Dixon: Lay off Wenger

Former Arsenal defender Lee Dixon is “gob-smacked” to see Arsene Wenger come under fire from supporters.

Former Arsenal defender Lee Dixon is “gob-smacked” to see Arsene Wenger come under fire from supporters.

The Gunners boss, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, was involved in a heated exchanged during a shareholders’ forum last week, with the club on the verge of a fourth campaign without silverware.

Chairman Peter Hill-Wood believes the criticism of the manager was “out of order”, and believes Wenger will remain in charge at Emirates Stadium.

Dixon – who played more than 600 games over 14 years for the Gunners and won the double twice under Wenger – insists such negativity towards the Frenchman is “short-sighted”.

“I am gob-smacked that people have started calling for his head,” the 45-year-old said in the London Evening Standard.

“People are very short-sighted. It is the modern-day supporter who wants success yesterday.

“Yes, we have gone four seasons without a trophy and have been off the pace in the Premier League this season, which is Wenger’s trophy priority, but he is as frustrated as anyone else.

“The balance in the team is not quite right and now Andrey Arshavin has come in, that gives them another attacking option which can only be a good thing.”

Dixon, who is now a media pundit, maintains Arsenal will soon deliver silverware once again.

“He feels the frustration just like anyone else,” said the former England defender.

“He has produced one of the best training grounds in the world, one of the best stadiums in the world and some of the most attractive football ever been played. And people still just say ’we haven’t won anything’. They just have to be a bit more patient.

“I want him to succeed because I can’t speak highly enough of him and about how he goes about running a football club.”

Dixon recalled: “When he came he was going to get rid of us all because we were 32.

“I ended up playing until I was 38 – six years under him and I won two doubles.

“He is a man of integrity and he does not deserve to be treated in this way by a section of his own fans.”

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