Arsene Wenger has praised his young side’s never-say-die spirit and says he could stay as Arsenal boss for “the next 20 years”.
Arsenal could be 10 points behind Manchester United, albeit with two games in hand, by the time they kick off against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road on Sunday, but Wenger says his side will fight to the end.
And he bristled at suggestions that this season has been a major disappointment again for the Gunners, whose fans have complained about the prospect a sixth successive season without a trophy.
Wenger said: “The season is not over. We understand their opinion and disappointment, but the situation is not dramatic. I am proud of what these players have achieved.”
“We have done really well until now. We had three big disappointments in one week, but we are second in the league – is that a scandal? It is important that we finish as strongly as possible.”
And he said he would not waver as long as everyone at the club kept pushing for honours.
“As long as the team is second in the league and the whole club is down (disappointed with that) then I am ready to sign for the next 20 years and stand up for that,” Wenger said.
“If someone is better than you at the end of the season you have to accept it and get on with it. But I’m up for the fight, and want to win every single game. Every point is important now.”
Wenger will have Cesc Fabregas back in his starting line-up for Sunday’s match, but be without Alex Song, who has a knee injury.
Bacary Sagna and Theo Walcott are doubtful with knee and ankle injuries, but Manuel Almunia retains his place in goal, with Jens Lehmann on the substitutes’ bench against Ian Holloway’s side.
“Blackpool had great success earlier this season because no-one expected anything from them,” Wenger said.
“They are going through a difficult period but they have played good football and overall have done very well.”
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