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Arsene Wenger signs three-year Arsenal extension

Updated: Friday, 30 May 2014 16:30 | Comments

Thomas Vermaelen passes the trophy to Arsene Wenger
Thomas Vermaelen passes the trophy to Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger is targeting more silverware with Arsenal after agreeing a new contract with the club until 2017.

The 64-year-old Frenchman, who is the longest serving manager in the Premier League having taken charge in 1996, ended a long wait for a trophy by winning the FA Cup earlier this month - their first silverware since 2005.

"I want to stay and to continue to develop the team and the club," Wenger told the Arsenal website.

"We are entering a very exciting period. We have a strong squad, financial stability and huge support around the world. We are all determined to bring more success to this club.

"The club has always shown faith in me and I'm very grateful for that. We have gone through fantastic periods and also periods where we have had to stick together.

"Every time when that togetherness was tested I got the right response. I think I have shown some loyalty as well towards this club and hopefully we can make some more history. I am sure we can."

This year's FA Cup was Wenger's eighth major trophy with Arsenal, having won the Premier League three times and the FA Cup five times. He has taken charge of 1,010 Arsenal matches and reached the Champions League final in 2006.

A new deal for Wenger had been expected in the wake of the FA Cup final success over Hull, following a season in which Arsenal appeared ready to challenge for the title before falling off dramatically in the second half of the season as injuries took their toll.

However, Wenger's side held off the challenge of Everton to qualify for the Champions League for a 17th consecutive season.
He continues to divide some fans, who grew frustrated during the long barren run which followed so many years of sustained success during the first half of Wenger's reign.

His prudence in the transfer market served a purpose during the years when Arsenal were paying for their move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium, but became a source of consternation as it continued after the board made it clear there was money to spend.

Wenger did splash out last summer, spending a club-record £42.5million to sign Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid, but the midfielder struggled to maintain his early high standards as the team around him was decimated by serious injuries to the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott.

While many in the stands have wavered in their support for Wenger - Arsenal's most successful ever manager - the board have remained steadfast.

Majority shareholder Stan Kroenke said: "Sustained excellence is the hardest thing to achieve in sport and the fact Arsenal has competed at the top of the game in England and Europe throughout the time Arsene has been manager, is the ultimate testimony to his consistency of performance, talent and ambition.

"We are delighted with the FA Cup success which has added to his already outstanding record. Under his guidance we look forward to adding more trophies in future seasons."

There was also support for the new deal from several of Wenger's players.

"Congratulations to the boss on signing for another 3 years, looking forward to building on last season's success" Ramsey wrote on Twitter.

Walcott added: "Great news on the boss signing!!! Exciting times ahead"

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