The Gunners supporters appear to have turned on their manager but West Ham supremo David Gold insists he is the man to steady the ship
West Ham co-chairman David Gold has issued a staunch defence of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, insisting that the club’s fanbase is too entitled to have realistic expectations.
The Gunners are currently enduring their worst season under the Frenchman, and the pressure on the manager only increased on Monday, as Crystal Palace – managed by former Hammers boss Sam Allardyce – swept them aside to win 3-0 at Selhurst Park.
Arsenal subsequently sit sixth in the Premier League, seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester City and 14 behind bitter rivals Tottenham in second. Chelsea remain a distant speck on the horizon, with Antonio Conte’s men 21 points ahead of the Gunners.
Protests against Wenger’s management have become increasingly vocal in recent weeks, with fans concerned that the club could miss out on qualification for the Champions League for the first time under the 67-year-old.
Gold has had to deal with his own club’s problems this season, with Slaven Bilic coming under his own pressure after a run of poor results saw West Ham slip dangerously close to the relegation zone.
And, the 80-year-old, speaking exclusively to Goal, maintains that Arsenal fans have no right to call for Wenger’s head, and blames the intense pressure on the fanbase’s inflated sense of importance.
“I don’t really think Arsene Wenger is under serious pressure for his job,” he told Goal. “The man has been there 20 years and everybody knows how he works and I think if he wants to stay that will be that.
“He will stay. The Arsenal fans are a bit like Manchester United’s – they believe they have a right to trophies. They expect to win everything so this is very difficult for them.”
Gold has also rubbished claims that the players have stopped performing their manager, insisting that Wenger is the man to steady the ship.
“I think Arsene Wenger will be ok. He will weather the storm and I don’t accept there is some sort of dressing room revolt going on. He has been there long enough to know how to sort that out.”
Allardyce was previously employed by Gold at West Ham, prior to his sacking in May of 2015, and is enjoying some headline-grabbing success at Palace after a difficult start, having courted the wrong kind of press attention during his brief stint as England manager.
Famed as a firefighter, capable of staving off the spectre of relegation, Allardyce has seen his Palace side defeat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and the Gunners at Selhurst Park in recent weeks. Those victories highlight a great run of form which has seen Palace take 15 points from a possible 18, after Allardyce’s side earned just four in their first eight games under him.
And Gold has not been surprised by the club’s results, adding: “It doesn’t surprise me. He’s done it time and again. He’s a hugely experienced manager but it’s not all about him. The chairman and new owner have given him a lot of money and they have bought some high quality players.
“And let’s be honest, it wasn’t rocket science to appoint him because this is the sort of thing that Sam has been doing at most clubs he’s managed. The England thing was an absolute tragedy for the man – it was the one job above all others that he really wanted – but he’s something of a survivor and has now come back and is doing what he’s good at.”
However, Gold was taken aback by the manner of Palace’s win over Arsenal, with the Gunners defeating West Ham 3-0 only a week ago.
“The win over Arsenal was extraordinary and really surprised me because they had beaten us 3-0 and played very well so to get turned over like that by Palace was an incredible result. Palace really punished them.”
Arsenal face Middlesbrough on Monday.
Culled from: http://www.goal.com