Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Fans Split over Arsene despite Dixon's Plea to Keep the Faith; Some Supporters Are Backing the Highbury Hero's Call to Stay Loyal to the Boss, but Others' Patience Has Run out. by James Olley

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Fans Split over Arsene despite Dixon's Plea to Keep the Faith; Some Supporters Are Backing the Highbury Hero's Call to Stay Loyal to the Boss, but Others' Patience Has Run out. by James Olley

Article excerpt

LEE DIXON'S impassioned defence of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger in yesterday's London Evening Standard prompted fierce debate on our website.

The Gunners boss is thought to be considering ending his 12-year association with the club in the wake of hostile criticism from a section of supporters, carping that climaxed with aggressive questioning of his methods at last week's shareholders' meeting.

Wenger has transformed Arsenal into one of the Premier League's most feared teams while reshaping the club from top to bottom and inspiring the move to Emirates Stadium.

His sides are synonymous with freeflowing attacking football but four trophyless seasons have raised concerns the 59-year-old may be losing his touch.

Some argue that the club are going backwards, the current crop of youngsters are not good enough and Wenger's refusal to spend heavily is causing Arsenal to lose ground on Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.

With Real Madrid courting his services, is it now time for Wenger to move on before his contract expires in 2011? Here's a taste of what you thought ...

Anyone even suggesting that Arsene should leave has a problem. He has done so much for the club and can continue to do much more. We are competing with teams with more financial clout than us, yet can still match them with a younger team, who can only get better.

Adam, A True Lifelong Arsenal Fan, Islington

Man U, Liverpool and Chelsea are [pounds sterling]1.6billion in debt and having to regear their financing -- do you really want to end up like Leeds? Wenger has changed the culture of the club, new training facilities, new ground and complete football. If you don't like it, become a fair-weather fan and support Man U or Liverpool.

Alan West, London England

Wenger won't leave. He's not a contract-breaker. …

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