Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Arsenal's Second Largest Shareholder Usmanov Tells Wenger to Wise Up

Arsenal's second largest shareholder Alisher Usmanov has warned Arsene Wenger to start learning from his mistakes as the pressure mounts on the Gunners' boss.

The Gunners have lifted just one trophy in nine-and-a-half years and a 2-1 defeat at home to Manchester United on Saturday marked the team's worst start to a season since 1982.
Alisher Usmanov.
And Usmanov, who owns 30 percent of the Premier League club, believes Wenger is letting his purist footballing principles stand in the way of Arsenal's success.

"Arsene Wenger is one of the greatest coaches, not just of European, but of world football," Usmanov told CNBC on Monday.

"But we have a Russian proverb which goes, 'Even an old lady can have a roof falling on her'.

"Everybody makes mistakes. He can make mistakes and I know as you age it is more difficult, more challenging to accept one's mistakes.

"The potential of the team is there but there is no critical evaluation of mistakes and they need to acknowledge them.

"Because no genius can retain the same level of genius if they do not acknowledge mistakes.

"It's only when you admit your mistakes that you can get rid of them. I wish this to my club.

"Nothing bad is happening apart from repeating the same high result - we keep being in the middle of the Champions League but we only lose the first knock-out games.

"Some may be happy with that but as a shareholder, I am not."

Wenger's position as manager has come under intense scrutiny in recent seasons as the team has drifted further away from a serious challenge in either the Premier League or the Champions League.

Usmanov, who has not been offered a place on the Arsenal board, admits it is "frustrating" to be excluded from discussing the manager's future but suggested he still supports the Frenchman, adding "the club leadership relies on Wenger".

Despite spending big money on Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez over the two seasons, Wenger is no closer to turning Arsenal into title contenders, but Usmanov says the club must continue to splash the cash.

"My opinion - and I tell it openly - we need to strengthen every position to play on the level of such teams in the UK as Chelsea and Manchester City, in Europe like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and other clubs," he added.
Culled from Times Live www.timeslive.co.za

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