Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says the Gunners ‘are the best club in the world’ despite being outside the Premier League top four and facing a Champions League exit, with their best player set to leave.
It has been a tough few days for Wenger, with Arsenal falling to fifth after losing 2-0 to Liverpool on Saturday, after he left Alexis Sanchez on the bench following a row during training.
However, the Arsenal manager has come out fighting, saying he and his charges have to defend the honour of the club.
He deflected questions about Sanchez leaving the club in the summer after the falling out, and said he was not answerable to player power.
Wenger said: “Alexis Sanchez has 15 months on his contract so the decision on whether he will be there will depend on Arsenal Football Club, not anyone else.
“It’s not down to the players to choose a manager. The players have to perform and the board chooses a manager. If I ask you if everyone in your company is behind you, I will promise you I will find someone who is not happy. It’s your bosses who choose.
“I think we are the best club in the world and we have to defend the pride of it. I have to perform and we have to perform.”
Arsenal face a week of crucial cup football similar to what they went through last month, when they visited Bayern Munich in the Champions League before the test of non-league Sutton United in the FA Cup.
On that occasion, they were embarrassed 5-1 in Germany, then survived a scare to see off Sutton 2-0 at Gander Green Lane.
This week, they play the German giants in the second leg at the Emirates, looking to rescue some pride as they prepare for yet another exit in the Champions League round of 16.