Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov believes Arsene Wenger has to stay beyond the end of the season and the Gunners fans should allow him to plan the succession process as he deems necessary. The boss has been put under massive pressure this season after the Gunners dropped out of the FA Cup and Champions League in quick succession, leading to mass unrest among fans.
The north London club have also all but conceded defeat in the race for the Premier League title, with the Gunners currently 11 points behind leaders Leicester City and six behind Tottenham Hotspur, albeit having played a game less. This was Arsenal's chance to end their 12-year drought without the title and Wenger's inability to lead the Gunners to glory has not gone well with the fans, who have brought banners to the ground urging the manager to leave his post.
However, Usmanov believes that fans should not be trigger-happy and that the Frenchman is still the club's main asset, who and has led them tonumerous triumphs in his 20-year reign. The Russian went on to add that the Gunners need the manager at the helm to lead them to glory and imbibe the principles that Arsenal are renowned for.
"Arsenal's results are stable. They are always among the leaders of the English Premier League. This is a good and large sports business project, and I am pleased with it," Usmanov told Rossiya24, as quoted by ESPN.
"The only thing is that today such situation occurred, like in any sport, there are ups and downs. The club must retain its major symbol and main asset — manager Arsene Wenger.
"Failures have been haunting Arsenal for many years now, they cannot become the EPL champions. This has led to some discontent with Wenger's position as a manager," he continued.
"I believe that Arsene Wenger is a great coach, and Arsenal has to give him the opportunity to plan the succession process and leave his legacy when he deems it necessary.
"It is very important for the football club to maintain the principles that were established by those people who created its victories. Arsenal needs Arsene Wenger," he added.