Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Wenger under pressure like never before in FA Cup final

16 May 2014, 16:19

London - During Arsene Wenger's most successful period as manager of Arsenal, the FA Cup final became a regular date in the club's diary.

From 1998 onwards they played in English football's showpiece five times in eight seasons, winning four of those games.

Yet since the last success, a lucky one on penalties after being outplayed by Alex Ferguson's Manchester United in 2005, Wenger's magic touch has deserted him not only in the Cup but every other competition too.

Arsenal therefore go into Saturday's final against Hull City at Wembley without having won anything in the ensuing nine years, leaving the urbane Frenchman under the sort of pressure he has not experienced before in 30 years in management.

After the London club finished their Premier League programme in fourth place, ensuring a shot at the Champions League for a 17th successive season, Wenger, 64, insisted he would remain at the club next season.

He has not signed a new contract, however, and defeat by lowly Hull, 16th in the league and contesting their first major final, would lead to a backlash by supporters, many of whom already believe that going almost a decade without winning anything is unacceptable for one of England's great clubs.

"All the pressure is on Arsenal," the club's former midfielder Ray Parlour, who also played for Hull, told Reuters on Friday.

"I know the supporters sometimes get frustrated with no trophy."

The other source of frustration among the 60,000 fans who attend every home game is Wenger's perceived reluctance to spend the sort of money on new players that has allowed clubs like Manchester City, Chelsea and - until this season - Manchester United to win the trophies they have missed out on.

For some years he put that down to having to finance the expensive move from Highbury, with its limited capacity, to the Emirates Stadium. That switch was completed eight years ago and Arsenal have not won anything at their new home.

The club board, which the American businessman Stan Kroenke joined in 2008, has always said funds were available to Wenger, whose more recent argument has been that other clubs have flouted Financial Fair Play rules and will now have to conform to them.


The decision to spend 42 million pounds ($70.5 million) on Real Madrid's German midfielder Mesut Ozil at the start of the season appeared to indicate a new philosophy but after a dazzling start, Ozil's form fell away in tandem with Arsenal's.

Top of the table from mid-September in an almost unbroken sequence lasting until February, they dropped out of the running for the title with a series of humiliating defeats to other contenders, 6-3 at Manchester City, 5-1 at Liverpool and 6-0 at Chelsea.

There was widespread criticism when the only new signing in the January transfer window was the Swede Kim Kallstrom, another midfielder, at a time when Olivier Giroud appeared to need back-up in the form of a new striker.

Giroud's 16 league goals made him the only Arsenal player to reach double figures apart from midfielder Aaron Ramsey, who scored his 10th in the final match at Norwich last weekend.

Ramsey, who missed four months of the season, England's Jack Wilshere and Ozil all suffered injuries that hampered Wenger's plans in the second half of the season but with all three now back it is imperative that Arsenal leave Wembley on Saturday with their hands on a trophy.

If not, the taunt of Chelsea's manager Jose Mourinho that Wenger is "a specialist in failure" will gain greater credence.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!

- Reuters


7 arrests over violence at West Ham

27 October 2016, 18:00

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Leave ODM if you are unhappy, Rai...

Leave ODM if you are not happy, Raila Odinga tells Senator. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Former Assistant Minister joins J...

A former Assistant Minister has quit PNU and joined the Jubilee Party. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
DP Ruto intervenes as Kerio Valle...

DP William Ruto will visit Kerio Valley to try solve never-ending clashes between local residents. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM MP chased down by angry Kibra...

Kibra MP Ken Okoth had a hard time in his constituency after angry youth pelted him with stones. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Prepare for DP Ruto fight in 2022...

An MP has warned that the Kalenjin Community will not stand back and watch as DP Ruto is duped ahead of the 2022 polls. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Be careful who you deal with, DP ...

Watch out for your political future, DP William Ruto has been warned. Read more...