Arsene Wenger silent on his future after Arsenal miss out on Champions League

21 May 2017 07:25

Arsene Wenger would not be drawn on his future at the Emirates after Arsenal missed out on a Champions League place for the first time in almost two decades.

Goals from Hector Bellerin, Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey saw the Gunners claim a 3-1 victory over Everton, but it was not enough as wins for Manchester City and Liverpool saw Arsenal miss out on a top-four finish by one point on the final day of the Premier League season.

There could also be a price to pay for next weekend's FA Cup final against Chelsea as Laurent Koscielny was sent off just 14 minutes in and Gabriel was carried off on a stretcher.

Following the match Wenger did not want to focus on his personal situation, but said the tension coming from fans who want him out was not helping the players.

"Look, my personal situation tonight is not so important," Wenger said.

"I care about this club. Even if I leave one day I will love this club until the last day of my life, and I want this club to do well and that's all I care about tonight.

"It's not my personal situation, it's just how well the club responds next season.

"You have been at the games and you cannot say that the environment for the players was especially positive.

"I don't know. What is important is we do our job. We are professional people and part of being professional is as well to perform when the environment is not positive. We have not to look there as well as an excuse, but I just say it's a fact - it doesn't help."

Wenger also admitted that missing out on a top-four berth felt "very strange".

A fifth-placed finish means Wenger's men will be on the outside looking in after 19 straight seasons in Europe's elite club competition.

"I don't know yet because we have not started the Champions League yet, but it's very sad," the Frenchman said.

"For 20 years we were in it and it's the first year that we will not be in it.

"It's very strange because, for 75 points, we are only one point short. Of course you can look everywhere for where we dropped these points, but since January it's been a very difficult environment for different reasons.

"Some you know about, and that's very difficult for a group of players to cope with that. There are some other reasons that we will talk about another day.

"Psychologically, the environment for this group of players was absolutely horrendous and I'm very proud of what they have done, the way they responded and finished the season."

Wenger did not take part in the lap of honour with his squad, but when asked if that signalled the end of his time at Arsenal, he said: "No, not at all."

Despite defeat, Everton finished seventh and will join Arsenal in the Europa League.

However, manager Ronald Koeman said it was imperative to find players who can give his side more aggression and productivity.

"It wasn't good enough," the Dutchman said. "We saw today what we need for the next season. We need more productivity out of possession.

"That's the difference between us and Arsenal. We did everything to win the game but we had to score in the first half. It was a long time 11 v 10 and a penalty isn't enough."

Koeman also confirmed he is set to speak to the board on Monday about Ross Barkley's future.

The manager said last week he was not confident on the England international signing a new contract at Goodison Park. And when asked on contract negotiations, he responded: "I will speak to the board tomorrow and we will make a statement.

"He was one of the players who didn't show productivity today. Overall it's not about one player, but I understand why you asked about him. That's what we need to change. We need to find players with more productivity."

Source: PA


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