Arsène Wenger has praised former chairman Peter Hill-Wood for his "brave" decision to appoint him as Arsenal manager.

The 77-year-old stood down earlier this summer after 31 years in the role and was replaced by Sir Chips Keswick.

Saturday’s Premier League opener against Aston Villa will be the first game without Hill-Wood at the helm, and Wenger paid tribute to him.

“He is a very brave man who was bold enough at the time to appoint me,” he told Arsenal Player. “First of all I would like to thank him and wish him well. I hope that he recovers well. The last news [I heard] was quite good.

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“Sir Chips Keswick has taken over from Peter, he is a friend of Peter's and has been on the board for a long time. He knows how the Club works, he is an intelligent man and a competent man.

“I think the Club is in good hands and will continue to be managed very well.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Rob Kelly 17 Aug 2013