Belfast Telegraph

My future as Arsenal boss will be finalised after FA Cup final, reveals Arsene Wenger

 

By Jim Van Wijk

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed his future will be decided after next week's FA Cup final.

The 67-year-old has just two matches remaining before his current contract expires but has yet to announce publicly if he will sign fresh terms.

Wenger is approaching 21 years in charge of the Gunners but faces an uphill task to continue a proud record of finishing inside the top four of the Premier League in all of his full seasons at the helm.

Arsenal go into tomorrow's final round of league fixtures in fifth, needing to beat Everton at home and hope either Liverpool or Manchester City slip up to allow them to gatecrash the Champions League places.

After that, Wenger will prepare his players for a third FA Cup final in five years when they take on Chelsea at Wembley on May 27.

The Frenchman has been batting away questions over his future for the last few months, but confirmed a meeting held in the days following the final - where he will be looking to win a record eighth FA Cup - will be when his future is discussed.

Asked when the board meeting is scheduled for, Wenger replied: "I think after the FA Cup final."

When pushed on whether that is when a decision on his future will be finalised, he said: "Yes. You have to know there are many aspects of a club which have to be discussed at a board meeting.

"One of them is, of course, what is happening with the manager, the future, the players who have to come in, the renewal of contracts.

"Of course I will be there. At the moment I think we should focus on the short-term and what's going on, on Sunday and the final."

A number of vocal Arsenal supporters have been leading protests in recent weeks against Wenger remaining in charge.

Banners have been flown over stadiums on planes, marches have taken place outside the Emirates and Tuesday's win over Sunderland was boycotted by large swathes of fans.

Those supporters will still be unaware of Wenger's future, but he does not believe that will matter ahead of what is a big day for the club, as they will discover whether they are playing Champions League football next year.

Asked if the visit of Everton will be his last game in charge of Arsenal at the Emirates, he said: "Of the season... yes. I think what is most important for us is to win the game. After that, what happens to me is less important.

"I'm here to serve the club and the best way to do that is to win the next game."

The Gunners go into tomorrow's final league game with continuing fitness doubts over Laurent Koscielny.

The France international revealed earlier in the week that he requires daily treatment on an Achilles problem, but it is a slight calf injury which is currently causing him grief.

He missed the win over Sunderland in the hope of being fit to face Everton, but could now be left on the sidelines with one eye on the Cup final.

Arsenal - Everton

Premier League: Emirates Stadium, Tomorrow, 3pm

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