'Old people die!' - Martin Keown makes bizarre comparison about Arsene Wenger's uncertain Arsenal future
BBC football pundit Martin Keown has said that embattled Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger's life is dependent on being manager of Arsenal football club.
Wenger, who takes the Gunners into the FA Cup final with Chelsea this afternoon, has still not revealed whether he will manage Arsenal next season, after the club missed out on qualifying for the Champions League qualifiers for the first time in 20 seasons after they finished outside the top four in the Premier League.
Speaking ahead of the final on BBC's Football Focus, Martin Keown insinuated that managing Arsenal was a matter of life or death for Wenger, and that the 67-year-old didn't want to let go of his role as the club's manager.
"It's his life, he doesn't want to let go of Arsenal," said Keown.
"He said retirement is for old people, and he, you know.. for young people.
"Old people die! That's how serious it is for him. His life is dependent on staying in management."
Wenger told the BBC in the lead up today's final at Wembley that the criticism he's received this season has been 'disgraceful' and that he believes he has been treated "in a way that human beings don’t deserve".
The Frenchman has been the subject of fierce fan protests and there have been planes flown overhead during matches carrying anti-Wenger messages.
Arsenal have offered Wenger a two-year contract should he decide to stay at the club he has been at since 1996.
Wenger is bidding to become the most successful-ever FA Cup manager on Saturday afternoon as he looks to lift his seventh FA Cup but has said the anger and fury aimed at him this season is something he "will never forget”.
"I don't mind criticism because we are in a public job," he told Football Focus.
"I believe there's a difference between being criticised and being treated in a way that human beings don't deserve.
"The lack of respect from some has been a disgrace and I will never accept that. I will never forget it.
The behaviour of some people during the season, that is what hurts me most. It's not my person that is hurt but the impeccable image of the club around the world. That kind of behaviour does not reflect what Arsenal is.
"A strong club is a club that makes a decision. It is wrong that in modern society it is not a question of whether a decision is right but whether it is popular. That has nothing to do with competence. People with responsibility have to make the right decision."