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Wenger: Arsenal won FA Cup by showing ‘special attitude and class’

PUBLISHED: 21:28 27 May 2017 | UPDATED: 21:28 27 May 2017

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger lifts the FA Cup trophy after the final whistle during the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger lifts the FA Cup trophy after the final whistle during the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London.

PA Wire/PA Images

Arsenal’s 2017 FA Cup winning manager Arsene Wenger has said lifting the famous old trophy at Wembley today is one of the highlights of his long career.

Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London.Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London.

Arsenal’s 2017 FA Cup winning manager Arsene Wenger has said lifting the famous old trophy at Wembley today is one of the highlights of his long career.

The long-serving boss of the North Londoner’s picked up the jug eared piece of silverware after his side beat Premier League champions Chelsea 2-1 in a dramatic game at the national stadium this afternoon.

An early goal from Alexis Sanchez and a late winner from Aaron Ramsey – sandwiched between a reply from Chelsea’s warrior Diego Costa – saw the Frenchman win the FA Cup for a record seventh time.

Speaking after the game he said of his achievement: “I’m very proud because nobody has done it since 18-god-knows when. It’s not easy.

A general view of the FA Cup trophy during the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London.A general view of the FA Cup trophy during the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London.

“I’m especially proud because of the way we have won it this season by beating Manchester City in the semi-final and Chelsea, and you cannot get tougher.

“You cannot get tougher than that. This cup was won with a special attitude.

“If you look at our recent performances we have won seven games out of eight in a very convincing way.

“For once I have kept my medal and that means it’s a special night for me.”

Arsenal fans in the stands during the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London.Arsenal fans in the stands during the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London.

“Until December we were 20 games unbeaten. There was some blip in March and there uncertainty...”

The FA Cup winners have shown superb form since their disastrous and embarrassing 3-0 capitulation against Crystal Palace on April 10 which forced Wenger to play three at the back from then on. He said: “The way we play suits our players. The way we function gets the best out of our players.

“I said last week this team has potential. If we can strengthen we will be a threat.

“The team and myself refused to give up today and that’s why today I am so proud. Nobody gave us a chance and we responded with attitude and class.”
He also had words of praise for captain Per Mertesacker who played courageously despite a lack of game time. Wenger added: “Per is a fantastic example for any young professional football player. What he did today was a consequence of an outstanding attitude. It was a reward for him.”

Wenger again refused to be drawn on his future saying: “Let’s enjoy the win tonight.

“It is ridiculous that 20 years [service] depends on one game and that the club’s future depends on one game.”

When asked if today would be a good way to bow out he responded by saying there was no perfect way to leave, adding he just wanted to do well for the club and that it was down to the board members to decide if he is the right man to lead the club forward next season.

Referring to a fractious season which has seen his team finish fifth and out of the Champions League places with fan discontent a prominent issue this term he said: “I accept criticism but once a game starts and you’re a fan you stand behind the team – and that’s what I did not accept this season – and I will never accept it.

“When a game starts as a fan you support the team. I will never accept [the abuse].

“If I am still here next season I will still have the same attitude.”

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