Arsène Wenger, Arsenal’s longest-serving and most successful-ever manager, is to step from his job at the end of the season after 22 years at the helm.
Wenger has won three Premier League titles, an all-time record seven FA Cups, two doubles, reached the 2006 European Cup final and went the entire 2003-04 Premier League season undefeated, but has faced opposition over recent seasons at the repeated failure to challenge for either the Premier League or Champions League.
Arsenal are still in the semi-finals of the Europa League but, even with the possibility of returning to the Champions League through that competition, a decision has been made to end the uncertainty that has hung over the club in recent months.
A new backroom structure was already in place and candidates are being assessed as Arsenal now attempt to deal with one of the most seismic moments in their history.
Wenger confirmed the decision this morning and, as ever, he stressed the importance of maintaining the values he has embodied in his time in English football. Put simply, that is an entertaining style of football, opportunities for young players and a fiscal structure that safeguards the club’s long-term future.
“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,” said Wenger. “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.”
Arsenal’s majority owner, Stan Kroenke, has always been a massive supporter of Wenger and regarded this as perhaps the toughest decision in his time in sport.
“This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport,” he said. “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.”
Arsenal have said that they will make an appointment as soon as possible.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :