ENGLAND - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has told fans they have not seen the last of him after he ensured another top four Premier League finish and a spot in the Champions League.
Wenger's contract expires at the end of the campaign and the 64-year-old Frenchman has yet to sign a new one amid growing complaints from the terraces that it might be time for a change after 18 years of his stewardship.
The last nine of those have not seen them win a trophy but Wenger was steadfast in his commitment after they were handed fourth spot following Everton's 3-2 home loss to league leaders Manchester City on Saturday. "Look at me," he told reporters, arms outstretched when asked whether he would definitely be in charge for next season. "You will see me again. "Don't be impatient. My last time will come. You will get rid of me one day, don't worry."
Wenger's comments came after a Sunday stroll in the sun as they despatched struggling West Bromwich Albion 1-0 at the Emirates in their final home game of the season.
But it was not an entirely cheerful mood in North London with some fans protesting outside of the ground at the growing costs of watching the team as the sung "Arsenal till I'm skint".
They also unveiled banners that read "record commercial deals + greedy owners = poorer fans".
Revenues have been a hot topic at Arsenal, with British media reports suggesting a renewal for Wenger would only come if Arsenal ensured another season in the Champions League. "No no, its not linked to that at all," Wenger said. "It was of course important to be in the Champions League, that is for sure, but I have told you many times it is not linked to my commitment, linked to the fact that I feel I am useful. "I told you many times that my word is my word. I am from a period where you did not need a pen to commit."
But questions have been raised whether it should be simply down to Wenger if he wants to stay.
He celebrated 1,000 games in a charge of the club this season but the milestone day ended in regrettable fashion with a 6-0 humiliation at London rivals Chelsea, ending their challenge for the league, which they led by seven points at one stage.
The club face a final league match at Norwich City next week before the FA Cup final against Hull City on May 17 where Wenger will try to claim the trophy for a fifth time.
Time will tell if a victory at Wembley will be enough to appease the frustrated sections of the crowd, but Wenger said he remained sure he was the man to return the 13-times English champions to the heights he had them at before. "I do not have moments of doubt. If I did, it would have been a few years ago when I had to say 'no' to many offers and I committed to this club."
Wenger hopes that fullback Bacary Sagna and backup goalkeeper Lukas Fabianski will show similar commitment with the duo's contracts also about to expire.
The manager added that on-loan Swedish midfielder Kim Kallstrom will return to Spartak Moscow, while he downplayed the chances of striker Loic Remy arriving from Queens Park Rangers despite the French striker being seen in the stands on Sunday. "Honestly, I have just been informed that Loic Remy was here, I didn't know," Wenger said. "So don't see any sign of us signing Loic Remy in that. I hope he has paid for his ticket."