Wenger clashes with reporters over contract claims
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hit out at wrong information intended "to harm" following reports the club had opened talks over a contract extension.
The Gunners host Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League showdown tomorrow night just a few days after crashing out of the FA Cup at home to npower Championship Blackburn.
The Frenchman gave a tetchy news conference at Arsenal's training ground, treating questions with a mixture of sarcasm and aggression and refusing to discuss the merits of a Bayern side who are strolling to the Bundesliga title
Reports this morning suggested that despite the Gunners facing up to what could be an eighth season without a trophy, negotiations had already started with Wenger over a new deal, his current set to expire in the summer of 2014.
However, Wenger, 63, went on the offensive at the pre-match new conference, looking to set the record straight.
"That is the wrong information and I work for 16 years in England and I think I deserve a bit more credit than wrong information that has only one intention: to harm," the Arsenal boss said.
"If it is good information which comes from nowhere it is all right, but this is wrong information that comes from nowhere and it is completely wrong."
"I do not know where the information comes from. Why do you look at me?" - Arsene Wenger
Wenger then became involved in a heated exchange with a journalist, adding: "I look at you not because you give information, I do not know if it is you, I do not know where the information comes from. Why do you look at me? I just thought you had given this information out.
"Here this is a pre-match conference for the Champions League, if you want to talk about Saturday, that press conference has been made after the game.
"Can we get some questions about tomorrow's game, that would be very nice."
Yet when a German reporter asked him to share his thoughts on the threat posed by Bayern, Wenger said: "Don't talk about Bayern Munich today."
Wenger feels it is important to "take a distance" from Saturday's disappointment, where a scrappy goal from former Arsenal trainee Colin Kazim-Richards inflicted a first FA Cup defeat by lower-league opposition on his side.
He said: "We have to analyse the game. We lost to a team who had one shot at goal, it is not like we have not touched the ball in the Blackburn game.
"Football is about skill, intelligence and some things as well are a bit unpredictable."
Wenger stressed his team must take no notice of the negative headlines and broken cannon motifs if they are to progress over two legs against the Bundesliga giants.
"We know well what is going on here. What is important is to forget what people say and focus on our strengths," he said.
"We play for Arsenal in the last 16 of the Champions league, we have qualified for a long, long time.
"What is important is not what people say it is what happens on the pitch.
"We live in a democracy of experts and opinions, but we have to live with that and cope with that and show we have the mental strength to deal with any opinion. There are a lot of experts who are not necessarily always right."
Wenger added: "There is a lot of superficial analysis. We have to accept we take the blame for going out (of the FA Cup), but you have to put things into perspective.
"You have to really analyse it, just because one guy says one thing, everybody has to go the same way."