Arsenal ‘further behind’ than Wenger thinks, says Gary Lineker

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Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger has led Arsenal to six FA Cup titles since joining the club as manager in 1996

Arsenal are “further behind than Arsene Wenger thinks”, says Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker.

The Gunners beat Chelsea to win the FA Cup on Saturday, but finished fifth in the Premier League and will not play Champions League football next season.

Boss Arsene Wenger, who took over in 1996, met Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke on Monday to determine his future.

Wenger has agreed to sign a new two-year contract, with the club set to make an announcement on Wednesday.

“Arsenal have got a long way to go at the moment, they’re a long way behind,” Lineker told BBC Radio 5 live.

“If you ask me now whether Arsenal are going to be in the top four next season, I would say most probably not.”

‘Remarkable’ how Wenger decides future

A season that has brought so much criticism for 67-year-old Wenger ended in Wembley glory with a record 13th FA Cup win for the Gunners.

But Wenger said the criticism he received this season in the build-up to the final was “a disgrace” he will “never forget.”

The Frenchman replaced Bruce Rioch in October 1996 and his current contract expires this summer.

Lineker said he thought Wenger would be staying in North London, and said it was “remarkable” how the manager determines his own future.

“The only other example of a manager that decides when and where he goes is Sir Alex Ferguson, but he was still winning league titles.

“Arsene Wenger was still winning FA Cups and until this season he had always got in the top four, but now that’s changed.

“I just hope if and when he decides to go he kind of does himself because I don’t want people to feel badly about him and I hope he doesn’t spoil that.

“But I sense he’s going to stay anyway, so let’s see what happens.”

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