Arsenal chief Ivan Gazidis backs 'incredible' Arsene Wenger to steer club out of crisis

The pressure is mounting on the boss after a dismal start to the season, but chief executive has jumped to his defence and feels he is the right man to deliver long-term success
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has backed "incredible manager" Arsene Wenger to steer the club away from a crisis and said the French boss should not be worried about his future.

After a dismal start to this season’s Premier League, including an 8-2 thrashing at the hands of current champions Manchester United and a 4-3 loss to Blackburn, more questions than ever before have been raised of Wenger, who has not delivered a trophy since the 2005 FA Cup.

However, Gazidis has guaranteed the manager's future at the Emirates, saying he is still the right man for the job.

"No he shouldn't be worried, and I think what he's concerned about is what we have to do to set our course straight on the pitch," he told Sky Sports News.

"Arsene and [majority shareholder] Stan [Kroenke] and I have been working very closely together, there's no division between us, and there's a collective responsibility for what happens at the club that we not only accept but embrace.

"Arsene has been an incredible manager for this club. He'd be one of the most in-demand managers in the world. We're very fortunate to have him tied down to a long-term contract, and we're lucky to have somebody that cares about the responsible development of the club.

"Obviously in sport there are always ups and downs but the important thing is to keep focused on what we have to do and make sure we take the steps to turn around this season, but also to make sure Arsenal can stay as it has for the last 14 years at the top of the game, and we look ahead to next five or 10 years from now.

"I'm convinced that we have a really solid platform to do that. The financial condition of the club is strong, that's the platform that's been created over the years by consistent success and although we live in a short-term news cycle where every up and down will be reported in the news as if it's a catastrophe, the truth is this club has been incredibly consistent and will find its way back to consistency."

Wenger criticised his side’s defending following a 4-3 defeat to Blackburn Rovers, but Gazidis refused to pass comment on the players.

"I think I'll leave the comments on the on-field performance to Arsene," he said.

"Clearly, there's a deeper emotional, disappointment we all feel at the club with the recent performances. Then at other times we've shown tremendous strength.

"Going to Udinese and going to Dortmund and getting results in those environments is not easy, so it's a little bit of a perplexing mix of performances at the moment but we're sure Arsene can turn that around."

Arsenal face Shrewsbury in the League Cup on Tuesday, and Wenger will be keen to put on a solid performance to keep the critics off his back, and Gazidis believes the veteran manager still has the hunger to succeed and deliver trophies.

"He absolutely does. The portrayals of him as being a broken man could not be further on the truth. Arsene is incredibly focused on what he needs to do and addressing the issues that he's seen," he said.

"We've got a deep and strong squad, a good mixture of youth and experience in the squad, we know that we've got the talent level to put things right."

When asked about the club’s poor start to this season, the chief executive was keen to remind critics that it is still early in the campaign, although he admitted there were weaknesses that will be addressed.

"Well I think it's been a difficult, emotional ride for all of us that love or care about the club. Certainly it hasn't been the easiest time," he continued.

"I think it's at times like this we need to remember what our values are as a club, come together and make sure we're focused on what we have to do this year.

"The season isn't over yet, certainly we don't think it's over, but clearly we've got to address some of the weaknesses that we've shown and we will."