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Wenger admits he will not match Sir Alex’s 26-year reign in the dugout

Date Posted,May 23, 2017

Arsene Wenger admits he will not last long enough at Arsenal to match Sir Alex Ferguson’s 26-year reign at Manchester United – and he may not even stay with the Gunners beyond this weekend.

The Gunners manager is expected to sign a two-year contract extension at the Emirates after the FA Cup final against Chelsea.

But Wenger offered no cast-iron guarantee that Saturday’s Wembley showpiece would NOT be his last game in charge of Arsenal.

Le Professeur would only concede that he will not be at the Emirates long enough to match Fergie’s record-breaking reign at Old Trafford.

Wenger says he will not match Fergies impressive record (Photo: Harold Cunningham/AFP/Getty)

Ferguson was complimentary about Wenger’s contribution to English football at the weekend, describing the pressure he has been under from frustrated supporters as “ridiculous,” and the Frenchman admitted: “We had some rivalries in the past, but his comments are welcome because he knows the difficulties of the job.

“I don’t think I will match him on that front. But he did extremely well in what he did, and 26 years at the same place is absolutely exceptional.

“The average life expectancy of a manager is 18 months, so our situation is quite unusual. But I cannot answer on doing 22 or 23 years.

“I do not know if it will be my last match at Arsenal – but it will not be my last match whatever happens because I will stay in football.”

Wenger does not expect another four years (Photo: PA Wire)
Wenger was talking ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final (Photo: David Price)

Would lifting the Cup for a record seventh time be the perfect way to say goodbye? “No – I just want to win and do well for my club. It’s not about me, it’s about us winning.

“The team has given so much and they really want to win something this season.”

Like tonight’s Europa League final in Stockholm, the FA Cup final will be played in the shadows of Monday night’s slaughter of innocents in Manchester.

Wenger is mindful that security will be suffocatingly tight at Wembley, saying: “We are in a bubble and isolated from all that, but of course you want the best level of security.

Security will be tight this weekend (Photo: The FA)

“I am French, and we have lived in a state of emergency for a long time in France. I was in Paris on the night of the attacks in November 2015, and our solidarity is completely total with the city of Manchester.”

Wenger is facing a defensive crisis for the Cup final after Laurent Koscielny’s optimistic appeal against his red card against Everton was rejected by the FA and his three-match ban stands.

And Gabriel Paulista is also definitely out after scans revealed medial knee ligament damage which will put him out of action for between six to eight weeks, a small mercy for the Gunners boss after initial fears that the Brazilian had ruptured cruciate ligaments were allayed.

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