Wenger apologises for Arsenal stay to those who wanted to 'kill' him

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The long-serving Frenchman faced protests against his reign in 2016-17 but has penned a new two-year contract and remains unfazed by his critics

Arsene Wenger has jokingly apologised to those who wanted to “kill” him prior to penning a contract extension at Arsenal.

The Frenchman faced regular protests against his reign during the 2016-17 campaign as the Gunners slipped out of the Premier League’s top four.

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He was able to salvage something from the season with another FA Cup win, with that triumph enough to earn him a new two-year deal.

Wenger acknowledges that there were many who wanted to see him move on, but he remains unfazed by his critics.

He told reporters at a pre-Community Shield press conference: “I am sorry I am still here! I can understand that you want to kill me but at the moment, I survive.”

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Wenger saw his faultless record of securing Champions League qualification come to an end last season, but he believes silverware should be heralded and insists that he remains as determined as ever to deliver success on all fronts.

He added: “When we qualified for the Champions League, people told me: ‘But you didn’t win a trophy.’

Arsene Wenger Arsenal survive

“Now we won a trophy, and have not qualified for the Champions League, and it’s said to me: ‘Why are you not in the Champions League?’

“That’s normal to live with, but I want to focus on my job and do as well as I can and win absolutely every competition.”

Arsenal will take on a new challenge in 2017-18 as they prepare to enter the Europa League.

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Wenger insists he will be taking the competition seriously, but has also conceded that he will take the opportunity to rest players in Europe if the situation calls for it.

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He said: “I will always play a team that has a good chance to win the next game.

“In the Europa League if we can afford sometimes to rest some players we will do it. But we have to adapt to the level of the competition and see first what kind of group we play in.”

The Gunners will be hoping to add to their trophy collection on Sunday when they take on Premier League champions Chelsea in the Community Shield.