Arsene Wenger has been speaking about his future at Arsenal.
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The 67-year-old Frenchman has a two-year contract extension on the table but won’t announce whether or not he will sign it until this summer when his current deal expires.
Hundreds of Arsenal fans took part in “Wenger Out” protests ahead of, and during, the 5-1 UEFA Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich on Tuesday which saw the Gunners lose 10-2 on aggregate and they were knocked out of the UCL at the last 16 stage for the seventh-straight season.
Asked if the opinions of those fans, and future protests, would have an impact on his decision, Wenger said the following.
“Yes. Of course you consider everything. It won’t be the most important factor, but I will consider it of course,” Wenger said. “I work very hard for 25 years to make the fans happy. I understand they are not when we lose. I don’t want to judge that. I am not able to. I’ve said many times you have to accept different opinions.
“I don’t work for my image. I work for the club with full commitment. How will I be judged? It’s not too much my problem. I think I have shown since I am here that I love this club, that I’m loyal to this club and I make the right decisions for this club, and I will continue to do that, in respecting the values that are vital to me.”
It will be intriguing to see if these protests now not only carry on but grow larger. Of course, results on the pitch will likely dictate that and an FA Cup quarterfinal at home against fifth-tier Lincoln City this Saturday will be a good gauge of how widespread this fan unrest really is. If Arsenal are struggling to break down the minnows, they’ll soon hear disdain from a set of supporters desperate for success and feel like they deserve more than finishing in the top four for 20-straight seasons.
With Wenger admitting he will factor the mood of fans in his decision to stay or leave, it could also quell the protests as many Arsenal fans still appear either unsure about their long term boss leaving or are totally against it with a suitable replacement tough to find.
Wenger has put his cards on the table. If a large number of Arsenal’s fans get behind these protests and want him to leave, he probably will.