Arsene Wenger won't consider ending career: 'Retiring is for young people'

With the club's supporters divided over Wenger's future, Arsenal face the daunting task of hosting fourth-placed Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday (March 2).

The former Czech Republic worldwide was forced off with a calf injury during the 3-1 loss at West Brom before the global break and has not recovered in time to face City so David Ospina will deputise.

Guardiola's team have done well to remain unbeaten in the league since capitulating against Everton in January but there remain massive tests ahead before objectives can be said to be fulfilled.

"The Premier League is not easy to win but I'm pretty sure the fans respect a lot what Arsene Wenger has done and is doing".

Guardiola said: "Yes, for both of us, for Arsenal too, these two games are important". I would prefer Arsenal with a lot of wins.

"Everybody knows them ― good quality in the middle, good quality in the sides with Alexis (Sanchez) going inside, runs in behind with (Theo) Walcott, (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain. Even though we are on a disappointing spell, we will bounce back and fight for the manager because we are a very good team", the Nigeria global added.

Guardiola, a serial trophy victor at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, will tackle Arsenal later this month in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, but he feels sealing a return to the Europe's elite competition - City were knocked out by Monaco in a last-16 thriller this time around - would be an achievement to be celebrated.

"It's always hard at the Emirates against a tough team (who are) always fighting to be in the top four".

Arsenal will have to make do without number one goalkeeper Petr Cech after he suffered a calf strain during the West Brom game earlier this month so David Ospina will start in goal.

This is only the second time that Arsenal have found themselves outside the top five in the Premier League as late as April in a season under Arsene Wenger - the other occasion was in April 2006.

Guardiola, however, says those fans calling for his head will change their tune when Arsenal's form improves.

"We're together as a unit and we're strong".

"When Arsene starts to win, the fans will be happy again. I promise you, 100 per cent".

Asked if he now feared defeat more given the way supporters now reacted, Wenger closed by adding: "Fear, no".

  • Julie Sanders