Arsene Wenger: 'Uncertainty over future could be affecting players'

Wenger: 'Speculation could be affecting form'
© SilverHub
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger concedes that the ongoing uncertainty over his future could be affecting the team's performances on the field.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that the uncertainty surrounding his future could be having an impact on the performances of his players.

Over the past month, the 67-year-old has repeatedly delayed an announcement over whether he intends to stay at the club beyond the end of the current season, when his contract at the Emirates Stadium expires.

Arsenal's form has suffered in the meantime, with seven defeats from their last 12 matches in all competitions ahead of Monday's clash with struggling Middlesbrough, and for the first time Wenger acknowledged that the two could be related.

When asked whether the speculation over his contract had created an unstable feeling around the club, Wenger told reporters: "I honestly don't know but I hope not. When I speak about mental test it is to perform, no matter what the circumstances are around you. Is that an influence? I'd say I hope not.

"But what is for sure is that in the last three months there has been no consistency, especially away from home. At home we have not been disastrous in the quality of performance. I don't know [whether the uncertainty has affected Mesut Ozil in particular].

"It can sometimes... He may be coming to the end of his contract but you perform until the last day of that contract. That is how I see it. The impact of [his future] I don't know. We have to focus on what is important and that is what happens on the pitch. Top-level sportsmen have to be like that."

Arsenal now sit seventh in the Premier League table and could begin Monday night's clash with Middlesbrough trailing fourth-placed Liverpool by 12 points.

Jack Wilshere strips during the Premier League game between Southampton and Bournemouth on April 1, 2017
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