Arsene Wenger appears to be getting more and more frustrated with journalists, and snapped a little during his latest press conference, as reported by The Telegraph.
Journalists in England are notoriously intrusive and do their best to antagonise managers in order to get good stories. Wenger has faced plenty of criticism in the past, and claims he’s now bored by the monotony of the questions being thrown his way.
Every time Arsenal struggle his credentials are brought into question, and he’s constantly asked whether he’s still right for the job. He is usually a picture of tranquility and composure, but you can’t blame him for snapping.
“I worked for 35 years at the top level,” said Wenger.
“What I find just boring is always sitting here after 19 years to face, ‘Do you think you are good enough?’ I don’t know. I am humble enough every day to question myself, to accept my mistakes – and believe me, I do that.
“After that, as well, there is no coincidence that the people who own the club tell me to be here for 19 years. Do you think they are more stupid than you or me?
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“I always have to convince you that I am good enough. I have no problem to cope with everything but I find that a bit boring.
“You are the guy who speaks to the fans – it’s not me. I am not on Twitter. I don’t invite anybody to go out to dinner and be nice with them. I work and work and work and work. If it’s not good enough someone will tell me one day. That’s all I can do.
“I do not worry what you or fans say about me. I try to do my job in a proper way and with full commitment. After that everybody has the right to have an opinion. You do not make a decision if I continue my job or not.”
Claiming that he doesn’t worry about what fans say is perhaps a poor choice of words, as the club needs to cater to our desires too. As much as Stan Kroenke would love to deny it, Arsenal is much more than just a business, and the fans need to be appeased. We Gooners are the ones who keep the club going, and without us the board’s pockets would be empty; this needs to be kept in mind.
That said though, it’s unlikely Wenger is actually saying ‘f**k the fans‘. He was clearly just frustrated with the line of questioning and lashed out. He gets a huge amount of unfair criticism from the fans, and while plenty of it also has merit, if he listened to all of it he probably would have killed himself by now.
He also spoke of the pressure he’s under, and suggests most of the pressure comes from himself rather than outside sources.
“I have always the same pressure, the pressure I apply to myself is always the same,” he said.
“After that, more people talk than 20 years ago, there are more opinions but the pressure comes from your desire to win games. That’s the only one that matters really. Opinions are opinions. I do my job – some day someone will replace me – and someone will replace you. That’s part of life. I always try to do my best so, when I leave the club, the guy coming in after me will have a good potential to work.”
Wenger’s time at Arsenal may well have run its course, and it’s highly possible he could be on his way out at the end of the campaign. The pressure has obviously mounted this season given the nature of the Premier League, with Leicester City and Tottenham bizarrely our biggest competition.
A lack of silverware at the end of the season could see Wenger moved on, but it would be nice to see him leave on his own terms.
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We also need to make sure we don’t force him out prematurely, and it’s unbelievably important that we have the right replacement lined up – whoever that might be.