• Premier League

Arsenal owner hopes for Wenger stay

ESPN staff
September 27, 2013
Wenger: I want to stay here forever

Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke says he would love to extend Arsene Wenger's contract at The Emirates, and revealed his burning desire to end the Gunners' trophy drought this season.

Kroenke, in a rare interview, told the Telegraph that he hopes Wenger will remain at Arsenal for a third decade, praising the Frenchman's performance over the 17 years of his tenure.

"There's no one I feel more strongly about and I think he is doing a great job," says Kroenke. "We have been very supportive, we have never wavered, we are proud of him, proud of the club, the way the club is run and how it holds itself out to the world.

"Arsene knows how we feel, what our philosophy is, what we want to do and I feel like we are totally aligned. I think he wants to do it the exact same way as we do."

"Arsene is his own man, he will make up his own mind. There is a lot of pressure in the job, he has handled it very well but at some point we all make up our minds whether we continue in our careers.

"I don't want to say something about Arsene that is not the way he feels but, to me, I think he seems to love what he does. I had my son and a bunch of his friends at the training ground. A couple of them are NBA players.

"We were standing out in the rain watching. It rained like hell. This was going on for several hours. I was getting worried about players getting hit by lightning and Arsene was out in the middle of it. He's out there coaching every day. You've got to love that or you can't do it. That's a passion."

"I really enjoy Arsene -- very smart, very intelligent," says Kroenke. "He has an absolute view on how he runs that team and the club. He has earned that right. Don't look for me to interfere with that. I have learnt over the years that sometimes owners try do that and it is not so good."

Wenger is in the final season of a three-year contract, but has the Gunners flying at the top of the Premier League standings after five matches.

The recent run of form coincides with the club-record signing of playmaker Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid, and Kroenke believes the club are on track for a "thrilling" achievement.

"We've always said that there are resources available. There are guys who say that we should push Arsene harder to spend. That's fair enough - there are always lots of opinions but Arsene is an independent thinker and planner.

"He works very hard at it and has a wonderful record. He was trained in economics, my undergraduate study was in economics.

"There would be nothing more thrilling [than winning the Premier League title]. I'm not getting any younger. It's something I would like to achieve. I've done it a couple of times in the US [in NHL, NFL and Major League Soccer] and it was unbelievable.

"For the players, for the coaches and the manager, as well everyone around the club, I can't imagine the level of excitement. The idea that no one cares or is passionate about that sort of thing is just beyond the realms of imagination."

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