Wenger wants to stay on at Arsenal

Arsene Wenger
Updated 20 March 2017
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Wenger wants to stay on at Arsenal

LONDON: Beleaguered Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has decided to stay at the club, according to British media reports on Monday.
The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mirror said Wenger will inform Arsenal’s board he wants to extend his contract, which expires at the end of the season.
West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis also said Wenger told him he intended to stay on after Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat at The Hawthorns on Saturday.
“I’ll be surprised if he goes,” Pulis told reporters after Saturday’s game, as revealed in Monday’s newspapers.
Asked why he thought Wenger would stay, Pulis replied: “Because he told me.”
Wenger, 67, has come under fire from fans after Arsenal were thrashed by Bayern Munich in the Champions League and slipped out of the Premier League’s top four.
Supporters renewed calls for him to step down during and after the defeat at West Brom, with some holding up “WENGER OUT” banners.
Speaking after the game, Wenger said he had made up his mind about his future and would make his intentions public “very soon.”
Arsenal have not commented on the reports on Wenger’s future.
But the club have denied a claim in Monday’s edition of German daily Bild that they have approached Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel as a possible Wenger replacement.
“That’s not true,” an Arsenal spokesman told Germany’s Sky Sports News.
Wenger, Arsenal’s manager since 1996, is believed to have been offered a new two-year contract.
Arsenal’s support is split over Wenger, who won seven trophies in his first nine seasons as manager but has won only two FA Cups in the 12 years since.
Rival groups of Arsenal supporters paid for planes trailing banners that were both critical and supportive of him to fly over the stadium during the game against West Brom.
One banner read “NO CONTRACT #WENGER OUT,” the other: “IN ARSENE WE TRUST #RESPECTAW.”
The defeat at West Brom was Arsenal’s fourth in five league games and left them in sixth place in the Premier League table, six points below the Champions League places with two games in hand.
They recently lost 10-2 on aggregate to Bayern in the Champions League, going out in the round of 16 for the seventh season running.
Wenger said his future at Arsenal was not contingent on the club securing a place in next season’s Champions League.
“My decision will not necessarily be linked with that because I’ve done the top four 20 times. It’s more. It’s not that,” he said.
“I take a bigger perspective than that. It’s not the last result that will decide what I will do.”


Ahmed Barman out to toast Al-Ain success in FIFA Club World Cup

Updated 11 December 2018
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Ahmed Barman out to toast Al-Ain success in FIFA Club World Cup

  • Tournament gets under way on Wednesday when Al-Ain take on Team Wellington at home.
  • UAE midfielder sure his side can cause a few shocks.

LONDON: While he is only too aware of the quality opposition they have to face, Al-Ain midfielder Ahmed Barman is backing “The Boss” to scare a few teams in the FIFA Club World Cup.
The tournament gets under way when the UAE outfit face Team Wellington on their home ground in the opener today. Last year saw fellow Arabian Gulf League side Al-Jazira reach the semifinal where they gave Real Madrid a huge fright before narrowly losing 2-1. And inspired by that march to the last four, Barman is looking for Al-Ain to go one better and become the first Emirati side to make the final.
“The FIFA Club World Cup is a global competition coveted by every club,” Barman said. “Al-Ahli, Al-Jazira and Al-Wahda participated in this tournament before and did their part, putting the UAE on the world map. We at Al-Ain hope to reach the semi-final, as Al-Jazira did, or do even better.”
Before any tournament it is only natural to dream of glory and lifting the trophy in front of adoring fans. But the midfielder is not getting too cocky, revealing that despite having home advantage Al-Ain are taking absolutely nothing for granted, starting with Wednesday’s clash against the Kiwis.
“There’s no doubt that we’re aiming to reach the final and face a giant like Real Madrid, but first we have to focus on our opening match against Team Wellington,” the 24-year-old said.
“We need to win to progress from this round and play the subsequent games until we reach the final against Real Madrid and show a standard of play the UAE can be proud of.”
Barman is not anticipating an easy opener.
“Team Wellington are a very good team with considerable ability. They won their local league and the OFC Champions League, which proves they’re powerful.
“So, all our focus is on this opening match. We’re annualizing our opponents to understand their capabilities as we prepare to perform well on the pitch and get positive result.”
The UAE champions did not have the best preparation for their stab at Club World Cup glory, losing 5-2 to Al-Wasl in the UAE President’s Cup at the weekend.
That result, while clearly not ideal, has not bothered the side’s coach.
“We cannot win every game, what is gone is gone, it’s full concentration on the match ahead,” Zoran Mamic said.
“There are no rules that Al-Ain cannot lose games, that’s why I don’t make any drama.”
But while Barman was keen to invoke the memory of Al-Jazira’s march to the last four, his boss was less so, telling his team to focus on the match at hand before getting ahead of themselves.
“We are not here to talk about last year, just as we are not here to talk about the future,” the Croatian said. “We are here to represent the club in the best possible way. We focus on the match at hand and everything will take care of itself.”
Of today’s opponents he added: “We have watched all their games, we know their strengths and where they are not so strong. They are particularly good offensively, they play with fast wingers and a striker who is a good scorer, they play a system that is unusual to us because no teams in the Emirates play with three in the last line. If we do our job we will (have) a good match.”