Arsene Wenger reportedly signs new two-year contract with Arsenal

Arsene Wenger has signed a two-year contract extension with Arsenal, according to reports.

Inside World Football columnist Matt Scott claims that the 67-year-old has already put pen to paper on a fresh deal which will keep him at the club for the next two seasons.

It’s understood that Arsenal are now waiting for a suitable time to announce the decision.

Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to West Brom – their fourth loss in five Premier League games – has left Arsenal sixth in the table and six points behind fourth-placed Liverpool.

Following the result, Wenger suggested that he has already decided whether he will call time on his 21-year stint at Arsenal.

‘I will announce my future soon,’ he said. ‘You will soon know and very soon – you will.’

Arsenal fans continue to protest against Wenger, while a group of supporters arranged for a plane to fly overhead at The Hawthorns carrying a message which called for the Frenchman to quit.

Amid the growing unrest among fans, Arsenal were forced to release a statement earlier this month claiming that they ‘understood’ concerns from supporters.

‘Arsene has a contract until the end of the season,’ said Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick.

‘Any decisions will be made by us mutually and communicated at the right time in the right way.’

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Revealed: What Arsene Wenger said to ref John Moss before being sent off

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was sent to the stands in the 2-1 win over Burnley after labeling referee John Moss a ‘cheat’, according to reports.

Wenger, who was ordered to leave the touch-line by Moss, was being ushered down the tunnel by fourth official Taylor when the Arsenal manager reacted angrily and has now been charged by the FA for his actions.

A steward came between Wenger and Taylor as the Frenchman appeared to get physical after refusing to leave the tunnel in the dying moments of the Premier League clash at the Emirates stadium.

It has now emerged that Moss showed the Frenchman a red card after he branded the referee a ‘cheat’ following the decision to award Burnley a 93rd minute penalty, according to the Evening Standard.

Official statement by the FA

Arsene Wenger has been charged for misconduct following Arsenal’s game against Burnley on Sunday [22 January 2017].

It is alleged that in or around the 92nd minute, he used abusive and/or insulting words towards the fourth official. It is further alleged that following his dismissal from the technical area, his behaviour in remaining in the tunnel area and making physical contact with the fourth official amounted to improper conduct.

He has until 6pm on 26 January 2017 to respond to the charge.

Following the altercation, Wenger apologised for his unacceptable behaviour in a post-match press conference but that isn’t expected be enough to avoid a touch-line ban.

‘I didn’t see any penalty from outside but I should have shut up and I apologise, even if I was frustrated,’ Wenger said after the match.

Arsene Wenger charged with misconduct by FA over Burnley incident

Arsene Wenger’s confrontation with an official in Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Burnley has seen him charged with misconduct.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been hit with a charge of misconduct following his confrontation with the fourth official in the tunnel during Sunday’s game with Burnley.

Wenger was sent to the stands in stoppage time of Arsenal’s 2-1 Premier League win at Emirates Stadium, having complained to referee Jon Moss, who awarded the visitors a 93rd-minute penalty, which Andre Gray converted to equalise.

A heated exchange with fourth official Anthony Taylor followed before Wenger moved to stand in the tunnel.

The Frenchman then appeared to push Taylor as the official tried to usher him away, with stewards forced to intervene.

Alexis Sanchez rescued all three points for Arsenal with a 98th-minute spot-kick but Wenger now faces disciplinary action for his behaviour.

A Football Association statement read: “It is alleged that in or around the 92nd minute, he [Wenger] used abusive and/or insulting words towards the fourth official.

“It is further alleged that following his dismissal from the technical area, his behaviour in remaining in the tunnel area and making physical contact with the fourth official amounted to improper conduct.”

Arsene Wenger issues warning to Granit Xhaka after his second Arsenal red card

Arsene Wenger believes Granit Xhaka is ‘punishing’ Arsenal with his lack of control after receiving a red card in Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Burnley.

The Gunners were forced to play around 30 minutes with ten men following the Switzerland international’s two-footed challenge on Steven Defour, but managed to secure a late victory after Alexis Sanchez converted a controversial penalty award.

The red card is the second of Xhaka’s Arsenal career and his seventh in the last two years for club and country.

‘Honestly, I have to look at it again,’ said Wenger.

‘The noises I get are that it was a red card. He has to control his game and not punish the team with a lack of control in his tackling.

‘We don’t encourage our midfielders to go down in tackles. We want them to stand up and not to make these type of fouls. If it’s a bad tackle, it’s a red card.’

Arsene Wenger: I should have shut up and apologise

Arsene Wenger and Sean Dyche both took issue with the match officials on Sunday but it was the Arsenal manager who went home happy.

Arsene Wenger has acknowledged his furious reaction to Burnley being awarded a penalty was wrong after the Arsenal manager was sent off on Sunday.

The Gunners boss was removed from the touchline during an extraordinary period of injury time at Emirates Stadium, where the 10-man hosts conceded an equaliser to Andre Gray, only for Alexis Sanchez to snatch a 2-1 victory with a spot-kick of his own in the 98th minute.

Wenger took issue in the strongest terms when referee Jon Moss penalised Francis Coquelin for a foul on Ashley Barnes.

Initially enraged at the prospect of dropping two vital points, the Frenchman ended the day with a smile on his face after a high boot from Ben Mee made contact with Laurent Koscielny, affording Sanchez the opportunity to restore the Gunners’ lead.

“My view is that honestly I did not see that it was a penalty,” Wenger was quoted as saying by the BBC when asked about Burnley’s spot-kick.

“I will have to watch it on the video. Francis told me that he ran into him. Myself, I should have shut up and I apologise for not having done that. It was nothing malicious. I should have kept my control, even if it was in a hectic time.

“I didn’t see any penalty from outside but I should have shut up and I apologise, even if I was frustrated.

“We finally got the win but of course it was very difficult for us. We couldn’t get the second goal, we played with 10 men and they played well as well. In the end we got the three points we wanted.

“Burnley are well organised, they make the game simple but efficient. We won there in the last second and we won again in the last second today,” he added, referring to Koscielny’s last-gasp winner at Turf Moor in October.

“Every week and every game is an unbelievable fight for everybody.

“We kept going, we are a relentless team. Burnley made it very uncomfortable for us.”

Burnley manager Sean Dyche, meanwhile, took issue with the assistant referee, who failed to spot that Koscielny was seemingly in an offside position prior to Mee’s foul.

“It’s a tough day for us in the end,” he was quoted as saying by the BBC.

“To lose a game in that fashion, with an offside not given is tough, particularly when you come to tough places like this.

“We never take anything for granted. We know how tough this division is but you need officials to make the right decisions and that is the shame today. They have to be brave have officials at places like this, I understand that, but you’ve got to think it has to be given.”

Arsene Wenger reveals his plan for clawing back Chelsea in the title race

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has called on his players to treat every remaining Premier League game like a cup final if they are to catch Chelsea in the title race.

The Gunners are currently eight points behind their rivals in the table, and also have Liverpool and Tottenham ahead of them as major contenders for the crown this term.

However, Wenger isn’t giving up just yet, and believes Chelsea can be caught as long as Arsenal ensure they put as much pressure on them as possible between now and May.

‘For us every game is a cup final,’ he said in his press conference today.

‘Yes I see it that way as Chelsea is ahead and everyone else is fighting.

‘So it is important first of all to try to make a distance with the teams around you, take advantage of points they could drop and try to get closer to Chelsea. You never know.’

Arsenal take on Burnley in their next game and looked back to their best last week with a crushing 4-0 win away to Swansea City.

It will take years for China to catch up with Europe, says Arsene Wenger

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says it will take years for China to build a football culture that can really compete with leagues in Europe, but he is still worried players will see mega Chinese offers as a new benchmark for top clubs to match.

Chinese Super League (CSL) clubs have increased their efforts to attract top players by offering record-high salaries that few, if any, European clubs would be willing to match, with Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez among those to have been targeted so far.

China’s increased influence on the English game has been highlighted even further by a row at Chelsea involving star striker Diego Costa, who was linked with a lucrative move after being dropped by manager Antonio Conte for last weekend’s match at Leicester.

But while the CSL may have the money to compete for top talents, Wenger said it is still a long way from building a true rival to the European leagues.

“You do not create a top league [just] like that,” Wenger told a news conference. “Professional football in England has been created 150 years ago. And we still struggle. I believe it’s a slow process of creating a football culture.

“Football is quite strange because you are educated as a little boy by your parents, you hear about football and you give that to the next generations. And that takes time to be really a part of the population. In China it’s new.”

Wenger may know better than most, having moved to Japan in 1995 to coach in the newly formed professional J League, which had been created just two years earlier.

“It was the third year of professional football in Japan. And you expect reflexes from people that are not there,” he said. “So it will take time.

“We do not know if in 10 years China will still do it. Sometimes it’s a political decision that can change. I personally am very happy [about China’s growth], and I expect India to come to the game. And I hope it will happen.”

But for clubs like Arsenal, it can quickly become a problem when players can use lucrative offers from China as a negotiating tool when discussing new contracts.

Arsenal have yet to tie down Sanchez or Mesut Ozil to new long-term deals, with both reportedly holding out for more than £200,000-a-week. Sanchez has reportedly been offered about twice that to move to China.

Carlos Tevez arrived in Shanghai on Thursday to start a two-year stint with Shanghai Shenhua after signing a deal that was initially reported to be worth more than £600,000-a-week.

“That’s the danger, that the Chinese offers become the benchmark for Europe,” Wenger said. “You cannot compete with that but I still think that, when you’re a footballer, the first thing is that you want to play against the best players in the best teams.

“That has to be the first target. After that when you are a professional football player you want to combine the fact you can play in the best league, against the best players, for the maximum amount of money. So I think that combination is the best in England at the moment, so I don’t see why the players should leave the English Premier League.”

Wenger glad Alexis Sanchez is not ‘a Costa problem’

Arsene Wenger and Mauricio Pochettino are pleased they do not have to deal with player unrest as they pursue Chelsea in the Premier League.

Arsene Wenger insists he has no problems with Alexis Sanchez, suggesting the top scorer’s passion to play for Arsenal is at odds with that of Diego Costa at Chelsea.

Chile international Sanchez reacted angrily to being substituted after concluding the scoring in the Gunners’ 4-0 win at Swansea City on Saturday, but Wenger suggested his Stamford Bridge counterpart Antonio Conte has far greater concerns with his own star striker.

Costa sat out Chelsea’s 3-0 triumph at Leicester City on the same day, when the leaders extended their advantage at the summit to seven points.

The official reason for his absence was a back complaint, but the Spain international’s exclusion came amid reports of a training ground row with Conte, framed by speculation that Costa is the subject of a mega-money offer from Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian.

“I’d rather have someone who always wants to be involved than someone who doesn’t want to play,” Wenger told reporters.

“I have enough problems —I don’t need a Costa problem on top of that.

“Alexis is a guy who wants to fight everywhere, sometimes where he shouldn’t. But that is a part of his game. All my players want to play for every minute but for me this is not a story.”

Tottenham made their case for being Chelsea’s sternest title rivals by extending their winning run to six Premier League matches in emphatic fashion, dispatching West Brom 4-0.

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino gave his take on the Costa situation and was happy to report no similar rumblings of discontent at White Hart Lane.

“Have there been any offers from China for my players? No,” he told reporters.

“My reaction to the Costa story was indifference because, luckily, it is not my problem.

“What can you do when an offer like this arrives from a country that is like this?

“It’s crazy money. It looks like they broke the market. If the offer to Costa is true, it’s unbelievable, unbelievable. But we will see what happens.”

Pochettino added: “We are together, every player is happy and part of our Tottenham family, and we have a very good atmosphere around the club.”

Arsene Wenger shrugs off Alexis Sanchez’s frustration after Arsenal rout Swansea

Arsene Wenger played down Alexis Sanchez’s frustration at being substituted in Arsenal’s 4-0 Premier League victory at Swansea.

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Sanchez had scored Arsenal’s fourth goal – his 16th of the season – before being withdrawn 11 minutes from time with the Gunners moving in to the top three on goal difference.

The Chilean forward – who showed his frustration at the final whistle of Arsenal’s last league game, a 3-3 draw at Bournemouth – responded to his substitution by kicking his gloves on the touchline.

“All the players are frustrated when they come off, some show it, some not,” Arsenal manager Wenger said.

“I’m long enough in the job to know that. I just make the decision I feel is right, that’s it.

“He (Sanchez) is a good guy who gives a lot and who always wants to do well for the team.

“There’s no problem. In every culture it’s different.

“Some South Americans are a bit different to Europeans. Southern Europeans are more different to northern Europeans, you have to respect that.

“I don’t look at that. I look at how well the players do that come on, how comfortable they are, because Danny Welbeck has not played for two years.

“That’s much more important for me than an individual response. That is vital when a player 25 years of age, who is a regular in the national team, comes on, you have an opportunity to give him game time.”

Sanchez shone in the second half as Arsenal, 1-0 up at the break through Olivier Giroud’s fifth goal in as many matches, turned on the style.

Two deflected Alex Iwobi shots, which were credited as own goals to Jack Cork and Kyle Naughton, and a neat Sanchez volley secured Arsenal’s first league double over Swansea since the 1982-83 season.

“Alexis was very sharp,” said Wenger, who confirmed that Arsenal would assess an ankle injury to Giroud.

“I rested him for two weeks, gave him a little breather. I think he benefited from that. I gave him another rest today (at the end), so he will benefit from that as well.

“He’s hugely influential. When you look at the numbers, he’s been involved in about 25 goals in our team. But I think as well we have players on the bench who are strikers who need competition. We were 4-0 up.”

With Hull beating Bournemouth, Swansea dropped to the foot of the table and their next five fixtures include games against Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea.

But Swansea head coach Paul Clement, who was in charge of a Premier League game for the first time, insists the manner of the Arsenal defeat has not changed his view on the challenge ahead.

“Everyone knows the task at hand is a very hard one but we’re all up for it,” said Clement, who confirmed the signings of Norwich defender Martin Olsson and Tottenham midfielder Tom Carroll are waiting on medicals and paperwork.

“There are games we are not necessarily expected to win. That’s maybe one today, though we would have wanted the scoreline to be much closer.

“There are games we will have to win. We have to make sure when those games come around we are on top form.”

Asked about a penalty appeal at 1-0 down on the stroke of half-time, in which midfielder Ki Sung-yueng was booked after tangling with Laurent Koscielny, Clement said: “I’m surprised – I thought it was given.

“When I spoke to Ki at half-time, he said, ‘It was a penalty – there was contact on me’

“I got to look back at it. The referee doesn’t get that opportunity, but I saw the video after the game from all the different angles. I saw the reaction of Koscielny and it’s a penalty.”

Laurent Koscielny, Olivier Giroud and Francis Coquelin pen new Arsenal contracts

The Gunners have extended the trio’s contracts although there remains no news over star duo Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.

Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and Francis Coquelin have all agreed new contracts with Arsenal, the club announced on Thursday.

Giroud’s contract was set to expire in June 2018, while Koscielny and Coquelin were originally tied to the club for a further year, but all three have signed new “long-term contracts”.

Manager Arsene Wenger said in a statement: “We are very pleased that three important members of our team have committed to us for the long term.

“Francis has made tremendous technical strides over the past few years because he’s so focused every day.

“Olivier has big experience in the game now and has become a more and more complete player since joining us.

“Laurent is of course a key part of our squad and I believe one of the best defenders in the world today. So overall, this is great news for us.”

Giroud was Arsenal’s highest-scoring player last season with 24 goals in all competitions and has struck nine times this term.

Koscielny has made 273 appearances since arriving from Lorient in 2010, while Coquelin has made 131 senior outings for the club.

While Arsenal will be delighted to have agreed new contracts with the French trio, uncertainty still remains over the futures of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.

Ozil and Sanchez’s deal will expire at the end of next season, and Wenger will likely focus his attention on tying them down long term.

As reported by Goal, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also seeking a bumper pay rise, with his current deal due to expire in the summer of 2018.