Football

/ News

Powered by ESPNfc
  • Premier League

Wenger fires future warning to players

ESPN staff
March 30, 2013 « Chelsea and City to meet in USA friendly | Chartbeat test »
Arsene Wenger will watch his players closely over the remaining nine games © Getty Images
Enlarge

Arsene Wenger insists that every player at Arsenal is playing for their future at the club for the remainder of the season.

Wenger's men sit fifth in the Premier League standings, four points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand.

As the race for a spot in next season's Champions League heats up, Wenger says that individual performances will determine his actions in the summer transfer window.

"We have to analyse. What will decide our attitude, my attitude, is how we do now until the end of the season," said Wenger.

"We have had some blips that were not expected, Blackburn and Bradford (in the cup competitions), but overall I must say the attitude of the team has been great and when everyone is here (fit), then we have a strong team.

"What is important is to analyse where we can improve at the end of the season."

Despite his warnings that each man is effectively playing for his place - with even captain Thomas Vermaelen and goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny no longer guaranteed a start - Wenger feels the current squad do deserve credit for the way they have hauled themselves back into contention with a run of five wins in the last seven league games.

"They have gone through difficult times and have responded well," he said, "They have shown mental strength as we lost against Blackburn (at home in the FA Cup), Bayern (in the Champions League at home) and then Tottenham, so as well they could be scared that the group implodes.

"We have shown a strong response against Bayern (in the Champions League away) and also Swansea, so that shows that this group is mentally strong."

Arsenal, though, will be without England internationals Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott at home to Reading on Saturday, while France midfielder Abou Diaby is set for up to nine months on the sidelines with knee ligament damage.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Close