Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted players approached him last season to discuss his future at the club.
The 67-year-old signed a two-year deal with Arsenal in the summer, but half of last season saw the Gunners manager under the spotlight for not confirming his future soon. He’s gone on to admit this was a big mistake and revealed to the FWA that his own players asked him for clarification in 2016/17.
“At some stage, the players came to see me, saying: ‘What’s going on, boss?’,” he said. “(So) where do you go? I created, with me not deciding, a lack of clarity in the dressing room, and there’s nothing worse than that in the dressing room.
“You know, when the players feel; you’re not completely in, it’s difficult to tell them: ‘We go’. At some stage, I had to tell them: ‘Look guys, I’m with you. But we have to win games’.”
The media reported for some time that Arsene Wenger had a two-year contract on the table for some time, but hadn’t yet signed it. He was asked in almost every press conference in the last few months of 2017/18 whether or not he was staying or going, and stumbled with his answers.
It’s largely unknown why Wenger didn’t reveal the truth sooner, especially given his side suffered a dip in form that would eventually cost them a top-four spot in the Premier League, but I feel the backlash from supporters could have been too dangerous to risk by announcing it sooner.
The damage is already done with Arsenal now playing in the Europa League this season, however, but Wenger’s admission that he inadvertently helped cause the dip in form could help him win back some fans.