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08th-Sep-2017

New season, same old problems for Arsenal's Wenger

By AFP, London


Under fire from furious fans and unable to placate his unsettled stars, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger finds himself assailed by familiar problems just weeks into the new season as he battles to salvage his tarnished reputation.
Just four months ago, the Frenchman was celebrating an FA Cup final triumph against Chelsea that the 67-year-old hoped would herald a new era of sustained success.
But after a miserable start to the Premier League campaign, Wenger once again appears trapped in a debilitating cycle of on-field underachievement and behind-the-scenes unrest.
Lacklustre defeats against Stoke and Liverpool, with the 4-0 humiliation at Anfield especially painful, have sparked renewed calls for Wenger's resignation from his army of detractors.
Making matters worse, the Arsenal boss -- hailed for revolutionising the English game in areas such as diet and fitness after he joined the club in 1996 -- is locked in damaging contract stand-offs with Chile forward Alexis Sanchez and playmaker Mesut Ozil.
Wenger gambled by refusing to bow to Sanchez's demand for a move to Manchester City before the transfer window closed last week.