Kelly Smith wants Arsene Wenger to make an announcement on Arsenal future

Turning a deaf ear to talk of him being removed as Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger said he is planning for the next season.

"We believe that he deserves huge respect and admiration for his long-term contribution to our club, including delivering some of the best football ever witnessed not just by Arsenal fans but all of those who follow the English game", said an AST statement.

"The Arsenal name is bigger than my name and coming to Arsenal is more important - you don't come to Arsene Wenger, you come to Arsenal".

Wenger refused to say if his "work till I drop" stand means he will be staying with Arsenal for at least another season, but his message was clear.

Brazil legend Silva, a member of the "Invincibles" team which won the Premier League with an unbeaten record in 2003-04, spoke out in defence of his former boss Arsene Wenger.

Reports indicate the long-serving Frenchman - whose contract expires at the end of the season - will be offered an extension despite mounting opposition against his reign.

Guardiola didn't seek to play down the importance of the two matches against Arsenal when asked about their significance - and admits he already has one eye on a final.

Sanchez played every minute for Chile in both of their games during the worldwide break, producing a freekick in the fifth minute of Tuesday night's win over Venezuela to further justify the £50milllion fee Arsenal are demanding for him.

Arsenal now sit sixth in the Premier League table, six points adrift of the Champions League places.

Wenger also feels that his current players should not be using the uncertainty over his future as an "easy excuse" for the recent run.

Despite Arsenal now languishing 19 points behind Chelsea, Gunners boss Wenger doesn't believe his star wants to leave the Emirates Stadium because he already plays for the capital's biggest club.

"I hadn't spoken to the players earlier because they have been away". I don't believe so but we can have a difference of opinions.

"It's unusual because now I am coaching some of the kids I grew up with, so we have a different relationship".

"I think by him keeping quiet, it's obviously not helping the whole situation".

Arsenal go into the match after back-to-back 3-1 defeats to Liverpool and West Brom respectively and are six points adrift of the top four although they have two games in hand.

"I just tell people, "stick with Arsenal"," he said.

Wenger said Ozil was in line to make his first league appearance since February 11 against City following illness and a hamstring injury.

  • Zachary Reyes