Former Arsenal star Robert Pires says keeping Arsene Wenger is more important to the Gunners than keeping Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
Wenger has come in for heavy criticism from supporters this season, and the club have so far been unable to agree contract extensions with Sanchez and Ozil, further heightening the discontent in the stands.
However, Pires, who played for Wenger for six years and won the Premier League title under his guidance, insists Wenger’s contact extension should be of greater importance than anything.
“I hope even they [Ozil and Sanchez] extend the contracts – the negotiation is very difficult and maybe complicated, but most important is to see Arsene Wenger extend,” Pires told Sky Sports.
“I think Arsenal need more stability. Wenger is very, very important for Arsenal for now and for the next season.
“I believe in Wenger because for me it was a privilege to work with him over six seasons.
“The team was not perfect but it was good because we won some titles. I am a privileged man because I am still training with the team. I can give some advice for the players, can talk with Wenger every morning. Now I think he needs to put some stability on the club.
“There are two objectives for Arsenal now – the first is to finish in the top four to play again the Champions League next season and of course the FA Cup it is very important to win this trophy.
“Lots of fans talk about Wenger but I think he is the man. He is the manager for Arsenal. Wenger and the players need to fight.”
“It is very strange – sometimes you play good, sometimes it is not good,” Pires said of Arsenal’s form.
“Some players need more spirit because the quality is there. When you see the names on paper on the pitch I think they are great players like Ozil, Sanchez, but for me the most important is that we have missed Cazorla.
“I think he is one of the best players at Arsenal, I think it has been over four months out and this is a problem.
“The quality is there in the squad but we need – when you play in the Premier League especially – spirit, fight, commitment.”
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