Arsenal board back under-fire Wenger

Club '100 per cent' behind beleaguered manager and confident of signings before window shuts

Arsène Wenger has been given the full backing of Arsenal's majority shareholder, Stan Kroenke, and the club's board in the aftermath of his team's crushing 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford on Sunday.

For the first time in Wenger's 15 years in charge of Arsenal there have been serious questions raised outside the club about the viability of his long-term project, especially in the light of a summer of player trading that has left Wenger cash-rich, but light in terms of experienced, top-level players following the departures of both Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas.



Last night the club were close to announcing the £6m signing of the Fenerbahce left-back Andre Santos, 28, who has 22 caps for the Brazil national team. They are also expected to complete the signing of South Korean striker Park Chu-young from Monaco . An inquiry has been made to Chelsea for Yossi Benayoun.

Yesterday a source at the club said that there was no question of Wenger's position being unstable in spite of Sunday's defeat to Manchester United, which leaves the club with one point from their first three games. A source close to the club board said yesterday: "The club is 100 per cent behind Arsène. The guy has given us 15 years of unprecedented success and that is not going to change. It is not even an issue.

"Everyone is right behind him from Stan [who owns 63 per cent of the club] to Ivan [Gazidis, the club's American chief executive] and we are working hard to bring some players in before the end of the [transfer] window [tomorrow]. We have a strong squad and we believe that we are in a good place, we just need a few more in between now and our next game. There will not be any knee-jerk reactions and that comes right from the very top."

The club are aware that Park, who is 26 and is also wanted by Lille , is obliged to do two years' national service with the South Korean armed forces. While the rules stipulate that it has to be done before the age of 28, it is Arsenal's understanding that Park will be able to give the club three seasons before having to complete his service.

The arrival of Santos has also precipitated the sale of left-back Armand Traoré, who played in the defeat on Sunday, to Queens Park Rangers.

There is also still interest from Arsenal in Bolton centre-half Gary Cahill and the Sochaux midfielder Marvin Martin, a France international. Given that Arsenal have been drawn in the same Champions League group as Marseilles , their proposed loan move for the Argentine midfielder Lucho Gonzalez, who plays for the French club, would appear to be a non-starter. They retain an interest in Yann M'Vila of Rennes , although the €20m (£17.7m) asking price is the key problem.



Arsenal announced yesterday that as compensation for the scale of Sunday's defeat the club were prepared to cover the cost of a ticket for another away game this season for those 3,000 fans in the away section at Old Trafford on Sunday. The club added: 'Sunday's result was obviously disappointing for everyone connected with the club. Our travelling fans were magnificent throughout and we want to recognise their fantastic support. We will be writing to them shortly with the details.'





Here today...

Arsenal fans have been crying out for a top signing at the Emirates ... step forward the South Korean captain Park Chu-young. If that doesn't set Gooner pulses racing the fact that he has to return home for two years of national service by 2013, should.

There's hope though: United's Park Ji-sung was exempted from national service for being part of the side which reached the 2002 World Cup semi-finals. Maybe if the new boy inspires Arsenal to a league title...?

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
people
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
people
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
Arts and Entertainment
Warner Bros released a mock-up of what the new Central Perk will look like
tv'Friends' cafe will be complete with Gunther and orange couch
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone