Wenger: Focus on football, not contracts

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is demanding that his players focus on European glory rather than contract negotiations. The Frenchman was speaking on the eve of his side’s crucial Champions League tie with Villarreal on Tuesday night, with both Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott yet to agree extensions to deals that expire next summer. “We must get rid of all the talks. They’re not helping us to win games,” he said. “We have to focus on the short-term not the long-term, because we have such important targets in front of us.” Contract talks with Alex Hleb and Mathieu Flamini affected the team’s title run-in last season, with both players eventually moving on to Barcelona and AC Milan respectively.  And Wenger is adamant Arsenal should remain focused on their Champions League campaign, insisting regular games are vital if they are to achieve success. “If it’s going to be a successful season, we must play every three days," he said. "We cannot sit around talking to the players. I don’t want them sitting at a desk after an away game, I want them recovering for the next game. “I’ve never taken this approach before but I believe contract talks can be distracting and we are at a stage when every game is decisive.” After Arsenal’s injury-hit season, Wenger is finally spoilt for choice with the return to action of Cesc Fabregas, Emmanuel Adebayor and Theo Walcott. Robin van Persie and Samir Nasri will also be available. However, Eduardo and Abou Diaby are out and Andrey Arshavin is cup-tied.  ARSENAL FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: Web Exclusives Patrick Vieira, Cesc Fabregas Q&A Theo Walcott, Cesc Fabregas One on One Arsene Wenger, Thierry Henry, Ian Wright Boy's A Bit Special Theo Walcott, Armand Traore Perfect XI Ian Wright What Happened Next? Gus Caesar, Peter Marinello And Another Thing Being a Big Four fan Plus! Rate Arsenal players (and others) on Talentspotter


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