Under-fire Wenger gets a little Pep talk

LONDON • Pep Guardiola has backed Arsene Wenger to win over Arsenal supporters once again, after an indifferent run of results that has seen many fans question whether the Frenchman should remain as Gunners manager next season.

Wenger, whose contract expires at the end of the season, has so far refused to reveal his plans for the future despite calls for him to clarify his situation.

A poll conducted by the Arsenal Supporters Trust this week found that 78 per cent had lost faith in him.

However, Guardiola, whose Manchester City side face Arsenal in the Premier League today, believes Wenger's situation is only temporary.

"When he goes back to winning, the fans will be happy again. I promise you. 100 per cent," he said. "The Premier League is not easy to win but I'm pretty sure the fans respect a lot what Arsene Wenger has done and is doing.

"People should understand how difficult football is today, all the teams are more prepared. When the bosses decide, or Arsene decides, to stay and keep going, he believes it is the best solution and the best for Arsenal.

"I'm not here to judge what they have to do and what is going to happen. The players judge what they see every day in the training sessions. Some of them are happy, some of them are unhappy, especially the players who don't play. But for the fans, it depends on results not something else."

Guardiola also revealed that Brazil striker Gabriel Jesus could return before the end of the season having suffered a broken metatarsal last month.

"The crutches are gone. He has started to walk, and hopefully he can come back to the pitches and start to run and do some exercises," the Spaniard said.

"Hopefully he can help us in the last games of the season and come back for us in the pre-season fit."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 02, 2017, with the headline 'Under-fire Wenger gets a little Pep talk'. Print Edition | Subscribe