Icy tone to Wenger protests

Amid cold snap, Gunners boss reacts sharply to his critics as he gears up to face City again

LONDON • Britain is at present being buffeted from pillar to post by the "Beast from the East", a Siberian blizzard that has seen much of the country blanketed in snow with temperatures plummeting to minus 10 deg C.

And Arsene Wenger no longer has home comforts to seek refuge from the cold after the Arsenal manager again faced an icy blast following his side's capitulation to Manchester City in the League Cup final ahead of today's Premier League game against the same opponents at the Emirates.

At his press conference, the Gunners boss reminded his critics that he "turned the whole world down to respect my contracts" at Arsenal, as he expressed his frustration that his job security remained at the top of the news agenda.

The 0-3 humiliation on Sunday represented the latest hole in the club's season and kept up the chorus of disapproval regarding his suitability to continue as the manager.

The 68-year-old faces an in-house end-of-season review ahead of the final year on his contract, and the club have an eye on managerial contingencies, should Wenger go.

His best chance of salvaging the season - and Champions League qualification - is to win the Europa League, but Arsenal have drawn AC Milan in the last 16.

They entertain league leaders City, whom they trail by 27 points, and are 10 points behind fourth-placed city rivals Tottenham.

"I am here for 21 years. I turned the whole world down to respect my contracts. So I am still amazed that I still have to answer these types of questions," Wenger said, when asked about his future.

STANDING STEADFAST

I am here for 21 years. I turned the whole world down to respect my contracts. So I am still amazed that I still have to answer these types of questions.

ARSENE WENGER, reacting to continuing speculation about his job.

Wenger has in the past indicated he turned down offers from Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

"My position is my position," the Frenchman continued. "That's the last worry I have at the moment. My job is to focus on performing. It's for other people to judge me."

Wenger also called for perspective and reiterated Arsenal had not lost to a team at "the bottom of the league in division five" on Sunday.

He stood his ground in the face of criticism, with Gary Neville leading the way on Sky Sports after labelling Arsenal as "spineless".

"It's part of the modern game. People who comment - their job is to comment, so you have to live with that," Wenger said in response to Neville's jibes.

He also revealed Nacho Monreal would be out with a back injury.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has warned his side the Gunners are like wounded animals.

"Arsenal is always a hard game. Maybe they are not consistent but, at home, they are so strong," the Spaniard, who confirmed Fernandinho would miss the game with Raheem Sterling a doubt, added.

REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 01, 2018, with the headline 'Icy tone to Wenger protests'. Print Edition | Subscribe