In Summary

  • Arsene Wenger insisted on Friday he would still be a manager next season even if he was no longer at Arsenal.
  • The Frenchman, in charge of north London side Arsenal for more than 20 years, is under intense scrutiny following the Gunners' humiliating 5-1 defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday.

LONDON

Arsene Wenger said on Friday that he will make a decision on his Arsenal future "in March or April" as he vowed to remain in football management come what may next season.

The Frenchman is out of contract with the north London side at the end of the current campaign and questions over whether he will stay at Arsenal intensified after the Gunners' humiliating 5-1 defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday.

"No matter what happens I will manage for another season," Wenger, who has been Arsenal's manager for more than 20 years, told reporters at the club's training ground, north of London, on Friday.

"Whether it's here or somewhere else, that is for sure," the 67-year-old added. "If I said March or April it is because I didn't know. I do not want to come back on that. We have other priorities at the moment.

"I hate defeat and it's hard to take, but I have the strength and experience to come back from that," he added ahead of Arsenal's fifth-round FA Cup tie away to non-league Sutton United on Monday.

What made the Bayern defeat all the more bitter for Arsenal's supporters was that it meant, barring an extraordinary second leg, the Gunners will be knocked out in the last 16 of the Champions League for the seventh year in a row.

Meanwhile Arsenal have not won the Premier League since 2004 and could not mount a sustained challenge even when 5,000/1 outsiders Leicester took the title last season.

That domestic title drought looks set to continue, with Arsenal currently 10 points adrift of Premier League leaders Chelsea.

But Wenger warned Arsenal fans, many of whom have been heavily critical of him in recent times, that the club's form will not improve spectacularly just as a result of him leaving the Emirates Stadium.

'SAFE HANDS'

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