Arsene Wenger To Leave Arsenal After 21 Years
In the recent months, it became increasingly likely that Arsene Wenger will call it quits at Arsenal. It wasn’t just the results – the man who had masterminded a 49 game unbeaten streak to win the league unbeaten in 2004 now owned the dubious statistic of Arsenal being the only team in English football not to have won an away game in 2018.
It wasn’t just the fact that Arsenal’s swanky stadium The Emirates Stadium – a cathedral of football that Arsene Wenger is largely credited for enabling the London Club to build by delivering just good enough results and tidy net balances on player sales – had increasingly seen attendances drop as fans kept away. This had been blamed on not just because of the poor results, but also on the perception that the football had become boring.
Neither was it because of Arsene’s gradual loss of power when the club’s hierarchy appointed known names in European football. Arrivals that pundits pointed out nibbled away at some of the tasks that had been Wenger’s domain at the club for the past 21 years and a half.
As questions on his future at press conferences by journalists kept coming. And Arsenal’s blogsphere exploded with speculation over who the fans desired would succeed Arsene Wenger, it was apparent that it was either an open secret that Wenger’s fate was sealed. Or maybe the critics plan simply succeeded.
Still, many believed that the Frenchman had a chance at seeing out his contract had he won the Europa League – whose semifinal first leg comes this Thursday against Spanish giants Athletico Madrid; only for Arsene Wenger to drop this bombshell, on Friday.
Statement By Arsene Wenger Announcing That He Will Be Leaving Arsenal At The End Of The Season
“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.
“I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years.
“I managed the club with full commitment and integrity.
“I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special.
“I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high.
“To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club.
“My love and support for ever.”
– Arsene Wenger
Arsenal Majority Owner Stan Kreonke Pays Tribute To Arsene Wenger
“This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène 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.
“Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played.
“We have high ambitions to build on Arsène’s remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game.
“We must now focus on making a strong finish to the season and ask our millions of fans around the world to join us in paying appropriate tribute to one of the greats of Arsenal’s history and one of the greats of the game.”