Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has claimed his sole focus is on helping the Gunners beat Manchester City in the FA Cup on Sunday but also admitted he hasn’t spoken to anybody about his future at the Emirates.
Arsenal go into the contest aiming to regain the FA Cup after relinquishing it to Manchester United last season. Manager Wenger is under increasing scrutiny despite his team’s 2-1 win over Middlesbrough on Sunday. There have been several reports claiming that the Frenchman has been offered a two-year deal to extend his stay in north London. He is yet to sign it amid growing unrest among the supporters.
Wenger was again asked about his future ahead of their FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City. And the 67-year-old insisted all that mattered to him was helping Arsenal pursue silverware.
“My commitment is total and only focused on Arsenal,” he said.
“The FA Cup is very important to me. We are focused on that. My future is Sunday.”
Wenger also denied that he had told the Arsenal squad he would be staying.
“No. I didn’t tell anything to anybody,” he added.
The two-year contract extension that has been offered to Wenger, despite the club currently on course to finish outside the top four for the first time under his reign, is conditional on him proving he is capable of changing with the times to remain competitive and ensure the north London side are challenging for the right type of silverware.
If Wenger is to continue, he must also completely change his approach in the transfer market, and that doesn’t mean breaking the bank with every signing.
Chelsea proved last year that in N’Golo Kante and Marcos Alonso, £32m and £24m acquisitions respectively, they can find players who can make a significant difference over the course of a season, and all for less than Arsenal shelled out on Xhaka and Mustafi.
Bringing in fresh faces would then meet the demand for a change in formation, given the new players can match new ideas and new styles that Arsenal are clearly in need of.
Right now, it’s just damage limitation with hopes of a top four place still alive, barely, and Wenger trying to prove that he is capable of taking Arsenal back where they have been for two decades. Failure to do so will result in the Arsenal board finally making Wenger’s decision for him.