Gunners ready for Atletico test


"It's an honour to be mentioned with Arsenal - I love the club".

The British media had reported last Friday that Wenger was told by the club hierarchy he would be sacked this summer if he did not step down, and his comments yesterday seemed to have revealed the truth.

The campaign also gives the opportunity to some of the ageing Atletico stars in the form of skipper Gabi (34), full-back Juanfran (33) centre-back Diego Godin (33) and left-back Filipe Luis (32) to bag a major title before their careers come to an end.

Arsenal players Mesut Ozil, Petr Cech, Sead Kolasinac and Jack Wilshere on Wednesday returned to practice on the eve of the first leg match of the Europa League semifinals against Atletico Madrid. I'm obviously suffering from acute optimism but first, there's the little matter of winning a semi-final and final before Wenger says au revoir.

A top-four Premier League finish is nearly certainly beyond Wenger's side, but since losing at Brighton they have scored three goals or more in six of those nine matches, all at the Emirates Stadium. "They will make the decision because I am under contract".

"At the moment I am focused on tomorrow". "I don't want this to be perceived that I want to go because I don't want to leave", he said.

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But Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis insisted there will be "an electric atmosphere" on Thursday night with far more at stake for the club.

He captained the Gunners during their unbeaten "Invincibles" season in 2003/04 and has emerged as a favourite to replace Wenger who is set to depart after 22 years. That shows you as well that the place is a good place.

The Spanish head coach is the leading contender to take over the reins at the north London club at the end of the 2017-18 season.

"I have a high opinion on him, but I do not want to influence the job of the next manager", he added. At least I think that the guy can work in a positive environment.

"I know what people are saying, and I'm really happy about that", the three time Premier League victor told The Times. "I am ready. I think we're all doing this job because one day we want to coach the biggest teams in Europe". "People will realise that to qualify for the Champions League for 20 consecutive years is not as easy it looks".

"I am convinced in the future, with two or three additions, this team has the quality to fight for the title", he said.