EVER the diplomat; ever the gentleman: Arsene Wenger answered every question thrown at him by a hungry media this morning. Without giving too much away, it has to be said.
Those questions were wide, varied and probing – the Arsenal boss dealt with them with supreme professionalism and dignity, as always.
After the difficult few weeks he has had, certainly after the Bayern blitzkrieg, it would have been easy for him to react with anger and resentment. He didn’t.
Yes, of course, he is disappointed right now but, as always, his focus is now on the next game; the next challenge. Namely, little Lincoln in the FA Cup.
In response to suggestions that there have been training ground bust-ups, as revealed by Theo Walcott, the Frenchman’s response was that of a man in control…
…not a man who is going to jump ship in the summer.
Disagreements in a competitive environment are inevitable, he understands and accepts that, but Wenger insists Arsenal are a ‘unified’ group.
They don’t have to get on all the time, as long as they are together on the pitch. And, even in defeat like the other night, he continues to see that.
In summary, he correctly pointed out that the most successful teams are not always those who love each other…all the time. Brilliant retort to a potentially difficult question.
As for his future, he was non-committal but did say the defeat(s) to Bayern would not affect his decision – or the club’s – to stay or go.
His loyalty to the club is unquestioned and Wenger says the debate about whether his legacy as Arsenal boss is in danger of being tainted is ‘not a problem’.
Business as usual at the Emirates. Who better to handle it?