Wenger: Rich fans don’t influence me
LONDON: Arsene Wenger dismissed protests from Arsenal fans seeking his removal as manager and called on his players to focus instead on the club’s push for Champions League football next season.
An emphatic 4-1 win at Stoke kept the Gunners in contention for a top four finish and a 21st consecutive season of elite European football.
But while Wenger’s name was sung out heartily by supporters inside Stoke’s stadium early in the game a plane flew overhead carrying a banner calling for the Frenchman not to return next season.
“When you say fans, who do you mean? The rich ones?” said Wenger when asked for his reaction.
“Look, I am paid to do my job for the club I love and I will do that as long as I’m here with full commitment. I’m not influenced by that at all, all I do is give my best.
“We have 69 points today so let’s make 72 on Tuesday and after that I will give my best for as long as I’m here for the values of this club and for the club.
“I want to focus on football and the rest is less important. I’m not in politics. I’m in sport, I love sport and give my 24 hours a day for what I love. I am in a public job, some agree with me, some not.”
Earlier, reports in France had even suggested that Wenger has already agreed a one-year deal to remain in charge at the Emirates, but the 67-year-old refused to confirm or deny the claim.
The victory featured two goals from Olivier Giroud and efforts from Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez although Arsenal faced an anxious period in the second half after Peter Crouch pulled the score back to 2-1 with a goal that owed much to an obvious handball from the Stoke substitute. AFP