Arsene Wenger defended himself against recent criticism from Arsenal fans calling for the manager’s resignation. Wenger believes that there are a number of factors that contributed to Arsenal’s poor results this season.
Arsenal started the season as one of the favorites to win the Premier League titl.. The team is in a disappointing sixth place after losing four of their last five games. The London side was also knocked out of the Champions League after a clear 10-2 aggragate defeat to Bayern Munich.
In spite of fans calling for Wenger’s resignation, the manager has held fast that the situation can improve. The manager’s contract is due to expire in the summer and it is unclear whether he is under negotiations for an extension. Following this month’s 3-1 defeat to West Brom, Wenger said he had made up his mind regarding his future at the club. However, he did not specify if that means he will remain or leave Arsenal.
Wenger says that he accepts that the team underperformed this season. However, the manager says there is enough blame to go around. He called to his players to respond to the recent pressure with good performances. Wenger spoke to Sky Sports about Arsenal’s current situation.
“It would be an easy excuse,” Wenger said. “Whether I stay two years or 10 years I have exactly the same commitment and the same desire to win the next game. I believe we are in a position where we do not have to find easy excuses. Our job is to perform.”
“The worst you accuse me of, having done 20 years at the club, is creating instability. If I have created anything it is stability. The situation is not sorted out and I believe it’s important we focus on what is essential. You know my attachment to this club and at the moment it is as it is and I do not see any escape route to have less responsibility because of that. You have to be men and focus on what matters and what is our job.”
The uncertainty regarding Wenger’s future at the club is also affecting contract negotiations with some of the team’s star players. Players like Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez find it difficult to commit to the club’s future not knowing who will manage them next season. Wenger was confident the team would not lose some of their best players, especially not to rivals such as Chelsea.
Speaking about Sanchez’s commitment to Arsenal, Wenger said. “There is only one team in London, so he is happy! He wants to win the championship and that is what everybody wants. I can understand that completely.
“It is true that it happened before when we were in a position financially where we had to sell our best players, but that is not the case anymore. He has one-and-a-half years [left on his] contract so I don’t think that it is an immediate concern for Arsenal football club.”