Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he still intends to be in management next year, whether it is at Arsenal or not.
The 67-year-old is battling through arguably the toughest few weeks of his career and speculation over his future refuses to die down.
The Gunners have lost three of their last five games, including a humiliating 5-1 defeat against Bayern Munich in the Champions League and an embarrassing 2-1 loss at home to Watford in the Premier League.
Following his side’s performance in Germany on Wednesday, a number of ex-Arsenal players are suggesting Wenger’s time is up.
The Frenchman’s current contract expires at the end of this season. It was expected that Wenger would make a decision on his future in March but following recent performances, the club may be forced to take that decision away from him.
Wenger addressed the issue on Friday. Speaking ahead of his team’s FA Cup clash with Sutton United, he said:
“No matter what happens I will manage for another season. Whether it’s here or somewhere else, that is for sure”.
The end of an era?
The Frenchman has been in charge at Arsenal since 1996 and has guided the club through one of its most successful eras.
He has won six FA Cups, as well as winning the Premier League on three occasions. Most famously, he managed Arsenal to their “invincibles” season in 2003-04, when the club went an entire league season unbeaten (38 games).
Recently, though, results and performances have been sliding. Wenger now cuts a polarising figure amongst the club’s fans, with some desperate for him to stay, and some desperate to see him leave.
Arsenal travel away to non-league Sutton next and anything but a convincing win will be disastrous for the Gunners manager.
They’re currently 10 points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea and almost certainly out of the Champions League, meaning the FA Cup might be Wenger’s last chance of silverware in England.