Arsene Wenger may have suffered a testing summer until the arrival of Mesut Ozil, but with Arsenal sitting top of the Premier League after five games, the French boss has received an unwavering message of support from club owner Stan Kroenke.
Speaking to Jeremy Wilson of the Daily Telegraph, the American business entrepreneur highlighted his admiration for the man behind Arsenal’s ongoing project:
There’s no one I feel more strongly about and I think he is doing a great job. We have been very supportive, we have never wavered, we are proud of him, proud of the club, the way the club is run and how it holds itself out to the world.
Arsène knows how we feel, what our philosophy is, what we want to do and I feel like we are totally aligned. I think he wants to do it the exact same way as we do.
Wenger later confirmed the feeling is mutual towards Arsenal, revealing he hopes he can stay at the club for life:
Wenger: "I'm very honoured to have the support of Stan Kroenke. That is something that is very positive for me" #SCFCvAFC— Arsenal.com (@Arsenal) September 27, 2013
Wenger: "I would love to be here forever because that would make me immortal! I love this Club of course" #SCFCvAFC— Arsenal.com (@Arsenal) September 27, 2013
With Wenger having led the Gunners to a total of 11 trophies in 17 years—including three Premier League titles—Kroenke is positive he will ink a new deal to keep him at the Emirates.
As per Wilson’s report, the longest-serving manager in English football doesn’t appear to be tiring of the strenuous workload, despite being 63 years old:
Arsène is his own man, he will make up his own mind. There is a lot of pressure in the job, he has handled it very well but at some point we all make up our minds whether we continue in our careers.
I don’t want to say something about Arsène that is not the way he feels but, to me, I think he seems to love what he does. I had my son and a bunch of his friends at the training ground. A couple of them are NBA players.
We were standing out in the rain watching. It rained like hell. This was going on for several hours. I was getting worried about players getting hit by lightning and Arsène was out in the middle of it. He’s out there coaching every day. You’ve got to love that or you can’t do it. That’s a passion.
In a far-reaching interview that also saw Kroenke discuss his confusion towards distrust for American club owners, including Manchester United’s Glazer family, Kroenke also suggested it was impossible for the North London club to land summer transfer target Luis Suarez.
Look, Arsene (Wenger) had a view, our team had a view, they had a view and their view was: he wasn’t going anywhere.
I never saw them waver from it. I guess at some level there is a number that gets anybody out of anywhere but there was nothing within the realm of what we knew about that could have got him out of there.
With Arsenal confirming a transfer deadline day to sign Ozil for £42.4 million from Real Madrid, as reported by David Ornstein of BBC Sport, Wenger’s decision to finally spend a large amount of cash significantly detracted from the arguments of those who suggested it was time for him to move on.
Ozil has notched up four assists in two Premier League games, ensuring the German international’s impact has been immediate. Looking to the future, Kroenke suggests Wenger will be afforded the time and resources to land other players of similar quality, as per Wilson’s report:
I really enjoy Arsène – very smart, very intelligent. He has an absolute view on how he runs that team and the club. He has earned that right. Don’t look for me to interfere with that. I have learnt over the years that sometimes owners try do that and it is not so good.
We’ve always said that there are resources available. There are guys who say that we should push Arsène harder to spend. That’s fair enough – there are always lots of opinions but Arsène is an independent thinker and planner. He works very hard at it and has a wonderful record. He was trained in economics.
Just one question remains: can Wenger end Arsenal's drought of eight years without a trophy this season? With the Emirates stadium now financed, the loyal boss is finally ready to launch an assault on the transfer market that will make other clubs sit up and take notice.
Arsenal continue to play effective free-flowing football, but Wenger's insistence on pairing Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker together has seen the Gunners add an increased sense of grit to their game.
Should the club's world-renowned style continue to develop, the Frenchman is more than likely to have his hands aloft in the near future.