- Around 200 Arsenal fans protested outside the Emirates on Tuesday night
- They called for Arsene Wenger to leave, accusing him of ‘killing the club’
- Fans held up signs urging the club not to renew the Frenchman’s contract
- PSG’s sensational loss at the hands of Barcelona could impact Arsene Wenger
- Arsenal took an unprecedented step to release statement about Wenger’s future
Arsène_Wenger is seemingly the unhappiest coach in the English Premier league this week after suffering a major thrashing from Bayern Munich in the UEFA champion’s league. Arsenal lost their chance to contend for the cup in the first round when they conceded four goals. This meant they had to fight to score at least six goals to get back in the game.
As a result Arsenal supporters staged protests calling for Arsene Wenger to leave the club prior to their thrashing by Bayern Munich on Tuesday night, even accusing the manager of ‘killing’ their club. Wenger has faced increasing dissent from the stands in recent months after Arsenal slipped out of the Premier League title race and suffered a humiliating 5-1 defeat by Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. The Frenchman, who has been in charge since October 1996, is in a tight spot but stands his ground. “I will not be forced out of a club I helped build up.”
Arsenal Management reacts to the Riots.
Arsenal broke their silence on the speculation about manager Arsene Wenger’s future Thursday, with PSG interested in snapping up the veteran boss. The Gunners board took the unusual step of releasing a statement to clarify the future of their under-fire boss; who remains defiant despite calls from disgruntled fans for him to leave at the end of the season. Intriguingly, the statement indicated that the decision over whether or not Wenger will sign a new deal would not be made solely by the Frenchman, but collectively with the board.
But the statement from the club’s chairman Sir Chips Keswick was met with apathy from Arsenal fans given its ambiguity. The statement read: ‘We are fully aware of the attention currently focused on the club and understand the debate.We respect that fans are entitled to their different, individual opinions, but we will always run this great football club with its best long-term interests at heart. Arsene has a contract until the end of the season. Any decisions will be made by us mutually and communicated at the right time in the right way.’
PSG persues Wenger.
The statement stopped short of publicly backing Wenger, with results between now and the end of the season likely to be the key factor in whether he stays. Wenger, privately, retains the full support of majority shareholder Stan Kroenke. Indeed, in an ideal world Wenger would prefer to sign the two-year contract on the table. But, as it stands, the animosity towards him from growing sections of the club’s fanbase means announcing he is staying at this juncture would only serve to fan the flames. The surprise statement acknowledged the differing views of supporters regarding Wenger’s future.
And the manager admitted the discontent would be a factor in his final decision. He said: ‘Yes, fans’ opinion will have an impact on my decision, you consider everything. It will not be the most important factor, but of course, you consider it.’ And following Barcelona’s remarkable Champions League comeback against Paris Saint- Germain on Wednesday night, Wenger then pointed out how opinions about Barca coach Luis Enrique have changed.
‘It just sums it up that two weeks ago he (Enrique) was an idiot and everyone said, “You have to leave”, so he did. Today he is a hero. That sums up the job,’ said Wenger.The demise of PSG at the Nou Camp could yet have an impact on Wenger’s future. Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the Paris club’s chairman, is a huge fan of Wenger and has failed on more than one occasion to lure the manager to the French capital.
Key players not happy.
Meanwhile, Arsenal players and staff are more convinced than ever that Alexis Sanchez wants to leave the club at the end of the season, having noticed a drop of intensity in training.The former Barcelona striker’s mood has deteriorated recently, culminating in him storming off during a training session last week. It appears Sanchez erupted because his side were losing a training match and then he suffered a heavy tackle from a team-mate.
Laurent Koscielny, among others, went into the dressing room to confront furious Sanchez, who was then dropped for last weekend’s defeat at Liverpool. But Wenger said: ‘We have a good, united, determined group. When you go through disappointing results, you always have some disagreements.‘Overall, on that front I don’t worry. In our job, you have to be competitive and competitiveness doesn’t always mean love.‘It is about performing. In the past, it’s not the team who loves each other the most who is the best on the football field.’