'You'll miss me when I'm gone': Arsene Wenger livid over 'unbelievable storm' since Arsenal's FA Cup elimination

'You'll miss me when I'm gone' says defiant Arsenal manager before vital Champions League tie with Bayern Munich

Arsène Wenger faced down the growing clamour for him to be replaced yesterday when the Arsenal manager said "You will miss me when I am gone" at the end of a heated press conference, ahead of tonight's Champions League last 16 first-leg tie with Bayern Munich.

The 63-year-old also promised that one day he would make public "a list" of the clubs he could have left Arsenal for over more than 16 years in the job, adding "And you will see that I am committed to this club".

With the memories of Saturday's FA Cup fifth-round defeat at home to Blackburn Rovers still fresh, Wenger defended his team's record in the Champions League as they prepare to face the formidable Bayern, 15 points ahead in the Bundesliga and yet to concede a goal since 14 December.

Asked whether a team that been eliminated in the domestic cups by League Two Bradford City and Championship side Blackburn could hope to beat Bayern over two legs, Wenger said that the response to Saturday's result had been disproportionate.

"Do you think really that Bayern Munich can never lose to a smaller club in Germany?" he asked. "Manchester United have lost against 'Division Three' [York City who were in the third tier when they beat United in the League Cup second round in 1995]. That can happen. Football is not as mathematical as that. What I find is absolutely unbelievable is that when it happens to me it is a complete storm. You know why? Because in 16 years it never happened.

"In Europe, we have beaten everybody, which is what people forget," he said. "And we are the only team that has gone into a final [in 2006] without conceding a goal, despite the fact that we never have a good defensive record."

There are doubts over Laurent Koscielny who is ill which means that with Nacho Monreal ineligible for Champions League action tonight, Bacary Sagna could be drafted in at centre-back alongside the returning Per Mertesacker. That would leave Carl Jenkinson at right-back and Thomas Vermaelen covering at left-back.

Wenger conceded that he was concerned about the "psychological" state of his team whose first-half performances have been dramatically worse than after the break. "We are champions of England in the second half and in the first half, no," Wenger said. "For psychological reasons. Because we fight the whole season against everybody 'hunting' here saying: 'The players are not good enough, buy players and all that'. But one day you will realise that this team has fantastic qualities."

At the end of his press briefing, Wenger rose to leave and agreed with one reporter's friendly suggestion that despite a combustible press conference he would be missed if he left. "I am sure you would miss me when I am gone," he replied.

The briefing followed Wenger's press conference for television in which he uncharacteristically lost his cool. In front of the cameras he picked out a newspaper reporter at the side of the room and mistakenly accused him of having been behind a story in that morning's paper.

Wenger had taken particular exception to a report that suggested, the Arsenal manager said erroneously, that the club were prepared to offer him a new two-year deal beyond his current contract which runs out in the summer of next year. Wenger said that he took issue with the story being projected as being another blow to supporters in light of Saturday's defeat to Blackburn. Although that aspect was not immediately obvious from the paper's presentation of the story.

"I am not a conspiracy theorist," Wenger said. "I have been 30 years in this job and if I was paranoid you would know it already. I just think that when I worked for 16 years in the country I expect a certain respect.

"You can criticise me and say I am doing a bad job, but manipulative things, when they are wrong, I don't accept," the Arsenal manager added.

Suggested Topics
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Life and Style
fashionThe supermodel on her career, motherhood and Cara Delevingne
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments