Everton are set to offer Arsene Wenger an immediate return to Premier League management if he is sacked by Arsenal. Wenger’s Arsenal reign hit its lowest point as his side crashed to defeat at Brighton, the first time they have lost four games on the trot in 16 years.
The ‘Wenger Out’ banners were out in force at the Amex Stadium while sections of Arsenal’s travelling fans chanted for the axe to fall. But the under-fire boss is wanted by Everton owner Farhad Moshiri, who feels Wenger is the ideal candidate to revive the Merseyside club’s fortunes.
Asked if he feared his long reign as Gunners boss was coming to an end, Wenger replied: “I don’t want to talk about my future today. At the moment, my future is not my main worry.
“My worry is to get Arsenal winning football games. Then we’ll see where we go from there. I’ll try and give my best as long as I am here.”
It remains to be seen whether Arsenal’s board are ready to show Wenger the door, either before the end of the season or in the summer when his contract will still have one more year to run.
But Iranian billionaire Moshiri is already preparing for life without Sam Allardyce, who looks on borrowed time at Everton after they slumped to their sixth successive away defeat at Watford on Saturday. And Wenger is top of Moshiri’s list for the rebuilding job at Goodison Park. Prior to Moshiri’s Goodison investment he was involved in Arsenal, owning 15% of the club alongside Uzbek-born Russian business magnate Alisher Usmanov. Despite Everton’s interest, Wenger, 68, maintains he is still the man to rejuvenate Arsenal.
“I’ve done it before,” he said. “I believe a quality of manager is to try and shorten a crisis, and I believe I can do that.”
Those Arsenal supporters calling for his head will take some convincing, while Arsenal skipper Laurent Koscielny claimed Wenger must take his share of the blame.
“The player has responsibility on the pitch and the boss has responsibility too” said Koscielny.
“We need to be together. It’s difficult to say it’s his fault or our fault. It’s everyone in the club.”
Wenger attempted to explain their slump on the pain of losing the Carabao Cup final to Manchester City 3-0, before going down to the champions elect by the same scoreline in the Premier League on Thursday.
He added: “I can understand the frustration. The League Cup in the middle of the season makes it difficult if you don’t win it. It brings a lot of negative waves. “The negativity after losing the final, plus the fact we’re not in a fantastic position in the league, hits us hard.
“On top of that, the game rearranged on Thursday night didn’t help us to compete today.
“We have to get the team back more confidence. But we need to recover physically first. The programme we have at the moment is too demanding.”
The win takes Brighton up to 10th, and Seagulls boss Chris Hughton said: “We are definitely hitting our best form at the right time. We started so well, we might have even got more goals.”