Wenger in most revealing statement yet on his future & FA Cup final

Arsene Wenger Press Conference Smiling - 16/02/2014

Arsenal boss slammed speculated reports claiming his Gunners future hinges on Saturday's result against Hull City - "ridiculous!"

"The result of Saturday's FA Cup final will have no influence on my future at Arsenal," Arsene Wenger has confirmed after rampant media speculation suggesting the Frenchman could end his near two-decade long reign over the Gunners, a club he has revolutionised, by either retiring or leaving for Paris Saint Germain.

The catalyst for the press rumours is a subject that perpetually hounds the club - their nine-year barren run - with the current claim being that the Emirates Stadium upper brass may seek out a new boss should Wenger fail to return the FA Cup on Saturday, May 17 at Wembley Stadium.

Since 2005 - when Arsenal last won a trophy - the club have navigated their way to a hat-trick of cup finals, but have lost every one of them. Regardless of result this weekend against Hull City, Wenger has vowed to continue with the club he has been synonymous with in the modern era. He will, he has said in a revealing statement on Eurosport, be the manager next season.

"When I've been part of a club for 18 years, it would be a bit ridiculous to base my decision on one single match, don’t you think?" He said, with rhetoric. "Will I be the manager next season? Yes, normally. It’s not completely finalised yet, but it should happen."

Out of all the Premier League title contenders this season, Arsenal led the pack for the most days, yet their command on the division slipped in the second half of the campaign, allowing Liverpool and Manchester City to steam ahead. The club's season is not yet over though: "Winning the FA Cup is our main goal now," said Wenger.

"Each year, Champions League qualification is the minimal objective of the season. Even if we have been frustrated this season - because we led the league for 128 days, and we lost the title in the end - Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal can all feel frustrated this season. But we still have one big objective: win the FA Cup on Saturday.

"We are back at Wembley for the first time since the League Cup final defeat to Birmingham and I think the players who were there in 2011 thought about it a bit in this year's semi-final against Wigan, because we were favourites by far, just as against Birmingham.

"We were losing 1-0 and there were only ten minutes to play. Finally we won after a penalty shoot-out. This game was a bit apathetic. We were getting out of a bad period and we had this huge pressure; no matter how, we had to go through this round. We had some difficulties, but we succeeded. Now we have to make something out of it in the final."

He continued: "Are we favourites? Even if we don’t have the same number of points as Hull in the Premier League, it’s always a game. In the Premier League, all teams can make passes, all teams can shoot, all teams can use corners or free-kicks. So we must accept the idea that we can lose, just like we can win.

"A final is a bit different, because you have to go with the necessary energy to be at the top of your capacity. That’s where we have to focus, while knowing that this is football; you can always lose, but you have to do everything to win."

Commenting on the club's gauntlet run of opposition in the tournament, Wenger has credited his side's "amazing spirit and great mental qualities". He concluded: "We have won against many big teams to [get to Wembley]: Tottenham [Hotspur], Liverpool, Everton. So this group deserves to win this final, but they have to make the final step; it’s often the hardest, certainly the most important."

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