A very familiar pattern is emerging in Arsene Wenger’s press conference these days.
- The club’s in-house editorial team ask about team news.
- A couple of questions are fielded about the latest result.
- The broadcast teams from Sky and the BBC start posing questions about Wenger’s contract situation. Initially, he bats them away with humour.
- There’s a lull while other topics are discussed (usually the futures of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, followed by something on a wider issue in football).
- James Olley from the Evening Standard once again pushes the boss on whether he’s staying or going. Stubborn as always, Wenger twists and turns.
- The clock ticks towards 14 minutes and press officer Mark Gonnella calls time on the Q&A and asks the assembled media to ‘take your microphones out please.’
Here are this week’s ‘best bits’ of WENGER vs EVERYONE WHO ASKS HIM ABOUT HIS CONTRACT…
If your best striker is six yards out from goal and is going to shoot but the goalkeeper he’s shooting against always saves, he’s never scored against him, would you still encourage him to shoot?
I would encourage him to score goals, yes.
So…can I ask you, when will you make an announcement about your future?
[Laughter in the room]
Err…that has nothing to do with scoring goals. What you ask me is to score own goals basically.
When the announcement comes, will it come from you or the club?
From the club.
Are there any pre-requisites on any contract that might be there in the contract you have signed or might sign?
No, I have nothing to add to that you know.
Are you making plans for the pre-season games?
Which suggests you’ll be here?
No, that suggests that I do my job which is to plan for the future of the club.
When the announcement comes from the club, will it be before the end of the season?
I cannot tell you now. I don’t know. I’m focused on the next game.
Questions about Palace’s Yohan Cabaye / Alexis Sanchez contract / Mesut Ozil’s mentality…
Arsene, the little group of fans that protested on Tuesday are not here today. Does that show what a result against West Ham can do for you?
No, you know we had three fans on Tuesday [protesting] but when I went home we had ten fans who were very positive. Unfortunately, you pick the three who were here [protesting]. I said my target is to keep all the fans happy and that’s always what I try to do. If I don’t manage to do it, I’m of course, disappointed.
Questions about Palace’s win over Chelsea
Arsene, just to clarify one point on your contract, it’s been widely suggested that you’ve been offered a two year deal. Is that the case?
I spoke enough about that.
Is there an offer on the table?
I have nothing to add on that.
Is that a yes or a no? Seriously though, is there an offer on the table?
I cannot tell you anything more than what I told you many times. I can understand that the subject is of interest but to me what is of interest is what is happening on the football pitch.