at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has insisted that whatever happens to the club in the final weeks of the season, the future is bright for the north London side.
Long time Premier League leaders Arsenal have slipped to fourth in the table ahead of this weekend's trip to Hull -- a dress rehearsal for the FA Cup final between the two clubs at Wembley.
Wenger has yet to sign a contract extension, prompting doubts over whether the 64-year-old Frenchman, who recently took charge of his 1,000th Arsenal match, will be back for another campaign.
“I am not in the best position to judge my own work publicly,” Wenger said Friday. “I just promise you one thing, I always sit down and try to be as honest as I can be with myself.
“The only thing I can say is that I put total commitment in from the first until the last day of the season and I will.”
Arsenal haven't won a major trophy since 2005 and if they lose to Hull in the Cup final many will consider the season a disappointment, even if Arsenal hold off Everton in the race for the fourth and final Champions League place on offer to English clubs.
However, Wenger said: “I think we have moved a lot forward, considering what happened to us with a number of injuries we had in a crucial period of the season.
“We were 17 or 18 times top of the league, that did not happen last year, we are in the FA Cup final, we went out only against Bayern Munich in the Champions League with 10 men and we had come out of a very difficult Champions League group.
“I believe that we have shown some real potential and promise for the future.”
Wenger added: “What is satisfying for me is that we do as well as we can until the end of the season, that you can turn and think 'this team has behaved really like a top-level professional team', with all the ups and the downs.
“Because that is what you want from your team, to feel that the team has given as much as they could. After that, you leave the judgement to other people.
“We want to come out of the season and think we have given absolutely everything, and I must say this team has been absolutely focused since the start of the season.
“We had our downs, and big downs for some periods, but the behaviour was always focused.” – AFP