And then he spoke…
After a long wait Arsenal’s majority shareholder Stan Kroenke has finally undertaken an interview with the British press and used the opportunity to draw a line under speculation suggesting that Arsene Wenger’s job is, has or will be at risk.
Backing the Frenchman not just as a tremendous football manager, but also as a person, the American businessman emphatically told the Daily Telegraph:
“I have tremendous confidence in [Arsène]. He is one of the great managers in the world. Arsène is one of my favourite people I have met in the last 20 years. He is a great person and I love the way he handles himself. He is a very intelligent guy.”
Having lived up to his moniker ‘Silent Stan’ since mounting his takeover at the Emirates in April, it’s safe to say that Arsenal fans have been chomping at the bit hoping to hear from a man who has overseen the sale of both Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.
However, keen to stress that the decision to let players leave was undertaken by Wenger, the Denver-born billionaire also made clear that despite a tough start to the season, he is positive that the club can still go from strength-to=strength.
“It’s a rocky start but what do people really expect? Cesc Fábregas is a great player who Arsène developed from the age of 16. He decided last year that he wanted to leave.
“Maybe it is one of those times when we have to work our way through, maybe with some young players. Arsène has been really good at developing these guys, people like Alex [Oxlade-]Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere. There are some really good players that Arsène thinks can be special. Arsène’s our man.
“I like the kid [Fábregas] but I’m not going to change his mind. Arsène made the decision.
“I also get it on [Samir] Nasri [who joined Manchester City]. If we didn’t do something on Nasri people would be looking at us next summer and saying, ‘Why didn’t you do this?’ We bought in a lot of resources that we can use on other players.”
Kroenke’s full interview will be available on the Daily Telegraph website at 07:00am (BST) on Friday.