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Monday 25 September 2017

'I'll show Arsenal board a replay of the final' - Wenger

Defiant Gunners boss says Cup win DVD is his best presentation for new Emirates deal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger lifts the FA Cup for a record-breaking seventh time after Saturday’s win over Chelsea at Wembley. Photo: PA
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger lifts the FA Cup for a record-breaking seventh time after Saturday’s win over Chelsea at Wembley. Photo: PA

Arsene Wenger insists he will head into tomorrow's board meeting to discuss his Arsenal future perfectly equipped with all he needs to secure a new contract - namely a replay of Saturday's 2-1 FA Cup final win over 10-man Chelsea.

It remains unclear whether the 67-year-old will continue as manager of the Gunners, despite capping a disappointing season with a record-breaking victory over the newly crowned Premier League champions.

Wenger has come in for criticism from a number of Arsenal fans this season after the club failed to reach the Champions League for the first time in 19 years, with protests calling for the Frenchman to leave when his current deal expires next month.

Arsenal finished fifth in the league, having crashed out of the Champions League following a 10-2 aggregate defeat to Bayern Munich.

But Wenger, and his Arsenal players, redeemed their campaign to secure a record 13th FA Cup success for the club.

A controversial Alexis Sanchez goal opened proceedings, with referee Anthony Taylor over-ruling an offside decision having missed a handball from the Chilean in the build-up.

Decisive

Diego Costa levelled for the below-par Blues after Victor Moses had picked up a second yellow card for diving in the Arsenal box, only to see Aaron Ramsey head home the decisive goal three minutes later.

Wenger revealed after the game that the Arsenal board will hold a meeting tomorrow, with his future expected to be decided.

And the Frenchman believes the victory over Antonio Conte's Chelsea is proof enough that he is the right man to continue as Arsenal boss.

Asked if he would be preparing a presentation ahead of the meeting, Wenger said: "The best presentation is to watch the game.

"I've played until the end of my contract, which is today basically. I think I have shown you that I have exactly the same commitment.

"For me, the contract does not have special meaning but, because of the debate, maybe I should have sorted that out earlier."

As well as Arsenal moving ahead of Manchester United as the most successful team in the history of the FA Cup, Saturday's win also secured Wenger's spot as the competition's best manager.

He overtook George Ramsay, who won six FA Cups with Aston Villa between 1887 and 1920, as he secured his seventh success.

And Wenger insists he drilled into his players that succeeding against Chelsea was more pertinent than what his own future holds.

"I just told them to focus on what is important, our future, the future of the club, whether I stay or not. The players play for their future, for their next season," he said.

"I love my job and I love to win. I love to build, I love to get people going and I love what I do. I invite you to live with me one day and one thing you cannot question is my commitment."

Wenger berated those fans who had called for his exit during matches in the latter part of the season, but said he does not have to hold it against them in the long-run.

"I am a forgiving man," he said. "You cannot be in this job (if you are not forgiving).

"This job is basically trusting human beings. If you cannot forgive, you cannot trust. The only bit of advice I have for young coaches, if you have a tendency to be paranoid don't do this job.

"I meet many Arsenal fans who are absolutely fantastic. It was maybe one per cent. Ninety-nine per cent of our fans are absolutely fantastic. We play for the 99.9 per cent.

"That's why I said it's not about popularity, it's about consequence. It's the board who has to decide who will lead the club in the future. It's for me afterwards to decide, if they want me, whether it's yes or no."

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