Arsene Wenger Slams Rumours over Arsenal Future After FA Cup Loss to Watford

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Arsene Wenger Slams Rumours over Arsenal Future After FA Cup Loss to Watford
IAN KINGTON/Getty Images

Arsene Wenger's frustrations boiled over in the wake of Sunday's 2-1 FA Cup defeat to Watford after the Frenchman labelled questions regarding his future as Arsenal manager "a farce."

The Gunners saw their 15-match unbeaten run in the tournament come to an end at home to the Hornets, and afterwards, Wenger slammed the constant pressure he feels has surrounded his team, per the Press Association (h/t ESPN FC):

We have come to the end of a very, very long run in the FA Cup, so it is very sad, but we want now to focus on the next game. The next game is always a big challenge and you are always in the middle of a drama. It is becoming a farce.

What is going on at the moment is very, very difficult to take for the players, but judge us at the end of the season. We have lost a game. We are sad and we want to focus on the next game.

Watford saw a host of scoring chances pass by on Sunday before Odion Ighalo finally fired the visitors into a 50th-minute lead, as shown by BT Sport:

The highlight of the afternoon was Adlene Guedioura's powerful finish past Arsenal stopper David Ospina in the 63rd minute, an effort regular Gunners No. 1 Petr Cech might have had a better chance of saving:

Wenger is no stranger to facing scrutiny, as is the case with just about any manager in the Premier League, but now in his 20th year with the north Londoners, even the most resolute figure appears to have a breaking point.   

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Sunday's defeat also means Arsenal's hopes of clinching silverware this season have been reduced to rubble, with their European and Premier League campaigns both in major doubt.

Wenger's men sit eight points off Premier League leaders Leicester City with nine games remaining. Meanwhile, their chances of progressing in the Champions League are slim as they travel to Barcelona on Wednesday, looking to overturn a 2-0 deficit in the second leg of their round-of-16 encounter.

Premier League pundit Jamie Redknapp said in his Daily Mail column on Monday that Wenger should be given time for now, but questions will have to be asked if Leicester beat his team to the league crown:

Arsenal will forever be indebted to Wenger for what he has done but if they don’t win the title this season there are going to be some difficult conversations. Wenger has constantly said how well Arsenal do to compete with the financial muscle of Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United but if Leicester win the title this season, that reasoning will go out the window.

This is a golden chance to win the league and everybody knows it. The trouble is it’s the same old problems for Arsenal. There seems to be a naivety in recruiting in the right areas — their defence, defensive midfield and strike-force have long needed strengthening.

Arsenal have never finished outside the Premier League's top four in their 19 previous seasons under Wenger's command, but doubt will set in if underdogs Leicester or second-placed rivals Tottenham Hotspur top the table.

The Gunners are finishing this campaign in poor fashion after winning just once in their last seven outings, and Fox presenter Daniel Garb suggested Wenger may even consider stepping down from the role:

Having endured similar pressures to this in much of his managerial career, it's unlikely the French tactician would walk away from Arsenal before his deal at the Emirates Stadium is up, but faith among fans looks to be waning.

Not for the first time in his Arsenal tenure, Wenger has led the club on a lacklustre end-of-season run-in, but the line of questioning over his future at the north London club has lost any appeal with the 66-year-old manager.

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