Wenger: I will see out my final year at Arsenal
Arsene Wenger has attempted to end any doubt about his short-term future by guaranteeing that he will still lead Arsenal into the final year of his contract.
A dreadful sequence of results in February and March had prompted unrest at the Emirates and a growing section of supporters to call for change even before Wenger's deal expires at the end of next season. Wenger, though, has always retained the support of majority shareholder Stan Kroenke and is determined to stay for at least one more season.
His longer term future will be reviewed next year but, should Arsenal not maintain a Premier League title challenge this season or next, it appears unlikely that Wenger would want to go on.
Asked if he would be Arsenal manager next season, Wenger said: "I have no doubt because I am committed. When I do something, I do it 100 per cent. I believe in life you should focus on what you're appointed for and I'm appointed to perform and do the best for my club. That's all I focus on."
Arsenal are third in the Premier League but a sequence of only one win in eight games has left them 11 points behind leaders Leicester City and out of both the Champions League and FA Cup. They do, however, still have a game in hand and Wenger remains certain that, with eight league games remaining, it is still feasible to mount a comeback.
He was especially hurt, then, that some supporters turned at a moment in the season when they were still in contention. "I think that the criticism during the season is not very welcome when you fight for the championship, especially after the game against Tottenham where we were a bit unlucky," he said.
"You have to live with that. I have my conscience," he said. At the other end of the table, Sam Allardyce (left) will stay on as Sunderland manager even if they are relegated, despite fears that he would quit.