Wenger still has fire in his belly, insists former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein

The ex-Gunners executive has spoken out in defence of the man he recruited to the north London side in September 1996 and believes success is a matter of squad building
Former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein has backed Arsene Wenger to remain at the club, insisting the 63-year-old still has "fire in his belly".

Goal.com revealed in February that the French tactician is keen to remain at the Emirates beyond the current campaign despite heavy criticism, and would welcome the return of Dein to the club despite an acrimonious departure in April 2007.

Dein has now shared his belief that the 63-year-old Gunners manager, who he originally recruited during his time with the London outfit, still possesses the drive necessary to bring the side success.

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"I think he has the fire in his belly," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"I don't see any reason why he shouldn't be there. He is one of the best managers in the world. He has been coaching for thirty years."

Arsenal have fallen a long way behind league leaders Manchester United and Dean stressed the need to bring in new players, and is adamant that Wenger is the right man to oversee such rebuilding.

"He knows what he is doing. He knows what he wants and I think it's just a question of identifying the right talent," he continued.

"Clearly they have fallen 20 odd points behind Manchester United which is not good enough and it speaks for itself that he has to strengthen the team and I know he will do that."