Arsenal’s second largest shareholder, Alisher Usmanov, claims that the club’s move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium, cost Arsene Wenger 10 years of his managerial career.
Speaking to CNN, the Uzbeki billionaire claimed that financial restrictions imposed on the Frenchman during this period prevented him from building competitive teams, but also that he sees Wenger as the right man now that that period has passed.
“Arsene has a very, very difficult position when club shareholders don’t want to put his money to construct new stadium,” he said.
“And because of this, he lost his five years, maybe best of his career without trophy. In reality, 10 years.”
Which is true, but it’s worth pointing out that Wenger was fully on board with how the club financed the stadium through its own means, knowing how it would affect him – but of course it all happened just as the oil money shifted the football landscape.
Usmanov is in no doubt, however, that the 65 year is the still the man for the job.
“If I have the right, I will keep Arsene until he wants because until he can’t perform his activity like a manager” he said.
“It is a gift for any club to have a coach like him.”