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Fed up Wenger would replace Walcott but wants him to stay

Arsenal's Theo Walcott (left) beats Fulham's Steve Sidwell. Photo credit: Sean Dempsey/PA wire Arsenal's Theo Walcott (left) beats Fulham's Steve Sidwell. Photo credit: Sean Dempsey/PA wire

Friday, November 16, 2012
11:00 PM

Arsene Wenger admits he’s fed up with losing his best players but says that Theo Walcott will be replaced if he leaves.

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The Arsenal winger’s current deal expires in the summer and the manager confessed that contract discussions have not yet progressed.

“Every day I have a discussion about Theo Walcott but not about his contract every day because his agents do that.

“We are trying to get further but at the moment nothing has happened.”

The England international has been constantly linked with transfers to other clubs and would be free to talk to clubs once the January transfer window opens.

Wenger said: “It’s always important to keep your best players but if that should happen we will replace him with another big name, or make another big name.”

But with captains Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie leaving the Emirates Stadium in successive seasons there is growing discontent among supporters that yet another star could be set for the exit door.

Wenger said: “Do you think I’m not fed up? I want them to stay as well.

“What affects me is that our fans are not happy. It doesn’t stop me from doing what I do on the football pitch.

“My biggest desire is to see the fans happy, like the players.

“I believe our fans will be behind us without any problem.”

The murmurings from some sections of the fan base also come from having to endure an eight-year wait for a title.

And as Arsenal sit 11 points of the pace in the race for the Premier League crown, having dropped points in their last two games, the pressure to end that wait will be put under the microscope once again during tomorrow’s north London derby against Tottenham.

“I understand the logic of it,” Wenger agreed when asked if he felt the anxiety of supporters.

“It’s not that the guys are against you as an individual. They want you to win the game and you represent the guy that can make them happy.

“That’s part of it but we haven’t done too badly and we will do again [against Tottenham].

“We have finished every year in a good position.

“Our main target is not to finish above Tottenham. Our main target is finish in the top four.

“It’s important to beat Tottenham as well – [it has] an emotional impact.”

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Arsenal

Nickname: The Gunners.

Ground: Emirates Stadium (capacity 60,361).

Founded: 1886.

Honours: First Division (until 1992) and Premier League: 1931, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1938, 1948, 1953, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2004.

FA Cup: 1930, 1936, 1950, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005.

League Cup: 1987, 1993.

Fairs Cup: 1970.

Cup Winners’ Cup: 1994.

Leading goalscorer: Thierry Henry, 228.

Leading appearances: David O’Leary, 722.