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Soccer: Kroenke backs 'focused' Wenger, will keep Arsenal control

Soccer: Kroenke backs 'focused' Wenger, will keep Arsenal control

Soccer Football - Carabao Cup Fourth Round - Arsenal vs Norwich City - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - October 24, 2017 Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger celebrates after Edward Nketiah scored their second goal Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra
Soccer Football - Carabao Cup Fourth Round - Arsenal vs Norwich City - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - October 24, 2017 Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger celebrates after Edward Nketiah scored their second goal Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

(Reuters) - Arsenal owner Stanley Kroenke believes Arsene Wenger is the best manager to lead the Premier League side and has ruled out selling his majority share of the club.

Wenger has led Arsenal to 17 trophies since taking charge in 1996 but his position was questioned after the north London side finished outside the league's top four for the first time under the Frenchman last season.

The 68-year-old signed a new two-year deal in May, leading to questions from fans and pundits as Arsenal have not won the league since 2004 and have never won the Champions League.

"When you make decisions like that you are weighing lots of different factors but you hope that you weigh them correctly and come out with the right decision - I think we did," Kroenke told the Telegraph when asked about Wenger's contract extension.

"We have dealt with this a lot and we believe Arsene is doing a great job and is the right guy. It's easy to change coaches and people do it all the time... It's harder not to do something.

"We have a lot of respect for Arsene... I think he is more focused than ever. Focused on winning. I really think I do see that."

Kroenke praised Arsenal's consistent record under Wenger and the club's FA Cup win in May.

"Look, we want to be champions of everything," Kroenke added. "Premier League, Champions League. We have to do better but don't sell short the FA Cup and Arsene's record setting and consistency through 20 years.

"For 20 years we were in the top four, no other English club has done that and the year we fell out we had four more points than the previous year when we were second."

American Kroenke also said that he wouldn't sell his 67 per cent share of the club.

Arsenal are fifth in the league and host 15th-placed Swansea City on Saturday.

(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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