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Wenger: I never told Wright I was done

turns out reading tea leaves is hard!

Crystal Palace v Arsenal - Premier League
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

The other day, we ran a story in which Ian Wright, ex-Arsenal top scorer and still Arsenal legend, said that he had dinner with Arsene Wenger. Which, let’s be honest, in and of itself is not news. The newsy bit is that at that dinner, Wright claimed that Wenger made reference to being “tired” and how Wright thought that meant Wenger might be ready to retire after this season.

Well, as you may expect, Wenger had thoughts on those thoughts. Today, in response to Wright’s remarks, Wenger said, in response to Wright’s explanation of what “tired” meant,

“I could be tired because I get up early in the morning and I finish late at night so sometimes I am tired, yes, but I didn’t give any indication [to Wright] about my future,” Wenger said. “Did he misinterpret me? Yes. I appreciate very much you want me to rest [in retirement] but I am not ready for that.”

So, there’s Wenger, saying he’s not told anyone about his plans. He also said that the get-together was not just Wenger and Wright, but “We had a little dinner before but we were not the two of us, we were four, five.”

In response, Wright seemed to walk back his words a bit:

Wright also took to Twitter on Friday night, after his radio appearance, in what looked like an attempt to backtrack. “We were in a room full of people,” Wright said. “He [Wenger] was talking to the room.”

I know we’re all looking for some nugget of...something to indicate which way Arsene Wenger will turn next season, but it looks like this dinner won’t provide it - Ian Wright didn’t lie, but he’s sort of wishcasting in a way a lot of us are, just with a microphone in front of his face and an audience.

What Aidan wrote the other day is still true, though - deciding Arsene Wenger’s future is and should be the club’s #1 non-playing priority for the rest of the season, because for better or worse, Arsene Wenger IS Arsenal. Breaking that link is going to be hugely disruptive, and so when it’s going to happen, it needs to be well planned for as soon as possible.