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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Stan Kroenke to blame for Arsenal woes, not Arsene Wenger - Usmanov

With Arsene Wenger's future on the line, Don Hutchison and Layla Anna-Lee discuss whether the Gunners will make the Top 4.

Arsenal's second-biggest shareholder Alisher Usmanov has told Bloomberg that Arsene Wenger should choose his successor, while he also said majority shareholder Stan Kroenke is to blame for the club's recent troubles.

Wenger, who has been at Arsenal since 1996, has yet to make an announcement on whether he will extend his contract at the club, with his current deal due to expire at the end of the season.

Some reports have suggested that the 67-year-old will sign a new two-year contract at the Emirates Stadium, but Usmanov feels that whenever he does decide to step down from his role as manager, he should be the one to select who follows him.

"Some continuity is needed," Usmanov, who owns more than 30 percent of Arsenal, said. "This includes the need to prepare a successor for Wenger, but in a very respectful way. I can suggest that Wenger himself can prepare a successor."

Arsene Wenger has yet to announce a decision on his future.

With Arsenal sitting sixth in the Premier League table and having won just two of their last seven league games, many supporters have called for Wenger to step down and staged a number of protests against him.

However, Usmanov, who reportedly has a strained relationship with Arsenal's board, claims the blame lies with Kroenke.

"I do not think that the coach alone is to be blamed for what is happening. All the responsibility for the fate of the club rests with the main shareholder," Usmanov, who has an estimated net worth of $19.6 billion, said.

"I personally, unfortunately, am fully isolated from decision making in the club."

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