Arsenal beats Chelsea 2-1 to win FA Cup
- Author: Leroy Wright May 30, 2017,
May 30, 2017, 4:03
"This doesn't influence anything", record seven-times FA Cup victor Wenger told reporters.
He was all smiles though as he joined the ecstatic celebrations on the Wembley pitch where Aaron Ramsey's late header ensured Arsenal have now won three of the last four FA Cups after an interminable 10-year trophy drought.
"But, once the game starts, as a fan you stand behind the team".
In that present, it was impossible not to be profoundly happy for Wenger, as he smiled in the press conference room with that medal in his pocket. "I think that my players were distracted", he added.
He said: "I don't think I can answer that question at the moment".
Wenger's future, which has been up in the air for months, will be settled at a board meeting on Tuesday, but the 67-year-old said he could not say for certain whether or not the club's decision-makers will back him. "It's not about popularity, it's about competence". Delivering the FA Cup three times in four seasons has papered over some of the cracks as Arsenal has repeatedly come up short in the Premier League and Europe.
"Our season was incredible, to win the league in this way". And they won't even be back among Europe's elite in September after finishing fifth in the Premier League; the lowest finish since Wenger took charge in 1996.
Although Fabregas conceded the defeat left a "bad taste" at the end of the season, he reflected on a successful campaign.
For once, so much went right for Wenger, even with a patched-up, injury-depleted defense featuring Per Mertesacker, the team's captain, who was making his first start in more than a year, explained New York Times. He said after the match, : "We had an outstanding performance from the first minute onwards".
"Handballs against Manchester United and Bournemouth and then they scored this was the same but we were unlucky".
The element of weariness in the Chelsea display did not bode well for next term, when they will once again have the additional commitment of Champions League football.
There was better luck, too.
The Chilean striker opened the scoring after a solo run. But the decision by Anthony Taylor's assistant was overturned by the referee. "That's my feeling", Mertesacker told the Daily Mail. If Ramsey was not in an offside position, I could go out and touch the ball but I had to stop because he was there'.
Diego Costa revived Chelsea in the 76th minute when Arsenal keeper David Ospina failed to keep out his deflected shot.
But Arsenal continued to threaten on the break and in the 68th minute the momentum tilted yet further in their direction.
The Wenger debate has divided the club's supporters this season, creating what Wenger describes as a "hostile" environment which has effected his players. I feel this club has special values and we have shown that today. "A lot of teams are waiting to be champions for very long, including Arsenal".