Arsene Wenger Finally steps down as Arsenal Manager
Arsene Wenger has finally announced that he’ll be bringing his 22-year stay as Arsenal manager to a close at the end of the season.
This brings an end to years of speculation over the Frenchman’s future at the North London club whose fortunes have dwindled in recent times.
“After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season,” Wenger said in a statement posted on the club’s website.
“I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years.”
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018
Wenger, 68, won three Premier League titles, leading the only side to go a full league season unbeaten in 2003-04, and lifted seven FA Cups during his tenure.
Hired by Arsenal in 1996, the suave Frenchman is credited with revolutionizing the English game in terms of training methods and approach, and his greatest achievement came in 2003/04 with “The Invincibles” side that not only went the season unbeaten, but gained plaudits the free-flowing, attacking style with which they played.
But he has been under increasing pressure to step down for several seasons over Arsenal’s continued Premier League drought, a number of disastrous European exits and danger of missing out on Champions League qualification for the second consecutive season.
As things stand, Arsenal’s only realistic chance of making the Champions League next season is by winning the Europa League where the Gunners face Spanish giants Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals on April 27 and May 4.
“I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high,” added Wenger.
“To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever.”
Arsenal’s majority shareholder Stan Kroenke paid tribute to a man of “unparallelled class”.
“Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude,” said Kroenke, who took a controlling stake in the club in 2011.
“One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsene has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched.”
Arsenal added that a successor to Wenger will be found “as soon as possible”.
Meanwhile, the club has started the hashtag #MerciArsene, with former players, fans and football institutions the world over paying their respects.
An emotional day. Arsène took English football to a different level & pushed me to become the player I never thought I'd be. Let's cherish the memories & his legacy, which will always remain. We must thank him for giving his all to make @Arsenal such a great club. #MerciArsène pic.twitter.com/X9fvMGaWJW
— Lauren Etame Mayer (@Lauren12arsenal) April 20, 2018
We all knew it was time, just a matter of when he could bring himself to go. Great to announce it now – everyone can now give the most classy, successful man in our club’s history the respect and send off he deserves.
For all my life of great football memories – #MerciArsène pic.twitter.com/1lfv2RjErp
— Chris Dixon (@chrismd10) April 20, 2018
Today is a strange day filled with mixed emotions for us Arsenal fans. We can all probably agree it’s time, and has been for some while, for Arsène to move on, but we are also losing our most successful manager ever who took us to a new level, and did so with class.#MerciArsène pic.twitter.com/BLaFe8TyJy
— UberArsenal™ (@UberAFC) April 20, 2018
22 years of service. Never doubted his undying passion and commitment for the club. Countless incredible memories- here’s to the biggest legend in Arsenal Football Clubs history. #MerciArsène pic.twitter.com/KE8UQRdSxj
— Andy Preston (@AndyPreston96) April 20, 2018
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