Wenger has been under considerable pressure this season following results deemed below par by fans. The 3-1 loss to West Brom hasn’t helped matters in that respect. The manager says he knows what his future will hold.
Saturday’s defeat against West Brom has further deepened the crisis felt at Arsenal. The team exited the Champions League last week following a heavy 10-2 aggregate defeat to Bayern Munich. Arsenal is in fifth place in the Premier League. Without much silverware to their name in the last few years, many fans feel a change of manager may be required.
Defender Craig Dawson scored twice for West Brom from set pieces. Arsenal were poor in defense throughout. David Ospina took over for the injured Petr Cech in goalkeeping duties, but didn’t have the best game. Hal Robson-Kanu scored the third for West Brom, while Arsenal’s lone strike came from Alexis Sánchez.
Following supporter protests, Wenger discussed his future at Arsenal but was vague as to his decision. The manager’s contract expires at the end of the season. The protests included an airplane holding a banner that called for Wenger’s resignation. It was an odd sight as the plane flew over the football grounds before kick-off.
“I know what I will do in my future. You will soon know, very soon,” he said. “We do not necessarily worry about that. We are in a unique bad patch that we have not had for 20 years and that is more important for my future.”
A manager in defense of his team
Wenger has defended his team throughout the season. The manager feels that bad luck and the team’s morale were factors in their lack of success. A constant presence in the Champions League, Arsenal are currently in fifth place, five points behind Liverpool. Things could get worse if the run of bad form continues. Everton now have the same number of points as Arsenal. And Manchester United could move to fifth place if they win tomorrow’s game against Middlesbrough.
“We take all responsibility. It’s obviously a big disappointment when you lose a game like that. We all have to take responsibility and prepare for our next games,” Wenger told Sky Sports.
“It’s very worrying because we are not used to that [four defeats in five] and overall we have a hell of a task now to fight back. We need to regroup and of course focus on the games coming up because there are many big games. Everybody goes away now [for the international break] and we have to recover and prepare for our end of season. We focus on analysing where we are not good at the moment and correct what didn’t work.”
Vote of confidence from Wenger’s peers
Tony Pulis, West Brom’s manager, has also shared his views regarding Wenger’s future. He predicts the manager will stay put at Arsenal. Pulis also praised Wenger’s dedication to the game.
“I get the feeling that Arsene most probably wants to be carried out in a box still managing a football club because that is the way he is,” said Pulis.
“He is football nuts. I really do think people at Arsenal have given him total trust. He will go down in history as the greatest Arsenal manager and I think he wants to manage for another five or six years by the sounds of it.”
“I think he is a great manager and he has been fantastic. If you go back from when he started right through to a period of time where now people are complaining they haven’t won the championship for a period of time and that just get to a certain stage in Europe. He is still managing one of great teams in Europe and they could finish in the top four and win the FA Cup. That would be a real tail-off!”