Arsene Wenger is an incredibly talented manager.
He may not be the best timekeeper though…
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Ahead of Arsenal’s huge clash against Manchester United on Sunday (Watch live, 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) at the Emirate Stadium, Wenger was asked about his comments back in Janaury when he said he’d have an answer on if he’ll sign a new contract by March or April.
Wenger had the following to say about his shoddy timekeeping…
“Now we are in May. That means I was wrong,” Wenger laughed.
Fans of Arsenal aren’t laughing though. With the Gunners six points off the top four with a game in hand, Wenger’s men know they must simply win all of their final five games in the Premier League to have any chance whatsoever of finishing in the top four.
The fact that Wenger has never beaten Man United manager Jose Mourinho in the PL isn’t ideal but after their previous differences on the sidelines and in prss conferences, Wenger is willing to put his differences with the Portuguese aside.
“I’m open always in life for everything…for peace,” Wenger smiled. “What is important when you are a competitor is that you give absolutely everything to win the next game.”
In a busy presser, Wenger also addressed the reports that playmaker Mesut Ozil kicked and damaged a door following Arsenal’s 2-0 North London derby defeat at Tottenham on Sunday after he was told he had to complete a drugs test.
“I’m sorry that he kicked the door. I don’t think his frustration was towards the drugs test. His frustration was towards the fact that we lost the game,” Wenger said. “I didn’t speak about it with him because I only heard about it today.”
Wenger confirmed that he will speak with Ozil to get his version of events and was also asked about the possibility of Mourinho playing a weakened side on Sunday as United prioritize their UEFA Europa League semifinal clash with Celta Vigo.
“We focus on our performance. I don’t know what Manchester United will do. We know anyway they have a massive squad with quality players. Only a top-level performance will get us the win we want. The only advantage we can give ourselves is to focus on ourselves and not speculate on any weakness of Manchester United. No matter who plays they will have a strong team out.”
If Arsenal lose on Sunday then their top four hopes are all but over and the focus will switch to the FA Cup final against Chelsea on May 27 and, once again, to the decision on Wenger’s future by the Frenchman and the board.
So much rests on Wenger’s decision on whether or not to extend his time in charge of Gunners, not to mention the future of key players such as Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, that it boggles my mind that no decision was made two or three months ago.
When he finally announces his decision, we’d all love to know exactly why it took him so long.