Trust me to deliver the trophies you want, Wenger tells Arsenal fans
‘Arsenal is the club of my life and of my heart’ the Arsenal manager tells shareholders at AGM
ARSENE Wenger has asked Arsenal fans to stop doubting him and his players and trust them to end the club’s five-year wait for silverware this season.
Speaking to the club’s shareholders at last week’s Annual General Meeting, Wenger reiterated that he will continue to show faith in younger players, although he did reveal that money is available to strengthen the squad in January.
“I am not as pessimistic as some of you. An optimist is a guy who sees an opportunity in every difficulty, and I see a great opportunity for my team this season,” said Wenger, who celebrated his 61st birthday on Friday.
“Why? Because we have spirit, we have talent, we have hunger and desire. And while I don’t say we have no weaknesses, we are conscious of that, we are working on them.
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“We maintain to keep our group of players together. They know they are close to something special, they want to do it but the challenge is in front of us and now we have to be optimistic and trust them to do it. Trust at this level gives you the belief that can make a difference.
“We have put confidence in our younger players. We have a special culture of playing the game, and the players we educate can integrate quickly.
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“Let’s be optimistic, let’s be behind the team. We are young but we are mature now and we need our core of fans behind us. That extra little bit of belief can make a difference and I’m confident we will get it.”
Wenger had to field a number of questions from shareholders worried over the side’s lack of defensive depth over the last few seasons, but stood firm in his belief that Arsenal’s fortunes will change this season.
“On the defensive part I have been questioned, and we have lost experienced players like William Gallas, Mikael Silvestre and Sol Campbell from last year.
“But we have bought in [Sebastien] Squillaci and [Laurent] Koscielny, and they will be great additions to the team. They don’t talk too much but they work hard and they are winners.
“On the transfer market we have done quite well. We still have available resources to bring one or two players, if needed, in January. But, if you look at other clubs, it [the transfer market] is fragile everywhere.
“We want to get higher than we were last year and the only way we can do well is to trust the players we have and be behind them.
“It’s very tight in the league. The most consistent team will certainly win the league, in Europe we are in a good position and we will go for the cups too.
“We have a great opportunity, a great potential but it is very difficult. It is very difficult to be consistent – we have maintained a great level of consistency at the top, top level, even in the last five years. But now what we want is that little bit of extra that makes you winners and we are ready for it.”
And Wenger underlined his own devotion to the cause, having already signed a new contract that will keep him in the manager’s job at the Emirates until 2014.
“I have always shown my commitment to this club, and it will be a huge achievement for me to make you happy. I’ll give absolutely my best to achieve that,” he added. “This is the club of my heart and of my life, and as long as I can contribute to the success of this club I will do it.”