Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said his future would become “very clear” by Thursday, after guiding the Gunners to another FA Cup success. The Frenchman became the first manager to win the FA Cup seven times as his side beat League champions Chelsea 2-1. The 67-year-old’s contract expires this summer, and there has been much speculation about whether he will stay.
“I have kept my medal so that means it is a special night,” he said. “For the rest, we will see what happens.” Wenger said he knew what he wanted to do, but added: “Let us enjoy this win and not worry about the future.” He told the BBC: “We have a board meeting on Tuesday, and on Wednesday or Thursday it will be very clear.”
It is understood Tuesday’s gathering is not a formal board meeting, but Wenger’s future will be discussed by the club’s directors. Alexis Sanchez gave Arsenal the lead against Chelsea, and Aaron Ramsey clinched the victory after Diego Costa’s equalizer. Arsenal won the FA Cup for a record 13th time as Wenger, who joined the club in 1996, became the most successful manager in the competition’s history.
But they finished fifth in the Premier League, meaning they failed to qualify the Champions League for the first time in 20 years. And the Gunners’ season has been beset by protests from supporters, demanding the Frenchman ends his long association with the club. In an interview with Football Focus before the final, Wenger described the criticism he has had this season as “a disgrace” he will “never forget“.
Having broken a historical record by winning the FA Cup for the seventh time, Arsène Wenger also broke the habit of a lifetime. He will this time keep his winner’s medal. The Arsenal manager usually gives them to his backroom staff or those that don’t get a medal that he feels deserves one, but not this one. This one, as he said himself, is “special”. “For once I have taken my medal so that means it’s a special night for me.” A last night? The last medal? A perfect way to say goodbye?