Only the best for Wenger

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The Independent Online
Arsene Wenger arrived for his first official day's work at Arsenal yesterday and pledged: "Only the best will be good enough for me."

The Gunners' new French manager, who is on a three-year contract worth around pounds 2m, knows that no foreign coach has ever won the title in England or led a Premiership team to lasting success.

He said yesterday: "This is my challenge and, quite simply, my ambition is to win every match and every competition we play in. The League championship is the mark of real quality for me, the first ambition. Everything follows from that.

"I will aim to try to improve the club at every level, from the first team down to the youth system. It will be no sudden revolution, but there will be a gradual transition."

Wenger, whose first match in charge is at Blackburn on 12 October, said he considers the England goalkeeper, David Seaman, 32, skipper Tony Adams, 30, and striker Ian Wright, 33 in November, as the backbone of the team.

"Over the next few days I will be talking to the players on an individual basis, but nobody need fear coming to see me. I will not be cutting anybody, but I would like to buy new players as well because the squad is a bit small.

"I look at Ian Wright and he is not like a normal 33. He is extremely fit and strong. It is the same with Tony Adams who I know is a great leader. And for Seaman, as a goalkeeper, his age is unimportant."

"The players have to adapt to me and I must adapt to them," he said. "We must be tolerant of one another. They will all have their chance because what has gone on before is not my responsibility. I am very strong on discipline, but that starts on the pitch. I do not want to lose the many strengths Arsenal already have.

"They know and have had to accept that any little thing they do is often seen as a big thing because Arsenal is a very exposed club in the media. Many other players would not be able to cope with that. I will work to my maximum and I am confident I can bring out the best from everybody who works with me. In the end I will only be satisfied if I get the best."

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