REUTERS - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been receiving unjust criticism and should extend his 20-year reign at the club, midfielder Alex Iwobi has said.
Wenger, whose contract expires at the end of the season, is under increasing pressure to step down due to the club’s poor form of six losses in their last nine games, and a 10-2 aggregate loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Iwobi, who has scored four goals in 35 appearances this season, defended Wenger, saying the manager’s achievements at the club should not be dwarfed by Arsenal’s current struggles.
“He’s a great man in my opinion, I’d like him to stay,” Iwobi told BBC’s World Football Programme.
“I don’t think it’s fair... considering what he’s done. He’s always achieved fourth place, been in the Champions League and been up there with the title contenders.”
Striker Alexis Sanchez and playmaker Mesut Ozil, whose contracts run out at the end of next season, are stalling on signing new deals, according to British media, and have been strongly linked with moves away from Arsenal.
Iwobi, however, remains optimistic the key duo will extend their contracts with the club.
“As you can see from stats, goals and chances they create, they are key players in our team... They are world-class players,” Iwobi said.
“For the club it would be great for them to stay, but at the end of the day, it’s their decision.”
Arsenal, who are sixth in the table, host third-placed Manchester City on Sunday.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Jon Boyle