Sunday, May 18, 2014

Going nowhere: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed he will be staying on as manager

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was drenched in champagne after ending his nine-year trophy drought with the greatest FA Cup final comeback since 1966 to beat Hull City 3-2. And after the celebrations were over, the Frenchman ended speculation about his future by signalling he would sign a new contract to extend his 18-year reign at the club. ‘This should normally happen — and we are in very normal circumstances,’ he smiled as he toasted his record-equalling fifth FA Cup triumph. ‘It was never a question of leaving, only doing what is right for this club.’ Wenger, cruelly dubbed a ‘specialist in failure’ by Jose Mourinho earlier this season, watched first in horror and then ecstasy as his team fell 2-0 down but hit back to win with an extra-time strike by Aaron Ramsey. It was the manager’s 512th game since his last trophy in 2005 and England manager Roy Hodgson will hope the comeback is an omen. The last time a similar FA Cup final recovery occurred, when Everton beat Sheffield Wednesday, Bobby Moore went on to lift the World Cup. Arsenal were initially stunned as underdogs Hull, chasing the first trophy in their 110-year history, struck twice inside eight minutes through James Chester and Curtis Davies. But a fantastic free-kick by Santi Cazorla and an equaliser by Laurent Koscielny took the game into extra-time during which Ramsey scored after 109 minutes following Olivier Giroud’s backheel. Per Mertesacker tipped champagne over Wenger who was given ‘the bumps’ by his players. Hull boss Steve Bruce said: ‘We showed tremendous courage.’ 'I couldn't ask more from my players. The vast majority are ones that got us out the Championship,' Bruce said. 'It could have been a memorable season. In terms of effort and determination you couldn't fault them, we didn’t have enough but I'm proud, they were magnificent. 'Their first goal wasn't a free-kick, the second one wasn't a corner. But now is not the time to whine. We had a wonderful opportunity.