Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has defended his old adversary Sir Alex Ferguson, after he was accused of putting additional pressure on his successor David Moyes by attending a majority of recent Manchester United games.
United’s recent slump in form has led some to suggest the presence of retired United boss Ferguson in the director’s box is not helping the beleaguered Moyes, yet an open minded Wenger begs to differ.
“Ferguson was there for 27 years and when he appears in the stand the cameras are on him, but it is not his fault that United have lost games recently,” insists Wenger. “It is what then players do on the pitch that wins you the games not who is in the stand. It is good not to go overboard about him being at games.
“The problem is now because Man United do not win all the games, people look for a reason and the camera must go on him. He’s the man who’s missing, but I think that’s the wrong way to view the problem.”
With Wenger’s contract set to expire at the end of this season and no sign that he is ready to put pen to paper on a new deal, there has been a growing suspicion that the 64-year-old Arsenal boss may be about to follow Ferguson into retirement, but he denies that is the case.
“One of the things I like about Ferguson’s statement is that retirement is for young people because they know what to do,” he continued. “I would agree with him on that.
“Look, my contract is not an issue. I have said many times that my loyalty to this club cannot be questioned and when the time is right, we will resolve this issue. It is no problem for me and the idea of ‘going upstairs’ to a different role at the club is not in my mind.
“I don’t know what it means to ‘go upstairs’. There is not a lot of oxygen upstairs from what I can see and I like to be on the touchline.
"I don’t know what I will do when I stop and if I can help this club one day I will do it, but I love to be outside on the pitch not inside in a boardroom talking.”
Wenger has suffered a major blow to his side’s title ambitions with the news that Theo Walcott will miss the rest of this season with a knee ligament injury, but he is in no rush to dip into the transfer market to search for replacements.
“If something special comes up and a player is available you would do it, but overall this transfer window should not exist,” he added. “It is always a rush hour and every press conference is about who you might buy and not talking about the next game.
“To find players to strengthen a club like ours at this time is nearly impossible. Honestly, it is nearly impossible. It is not about the money, just the potential of players you can buy. There are not too many I can tell you.”