Graham backing for Wenger

Wolfsburg’s caretaker-coach Lorenz-Gunther Kostner wants to know

if he has a future at the club sooner rather than later with a

decision over a permanent replacement for Felix Magath yet to be

taken.

Kostner was placed in temporary charge of the club following

Magath’s resignation at the end of October, and he has led the club

off the foot of the table and 10 points clear of the relegation

zone.

Yet the club’s new director of sport Klaus Allofs remains quiet

about his chances of being given the job ona full-time basis, and

the wait to find out is now getting to Kostner.

“I have taken the team from the bottom of the table and if they

still don’t want to carry on working with me, then they should just

tell me quickly,” he said after his side’s 2-0 defeat at home to

Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

“There has been absolutely no information for how long this

whole thing should go on for and that is what I’m talking

about.”

A bit of clarity is all Kostner is after, yet Allofs was more

concerned with conspiracy theories after the Wolves’ latest

defeat.

“It seems like the impression is we did not deserve to win last

weekend and they wanted to even things up,” he told Sky television

when asked about Josue’s sending off in the 16th minute of the game

with the visitors a goal up.

“That was never a red card. There’s no question about it being a

foul, but certainly not a red card.”

Gunners manager Wenger has come under increased pressure after a

faltering start to the campaign in the Premier League and a shock

Capital One Cup exit at Bradford earlier this week.

Graham, who managed Arsenal to league titles in 1989 and 1991,

feels Wenger has to put on his “magic hat” and find the next

Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira, whom he moulded into world-class

performers.

Graham told BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek programme: “Let’s

give Arsene the credit. He brought in players for average prices,

Thierry Henry, Nicolas Anelka, Marc Overmars, Patrick Vieira,

Emmanuel Petit.

“They were all very good players unknown to the fans in England

that he turned into fantastic world-class players. That was his

strength.

“He did it on a tight budget so it’s not like they are now going

to go out and break the transfer record.

“They have never done it during Arsene’s reign so in my opinion

he has got to get his magic hat on again and go out and see if he

can get players of that quality at good prices.”

Graham added: “Arsene’s first period at the club, for seven

years was probably the most attractive and attacking football I’ve

ever seen in English football.

“He won three league titles and four FA Cups. He set the

standard and unfortunately in the last few seasons the standard is

just slowly slipping away.”

Graham is adamant Wenger is likely to extend his 16 years at

Arsenal by several more seasons despite the current criticism.

He said: “Management is about being successful and when you are,

you take all the plaudits and the compliments.

“There is a lot of hysterical criticism about Wenger now. If you

want to stay in the top four, he is the man without question.

“I think Wenger will stay there. He is very powerful at the club

and rightly so.

“He will make the decision if he leaves or not. I cannot see him

leaving at all.

“He enjoys Arsenal, the power and influence he has got

throughout the club. I think Arsene will still be there for a few

years yet.

“I just hope they bring in a better quality of player.”

Former Arsenal goalkeeper and ex-goalkeeping coach Bob Wilson

has hit back at comments from former player Stewart Robson, who

described Wenger as “a dictator in many ways”.

There have been reports that Wenger’s number two, Steve Bould,

has been effectively isolated.

Wilson said: “The claims of Arsene being a dictator, and from a

former player in Stewart Robson, really upsets me.

“I believe if Steve Bould is being sidelined, he is wealthy

enough, sensible enough and strong enough to resign if unhappy with

his role.

“To say Wenger appoints yes men is an insult to all the people

who have worked under him – myself included. I always stood up to

Arsene.”