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Plenty for Potters to smile about

Stoke 13 hours ago
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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
May 30, 2014

Arsene Wenger signs new Arsenal deal

The ESPN FC team analyse if Arsene Wenger is deserving of his new three-year contract with Arsenal.

Arsenal have confirmed manager Arsene Wenger has signed a new contract with the club.

- Mangan: Arsenal's cup of liberation and release
- McNicholas: Wenger deal could spark a new era

Wenger, who is the Premier League's longest-serving manager, has put pen to paper on a three-year deal that ties him to Emirates Stadium until May 2017.

The former Monaco boss said he would agree a new deal with the Gunners, with his previous terms due to expire in the summer.

Wenger had come under pressure after a slump in form in the Premier League, but ending their nine-year wait for a trophy by winning the FA Cup at Wembley in May lifted the mood at the club.

The Frenchman told the club's official website: "I want to stay and to continue to develop the team and the club. 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."

Asked about building another great Arsenal team, Wenger added: "It's time for another one. It's the start of a new team and I believe [the FA Cup] victory was crucial in that belief.

"We have shown signs the whole season that we can be a great side and now it's [important] of course to have another successful season. We know we have to... have a successful June and July, that's where you strengthen the team.

"It's very important that we are good now in the next two months until the end of August, that we can give to the team some more quality."

Asked about the fans expecting a big summer, Wenger said: "Yes, they should expect that. What I can promise is that we work very hard on a market that is very, very congested with many people who have a lot of money.

"But we have a big advantage, players want to join us and if we find the right quality I'm sure we can strengthen the team."

Wenger is optimistic that financial fair play rules will work to Arsenal's advantage.

He said: "I believe [the club is in a strong position] because of the fact that we have built a stadium, the fact that we have paid a big part of the debt back and the weight of the debt back now is not as strong and heavy as it was before. The fact that the Financial Fair Play rule comes in hopefully will stop (the) craziness that happened in this (transfer) market.

"With these two [things] together, I think we can fight on a more even level than before."

Wenger took over at Arsenal in 1996 and has led the team to three Premier League titles and five FA Cup triumphs -- managing the Double in 1997-98 and 2001-02.

Arsenal's 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."

After joining the club from Nagoya Grampus Eight, Wenger's methods revolutionised Arsenal, overseeing an unbeaten campaign and developing star names such as Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira.

Following impressive success in North London, Wenger struggled to replicate those heights, going close in 2006 when losing to Barcelona in the Champions League final and again in 2011 after falling to defeat versus Birmingham in the League Cup showpiece.

But, after overseeing the club during their change of stadium from Highbury to the Emirates, Wenger broke the side's transfer record last summer with the 42.4 million-pound signing of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid.

Arsenal led the Premier League table for the first half of the 2013-14 campaign before suffering from a drop in form and ultimately finishing fourth -- qualifying for the Champions League for a 17th straight year in the process.

They went on to hold their nerve in the FA Cup last month, beating Hull 3-2 in extra-time at Wembley.

Wenger has been tipped to again spend big this summer as he looks to use the momentum of the FA Cup success and sustain a challenge for the league title.

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