Wenger: I’m more proud than usual

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Oh, hey there. We won the FA Cup. Again. That’s seven times for Arsene. Thirteen times for The Arsenal. We’re record-breakers. And that’s just bloody lovely.

Unsurprisingly, the boss was pretty chuffed about beating Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley, all the more so after a roller coaster season that has seen his side regularly under the microscope.

Facing the media after the game, Wenger underlined how pleased he is to be the FA Cup’s most successful ever manager and why he’s so particularly happy for this group of players.

“I am very proud because nobody has done it,” said the Frenchman about his seventh FA Cup medal.

“It’s not easy. I’m especially proud of the way we won this time because we had to play against Manchester City in the semi-final here and then Chelsea here. You cannot get tougher. We had two outstanding performances so this cup was won with special spirit and special attitude.

He continued: “I would say that if you look at our recent performances, we’ve won seven out of eight games in a very convincing way with great performances.

“If you look at us until December, we had gone 20 games unbeaten. This season, more than ever, has been hurt by some blips in March. I am convinced now, after looking back at the season, by the uncertainty of my future [affecting] the players.”

In the build up to the match, Wenger took aim at his many critics on the terraces and in the media and enjoyed a swipe at those members of the board who had failed to make a decision about his future.

He expanded post-game on the same issues.  “I am in a public job,” he added. “I accept criticism and that people don’t agree with me. Once the game starts and you’re a fan, you stand behind the team. That’s what I did not accept during the season and that I have never accepted.

“I think this club has special values and we have shown that again today. All the rest is, for me, not acceptable. After the game, I accept that I’ve never had a word with any journalist in 20 years when they’ve criticised my opinions or my decisions.

“It’s the same with the fans. I can understand that. When the game starts, the game starts. When you’re a fan, you support your team. We played some games in a very hostile environment and I will never accept that.

“I try to serve this club with the same commitment and quality. The only thing I can say is that this season we’ve had some difficult moments. I’ve spent every moment of my season with full commitment and have refused to give up. That’s why maybe I’m more proud than usual today because the team and myself have refused to give up. When you can finish the job in a positive way, that’s [good].”

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