Arsene Wenger has conceded his future as Arsenal manager is out of his hands, with the Frenchman stating: “I am an employee.”
The Gunners were thrashed 3-0 in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final at the hands of Manchester City, with an abject display leading to increased calls for the 68-year-old to be relieved of his duties.
Wenger has been battling against a growing feeling from within the Arsenal fanbase that he is no longer the man to take the club forward.
With Arsenal now sixth in the Premier League table – languishing a massive 27 points behind leaders City – out of the FA Cup following a third-round defeat at Nottingham Forest and up against Italian giants AC Milan in the last 16 of the Europa League, the Carabao Cup was a chance to garner both silverware and support.
Instead, Pep Guardiola’s City left Wenger’s side in tatters without ever having to play at their swashbuckling best.
He signed a new two-year contract last summer and has always insisted he would honour any deal he has penned.
Speaking ahead of Thursday’s Premier League clash with Manchester City, Wenger once again maintained that stance but admitted those above him could always decide it was time to bring an end to his 21-year reign.
“I have been here for 21 years and I always respected my contract,” he said.
“In life, I look at what people do, not at what they say. If you want me not to be here, that’s a different problem. You ask me my commitment, and my attitude is dictated by what I did in my life, not by what I say in a press conference.”
Addressing a question from a national newspaper journalist about his deal, Wenger replied: “What is above you? You will not decide your future in your newspapers, and I am exactly like you. I am an employee and I give my best for my club that I love.”
Wenger also refused to answer any questions on why Josh Kroenke, son of the club’s majority shareholder Stan Kroenke, was over in London from the United States although it is understood the trip had been scheduled for sometime and is not as a direct result of recent form.
The poor display at Wembley led to high-profile criticism from match commentator Gary Neville as well former Gunners favourites Ian Wright and Thierry Henry.
But Wenger responded with apparent shock when asked if the result meant his 21-year tenure was now under increased threat.
“I am just amazed that I have to always answer things that are exactly the same,” he said.
“I am here for 21 years, I turned the whole world down to respect my contracts. So I am still amazed that I still have to answer these types of questions.
“My position is my position. Honestly, that’s the last worry I have at the moment. My worry is to focus, to get the team ready for tomorrow’s game.
“I am quite amazed that it is such an earthquake that we have lost a final – that means that we have got our fans used to going to Wembley and win it. But nobody can guarantee that.”