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Arsenal rule out sacking Arsene Wenger

Date

Jeremy Wilson

Future uncertain: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

Future uncertain: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Photo: AP

Arsene Wenger will be permitted to decide his future even if Arsenal fail to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 17 years and go a ninth consecutive season without silverware.

There are doubts within the club, however, about Wenger's plans, with a contract offer still unsigned and the Frenchman unwilling to make a decision before the end of the season.

Although Wenger did verbally outline an intention to stay, it is understood that other coaching staff and even some board members remain uncertain about the final outcome, particularly if the season ends badly. A humbling 3-0 defeat at Everton on Sunday was alarming not just for the ease with which Roberto Martinez's team won such a critical match but the continuation of a slide that has seen Arsenal win just two of nine Premier League games. It has allowed Everton to make up fully 13 points on Arsenal in only six matches and it is Marti­nez's team who now have their 'top four' destiny in their own hands.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has been touted a potential replacement for Wenger.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has been touted a potential replacement for Wenger. Photo: AFP

There were reports on Twitter on Monday that Wenger had been verbally abused by some fans at Liverpool Lime Street station after the game on Sunday evening, although Arsenal were unaware of any incident.

The mood of the fans, though, is likely to influence Wenger's decision. He was shocked on the opening day of the season by some of the booing and personal abuse he received during defeat by Aston Villa and will not stay if he feels that he has lost significant support among the fan base.

A poll of supporters last week, however, suggested that a clear majority do want Wenger to stay if he can deliver both the FA Cup and Champions League qualification. A poll of 8174 Arsenal fans organised by the Black Scarf Movement found that 68 per cent would want the club's longest-serving and most successful manager to sign a new contract if he achieved those two targets.

Support would fall to 61 per cent if Arsenal failed to win the FA Cup but qualified for the Champions League and to only 56 per cent if Arsenal won a fifth FA Cup of Wenger's tenure but dropped out of the top four. Even if Arsenal failed to finish in the top four and lost out in the FA Cup, 54 per cent of supporters would still want him to stay, although many would then favour only a rolling one-year contract.

The attitude of the board and majority-owner Stan Kroenke has been consistent. They believe the recent dip is largely explained by so many injuries to key players and still hope and expect Wenger to lead Arsenal into what will be a new era of massively enhanced resources from this summer.

Contingencies have been made for Wenger's departure, whenever that may be, with Marti­nez, Diego Simeone and Jurgen Klopp expected to figure on any shortlist. New sponsorship deals will help swell the transfer fund to around £100 million this summer, although fans have grown frustrated by Wenger's generally cautious transfer strategy even when he has money in the bank.

Aaron Ramsey on Monday highlighted the difficulty of Everton's run-in and is adamant that Arsenal can win their remaining matches to be sure of Champions League qualification. "We have five league games left and we will aim to win them all to give us the opportunity to finish fourth or higher," said Ramsey. "I think Everton still have a few difficult games. We were quite vulnerable on the counter-attack [against Everton] and they exploited the opportunities."

Ramsey returned to the Arsenal team on Sunday for the first time since suffering a thigh injury against West Ham United on Boxing Day. Arsenal's slide has coincided with his absence. "It was very frustrating for me to be out for three months of the season when things were looking so good," he said.

"Hopefully I can show what I can do, help this team achieve Champions League again and, hopefully, at the end of the season have a medal."

The Telegraph, London

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Hyundai A-League 2015-16

Round 1
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WSW 1vs BRI 3 Stats
Fri, 09 OctTimes shown AEDT
ADE 0vs VIC 0 Stats
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CCM 3vs PER 2 Stats
SYD 1vs MCY 1 Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
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Round 2
Fri, 16 OctTimes shown AEDT
ADE 1vs WSW 1 Stats
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VIC 3vs MCY 2 Stats
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
BRI 2vs CCM 1 Stats
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Round 3
Fri, 23 OctTimes shown AEDT
NEW 1vs VIC 0 Stats
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WEL 3vs BRI 2 Stats
SYD 1vs WSW 0 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
MCY 3vs CCM 1 Stats
PER 3vs ADE 1 Stats
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Round 4
Fri, 30 OctTimes shown AEDT
MCY 2vs NEW 3 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1vs SYD 3 Stats
BRI 3vs ADE 0 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSW 1vs PER 0 Stats
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VIC 3vs WEL 0 Stats
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Round 5
Thu, 05 NovTimes shown AEDT
ADE 2vs MCY 4 Stats
Fri, 06 NovTimes shown AEDT
SYD 0vs BRI 0 Stats
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NEW 1vs WSW 2 Stats
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CCM 1vs WEL 1 Stats
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PER 1vs VIC 0 Stats
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Round 6
Fri, 13 NovTimes shown AEDT
WEL 4vs ADE 2 Stats
MCY 0vs WSW 3 Stats
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NEW 1vs CCM 1 Stats
SYD 2vs VIC 4 Stats
Sun, 15 NovTimes shown AEDT
BRI 1vs PER 0 Stats
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Round 7
Thu, 19 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC 2vs CCM 1 Stats
Fri, 20 NovTimes shown AEDT
BRI 1vs MCY 1 Stats
Sat, 21 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSW 2vs WEL 1 Stats
PER 0vs SYD 0 Stats
Sun, 22 NovTimes shown AEDT
ADE 0vs NEW 0 Stats
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Round 8
Thu, 26 NovTimes shown AEDT
SYD 0vs WEL 0 Stats
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MCY 5vs PER 1 Stats
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NEW 1vs BRI 1 Stats
VIC 2vs ADE 1 Stats
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CCM 0vs WSW 2 Stats
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Round 9
Thu, 03 DecTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1vs MCY 5 Stats
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SYD 1vs NEW 0 Stats
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WSW 2vs BRI 1 Stats
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Round 10
Fri, 11 DecTimes shown AEDT
ADE 2vs SYD 1 Stats
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BRI 2vs WEL 1 Stats
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PER 2vs CCM 1 Stats
Sun, 13 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW 0vs MCY 4 Stats
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Round 11
Fri, 18 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW 0vs ADE 0 Stats
Sat, 19 DecTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1vs SYD 1 Stats
MCY 2vs VIC 1 Stats
PER 2vs WSW 2 Stats
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CCM 0vs BRI 1 Stats
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Round 12
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SYD 4vs CCM 1 Stats
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VIC 1vs PER 1 Stats
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Round 13
Thu, 31 DecTimes shown AEDT
CCM 3vs WEL 1 Stats
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MCY 2vs SYD 2 Stats
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NEW 0vs VIC 1 Stats
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Round 14
Fri, 08 JanTimes shown AEDT
CCM 3vs VIC 3 Stats
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MCY 3vs WSW 2 Stats
PER 1vs ADE 3 Stats
Sun, 10 JanTimes shown AEDT
WEL 0vs BRI 0 Stats
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Round 15
Fri, 15 JanTimes shown AEDT
VIC 4vs BRI 0 Stats
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ADE 3vs CCM 1 Stats
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PER 2vs MCY 2 Stats
Sun, 17 JanTimes shown AEDT
NEW 3vs WEL 1 Stats
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Round 16
Fri, 22 JanTimes shown AEDT
BRI 1vs ADE 4 Stats
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CCM 1vs WSW 2 Stats
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NEW 1vs PER 6 Stats
Mon, 25 JanTimes shown AEDT
MCY 3vs WEL 1 Stats
Tue, 26 JanTimes shown AEDT
VIC 1vs SYD 0 Stats
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Round 17
Fri, 29 JanTimes shown AEDT
WSW 4vs MCY 3 Stats
Sat, 30 JanTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1vs CCM 3 Stats
SYD 1vs BRI 3 Stats
PER 3vs VIC 2 Stats
Sun, 31 JanTimes shown AEDT
ADE 1vs NEW 0 Stats
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Round 18
Fri, 05 FebTimes shown AEDT
ADE 2vs SYD 2 Stats
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BRI 4vs CCM 0 Stats
VIC 1vs WSW 1 Stats
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NEW 2vs MCY 1 Stats
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Round 19
Fri, 12 FebTimes shown AEDT
BRI 2vs NEW 2 Stats
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SYD 1vs PER 2 Stats
MCY 2vs VIC 2 Stats
Sun, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
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Round 20
Fri, 19 FebTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs ADE 19:40AAMI Park
Sat, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs WEL 17:15Hunter Stadium
SYD vs WSW 19:30Allianz Stadium
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MCY vs CCM 17:00AAMI Park
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Round 21
Fri, 26 FebTimes shown AEDT
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Sun, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs NEW 17:00Central Coast Stadium
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Round 22
Fri, 04 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs WSW 20:00Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs ADE 17:15Westpac Stadium
MCY vs SYD 19:30AAMI Park
Sun, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs VIC 17:00Central Coast Stadium
Mon, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
PER vs NEW 20:00nib Stadium
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Round 23
Fri, 11 MarTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs MCY 19:40Coopers Stadium
Sat, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs WEL 17:15Allianz Stadium
BRI vs VIC 19:30Suncorp Stadium
PER vs CCM 21:40nib Stadium
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NEW vs WSW 17:00Hunter Stadium
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Round 24
Fri, 18 MarTimes shown AEDT
MCY vs BRI 19:40AAMI Park
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CCM vs SYD 17:15Central Coast Stadium
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WEL vs PER 15:00Westpac Stadium
VIC vs NEW 17:00AAMI Park
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Round 25
Fri, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs WSW 19:40AAMI Park
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NEW vs PER 17:15Hunter Stadium
BRI vs SYD 19:30Suncorp Stadium
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ADE vs CCM 17:00Coopers Stadium
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MCY vs WEL 19:30AAMI Park
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Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs CCM 19:40Pirtek Stadium
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WEL vs VIC 17:15Westpac Stadium
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BRI vs NEW 17:00Suncorp Stadium
PER vs MCY 19:00nib Stadium
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Round 27
Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
MCY vs ADE 19:40AAMI Park
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Newcastle Jets 19 5 9 -12 20
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