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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
News
i100
News
Prince Harry is clearing enjoying the Commonwealth Games judging by this photo
people(a real one this time)
Sport
Lionel Messi looks on at the end of the final
football
Extras
indybest
News
Richard Norris in GQ
mediaGQ features photo shoot with man who underwent full face transplant
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell