December 8 2013 Latest news:
By James Cunliffe
Friday, October 18, 2013
Arsene Wenger today deflected questions about a new contract but did not deny that a new deal has been offered.
The Frenchman’s current Arsenal stay is set to expire at the end of the season and reports have suggested that a new two-year option has been put on the table by the club’s board.
“Yes, I didn’t deny that [there has been an offer],” Wenger said in his pre-match press conference ahead of the visit of Norwich tomorrow.
“I just said what I said at the start of the season, that nothing has changed.”
At yesterday’ annual general meeting (AGM) Wenger provided hope that he’d extend his Gunners tenure by talking positively about the club’s future, but 24 hours later he suggested that had no link to whether he would sign a new deal.
“I believe that when you are a manager at a club you always have to prepare for the long term and to act like you will stay forever,” said Wenger, who turns 64 on Tuesday.
“I’ve answered that question many times I just believe that what is important now is our next game.”
The AGM was an altogether more serene experience than a year earlier when Arsenal fans were almost vitriolic at their dissatisfaction having just sold star striker Robin van Persie to title rivals Manchester United.
But with the north Londoners now sitting top of the Premier League, having splashed a club record £42.5million on Mesut Ozil in the summer, the Arsenal garden looks a little rosier now.
“The situation at the AGM is always linked with the recent results of the team and the position of the team,” Wenger said of the more relaxed proceedings yesterday.
“The atmosphere is linked with that because the level of anxiety when the team doesn’t do well is very high, so it’s a bit more controversial.
“Yesterday was quiet because we are in a more positive situation in the league and our recent results have been good.”
Indeed, based on results just during this calendar year to date the Gunners have accumulated more points than any of last term’s top four finishers with 56 compared to Chelsea’s 51, Manchester United’s 50 and Manchester City’s 49.
Wenger said: “It’s nice to hear, yes, because it shows that the situation was not as dreadful as everybody thought it was but especially that we are consistent.
“We have addressed the situation since last November and that we are consistent in our results and that is of course very encouraging for the Premier League this season.”
The Frenchman, however, clarified comments during the AGM that suggested a first title in what will be nine years will be in his grasp.
“I said I want everybody to be happy by the end of May and that’s of course the target of every manager,” Wenger said.
“I can’t imagine that any manager wants the fans to be unhappy at the end of the season. That’s what we work so hard for.”