Says Gazidis as Gunners boss hits back at Mourinho over fixtures
Arsene Wenger will be extending his contract as Arsenal manager, the club’s chief executive Ivan Gazidis has confirmed.
The Frenchman, who has been at the club since September 1996, will likely extend his tenure into a third decade when he puts pen to paper in the coming months.
Wenger, 64, is enjoying his best season at Arsenal in years and they currently lead the Barclays Premier League ahead of Manchester City and Chelsea.
Offer on the table: Ivan Gazidis (right), pictured here with Puma chief executive Bjoern Gulden, confirmed he will offer Wenger a new deal
When asked about Wenger’s future, Gazidis said: ‘We’ve always supported him. Arsene has always been committed to the club so we are relaxed about it.
‘Arsene will be extending with us and at the right time we will make that announcement.’
Wenger showed his continued enthusiasm for the job in his press conference ahead of Tuesday night’s trip to Southampton, firing back at his Chelsea counterpart and old adversary Jose Mourinho in a row over fixtures.
Mourinho had claimed that the Gunners get an ‘influence’ when it came to their schedule, but Wenger responded on Monday.
Fixture furore: Jose Mourinho claimed Arsenal get an unfair influence when it comes to scheduling
‘It is simple – look at the fixtures and analyse it,’ he said. ‘I trust you will give an objective view.
‘You will see Arsenal are behind all the other teams. In the last five years all the objective studies that have been made show Arsenal had less rest than any other team in the top four.
‘That is fact. It has nothing to do with my opinion. It is an independent company that made [the study] that shows Arsenal had less rest than any other team in the top level.’
Wenger was referring to an internal study into the fixture list.
Happy family: Arsenal are enjoying one of their best seasons in years and are competing for silverware on three fronts
Wenger may have cause to rue his misfortune after Sunday’s FA Cup fifth round draw added another tough fixture to an already difficult schedule.
Between February 8 and February 19, Arsenal will play Liverpool home and away and host Manchester United and Bayern Munich.
In March, they face trips to Bayern Munich, Tottenham and Chelsea in succession before a home match with Manchester City.
MOURINHO OR WENGER: WHO’S RIGHT OVER FIXTURE SCHEDULING?
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho claims Arsenal always get the best fixture schedule. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger disagrees.
Both sides have played 34 games this season in all competitions.
Here Press Association Sport looks at the number of complete days between those games:
Chelsea (one time: before the October 29 Capital One Cup tie at Arsenal)
Arsenal (14 times); Chelsea (14 times)
Arsenal (10 times); Chelsea (seven times)
Arsenal (three times); Chelsea (four times)
Arsenal (once); Chelsea (twice)
Seven-day break or more
Arsenal (five times: twice outside of international windows); Chelsea (three: all international windows)
Source : Daily Mail