Lauren backs new deal for Arsene Wenger but urges Arsenal to spend this summer

31 May 2017 10:24

Former Arsenal defender Lauren believes it is a "good thing" that manager Arsene Wenger appears set to sign a new contract at the club.

The FA Cup winners are set to announce a decision over Wenger's future on Wednesday afternoon, ending months of uncertainty.

Arsenal denied widespread reports on Tuesday claiming that the Frenchman will sign a new two-year deal following a meeting with the board.

But the Gunners are set to make an announcement later, with all signs pointing to Wenger, 67, extending his near-21 year reign.

Lauren, who was part of Arsenal's unbeaten 'Invincibles' as they won their last Premier League title in 2004, believes keeping Wenger is a positive move - but called on his ex-manager to spend big this summer.

"We back him because it is a good thing that he has signed a new contract," he told BBC Radio 5Live.

"But obviously people ask him to win things and I believe that he should go to the market and spend some more because the competition is getting tougher and tougher.

"They have to do more effort to sign a few top players, to win the Premier League, the Champions League and a top competition you really need at least two or three top players added to do that. Also to keep the top ones, like Alexis Sanchez and some others."

Not everyone would agree with Lauren's assessment, with the announcement over Wenger's future coming against a backdrop of hostility.

Missing out on Champions League qualification for the first time since 1998 heightened pressure on the 67-year-old, before Saturday's FA Cup 2-1 triumph over Chelsea.

Arsenal suffered a humiliating 10-2 aggregate defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League, leading to months of protests from supporters calling for Wenger to end spell in charge.

However, following a tactical tweak, they recorded nine wins from their last 10 matches which, when coupled with their record-breaking FA Cup win, provided a positive end to a disappointing campaign.

Wenger had previously admitted that the continuing uncertainty led to an "absolutely horrendous" environment at the club this season and contributed to their fifth place finish in the Premier League.

The Frenchman added: "Once the game starts and you are a fan, you stand behind the team, that is what I have not accepted this season and I will never accept it.

"Outside of the game I never had any word with any journalist in 20 years when they criticised my decisions and it is the same with the fans.

"But when a game starts you support your team. We have played some games in a hostile environment and I never accept that."

Having overcome supporter unrest, Wenger dismissed the notion that last weekend's encounter would be the deciding factor in the board's decision.

He said following the FA Cup final success: "I just want to do well for this club and apart from that after that it is down to the board members am I the right man to take this club further and for me to decide if I'm the right man, that is it.

"It is not about popularity, it is about confidence. It would be a bit ridiculous that 20 years depends on one game and the future of the club depends on one game, we will see more next week."

Source: PA


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