London – Stan Kroenke has given his total support to Arsene Wenger against a backdrop of training ground tension.
Despite apologising to supporters after Tuesday’s embarrassing defeat at Bradford, the club’s American owner is unwavering in his belief that the Frenchman remains the man to lead Arsenal.
Kroenke will back up his support with a January transfer budget and will tell Wenger to spend heavily in a bid to transform the club’s season.
The manager’s contract expires in 2014 and there is no desire by the Gunners board to terminate the deal.
Kroenke, chief executive Ivan Gazidis and the club’s key decision-makers still view Wenger as one of the best managers in world football.
Daily Mail understands it will be left to Wenger to decide if he wants to extend his tenure beyond 2014.
Gazidis on Wednesday told members of Arsenal Supporters Trust: “Last night was not good enough and it made us all upset and angry. I would like to apologise to all of you, especially the fans who travelled up there. You deserved better.”
However, tensions at Arsenal’s London Colney’s HQ have piled on the problems for Wenger as he faces the biggest fight of his 16 years at the club.
Concerns are emerging over his working relationship with assistant manager Steve Bould, who joined the coaching set-up in the summer.
Sources claim Bould has become increasingly marginalised during training sessions and is frustrated by his lack of input into first-team matters.
Former Arsenal midfielder Stewart Robson, who was employed by the club until last year, claimed: “Arsene Wenger, because he has got a massive ego, and because he’s a dictator when it comes to Arsenal Football Club, is not allowing Steve Bould to do any work.” – Daily Mail