After a promising preseason, Arsenal is once again struggling in the Premier League with the long-serving manager, Arsene Wenger, under intense scrutiny by both the fans and the media. Having won the Community Shield against Chelsea, Arsenal proceeded to win their opening match against Leicester City but suffered two consecutive defeats at the hands of Stoke City and Liverpool. What’s more, Wenger failed to bring AS Monaco’s Thomas Lemar to the Emirates, a player who Arsenal has been linked with throughout this transfer window. The North London club also lost Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool, even though the 24-year-old England international was offered a massive deal worth £180,000-a-week to stay at Arsenal.
Needless to say, things aren’t looking really bright for the Gunners right now, and Wenger, in particular, has been singled out for criticism. Last season, Arsenal missed out on a top four spot for the first time since Wenger joined the club all the way back in 1996. Throughout the entire campaign, the French manager was under immense pressure from a large portion of fans, who were calling for the 67-year-old to quit the Gunners by protesting and holding up “Wenger Out” signs during matches. Nonetheless, Wenger opted to remain at the Emirates after winning the FA Cup against Chelsea and penned a two-year deal to the dismay of many Gooners. However, Wenger has now admitted that his decision was not an easy one to make and that he also considered walking away from Arsenal after spending more than 20 years at the club.
Speaking to French TV station Telefoot, Wenger said that he “hesitated about signing a new contract for personal reasons.” While Wenger did not clarify exactly what those personal reasons were, he admitted that Arsenal’s difficult campaign made him even more hesitant to sign a contract extension.
“I have been at Arsenal for 20 years and I ask myself all the time if I should continue to run the club. And also because we struggled a lot last season. Coaching a different club would be possible.”
Regardless, Wenger remains adamant that his current squad still has “real potential” to win the Premier League despite their poor start to the season. The Arsenal boss also stressed the importance of recovering in these “times of crisis” by winning their next league match. The Gunners will face off against Bournemouth on Saturday, September 9, at the Emirates Stadium.
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