Under-fire Wenger finds a friend in Guardiola

Arsenal will be particularly keen to secure all three points, as they are now sixth in the Premier League standings and in real danger of missing out on a top four finish for the first time during Arsene Wenger's rein as manager.

There was a smile, a bit of humour as well; there were also plenty of questions, asked from all possible angles, but try as they might, the journalists gathered at Arsene Wenger's pre-match press conference on Thursday could not get an answer out of the Arsenal manager.

Iwobi, who has scored four goals in 35 appearances this season, defended Wenger, saying the manager's achievements at the club should not be dwarfed by Arsenal's current struggles.

"The same players have won games and the same players have lost games". I believe we are in a position where we do not have to find easy excuses. I think personally, he's happy here.

"I think a manger like Arsene, who has had a lot of years in one team, is so important", said the Spaniard.

Arsene Wenger has instructed his Arsenal players to recover their focus and not to use the uncertainty over his future as an excuse for falling short of the required standards. I promise you, 100 percent. It is time Arsenal look at alternatives for the Czech legend, even if they don't want to spend huge in the department they already have a ready-made replacement in the form of Wojciech Szczesny - who is now on loan at Roma.

Wenger's side have lost four of their past five Premier League games. "When I say defend better it's not just the defenders it's the team as a whole". "What's gone wrong? We don't defend well enough and that's what's gone wrong". We can still have to turn this around by the end of the season. The two players were handed new deals earlier this season, only to then to reject the club's offer. But Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla is not expected to feature again this season due to an Achilles problem.

"For me whether I stay three years or 10 years I have exactly the same commitment and the same desire to win the next game".

Arsene Wenger: I have made my decision, I will make the announcement soon.

Arteta spent five years at the Emirates and helped them to two FA Cups - but left in the summer after retiring from playing. I don't know but as long as I am here I'm ready to fight and give absolutely everything to the club I love.

However, what Wenger (and that means Arsenal at the moment, because such is the weight and authority that the Frenchman wields at the club) is waiting for is the right moment to announce the deal. This club has become a world brand, not only for its consistent achievements but also for its values and I'm ready to fight for that. "I can understand that".

  • Aubrey Nash