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Alisher Usmanov: Arsene Wenger Never Learns

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ALISHER Usmanov, Arsenal’s second largest shareholder after Stan Kroenke, has accused Arsène Wenger of failing to learn from his mistakes and claims the club must strengthen every area of the team to compete with Europe’s elite.

The Russian billionaire stressed his desire to see Wenger reintroduce success at Arsenal but expressed his concerns that the Frenchman’s “principles” could be holding the side back following another defeat at the hands of Manchester United that continued a miserable recent record against the Premier League’s strongest sides.

Speaking to CNBC, Usmanov said: “He is one of the greatest coaches, not just of European, but of world football. But we have a Russian proverb which goes: “Even an old lady can have a roof falling on her.

“Everybody makes mistakes. He can make mistakes and I know as you age it is more difficult, more challenging to accept one’s mistakes. Does [Wenger] have money or not? There is officially money in the club.

“Arsenal is a dream that sometimes becomes a mirage and sometimes a pain as every dream. [The] potential of the team is there but there is no critical evaluation of mistakes and they need to need to acknowledge them. Because no genius can retain the same level of genius if they do not acknowledge mistakes. It’s only when you admit your mistakes that you can get rid of them.

“My opinion – and I tell it openly – we need to strengthen every position to play on the level of such teams in [the] UK as Chelsea and Manchester City, in Europe like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and other clubs.”

The 2-1 defeat to United left Arsenal in eighth place in the Premier League with four wins from 12 matches – their worst start to a season since the 1982-83 – and prompted Wenger to label his side “defensively naive”. – The Guardian

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