The Gunners boss admits that the issue of his future should have been resolved sooner, with a complex saga at the Emirates reaching a conclusion
Arsene Wenger admits his future should have been resolved sooner, but is “committed” to Arsenal and “forgiving” of his detractors.
The long-serving Frenchman has seen the issue of his expiring contract cast a shadow over Emirates Stadium during a season in which the Gunners could have done without the distraction.
Both Wenger and the club have attempted to steer clear of the topic throughout a campaign in which the position of a man with 21 years of loyal service under his belt has regularly been called into question.
The saga is now approaching a conclusion, with Arsenal’s final act of 2016-17 seeing them lift the FA Cup, but their manager is still giving little way as an official announcement draws ever closer.
“We live in a society that wants always change, but at the end of the day football is about making the right decision and every company is about making the right decision, that’s why I say it’s not about popularity, it’s about competence and I have not that responsibility,” Wenger said.
“It’s the board who has to decide who will lead the club in the future and I have after to decide if they want me, do I say yes or no.
“I am committed to giving everything to stay.”
While Wenger has done little to curb the endless rounds of speculation, he admits that the matter should have been cleared up long before supporter protests were sparked.
He added: “Look, this season, I think usually we have no sagas. The media every press conference an issue of it [my future]. I don’t think it should affect the media so much.
“I don’t change my commitment. I worked until the last day of my contract. That is today, basically. I think I have shown you that I have exactly the same commitment. So, for me, the contract does not have a special meaning. But, because of the debate, I should have sorted that out earlier.”
Had he done so, then Wenger may have avoided much of the criticism which has come his way.
He is, however, prepared to put all of that behind him, with experience having taught him that there is little point in bearing a grudge.
Wenger had previously condemned the protests staged against him as “disgraceful”, but is now looking for everyone at Arsenal to pull together as one.
He added: “I am a forgiving man. You cannot be in this job… this job is basically trusting human beings, you know, so if you cannot forgive, you cannot trust.
“The only thing I advise to young coaches, if you have tendency to paranoia, don’t do this job.”