Arsene Wenger was in interesting form this morning at his pre-Man City press conference.
The Arsenal manager threw out some good one-liners as he once again had to deal with questions about the contracts of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.
Much like last week, and the week before, and the week before, and the week before, and the week before that, and the previous week, and the week before that one, and the week before, and the week before that, and the week before, and the previous week, and the week before that one, and the week before, he pretty much refused to give any details as he prefers to keep negotiations in-house.
He spoke with James Olley of the Standard, who asked about the financial gap between Arsenal and City, before the questions turned again to the contracts of the two star players.
James Olley: You’ve made your position on Sanchez and Ozil, very clear, but is there any concern tha-
Arsene Wenger: No, there’s no concern. I answer you straight away before I get your question!
Olley: Their form has been great this season, particularly Alexis, but is there any concern that the longer this goes on their form may be affected?
Wenger: There’s no concern, not at all.
Olley: Why are you confident about that? It is becoming a bit of saga, isn’t it? Being asked every week about Alexis and Mesut.
Wenger: Yeah. But you waste your time, because these players have 18 months and I don’t see why there’s this urgency in every press conference to ask these questions. Maybe you lack a bit creativity in the newspapers and you come up with the same subject, but I don’t see what that should turn up in every single press conference.
He was then asked about the contract situations of Olivier Giroud and Francis Coquelin, and like the others, would not give any details after stories emerged this week that the duo had agreed extensions to their current deals.
It wasn’t even the first time he had a little dig at the press during the presser. Earlier he’d been asked about Ronald Koeman’s comments that he always blamed the referee when he lost a game to the Dutchman.
“Concerning the referee, I don’t agree with the performance of the referee against us at Everton on Tuesday night, but I didn’t say a word about it,” he said.
“It’s the old trick that the young journalists who are ambitious do. They take a lie into the question for the next manager, and hope he responds to it. If you read well what I said after the game, you will see that I didn’t say a word about the referee.”
Which, to be honest, is a little off the mark. In the post-game press conference, while accepting it was his own team’s fault that they lost the game and not the performance of the referee, he said of the award of a corner that ultimately led to their goal, “I am really disappointed because Clattenburg was in a really good position to see that they headed the ball on and it’s not the first time we are unlucky with this decision this season. Overall, I do not want to speak about the referee too much, it’s not my problem.”
Not a word ?
Immediately after the press conference, a young ambitious journalist got on a train to Manchester to ask Pep Guardiola if he had any response to Wenger’s assertion that the Spaniard was a massive fan of Stan Collymore.