Arsene Wenger has been discussing his future during his press conference looking ahead to the FA Cup tie against Sutton United and he has admitted that he will not retire this summer. However, he refused to confirm whether that would be at Arsenal or elsewhere. The Frenchman’s contract expires in the summer and after the embarrassing defeat to Bayern Munich, it could be that he leaves his post as the Emirates outfit’s manager in the summer.
“No matter what happens I will manage next season – here or somewhere else. That’s absolutely for sure.”
These quotes are unlike Wenger, as he has never been this candid before about his future, which suggests that his time at Arsenal is approaching an end. There won’t be a shortage of offers for the Frenchman’s services, but he will be hoping to remain in Europe. PSG have been linked in recent months, but Unai Emery is slowly turning things around in the French capital. A national team job could be the best fit for Wenger, as he wouldn’t have the intense pressure on him daily. It will be interesting to see where Wenger opts to go after Arsenal as it is looking increasingly unlikely that he remains at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal are waiting nervously to hear the full extent of Laurent Koscielny’s injury after he was forced off against Bayern Munich. Many saw his departure as the catalyst for the Gunners’ collapse, as they conceded four goals after he was substituted. The Independent report that he is going to have a scan today to determine the full extent of his hamstring injury. It is unlikely that he will be fit to play against Sutton United, but Gunners fans will be hoping he isn’t out for too much longer.
Gabriel is likely to deputise for the Frenchman, while Per Mertesacker is pushing to be involved for the first time this season after his struggles with injury. Arsenal have good depth at centre back, but Koscielny is by far their most reliable player in that position and it is important that he returns sooner rather than later. In addition to his defensive quality, Koscielny is one of the few leaders in the current team and his influence was clearly missed on Wednesday. The London outfit quickly lost organisation and the players clearly lacked belief thereafter. The team probably would have lost the match with Koscielny on the pitch, but it wouldn’t have been by such a huge scoreline.
One player to come out of Wednesday’s defeat with a shred of dignity was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The winger started the game and worked hard for his team. He was one of the few that was always pressing the opposition and he showed his quality with some nice touches in possession. However, it was his passion that will have impressed supporters most. He seemed visibly frustrated with his team-mates for the lack of closing down during the second half. Then, after the match he was the only player to go fully over to the Arsenal fans to thank them for their support. It was a small gesture, but it will have earned him with a lot of credit.
His future is uncertain, but he is one of the few players in the squad that Arsenal need to keep for the long term. He has a lot of ability and he continues to improve his game, but it is his mentality that the club need most of all. Some of the Arsenal players don’t seem to be invested in the club and that can be a problem, especially in the big matches. They need players like Oxlade-Chamberlain who show an ounce of passion on the pitch.
Featured image: All rights reserved by gencarsenal