While the Gunners wait on their long-term manager, their Spain defender admits that recent bad results have taken their toll
Nacho Monreal has pledged his support to beleaguered Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, saying only he can decide when he leaves the Emirates Stadium.
Protests against the veteran’s tenure have grown greater than ever this season, compounded by indifferent domestic form and another early exit in the Champions League.
But despite the calls for him to step down at the end of the season, Monreal assures he has the backing of the dressing room.
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“We are not going through a good time, at all levels. We have lost four of the last five Premier League matches, we have left the European places, which today is our goal, we were eliminated from the Champions League, and then there is all the controversy with the manager. With fans who are unhappy with Wenger. And at the end, everything affects the players. It inevitably influences at all levels,” the Spain international explained to Goal.
“Well, it’s a complicated time. There is a section of the fanbase that is against the coach.
“Just a part of them, because it is not everybody. I think most of the fans are with him and support him. But there is a small part of the fans that does not agree, and are those who protest.
“We, the players, are with Wenger. He has the final word and he will decide whether to continue or not, because I understand that the club has made a renewal offer. So what he does will be the best thing for him and for Arsenal, for sure.”
Monreal admits, however, that the situation has caused uncertainty around the Emirates Stadium.
Along with Wenger, whose current deal expires this year, both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil will be out of contract at the end of the 2017-18 season and could leave in the next transfer window.
“For Arsenal as a team and as a club, ideally everyone should continue. But today these are the circumstances: the coach finishes his contract and has not yet communicated whether he continues or not, then there are two important players like Alexis and Mesut who finish their contracts next season and they are waiting for the coach to follow,” he stated, while also clarifying his own future at the club.
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“It is a situation of uncertainty, and that does not help. But it is not in our hands either.
“I have a couple of years left at Arsenal. I am very happy there, I feel very valued in the team, and I am quite fine. It is grateful that there are teams that are interested in me, and you never know where you are going to finish, but right now I am happy at Arsenal.”
Monreal and Spain host Israel on Friday, before travelling to France for a friendly clash on Tuesday.