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Sep 19, 2019-Thursday



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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Arsene Wenger ‘amazed’ by questions over Arsenal future after Man City loss

Arsene Wenger’s position was questioned after his team came in for heavy criticism for their performance in last Sunday’s 3-0 defeat to Manchester City in the EFL Cup final at Wembley.

football Updated: Feb 28, 2018 20:01 IST

Arsene Wenger reacts during their EFL Cup match against Manchester City.
Arsene Wenger reacts during their EFL Cup match against Manchester City.(AFP)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is not at all concerned about his position and is “amazed” at the focus on his future.

The Gunners came in for heavy criticism for their performance in last Sunday’s 3-0 defeat to Manchester City in the EFL Cup final at Wembley.

Wenger has a contract until the end of next season but reports in England suggest he could be replaced this year, with Germany boss Joachim Low among those linked with the role.

However, the 68-year-old insists he is only worried about Thursday’s Premier League clash with Pep Guardiola’s side, having spent much of his two decades at Arsenal dismissing speculation about his job.

“My position is my position. Honestly, that’s the last worry I have at the moment. My focus is to get the team ready for the game,” he told a news conference on Wednesday.

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“I just told you what my way of thinking is; it’s the next game. We’re in that kind of situation. I don’t ask you if your position is reviewed at the end of the season. 

“My job is to perform. It’s not for me to evaluate. If you need clarity, I can repeat exactly the same answer. Does it stop you sleeping that my position is uncertain or certain? The game on Thursday is what is important.

“I’m amazed I always have to answer things that are the same. I’ve been here 21 years and turned the whole world down to honour my contract.”

Asked if he believes he has improved as a manager in recent years, Wenger continued: “How do you judge that? Only by results, or the quality of work? The problem for a manager is to take the best out of a team. How can you rate that?

“I try to be a better manager than I was five years ago and I put the effort in. You can say you don’t agree and I understand that but the effort, the commitment, the hard work is behind it.”

The defeat to City was the latest blow in what is developing into a difficult season for Arsenal, who exited the FA Cup at the hands of Nottingham Forest and survived a scare in the Europa League when they lost at home to Ostersunds in the second leg of the last 32.

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But Wenger believes too much is made of the negative results and not of his side’s stronger performances, such as the 2-1 aggregate win over Chelsea in the EFL Cup semi-final.

“When you do not get the result, it’s part of our job to respond and focus on the next game. You analyse well, focus on the next one and respond in a united way,” he said.

“We have to live with [criticism]; it’s part of the modern game. People who comment, it’s their job to comment. What is important is how we respond.

“You cite only the games we’ve lost but we’ve won many games as well. We were in the final. We had to fight very hard and knock out Chelsea over two games. It shows the team has quality and can fight. 

“You have to say as well, we played a team that dominates the Premier League.”

First Published: Feb 28, 2018 16:41 IST