Date: 22nd May 2017 at 10:44am
Written by:

Arsene Wenger has finally admitted the uncertainty about his future at Arsenal proved a damaging factor having also said it was ‘sad’ a Champions League place was lost for the first time in 20 years.

Victory over Everton on Sunday wasn’t enough to get Arsenal into the top-four as a win for Liverpool against Middlesbrough and Manchester City’s thrashing of Watford meant the Gunners finished fifth.

Having always denied his unresolved future had played a part, Wenger conceded it had after the Everton game. However, he also said a ‘horrendous psychological environment’ did little to help the players too.

Wenger told Sky Sports: ‘Since January, we played in a very difficult environment for different reasons. Some obviously that you know about, and that is very difficult for the group of players to cope with. Some other reasons we will talk about another day. But the psychological environment for the group of players was absolutely horrendous. It has been difficult.’

On his ‘personal situation’, Wenger added: ‘Certainly my personal situation has contributed to that.’

Hector Bellerin’s goal got us off to the start we needed but Laurent Koscielny’s sending off shortly after, ruling him out of the FA Cup final due to suspension, meant Everton faced 10 men for 75 minutes. Nevertheless Alexis Sanchez doubled the lead before Aaron Ramsey wrapped up the win, for what it was worth in the end, in added time after Romelu Lukaku pulled one back from the penalty spot.

The future of Wenger will be decided, once and for all in a board meeting following Saturday’s FA Cup final against Premier League winners Chelsea.

Wenger went on to say he’ll love the club for the rest of his life whatever decision made, revealing he had said no to all of the best clubs in the game to remain at Arsenal during his 20 years in charge.

He said: ‘As I said before we will sit together after the cup final and see where we go. I will love the club my whole life. Even if I wanted to I would not be capable of changing that. My commitment, my love and my loyalty to this club cannot be questioned. I’ve said no to many clubs during my career here and I want always to do what is best for the club.’

Has Wenger taken charge of his final Premier League game at Arsenal? The outcome of the FA Cup might not make any difference? But, one way or the other, this long-running saga at (what could be) the end of two decades as boss will soon come to an end.

Join The Vital Debate