I will stay and that's it, says Wenger of departure talk

 

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The Independent Online

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger yesterday reiterated his commitment to the club, insisting he will stay in his job for "a few more years".

Wenger, 62, had told L'Equipe that he would review his position in the summer. However, after the 2-1 win at Norwich City on Saturday, he insisted he had no intention of leaving the Emirates at the end of the season, and yesterday told Arsenal's website: "I will stay and that's it."

Wenger said: "I have a few more years to go ... It was a little sentence if you read well. I can only speak for me. The club can decide to get rid of me tomorrow morning and I cannot interfere with that decision, but I am totally committed here and I will show you that at the end of the season."

The Frenchman has been in charge of the Gunners since 1996, leading them to three Premier League titles and four FA Cup wins but he has not won a trophy since 2005.

In September, owner Stan Kroenke insisted Wenger's future as Arsenal boss was in his own hands, and that only he could decide when to end his stay there. In the interview with L'Equipe, Wenger also admitted that losing star players Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona and Samir Nasri to Manchester City in the summer had been particularly difficult for him.

"For the first time I lost young players, who were reaching maturity," he said. "I suffered. It's painful to lose key men you have invested a lot in. [Bad results] broke the squad. I often call it 'the season of the last minute'," he added, when asked about Arsenal's poor finish to the 2010-11 campaign, which saw them finish fourth.

Wenger signed his current contract in August 2010 and it expires in the summer of 2014. As recently as September, he spoke of staying "another 14 years" at the club.

Meanwhile, former Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboué, who now plays for Galatasaray in Turkey, was repeatedly pelted with objects during his club's derby against Besiktas on Sunday.

Besiktas fans may be prohibited from attending at least two games after video footage of the match showed the Ivory Coast international being hit on the head with objects, including a lighter and a plastic water bottle.

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