arsene Wenger,” Gazidis told the club’s website.

“I think in football, the judgements are so black and white that often, if you don’t fire your manager, then you’re seen as being unambitious,” he added. “I think that’s ludicrous.

“You don’t fire good people, you don’t fire people who are world-class, you don’t fire people who are driven to improve.

“What you do is work out how you can improve together and how you can move forward. That’s what this club is doing and we have a very clear ambition that we want to deliver it in.”

The funniest reactions to Wenger’s contract

Gazidis also called on the club’s fans to unite behind the team after a season in which protests both inside and outside the stadium have – in his opinion – affected performances on the pitch.

“I’m convinced that our fanbase will put the football club at the top of their priorities and will get behind this team,” he said.

“Together, we are much, much stronger than we are when we are arguing and trying to prove who’s right and who’s wrong. Let’s get behind the team, let’s get behind the club.”

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