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

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn