Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Fans' Group Calls Arsenal 'Lazy' for Offering Arsene a New Deal

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Fans' Group Calls Arsenal 'Lazy' for Offering Arsene a New Deal

Article excerpt

Byline: James Olley

APROMINENT Arsenal fans' group today branded the board "lazy and unambitious" for offering manager Arsene Wenger a new twoyear contract and joined calls for the Frenchman to step down at the end of the season.

Wenger's existing deal expires in June and he is currently weighing up whether to carry on amid growing fan unrest and a dramatic downturn in results.

The 67-year-old has faced mounting criticism as the Gunners have lost six of their last nine matches in all competitions and fallen six points behind Liverpool in fourth place, albeit with two games in hand.

And now the Black Scarf Movement, who describe themselves as the largest Arsenal supporters' group, have urged Wenger to end his 21-year tenure due to the club's inability to challenge for the biggest prizes at home and abroad.

"Since Arsene Wenger's last contract extension in 2014 [one which many fans objected to], the club's board has had three years to plan for the future," read a statement.

"Instead, a new deal and a reported PS2m per year pay rise is on the table for the manager to sign, despite his team consistently failing to challenge for major honours. There appears to be no management of the manager from the board and they are more than happy for him to sign up once again.

"It is our opinion that this is lazy and shows a clear lack of football knowledge and ambition from the Arsenal board.

"The atmosphere among our matchgoing support is on the floor. "Protests against the manager's contract extension continue to increase. Added to this, physical violence among fans is taking place. No other big club in football would tolerate the stream of embarrassing results we've had to endure. While the players have to take some responsibility, it is one man who has bought these players, who trains them, whose job is to motivate them and get the best out of them. He is continually failing to do this.

"Arsenal fans are constantly told that Arsene Wenger loves Arsenal. …

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