Wenger probed about his future [full transcript]

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Prior to the recent Interlull, Arsene Wenger hinted he’d made a decision about his future and that everyone would find out soon enough whether he’ll call time on his Arsenal reign in the summer.

Facing the British media for the first time in two weeks he was naturally asked for an update, on four separate occasions, in his pre-City press conference.

Rather than clear things up, he instead muddied the waters…albeit with a smile on his face and a few a fun quips to keep the headline writers busy.

Here’s what he said…

Attempt 1

Morning Arsene, before the international break you said you’d made a decision about your future and the rest of us would find out soon…is today the day?

I didn’t say the second part of your sentence. I said the first part of the sentence, I accept. [laughs]

I thought we would find out soon…

Not today. I’m very clear in my mind. But anyway, do I stay two months or two years my commitment will be exactly the same. The time I spend here does not influence at all my attitude.

We’re still in suspense then, there’s suggestions an announcement could be made after the City game.

I’ve always been very clear in my mind and I will remain like that. It’s a subject that at the moment is not sorted completely out.

Not sorted completely, a negotiation or waiting until the end of the season?

I have nothing more to add to that.

___

Attempt 2

You said you’re very clear in your mind…

Yes, I would not like to answer that debate again [laughs]. I’ve done enough press conferences about that and I think at the moment that’s not the most important subject at the club.

It’s just one question on whether you think the delay in announcing anything is causing instability at the club.

No. I think the priority in life is to always focus on what is important and not to look for excuses. At the moment our results are not going the way that we want but as well we have to make sure that the priority for us is what happens on the pitch. Being professional is to perform on the football pitch not to find escape and excuses where there are none.

Pep Guardiola said the treatment of you by former players and journalists has been unacceptable and disrespectful. Would you agree with that?

I don’t judge. It’s a nice statement. I’m not in judgement. I’m not a judge. I am somebody who loves competition, who loves to perform and who loves football. I focus on what is important for me. For the rest, everybody is responsible for their own behaviour. I’m responsible for mine, when I’m wrong I stand up for it. I do not want to judge people, I want to focus on what matters to me, that is competition. I use all my energy to win the next game.

__

Attempt 3

Arsene, how much difference does it make to you when some of your own players like Alex Iwobi are calling you a great man and saying the criticism is unfair, does that make any difference to the decision you make?

No…it’s very nice but I want the players to focus on their job. Their job is to perform. Mine is to help them to perform and to help them develop as players. That’s for me what matters. Intelligence in life is to focus on what is important and that’s why I believe what is important for a football player is to perform on the football pitch and to give absolutely everything to help the club and the team. Especially in difficult periods you see the difference of quality between those who focus on what really matters. And what really matters for us at the moment is to stick together and show that we care about our end of season and this club and our values that we stand up for.

Do you know when you’re going to make that decision, are we talking days, weeks, months?

I’ve spoken a lot about that. For me it’s exactly the same. I have to focus on what is important.

__

Attempt 4

Has this been a period of soul-searching for you, the last two weeks?

Last two weeks has been a period for me where I focus on the next game and prepare for the next game.

I know you’ve talked a lot about your future…

No…you force me! [laughs] You force me to talk about it. I don’t talk a lot about it!

Arsene, you’ve made it pretty clear that you want to stay, what are you waiting for?

I have nothing more to say.

But what are you waiting for?

You want to force me to talk about something I don’t want to talk about.

Could you at least tell me what needs to happen for you to start talking about it? [General laughter] What needs to change? [More laughter]

Not a lot, you just continue to ask the same question and one day I will answer. [More laughter].

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PartyPalour
PartyPalour
3 years ago

haaaa sounds funny at the end. Anyone have video of this?

Adriano
Adriano
3 years ago
Reply to  PartyPalour

Funny like a rectoscopy in worldvision

PartyPalour
PartyPalour
3 years ago
Reply to  PartyPalour

Found it 🙂 go to 16 mins: https://youtu.be/anidNfEphVM

john
john
3 years ago
Reply to  PartyPalour

That is not the face of a man who’s leaving!

Igbo Amadi-Obi
Igbo Amadi-Obi
3 years ago
Reply to  PartyPalour

Yeah. A manager refuses to talk about his future in disregard of the most dramatic and widespread fans protests the club has known, and says intelligent people focus on the next game. And we find it funny.

GunnAlex
GunnAlex
3 years ago

Like blood from a stone

spinner
spinner
3 years ago
Reply to  GunnAlex

He’s admitted that he has made his decision.
The fact that he doesn’t say what that decision is, is disrespectful to the fans who should not be kept in the dark like this.

canon 10000
canon 10000
3 years ago
Reply to  spinner

Disrespectful. That is rich! You do know the more fans make an issue of this the worse it gets? By now everyone in the world knows that Arsenal fans want to boot Wenger out. You people have hired a plane and picketed every post / video / tweet on the internet. Can’t wait till he’s announced what he has decided to find out if he’s been disrespectful to your wishes? Or does your professional contract like Ozil hinge on Wenger’s decision? I speak on the behalf of those fans who want to just see the team play in an environment… Read more »

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage
3 years ago
Reply to  canon 10000

Do you visit this environment regularly? Or another one of those arm chair fans who criticises well-paying ST fans for not being as good as a fan as you (whilst you sit at home comfortably)? Make no mistake, I don’t attend games anymore (couldn’t afford it), which is why, stay or go, I also don’t like to criticise those attending fans. Most of them aren’t rich, and pay out of their ears to attend, skipping on new cars, holidays shoot just general exposable income. I couldn’t do it, I guess I don’t value watching arsenal as much as they do.… Read more »

Bould\'s Eyeliner
Bould\'s Eyeliner
3 years ago
Reply to  Faisal Narrage

Odd thing is I agree with both sides–on the one occasion I was able to visit the Emirates and take the tour, I was flabbergasted by the atmosphere. Wasn’t even a match day. Watching football on the television never felt quite the same after that, and I am very appreciative of our fellow gooner fans, particularly the away bunch, that bring the Arsenal songs through my tube. But what does that have to do with ‘respect’ or ‘disrespect’ by the manager? I think fans are entitled to express themselves, but at the same time, the manager is not someone entirely… Read more »

Bould\'s Eyeliner
Bould\'s Eyeliner
3 years ago
Reply to  Faisal Narrage

2005*

canon 10000
canon 10000
3 years ago
Reply to  Faisal Narrage

You are wildly contradicting yourself so much that I don’t know if you are upset about the money aspect or the team performance aspect or about fans who want a bit of peace.

I am not questioning the passion (fannitude??) of the Wenger out brigade, or denying them their right to create an almighty ruckus. However, if Wenger is not above criticism neither are those baying for his blood. #whatits

Glocken
Glocken
3 years ago

He’s just waiting till we actually win a game again so he can justify his ridiculous contract extension. If we lose against City expect an announcement after West Ham.

The whole thing is a farce, it’s a shame he’s so arrogant & deluded and cannot accept that it’s over for him at the club.

This is where you need a strong board……erm….oh dear.

Wood Yi
Wood Yi
3 years ago
Reply to  Glocken

We’ll announce the sporting director first. That’ll fix everything you see, like Bould for Pat Rice did.

spinner
spinner
3 years ago
Reply to  Glocken

He’s been probably been waiting for weeks to contract announce the extension but he hasn’t been able to find the opportune moment, as apart from non-league opposition we have lost every game.

nimble foot
nimble foot
3 years ago
Reply to  spinner

I think if I was Wenger and truly still competitive in my mind, I would stay. The top managers are in this league, no better place for me to win after so long than in this league against Guardiola, Klopp, Mou and by extension Poch and the Bloke at Everton Koeman?
It’s just a sign that the old guy is testing himelf against the best. No ambitious manager would run away from something like this

Cagooner
Cagooner
3 years ago
Reply to  nimble foot

I think you’re dead right. That’s where his mind is. And there is no one on the board to hold him accountable and make him realize that his time has passed and that his approach had seen better days 10 years ago. It’s a sad state of affairs. It’s like an emperor’s clothes situation. So sad that our greatest ever manager is allowed to continue his slow, steady and embarrassing demise. Btw – I hope I’m wrong but I can see us struggling against both Citeh and West Ham, so we might need to wait a while for this announcement.

jay
jay
3 years ago

One thing I’ll miss when he leaves is his pressers. More than likely, the new manager will be some straight shooting, boring in the press room. Classic Wenger pressers are pure entertainment, with some iconic quotes.

canon 10000
canon 10000
3 years ago
Reply to  jay

People downvoting this are you know dishonest to their thingies.

RosickyLegend7
RosickyLegend7
3 years ago

Doesn’t feel like he’s leaving, I know it’s hard and repetitive but I would do anything do see him lift the title for us again. If he stays and that happens it could be the best decision made by the club. Regardless of where you stand it still doesn’t give you an excuse to abuse and hound out our greatest ever manager. Also knowing the genius and smart person he is I’m sure he’ll know himself when it’s the right time to leave. #OneArsèneWenger

Kake
Kake
3 years ago
Reply to  RosickyLegend7

If he can’t win when all the big teams fail, then why would he suddenly be competitive if he signed up for 2more years? What’s changed? We seem to get worse not better. And it’s not like we do anything different. If he did a half time substitution it would be a tactical revolution. So I find it extremely difficult to belive in him as a manager that can win us the premiership or cl.

Le Jim
Le Jim
3 years ago

Ahh he’s a cheeky old bugger <3 Even though I don't think he's the right guy to take the club forward, I'll always love the man.

Trez
Trez
3 years ago

He’s staying. Sad but true…he is staying. What a joke.

Ars
Ars
3 years ago

Wenger … just out

Howard
Howard
3 years ago

RosickyLegend 7 Arsene is not being hounded out. He’s failed. For the period that he couldn’t win the title Chelsea has won it 4 times, Manu 6 times and City 2 times. Arsene can stay here for another ten years and it will be the same: Collapse around Feb/March, get out of CL at quarter finals, give lot of promises in the summer and at the end say he didn’t find any good player in the summer while keeping Sanogo, Coqueline etc. Well, the Board gives him another contract so he will sign. What the Board should’ve done was to… Read more »

Bryanclayden
Bryanclayden
3 years ago
Reply to  Howard

Get knocked out of the qt finals, we haven’t seen the qt finals in 8 years.there is hope after all lol!!

Vincent Adultman
Vincent Adultman
3 years ago
Reply to  Howard

For many years now, he’s meeting the expectations of the Board. That is, they are making wheel barrow loads of cash. Why would the board want to change anything? The american owners dont give a shit about success on the pitch. As long as the cash rolls in, they are meeting their targets. This situation is incredibly simple to understand. Most fans think it’s time to roll the dice and try someone new as manager. But if you are Stan, you are already getting the success you want : in your accounts. You’d be mad to change. And Arsene loves… Read more »

vital
vital
3 years ago

the sun will rise, the winds will blow and wenger will still meet the press every week for another two years; and talk about things he doesn’t want to talk, and express his feelings covered in fifty layers of bossmanship and on and on….

theo\'s b o reeks
theo\'s b o reeks
3 years ago

Season is over in 52 days and he still up there playing a one man game of hide and seek.

it’s a great way to take the focus off how terrible this season has been by having everyone ask you the same question over and over again.

He should sign a 30 day rolling contract to deflect all the transfer rumours of Alexis and Ozil this summer then hit us with the new 2 deal.

ScotchEggsRule
ScotchEggsRule
3 years ago

Why bother? He’s staying, unfortunately.

yagaru
yagaru
3 years ago

Cirque du Arsenal back in full flow after the interlull then with the Ringmaster General doing his best to irritate the fans even further.

bazza_wicks
bazza_wicks
3 years ago

yawn yawn yawn these pressers are so predictable nothing to see hear move along same old same old

Lord Bendtner
Lord Bendtner
3 years ago

Hahahaahaaaa super funny 😀

*except, in reality, all Gooners have been crying inside since the past bunch of games

Mpls
Mpls
3 years ago

Intrigue! It’s clear in his mind, but it’s not sorted. Choose your own adventure! Scroll down for the story’s conclusion. 1. He is staying, it’s already signed, and they’re under orders from the PR department to wait for a salient moment to announce the extension. 2. He wants to stay, the contract is there, but it hinges for him on putting the club safely into the top 4 or winning the FA Cup. 3. He wants to stay, the contract is ready, but it hinges for the club on him making a satisfactory recovery of the season, whatever that is.… Read more »

ron
ron
3 years ago

So… if, say, results/form don’t “pick up”… the “opportune moment” to announce the already-signed extension does not present itself… does he just keep refusing to answer until the start of next season?

Does Mr Chips say in August “we tried really hard but there was no-one on the market who was better than what we already had?”

And is Ivan secretly dead, Brezhnyev-style?

igbo amadi-obi
igbo amadi-obi
3 years ago

To be honest, I am struggling to reconcile the proud and aristocratic Wenger who never failed to remind us that he was being courted by other clubs, with the present Wenger who, despite being aware that he has become the most divisive element the club has know in recent history, the most derided manager of a top European club today, and despite knowing that he has lost the support and admiration of a huge chunk of the Arsenal fan base, continues to hang around. From “I could leave this place and go elsewhere if you guys do not show respect… Read more »

49er
49er
3 years ago

I think I can speak for all Arsenal fans in saying the sooner he signs the new deal the better all round for us gooners.

yagaru
yagaru
3 years ago
Reply to  49er

Only if that new deal is at a different club!

Haykay
Haykay
3 years ago

You guys will understand at the end that this is politics, toying with the fans, I know he’s done alot for the club but right now is just like he’s holding the club hostage. Absolute power corrupt they say.

bdagooner
bdagooner
3 years ago

From a Mirror article today: “Arsenal’s ­immediate rivals in the ­near-past have been the two ­Manchester clubs, Chelsea, Spurs and Liverpool. Along with the Gunners, we now refer to that group as the Big Six. And Wenger’s record against them is ­appalling. Of the last 47 ­Premier League matches against these five rivals – since the start of the 2012-13 season – Arsenal have lost 19, drawn 18 and won 10. Their goal difference in those games is minus-17.” Just don’t see or understand how anyone thinks that somehow Wenger will drastically change his methods which will result in us… Read more »

Goooooooonnnnnnnaaaaaq
Goooooooonnnnnnnaaaaaq
3 years ago

Any comment on Wenger gets an even split of thumbs up and down, just shows how split the fan base is. All I’m gonna say is I no longer care who our manager is, I don’t care if we lose Ozil or Sanchez. I’m just so sick on this constant speculation. All I’m gonna say is I love Arsene Wenger for the man he is and for the beautiful values he instilled at our club. Huge respect from me even if he gets us relegated. I respect “Wenger out” fans, and I do feel we need a new manager. But… Read more »

GunnerYY
GunnerYY
3 years ago

Still waiting for the good run to announce your extension? Why not announce it now? ofc you won’t, because you also know that you don’t deserve another contract.

John
John
3 years ago

Can I ask a genuine question to the Wenger out proponents? What is meant when people say he can’t cut it anymore? Looking at the table we were top at Xmas last season before being smashed by injuries. Do you disagree? If that’s where we were only last season then how can you say he can’t cut it anymore? A lot of people draw conclusions which I’m not clear on the evidence for. Are we advocating for change for the sake of change? For me it seems like a lot of talented managers with well funded teams stocked with the… Read more »