Mertesacker interrupted by Wenger; makes squad admission

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger interjected a question posed to Per Mertesacker on the Frenchman’s future on Monday afternoon.

The Germany defender joined Wenger at the press conference ahead of the Gunners’ clash with Bayern Munich on Tuesday night.

Mertesacker was asked if the players want Wenger to remain next year, but before he could answer Wenger interjected.

“Honestly, I don’t think it’s down to the players to choose a manager,” said Wenger, who is yet to commit himself to the club.

“Your questions are not adjusted to the press conference when preparing for a game. The players have to perform.

“The board chooses the manager. It’s your bosses who choose whether you’re here or not. I can understand that I am criticised after these results, but it’s not down to the players to choose the manager.

“The players have to perform for this football club. I think we are at the best club in the world, and we have to show pride and commitment to defend the pride of this club.

“It’s not about the politics. We are not at a political club here, we are judged on performance. I have to perform and the players have to perform.”

Wenger has been offered a contract extension but so far he has not made a decision on his future and a growing number of fans are calling for the Frenchman to walk away from the club after 21 years.

Mertesacker did though answer a question asking about the mood withinthe squad after recent defeats to Bayern and Liverpool.

“It’s a little bit tense [in the squad] but that is normal when you have a stretch like this,” said the defender.

“We need our fans to back us up. We’ve done some wrong in previous games. The spirit is a bit tense but that’s normal.”