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Arsene Wenger confirmed he will sign his new contract and take Arsenal forward next season as he looks back with regret over what could have been this time around.

Arsenal will play Champions League football for a 17th straight season and that was enough to convince Wenger to stay. They celebrated finishing fourth with a lacklustre win over West Brom with Olivier Giroud scoring the early winner.The players did a lap of honour at the end to applaud the fans and were joined by Wenger, who said there was no danger that it was to be a final farewell.

“No, don’t worry. Don’t be too impatient,” he said. “My last time will come. You’ll get rid of me one day.”

Asked if he will be back next season, Wenger said: “Yes. I don’t know when I will sign my contract. My word is my word and I’m from a period, ancestral, where you didn’t need a pen to commit. You will see me again.”

It was finishing fourth that convinced Wenger to stay, and he said it had nothing to do with how they get on in the FA Cup final against Hull, where victory would end a nine-year trophy drought.

“It’s not linked with that at all,” he said. “It was of course important to be in the Champions League. That is for sure. It’s not linked with my commitment. It’s linked with the fact that I feel I am useful.

“I had no moments of doubt. If I had moments of doubt they would have been a few years ago when I had to say no to many offers and I committed to this club under a lot of pressure.”

Wenger looked back with regret at the heavy defeats at Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea that ruined Arsenal’s title hopes.”I’m frustrated because we were 120 days top of the league and when you look today it’s very tight, and then comes through your mind here and there the points you dropped that we should not have dropped,” he said.

“The regret as well is that at the most important period of the season we had too many players out.

“To be brutal in the first analysis, we missed a few goals compared to the teams who scored the most goals, we missed some big away games by conceding too many. The defensive stability we had for the whole season was not reflected in these types of games.

“We lost some games after 10 minutes. If you concede two goals in 10 minutes the game is over. But that can happen even if you play with 10 defenders.”

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