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Keown says Wenger’s uncertain future can motivate team in FA Cup final

Date Posted,May 26, 2017

Arsenal face Chelsea on Saturday for a chance to win a record 13th FA Cup.

The match is the biggest of the Gunners’ season, and could hold even greater significance for under-fire boss Arsene Wenger, whose future is still undecided.

This campaign has been the worst in the Frenchman’s reign; he’s missed out on a top-four finish and as a result his side will not be playing in the Champions League next season.

Pressure from a growing section of the Gunners fan base has intensified this year as the north London club have at times looked a shadow of their previous self.

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Wenger’s future is still the focus of much widespread speculation as the Frenchman has stalled on a new deal and has repeatedly avoided confirming whether he will stay.

But club legend Martin Keown doesn’t believe the uncertainty surrounding his future should have any impact on the Arsenal players.

In fact it should motivate them – they should be willing to work harder for their boss.

Alexis Sanchez could make the difference for the Gunners against Chelsea (Photo: Clive Mason)

When asked how he would approach the game if he was still an Arsenal player, Keown told MirrorFootball: “I’d know that he is my manager on the day.

“And if anything, if there is uncertainty or I get a whisper that he is going, maybe I would try a little bit harder for him.

“It’s certainly not a case of ‘oh well, my future is up in the air’, I don’t think you can worry about that.

Arsenal have struggled for consistency this season (Photo: REUTERS)

“I think true champions go and play and they have that, not selfishness, but single-mindedness to go and win an FA Cup for yourself and for the club and everyone else.

“You always play for a collection of reasons, the manager, it’s handy if you get on with your manager, you play for him too.

Sanchez will be desperate to get his hands on the FA Cup (Photo: REUTERS)

“It’s a ruthless business and the players will be focused on winning an FA Cup.

“They can’t worry about uncertainty because when they did I think it affected their season. More recently they got on with winning games of football and they done that well.”

The game is the biggest of Arsenal’s campaign (Photo: Rex Features)

Keown, who is McDonald’s Head of English Football, is currently helping recruit entries for a competition at the Women’s Euros.

The Gunners legend is encouraging people to register a child for the opportunity to be a Player Escort at the UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 match between England and Scotland. To find out more please visit www.mcdonalds.co.uk/chancestowin

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