There’s a news article on the official site about Pat Rice’s future at the end of the season:
Arsène Wenger has stressed that he “200 per cent” wants Pat Rice to continue in his role amid speculation over the Assistant Manager’s future.
Wenger’s right-hand man has given more than 40 years of service to the Club, having joined Arsenal as a 15-year-old apprentice in 1964. Rice went on to make 528 appearances for the Gunners, winning the Double in 1971 and lifting the FA Cup as captain in 1979.
It may be contract talks, and “Wenger doesn’t think Rice’s situation bears comparison” [to Ray Wilkins] –
He will be at the end of his contract at the end of the season. He will not go anywhere else. So will he stay or stop? I don’t know. I hope he will continue. Yes [it is Pat’s decision]. In this case I am the Club and I want him to continue. I want to persuade him…He wants to be sure he can be completely 100 per cent committed. He must think as well [about his age]… in fact he’s my age!
From my side, there’s no hesitation. I want him 200 per cent to continue. It’s only a desire from me. I know how valuable he is for the Club and for me, and I want him to go on. He’s not a guy who does half or thinks half. He gives absolutely everything.
At the moment there’s more chance he remains at the Club than he leaves. There’s a 90 per cent chance that he will go on [stay]. It’s important to keep him, as important as keeping a big player.
I’d be gutted if he left; he embodies everything the players need to know about the club, and concerns I have about continuity if he were to go scare me silly.
Oh yes, and we might buy someone in January but only in exceptional circumstances; AW says that he’s happy with what he’s got, but that he hasn’t ruled out signings. Totally non-committal in a really annoying way. I really dislike the agent-incited auction that is a modern day player transfer. It’s because we have class that we don’t announce any signings until they’re completed, unlike Citeh for example. Despite this a month of fairly pointless media-driven speculation begins for Arsenally Yours. All transfer rumours will be accompanied by my bullsh*t-meter.
Meanwhile, we’ve got a game to play at St Andrew’s today at 5.30. After the disappointing draw with Wigan, a much stronger side faces Birmingham,a team who last lost at home on the 2nd October. Since then they’ve beaten Chelski, and drew with Sp*rs and ManUre.
I expect Chamakh to return along with the unsuspended Fabregas. Arshavin and Nasri will join the Moroccan, with Jack and Alex Song joinging the skipper. We’ve got to show the determination we showed against Chelski, and we must put any thoughts about management to one side.
As for the odds, I’m on for Birmingham HT, Arsenal FT at 25/1 with BlueSq as my long shot, but also interested by 3-1 to us at 14/1 with the same company. Combo is tempting! I’ll see tomorrow.