Wenger wants to stay on at Arsenal
Wenger wants to stay on at Arsenal
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.”
Arsenal, Chelsea win in Europa League as Rangers hold Villarreal
- I think we played well in the first half and in the beginning of the second as well: Aubameyang
- Chelsea made a winning start to their Group L campaign as Willian's seventh-minute effort was enough to see off PAOK
PARIS: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck twice as Arsenal defeated Ukraine's Vorskla Poltava 4-2 in the Europa League on Thursday, while in-form Chelsea began their campaign with a 1-0 win away to PAOK in Greece.
Aubameyang has struggled to hit top gear in the Premier League so far with just one goal in five starts, but the Gabon striker opened the scoring in London after 32 minutes of the Group E encounter.
Danny Welbeck nodded in a second just after half-time and Aubameyang curled in the Gunners' third, with Mesut Ozil also on target before a lapse in concentration saw Vorskla hit back with two late goals.
"I think we played well in the first half and in the beginning of the second as well," Aubameyang told BT Sport.
"We have to improve and try to fight not to concede a goal like we did in the last minute."
Premier League leaders Chelsea made a winning start to their Group L campaign as Willian's seventh-minute effort was enough to see off PAOK at a hostile Toumba Stadium.
Eden Hazard was omitted from the Chelsea squad at his own request due to fatigue, but manager Maurizio Sarri fielded a strong side as the Blues extended their winning run to six games in all competitions.
"We were in control of the match for 90 minutes. We had a lot of opportunities. We missed them and so I'm very happy with the three points, very happy with the performance, but not very happy with the result," said Sarri.
"When it's time to kill the match, we have to kill the match."
Steven Gerrard's Rangers acquitted themselves well on their first appearance in the group stage of a European competition since the 2010-11 Champions League, as they came away with a 2-2 draw against Villarreal.
A disastrous start for the Glasgow side saw Carlos Bacca fire Villarreal ahead inside 60 seconds, but Scott Arfield turned home a cross from Daniel Candeias to level on 67 minutes.
Gerard Moreno put the hosts back in front almost immediately, only for Kyle Lafferty to again hit back for Rangers as Gerrard's men made a solid start in Group G.
Leigh Griffiths hit a late winner for Celtic in a 1-0 home victory over Rosenborg, a team Brendan Rodgers' side knocked out in this season's Champions League qualifying rounds.
Salzburg triumphed in the clash of Red Bulls in the other Group B fixture as Fredrik Gulbrandsen scored a minute from time to give the Austrian club a 3-2 victory over RB Leipzig.
Marseille, last season's runners-up, slumped to a 2-1 home defeat by Eintracht Frankfurt in Group H as Luka Jovic grabbed an 89th-minute winner for the reigning German Cup champions.
Lucas Ocampos opened the scoring early for Marseille, who were playing behind closed doors at the Stade Velodrome after numerous crowd incidents last season.
But Lucas Torro levelled on 52 minutes for Eintracht before Jovic's late strike won it.
Dudelange, the first Luxembourg team to play in the Europa League group stage, made seven-time European champions AC Milan work hard for a 1-0 win in Group F.
Luxembourg's Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa were in the crowd as Dudelange, who have a dozen non-professional players in their squad, succumbed to a deflected second-half goal by Gonzalo Higuain.
Record five-time winners Sevilla launched their Group J campaign with a 5-1 rout of Standard Liege, as Ever Banega and Wissam Ben Yedder both netted twice for the Spaniards.