Embattled Wenger faces West Brom test
LONDON: Arsene Wenger takes his Arsenal side to West Bromwich Albion today knowing that anything other than victory will spark fresh calls for him to go after two decades in north London.
A 5-0 FA Cup victory over minnows Lincoln last Saturday briefly lifted the pressure on the Frenchman and sent Arsenal into the semi-finals, welcome relief after a turbulent 2017.
But Wenger has been in football long enough to appreciate that intense speculation about his future and rumours of dressing-room discord will ramp up all over again if he fails to stop Arsenal’s rot in the Premier League.
“I know when you don’t win it’s not a happy week,” Wenger said.
“That’s part of our job. When you care about results and they are not what you want, it’s not a happy place.”
Winning the FA Cup and making the top four in the league is now the goal for Arsenal and Wenger, who is yet to commit to next year at the club.
But those aims are below the expectations of supporters who say Wenger has run out of ideas.
And even that target will not be easy with Wenger’s side fifth, five points away from the top four, and 16 points behind leaders Chelsea.