Arsenal bigwig Ivan Gazidis on search for new Arsenal boss: Important to make right decision not quick one

Departing Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger 'pulled the rug from underneath Ivan Gazidis'. Picture: DANNY L

Departing Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger 'pulled the rug from underneath Ivan Gazidis'. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Archant

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis gave a warm and glowing tribute to Arsene Wenger at the Emirates on Friday evening.

In front of a packed room full of journalists the powerful Arsenal bigwig gave an emotional speech before answering questions on the departure of the long-serving Wenger.

While insisting the club’s search for a new boss would begin ‘this evening’ out of respect for Wenger, Gazidis also issued a rallying cry to previously disgruntled supporters.

In a powerful address he said: “You will all see the unity of the club now.

“For me as chief executive we have to embark on a process which we have not done.

“It’s not in our values to go behind the back of a great man in Arsene [to look for another manger].

“Other clubs may do that but for us there has been a conversation. Arsene has made his decision. And now that process begins.”

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Gazidis refused to be drawn on who the club would be targeting as the next manager preferring to hail the work Wenger has done for the club over two decades.

He also revealed what happened this morning before the news was made public.

In front of a hushed audience he said: “I spoke with [captain] Per Mertesacker after the meeting.

“I wanted Arsene to have that space to speak with the players first. It’s very clear our boys are going to fight for this man and are going to send him off in the right way.

“I don’t know what that means for results but what I can tell you is the desire for these players to finish the season strongly is absolutely unquestionable.

“The most important thing is to make the right decision not a quick one.

“Today we area assimilating a lot. The process [to find a new boss] starts this evening.”

He previewed the club’s remaining games at the Emirates, starting with this weekend.

He added; “West Ham on Sunday will be a great atmosphere, Atletico Madrid on Thursday will be electric.

“And the Burnley game will be a send off the world will notice.”

More to follow on Gazidis’ tribute to Wenger...

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