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Why Arsenal failed to secure Champions League place – Wenger

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said an “absolutely horrendous” atmosphere had been partly responsible for his club’s failure to secure a Champions League place for the first time in 20 years.

Speaking after a 3-1 victory over Everton on the final day of the Premier League season, Wenger accepted that uncertainty over his future as manager, which has divided fans, had polluted the air at the Emirates Stadium.

He said there were other explanatory factors behind the club’s difficulties, but refused to go into greater detail.

“Overall I believe that we played since January in a very difficult environment for different reasons,” Wenger told reporters at the Emirates on Sunday.

“Some obviously that you know about and that is very difficult for the group of players to cope with that. Some other reasons, where we will talk about another day.

“But the psychological environment for the group of players was absolutely horrendous. I am very proud of what they have done, the way they responded and finished the season.”

He added: “It has been difficult. Certainly my personal situation has contributed to that.”

Wenger said earlier this year that he would make an announcement about his future before the end of the season, but he has repeatedly ducked opportunities to reveal his intentions.

Asked why his personal situation had not been resolved, he replied: “I don’t know.”

Pressed as to when exactly he felt the uncertainty about his future had affected his players, he said: “It’s a good question. I cannot give you the answer today. I will give you an answer one day. But not today.”

The 67-year-old would only say say his future would be sorted out “soon”.

With Arsenal having finished fifth in the league, attention now turns to Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea, when victory would give Wenger a record seventh success in the competition.

But he will be missing Laurent Koscielny after the French centre-back was sent off for a rash challenge on Enner Valencia and also expects to be without Gabriel, who was stretchered off with a knee injury.

– Wenger defends Kroenke –

Arsenal’s 10 men prevailed courtesy of goals from Hector Bellerin, Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey, with Romelu Lukaku replying from the penalty spot.

AFP

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