Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger does not deserve the flak he’s been getting, says Mikael Silvestre.
“To stay that long for over 20 years, it’s something that I think right now it’s difficult to see,” said the former former defender who played for Arsenal, Manchester United and France.
He added, “Antonio Conte, Jose Mourinho, Mauricio Pochettino, can they stay for that long? At those clubs, it’s difficult to see that. We might not see such a longevity anymore.
“It’s fantastic for Arsene to do what he has done.”
Towards the end of the 2016-17 season, some fans called for Wenger’s resignation after the Frenchman failed to guide the team higher than a fifth place finish in the Premier League.
It was the first time Arsenal missed out on the Champions League, although the club still ended the season with some silverware by winning the FA Cup.
Silvestre, who was in Singapore recently for a press conference of the Battle of the Masters event in November, played under Wenger at Arsenal for two seasons from 2008-2010. He lauded Wenger as a “good coach” as well.
Last month, former Arsenal captain Tony Adams slammed Wenger for his lack of coaching ability, as well as for overlooking him for a role with the backroom staff at the Emirates Stadium.
But Silvestre thought the criticism stemmed from Adam’s “bitterness”.
“I think he criticised Arsene because he thought Arsene didn’t give him a chance. When Tony Adams [can] do that (manage for 20 years), then he can be criticising Arsene.”
Now that Wenger has been given a two-year contract extension, the 39-year-old former defender implored fans to stay patient with the manager.
“Some section of the fans might be disappointed, but the owner, the shareholders they decided otherwise so you have to respect it and if you are a fan, you have to keep supporting the team,” said Silvestre.
He added, “There should be no more demonstration at the beginning of the season because that would be a pity, you are not [doing] the team any favours.
“If it’s the right decision, time will tell. The answers lies in the future.”