03242017

Wenger to clarify Arsenal future ‘soon’ after latest loss

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Wenger will reveal decision on his future ‘very soon’

Arsene Wenger will announce “very soon” whether he will remain at Arsenal after reaching a decision on his future.

The Gunners boss was speaking after a 3-1 Premier League loss at West Brom, a fourth league defeat in five matches.

The loss increased the pressure on the beleaguered Frenchman and left Arsenal facing the prospect of failing to finish in the top four for the first time since he joined the club in 1996.

“I know what I will do,” said Wenger. “You will soon know.”

The 67-year-old continued: “Today I do not necessarily worry about that. We are in a unique bad patch we never had in 20 years.

“We lose game after game at the moment and that for me is much more important than my future.”

Wenger’s contract expires at the end of the season but he has been offered a new two-year deal.

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Wenger disappointed with Arsenal defenders

Analysis – ‘My reading is he’ll go’

Former England striker Alan Shearer on Match of the Day

“From that, I read that he is going to go. He looks a broken man.

“There’s been a lot of chat from the media and the pundits about Arsene Wenger. There hasn’t been a lot spoken from his players. His players spoke today in that game.

“Judging by that performance and their recent performances, they don’t want him in that job. They lacked heart, they lacked fight, they lacked direction. Every player other than Alexis Sanchez, I thought, was pretty embarrassing.”

‘A unique situation’

Fans hold banners calling for Arsene Wenger to leave Arsenal<!–

Fans hold banners at The Hawthorns calling for Wenger to leave Arsenal

Wenger has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks, with fans responding to defeats in the Premier League, and the 10-2 aggregate loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, by calling for him to leave.

More anti-Wenger banners were held aloft by Gunners fans in the closing stages at The Hawthorns, while in the first half two planes pulled banners overhead – one criticising the Frenchman and the other supporting him.

“We’ve never had this before,” he said about his side’s run of form. “We face big problems to regroup and find resources to sort the problem.”

After the international break, Arsenal’s next Premier League game is against Manchester City, the side they face in next month’s FA Cup semi-final.

Wenger told Sky Sports. “I think we have a hell of a task to fight back but we need to regroup and focus on the games coming up because we have many big games.

“Even though it is a disappointing result, everybody goes away now to recover and prepare well.”

‘We face some serious challenges’

Alexis Sanchez (second from right) and Petr Cech (right)<!–

Alexis Sanchez and Petr Cech (pictured on the right) both came off injured against West Brom

Arsenal went down on Saturday to two Craig Dawson headers following corners and a goal from substitute Hal Robson-Kanu, scored with only his second touch.

The Gunners did rally quickly after falling behind, Alexis Sanchez’s 18th league goal of the season pulling them level, but that was overshadowed by their vulnerability at the back.

Their problems were compounded by injuries to goalkeeper Petr Cech in the first half and forward Sanchez in the second.

Wenger said Cech was forced off with a calf problem, while Sanchez was substituted with possible ankle ligament damage.

“It was a typical Premier League game. A team that likes to play and a team that defends well,” Wenger told Match of the Day.

“It was a tough performance. They caught us on set-pieces and one break and that made the difference.

“We were a bit naive, maybe, on the corners. Then we were punished. It’s a shame. We looked in the second half to take completely over.”

Wenger admitted his side had not created enough chances, particularly in the second half.

“We lost Sanchez in the second half, he was very dangerous in the first,” he said.

“We face some serious challenges. The City game at home is a big game for us.”

Premier League table top six<!–

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