Arsene Wenger: No quit thoughts
Defiant Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has not thought about quitting the job this week, despite enduring more disappointment in a challenging season.
The Gunners boss has found his position under intense scrutiny, after a midweek 3-1 defeat in the Champions League by Bayern Munich followed on from their shock FA Cup exit at home to Blackburn and Capital One Cup loss to Bradford.
The 63-year-old - whose side are set for an eighth season without silverware - reacted angrily earlier this week to "lies" the club had already opened talks over a new deal, with his current contract set to expire in 2014.
However, despite the negativity surrounding his squad, Wenger says he is not about to walk away from the challenges ahead - insisting his desire for the job burns as bright as ever.
Asked directly if he had considered his position this week, Wenger replied: "Never. Not one second.
"I don't think that (motivation) spark has anything to do with the length of your life. It is just that's how you are and you're motivated by how much you want to win and how much you are a winner.
"If I go out now and play one against one with you, you will see I will beat you and at least if I don't manage to beat you, I will want to beat you. That will not change as long as I can move."
Wenger believes there needs to be a sense of "perspective" around achievements at the Emirates Stadium, with Arsenal having continued to qualify for the Champions League despite testing financial circumstances.
"We live in a world of emotion, of excess, and it is down to people who have responsibilities to put that into perspective and keep solid and keep guiding the club in the right way," said Wenger, whose side will look to maintain their improving Barclays Premier League form at home to struggling Aston Villa tomorrow.
"My responsibility is to keep the guidelines and guide the team and the club in what I feel is the right way.
"What is important for me is to focus on the next game and try to give my best, like all the players."
Arsenal's regular board meeting on Thursday was attended by majority shareholder Stan Kroenke, who also watched Tuesday's Bayern game.
Wenger, though, insisted it was very much a case of business as usual.
He said: "The meeting speaks about many things. Commercial, ticket prices, long term plans. I make my report as well on the technical side, so it was the usual thing.
"Of course we had no euphoria because we have gone through a disappointment on Tuesday night but apart from that we are responsible people who know what it is to fight."
Arsenal are set to announce their latest interim financial results next week, which are expected to show another healthy cash reserve to be ploughed back into the squad in the summer - although at a reduced level should they fail to secure Champions League football again next season.
Wenger, though, remains confident Arsenal can come through this testing spell.
He said: "What we need is to be united and strong, and not to be destabilised by people who have strong opinions after one game.
"I believe what is important is that the club always goes with the guidelines we have and do not change direction every time we lose a big game, that would lead to a disaster.
"A bad period for a club is also a good opportunity to show how united and strong you are. We have a good history of that at Arsenal.
"I have a contract until the end of 2014 and at the moment we are on a short-term plan.
"This is for two reasons, because I am here for a long time and as well I have to consider what I want to do. That will be decided in 2014, not before."
Full-back Bacary Sagna is out of Saturday's game with a knee problem but Wenger refuted reports the France international wants to leave the club.