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Arsenal’s Tepid Statement Offers Little Comfort for Arsène Wenger

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Some Arsenal fans have made up their mind about what to do with the team’s manager, Arsène Wenger.

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Lee Smith/Reuters

When a soccer team puts out a “vote of confidence” for its manager, it is usually a sign that his days are numbered. Leicester City said on Feb. 7 that Claudio Ranieri had its “unwavering support.” Two weeks later, he was fired.

But what about when the vote of confidence is not even very confident? Arsenal released a statement on Thursday that lacked even halfhearted words of support for its longtime manager, Arsène Wenger, who joined the team in 1996. Persistent fan anger at Wenger — whose tenure has been a model of consistent excellence and persistent near-misses — has recently bubbled over after the Gunners fell off the pace in the Premier League race and were thumped out of the Champions League this week.

“We are fully aware of the attention currently focused on the club and understand the debate,”…

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