Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger addressed the media on Thursday ahead of facing West Ham this weekend, as he discussed various talking points concerning himself and the club.
It’s been another difficult campaign for the Gunners, as they sit 14 points adrift of the top four in the Premier League with just five games remaining and so their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season rest on their Europa League run.
That won’t be easy either as they take on Atletico Madrid in the last four, and so the next fortnight will be crucial for the Gunners and Wenger to salvage something from this season and finish on a high.
Wenger discusses his Arsenal future
Given the club’s ongoing failure to meet expectations though, Wenger’s future remains a talking point, as he addressed it in his press conference after being questioned on it.
“My personal situation is not my worry,” he is quoted as saying by The Mirror. “My worry is to transform a season with many disappointments, into a success.
“That is what matters to me. It is not my biggest priority.”
Wenger hopeful on Wilshere signing new Arsenal deal
Another potential distraction has been the future of midfielder Jack Wilshere, who continues to edge closer to becoming a free agent this summer when his current contract expires.
Having proven his fitness and form this season, it will be a blow for the Gunners to lose him, and despite the risk of that happening becoming a bigger concern as the weeks go on, Wenger seemed fairly relaxed over the situation and expects Wilshere to sign a new deal.
“I cannot give you any news. I don’t know what is in his mind. He has an offer and we want him to stay but he hasn’t signed. It is a long-term contract and I hope he will sign it. I am always confident.
“He knows I want him to stay. I hope at some stage he will.”
Arsenal injury news ahead of Atletico Madrid tie
Meanwhile, Wenger also offered crucial injury updates on key players too as while he will be focused on Sunday’s game with West Ham, it will be vital to get his injured players back for next Thursday’s first leg meeting with Atleti.
As noted by freelance injury analyst Ben Dinnery in his tweet below, Henrikh Mkhitaryan could provide Arsenal with a huge boost, and Aaron Ramsey could be in the running too. Both have been crucial in their run to the last four, and both are capable of making a key difference at this level and so Wenger will be desperate for good news.
Given it’s the business end of the tournament, it would be no surprise if Petr Cech continues to get the nod over David Ospina despite his recovery from injury.
Mkhitaryan is running again and has an outside chance of featuring in the @EuropaLeague next Thursday. Ospina is fully recovered from his recent ankle problem while there is some uncertainty over Wilshere. Ramsey has not trained with the group but “he will be available.” #AFC
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) April 19, 2018