Arsenal Boss 'Doesn't Know' If Cup Final Will Be His Last Game
- Author: Leroy Wright May 26, 2017,
May 26, 2017, 16:37
But with first-choice centre-backs Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel unavailable and Shkodran Mustafi a doubt, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger may have no choice but to see if Mertesacker cannot only cope with Chelsea striker Diego Costa but also last the entire game.
Kroenke is being blamed along with under-fire manager Arsene Wenger for the club failing to qualify for the lucrative Champions League for the first time in 21 years under Wenger.
When asked on Wednesday if it would be his last game as Gunners boss he replied: "I don't know".
"It will not be my last match because whatever happens I will stay in football".
"Would it be a nice farewell?"
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"We know that we've got the opportunity of playing in the FA Cup final, and it's something we really want to do our best in". We had a few big rivalries but time has ended all that and I think we have big respect.
Laurent Koscielny is suspended, Gabriel is out with a knee injury, Shkodran Mustafi is a major doubt with concussion while Kieran Gibbs has not yet trained all week so is running out of time to be ready.
The Gunners went on to win eight out of the last nine games in all competitions and the defeat came in the North London derby against Tottenham when Holding was named on the bench.
Fellow FA Cup finalists Arsenal also reacted to the UK's "critical" threat level - meaning a terror attack is imminent - by cancelling a planned live screening of the Wembley showdown at Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening.
Arsene Wenger has admitted that he will not stick around at Arsenal for long enough to match Sir Alex Ferguson's achievement of spending 26 years at one club.
"I haven't played this year", Mertesacker said.
"Short-term, we are just thrilled to be in that final with our manager".
He last played 90 minutes for Arsenal back in April 2016. Mertesacker missed the first half of the season with injury and was then not selected by Wenger, but he will likely have to start on Saturday if Mustafi does not recover. "I haven't played this year". Different situation. We'll see if he's fit to start the game.
"We've got the league title and they're going to want to win because they missed out on top four".