'I won't quit Arsenal' - Wenger pledges to stay until 2014
Gunners' boss, back on even keel after tough week, jokes about recent press conference row
IT'S BEEN a tough week for under-fire Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger but he seemed to have recovered his composure by this morning after a meeting with club owner Stan Kroenke in which he was told that his job was safe.
The long-serving Gunners boss is widely reported to be facing the worst crisis of his 16-year reign, but he has insisted he will see out his contract at the Emirates, which ends in 18 months’ time, and has not ruled out extending his tenure.
Talking in the build-up to Arsenal's vital clash with Aston Villa on Saturday, when the Gunners will try to avoid three straight home defeats, Wenger declared that the idea of quitting had never crossed his mind, despite calls for his head from a growing number of disillusioned Arsenal fans.
"I have never thought about throwing in the towel. I love winning, so I will carry on," he said. "I have a contract until 2014 and I will be here until then. I will not be leaving before that and I will make a decision on my future in 2014, not before."
The Frenchman, who lost his cool at a press conference earlier in the week, even found time to joke about the incident. "I have calmed down, yes. I explained why I was angry but I'm calmed down," he said, telling reporters: "You calmed me down well."
He reflected on the difficulties of management in the top flight. "We live in a world of emotion, of excess, and it is down to people who have responsibilities to put that into perspective and keep solid and keep guiding the club in the right way.”
Wenger admitted that his meeting with Kroenke was "not exactly euphoric" but insisted: "We need to be united and strong and not be too destabilised by people who have strong opinions after one game."