Published: Sun, May 28, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Arsenal Beat Chelsea To Win FA Cup


But Wenger still lifted the FA Cup for a record seventh time after a season in which he has suffered more criticism than ever before.

Arsene Wenger thinks his 35 years in management means he remains the right man for Arsenal, although his future remains unclear.

However, he rejected the notion that this would be a flawless way to bow out of the club after 21 years in charge.

"I try to serve this club with always the same commitment and quality".

"It was just next man up in the squad, but I didn't feel any pressure". There is a clear handball and I don't understand why the referee didn't decide to blow his whistle. "It is not about popularity, it is about competence".

The Gunners finished fifth in the Premier League, the first time under Wenger's tenure that Arsenal have failed to finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League.

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That sounds like he is still keen to carry on the job, and he has certainly been "competent" over the years.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte had stressed in the build-up that his team were up for the final and would not be taking anything for granted, but they seemed too sluggish in every department and for a change Arsenal had more desire than their arch-rivals.

"We have a board meeting on Tuesday".

"I think in the last two months, we've had outstanding performances. If I'm still here next season, I will have the same attitude in the press conferences".

Chelsea were chasing a Premier League and FA Cup Double, but instead the double was Arsenal's: a record 13th FA Cup success and an unprecedented seventh triumph in the competition for Wenger.

Wenger's side could have been forgiven for arriving at Wembley on Saturday at a low ebb after last weekend's devastating failure to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 20 years.

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"It is [one of my proudest moments]. To get another FA Cup, I'm delighted". "Because the team and myself we have refused to give up at some stage".

They had started their FA Cup final against Premier League champions Chelsea as clear underdogs, after a disappointing season, finishing fifth and missing out on Champions League qualification for the first time in Wenger's almost 21 years in charge.

Ahead of the final, Wenger revealed he has never kept a winners' medal in his managerial career. "The season was incredible for us". It's united and the way we play suits our players. In the final against Chelsea. On Saturday he drafted in Per Mertesacker, his captain who had played only 37 minutes of first team football all season because of injury. He only started at Wembley because Laurent Koscielny, Gabriel Paulista and Shkodran Mustafi were all unavailable.

"He's been fantastic for me, fantastic for these players".

"What he did today was just a effect of an unbelievable attitude every day, even if not selected, until the Everton game in the squad. And that's why I will pay special tribute to him tonight".

Through it all, Wenger has remained guarded about his situation. And Wenger made it clear he found that behaviour unacceptable. "I know what I would like to happen, but I don't know exactly what will happen", he said. "Arsenal started the game better than us", he said. "That's what makes me so proud, and if I am still here next season I will have the same attitude".

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"They are in a good way, they showed strength and unity and we played spectacular football".

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