After Arsenal lose to West Brom, Wenger’s future is still up in the air
Fans fly conflicting banners over the Hawthorns, as reports claim Gunners boss is set to stay at the Emirates for another year
19 March, 2017 — By Steve Barnett
Arsene Wenger: ‘Don’t worry, I know what I will do in my future, so you will soon know, very soon’
WEST BROM 3, ARSENAL 1
ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger is being tipped to defy the odds by putting pen to paper on a new deal that would see him stay at the club for at least another 12 months.
The Gunners slumped to a fourth Premier League defeat in five games at West Brom on Saturday, leading to more questions about Wenger’s future.
The Frenchman admitted after the 3-1 thumping that he has reached a decision and will announce it “very soon”.
It’s a decision that was the subject of conflicting aeroplane banners over the Hawthorns, one that called for his exit, and another backing the 67-year-old.
The first read: “No Contract #WengerOut”, while the second read: “In Arsene We Trust #RespectAW”.
After admitting that his side are in “unique” peril, Wenger added: “Don’t worry, I know what I will do in my future, so you will soon know, very soon.
“I don’t necessarily worry about it. We are in a unique bad patch that we haven’t had in 20 years. We lose game after game at the moment, and that is more important for me than my future.”
After Craig Dawson’s double and a strike from substitute Hal Robson-Kanu condemned Arsenal – leaving their hopes of maintaining their long-standing place in the top four in tatters – all the talk was that Wenger was ready to walk away from the club when his contract expires in the summer.
By Sunday, however, the rumour mill had pitched up a new option, with one paper reporting that Wenger has agreed to stay on for one more season. If true, it would give him time to help the Arsenal board find his replacement, a task Wenger has always said would be his responsibility when the time came for him to step down.
Meanwhile things seem to be going from bad to worse for the red and white half of north London with Wenger also admitting that Alexis Sanchez’s right ankle is in “an absolutely terrible state”, and he may even have ligament damage.
The Chile international, who scored for Arsenal on Saturday, was injured in the first half when he was fouled by James McClean.
He played on until 12 minutes from time, a decision that Wenger said was a mistake.
“He should not have played in the second half but he insisted that he wanted to,” he said. “In the end we had to take him off.”
ARSENAL: Cech (Ospina, ’38), Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Ramsey, Xhaka, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott (Giroud, ’65), Welbeck, Sanchez (Iwobi, 78)
Substitutes not used: Mertesacker, Gabriel, Coquelin, Elneny