Norwich v Arsenal: Arsene Wenger readies himself for final flourish as questions still linger over his own Arsenal future

Wenger is yet to extend his contract beyond the end of the season and could be leading the Gunners for the penultimate time at Carrow Road

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has no fears his team will "fall apart" if they fail to win the FA Cup.

The Gunners head to Norwich, who are all but relegated, for Sunday's final match of the Barclays Premier League season with the pressure off having already secured fourth place ahead of Everton.

However, the Wembley date with Hull on May 17 means no-one at the club can take a summer holiday just yet.

Over the coming days, focus will all inevitably be centred around Arsenal's quest to finally end almost a decade without a trophy and avoid another shock defeat as hot favourites which they suffered against Birmingham in the 2011 League Cup final.

Wenger, however, insists he will not be looking to add to the hysteria.

"No matter what happens, the team will not fall apart. It will still be a team the next day, but we want to do it because we fought very hard to get there," he said.

"Of course it (the chance of winning a trophy) has a big meaning to us.

"We had to go through Tottenham, Everton, Liverpool, penalties in the semi-final (against Wigan), so we want to finish the job now."

 

Wenger is confident his squad have the needed mentality to deliver, having done so in their crucial Champions League qualifier right at the start of the campaign, when the club looked to be on the brink following defeat in the opening Premier League match at Emirates Stadium.

"When you play at Fenerbahce after having lost against Aston Villa, there is a massive pressure - you play the game of the season having lost at home with a revolution behind you," he said.

"We have played many games with pressure. When you play against Liverpool in the FA Cup, the pressure is the same.

"In the final, it is just a football game where you want to turn up and put the effort in."

Wenger feels his squad certainly did that over the course of the Premier League campaign, but one which ultimately ended in disappointment having led the table right up until February.

His future at Arsenal has yet to be clarified, with his contract up at the end of the season. But reports linking him to the coach's job at Monaco, his former club, have been dismissed by sources at Arsenal.

"Last year it was an achievement to get in the top four because we needed to win the last 10 games, this season we were in a strong position and we lost our strong position, so we are a bit more frustrated, but we were close," he said.

"We do not get something for that (Champions League qualification), but it is a difficult achievement. Why? Because if you look across Europe in the major leagues, only one other club has done it in the last 18 years with us, Bayern Munich.

"If it was as easy as that, why do the others not to do it? Everybody wants to be in there.

"Once we were under threat to lose out of the top four, people start to ask me 'would you prefer to be in the top four or win the FA Cup?'

"If it is not important, why do people make such a case of it? Because everybody wants to play in the Champions League.

"My answer was always that I want to do both."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea