Football: Arsene Wenger insists that he has “never” contemplated quitting Arsenal after Arsenal’s Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
The Frenchman has come under increased scrutiny from the press after his side followed up an FA Cup exit to Blackburn last weekend with a last-16 first leg loss to the German giants.
However asked if he had “felt like throwing in the towel,” Wenger replied: “Never, not one second.
“I have a contract until the end of 2014 and at the moment we are on a short-term plan. I have been here for a long time and have to consider what I want to do. That will be decided in 2014, not before.”
Wenger, whose fifth-placed side face struggling Aston Villa tomorrow afternoon, received support today from his opposite number Paul Lambert.
He said: “The level of criticism towards Arsene Wenger is a bit over the top.
“He’s been there 16 years and he’s just missed out on winning the Champions League against Barcelona. He’s won the Premier League several times, he’s won the FA Cup several times.
“If that’s ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ then I think there’s something not right there, for what he’s achieved is phenomenal. The Blackburn defeat would have been disappointing, but is it a disgrace to lose to Bayern? The way they are performing and playing, no.
“It didn’t surprise me Bayern beat them because of what they are doing in their own league. I think they are a right good team.”
Wenger will be without the services of right-back Bacary Sagna (knee), while left-back Kieran Gibbs (thigh) is also out. Spanish left-back Nacho Monreal returns after being cup-tied in midweek.
Aston Villa duo Gabriel Agbonlahor and Karim El Ahmadi are available after missing the victory over West Ham through sickness.