IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

He’s going nowhere! Arsenal fan Jeremy Corbyn confirms he still backs Wenger to stay

'Arsène is a really decent man and I think Piers Morgan should get off his back'

17 March, 2017 — By Koos Couvée

LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn has again backed under-fire Gunners boss Arsène Wenger – and said Piers Morgan “should get off his back.”

Calls for the Arsenal manager to quit the post he has held for 21 years have reached fever pitch after their dramatic Champions League defeat against Bayern Munich earlier this month.

However, Mr Corbyn, a longtime admirer of the Frenchman, said he continued to support him.

“I get the Arsène Wenger question every day in the streets,” Mr Corbyn told the Tribune, adding: “I like Arsène Wenger, I support Arsène Wenger.

“[Whether he leaves or not] is up to him and the board. I think he’s done a fantastic job over the years at the club, and I like the intelligent way he manages it.

“I really don’t like the way a small number of people turn on Wenger as soon as we go one goal down. But the numbers of people actually involved in the protests are tiny, with 200 protesting at a match attended by 50,000.”

Mr Corbyn added: “When I talk to supporters of lots of clubs around the country, they say: ‘Wow. We’d give our eyeteeth for the success Arsenal has had over the past 20 years’.

“There are many people who dream of getting into the league, getting into the upper division, dream of getting into the Champions League, dream of getting beyond the third round of the FA cup.

“Yeah, of course the result against Bayern Munich was terrible. We all know that.”

In January, ITV’s Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan – who is a fierce critic of the Gunners boss – had a dig at Mr Corbyn when the Labour leader made an appearance on the show.

Referencing manager Mr Wenger’s 21-year stint as Arsenal manager, he said: “We have a gift for you because you are the MP of Islington. Like another resident of Islington, you’ve proved almost impossible to unseat.

“Resilience needs to be applauded – I have got you, at vast expense, an Arsenal shirt.”

Mr Morgan has not been the first to compare Mr Corbyn and the Frenchman. Both men are 67 and famously stubborn, regarded as putting principles above pragmatism.

Asked what he made of the comparisons between him and Mr Wenger, the Labour leader replied: “We’re both stoic and we read a lot. [But] he’s a football manager and I’m an elected MP, they’re very different jobs.

“Yes I met Arsène Wenger many times and I have a lot of time and a lot of respect for him. He’s a decent thoughtful man … and I think Piers Morgan should get off his back.”

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