Arsene Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of the season

Widely credited with revolutionizing English football, Arsene Wenger is to leave his long-time role as Arsenal manage...

Posted: Apr 20, 2018 5:30 PM
Updated: Apr 20, 2018 5:30 PM

Widely credited with revolutionizing English football, Arsene Wenger is to leave his long-time role as Arsenal manager at the end of the season.

The 68-year-old Frenchman has been at the north London club since 1996.

Arsene Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season

Has managed the English Premier League club since 1996

Frenchman took Arsenal to three EPL titles and seven FA Cups

He is the longest serving manager still in the English Premier League, but has been under pressure in recent years from a disgruntled section of fans.

"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 wrote in a statement on the Arsenal website.

"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."

Currently sixth in the Premier League, Arsenal is 14 points off fourth place -- the top-flight's last Champions League qualification slot -- but faces Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semifinals next week.

Victory in that competition would qualify Arsenal for next season's Champions League.

"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."

READ: Who will replace Arsene Wenger as Arsenal manager?

'Unparalleled class'

When Wenger arrived in England he was only the third overseas manager to coach a Premier League team.

He introduced new ideas about nutrition, training and tactics and established a track record for signing players who became global stars, notably Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie.

Nicknamed the "Professor" -- Wenger has a degree in economics -- the Frenchman also played a pivotal role in the building of Arsenal's new training ground and the move from Highbury to their new state-of-the-art Emirates stadium in 2006.

"This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport," said Arsenal's majority shareholder Stan Kroenke in a statement.

"One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Ars-ne 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.

"Ars-ne 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."

Under Wenger Arsenal won the Premier League title in 1998, 2002, and 2004 and clinched seven FA Cups, including three of the past four seasons. Arsenal won the league and FA Cup Double in 1998 and 2002.

The 2003-2004 team was nicknamed "The Invincibles" after it went through the Premier League season undefeated -- with 26 wins and 12 draws.

Arsenal has only once finished outside of the Premier League's top four (it was fifth in 2017) since Wenger took over.

However, European glory has eluded the Gunners. Arsenal was runner-up in the UEFA Cup in 2000 and beaten finalist in the Champions League final in 2006.

It failed to qualify for this season's elite European competition and hasn't reached the Champions League quarterfinals since 2010.

READ: 'Wenger out' campaigners get their wish

'Greatest manager'

Former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman said it was the right time for Wenger to go but urged fans to "respect what he's done."

"It's time for everyone to get behind him now and show Arsene Wenger their appreciation because he's had such a massive impact on the club," Seaman, who won two Premier League titles under Wenger, told CNN World Sport.

"When he came to Arsenal we were successful but we played in quite a negative way... he let people express themselves, he brought out a whole new way of football, not just to Arsenal but to England as well -- the way we trained, relaxed, massages... a lot of other clubs have got Arsene Wenger to thank for that."

Tony Adams, captain of Arsenal's two Double-winning sides, said on Instagram: "Thanks for everything Arsene. Move over Herbert [Chapman], Arsene Wenger the greatest Arsenal Manager."

Fabregas wrote on Instagram: "Wow. I never expected that but it shows the great dignity and class of the man.

"I will never forget his guidance and support, his tutelage and mentorship.

"He had faith in me from day one and I owe him a lot, he was like a father figure to me who always pushed me to be the best. Arsene, you deserve all the respect and happiness in the world. #classact"

Van Persie tweeted: "Thanks Arsene for all your confidence in me over the years. You are a very special man & a top coach! Definitely one of the very best ever! I will always see you as my footballing father where under your guidance I had the chance to grow as a man and a player, i'm forever thankful for that and wish you all the very best for the next chapter in your life!"

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who enjoyed a fierce rivalry with Wenger, said the Frenchman's impact on the game in England and worldwide "has been immense."

"It's been an incredible journey for Ars-ne, during which he has maintained the highest levels of professionalism throughout," Ferguson said in a statement in his role as a member of the League Managers Association.

"He has been in charge of one of Britain's greatest football clubs for over two decades and has produced some fantastic teams. His longevity shows that continuity can bring great success."

Wenger will be remembered "as one of the greats," former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov told CNN World Sport.

"For me it always a pleasure to play against Arsenal, against a team of Wenger. They were always going to try to play football, football in its purest form," the Bulgarian told the show's anchor Alex Thomas.

Ex-Manchester United and England international Gary Neville wrote on Twitter: "Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.

"The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said of Wenger: "He is an influence in football. A fantastic career, outstanding personality. A big player in the business."

Arsenal said it will name a replacement "as soon as possible."

Kroenke added: "We have high ambitions to build on Ars-ne'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."

Born in Strasbourg, Wenger began his career as a player in France, followed by managerial stints with AS Nancy, AS Monaco and Nagoya Grampus Eight in Japan before joining Arsenal.

Terre Haute
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 42°
Robinson
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 41°
Indianapolis/Eagle Creek
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 41°
Paris
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 29°
Mattoon/Charleston
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 38°
Terre Haute
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 42°
Terre Haute
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 42°
A Clear Night
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1187757

Reported Deaths: 22759
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook4748859369
DuPage768711196
Will65092894
Lake59589923
Kane50800717
Winnebago28351440
Madison28026455
St. Clair25497467
McHenry24336265
Champaign18115126
Peoria16906262
Sangamon16152218
McLean14621157
Tazewell13538240
Rock Island13069286
Kankakee12502189
Kendall1107786
LaSalle10810219
Macon9461185
Vermilion8568116
DeKalb8276112
Adams8006114
Williamson6800121
Whiteside5930147
Boone592671
Clinton557189
Coles520391
Grundy512563
Ogle502173
Knox5018132
Jackson461160
Effingham449469
Macoupin435279
Henry433057
Marion4262111
Livingston420677
Franklin414666
Stephenson409875
Monroe406683
Jefferson3980115
Randolph396378
Woodford367960
Morgan358876
Montgomery350068
Lee335343
Logan330953
Bureau330873
Christian330568
Fayette306452
Perry305857
Fulton285344
Iroquois277161
Jersey249646
Douglas245033
McDonough232840
Lawrence230024
Saline229847
Union218537
Shelby214034
Crawford200723
Bond191024
Cass189022
Pike169250
Clark168630
Wayne167448
Hancock167229
Warren166444
Richland163538
White160925
Jo Daviess160522
Ford158745
Washington158423
Carroll157634
Edgar154337
Moultrie149424
Clay142941
Greene137932
Johnson134712
Piatt132814
Wabash130012
Mason128641
De Witt128022
Mercer128033
Massac127233
Cumberland119218
Jasper111017
Menard10388
Marshall83915
Hamilton78815
Schuyler6775
Pulaski6696
Brown6636
Stark54122
Edwards52310
Henderson49814
Calhoun4782
Scott4491
Alexander4488
Gallatin4374
Putnam4163
Hardin34512
Pope2823
Out of IL00
Unassigned02223

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 662213

Reported Deaths: 12595
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion907061645
Lake48425878
Allen35861636
Hamilton32099397
St. Joseph29996512
Elkhart25386415
Vanderburgh21247378
Tippecanoe20024201
Johnson16349360
Porter15975270
Hendricks15825300
Clark11965181
Madison11746318
Vigo11612229
Monroe10333161
Delaware9838179
LaPorte9772196
Howard9056197
Kosciusko8562110
Bartholomew7456147
Warrick7416151
Hancock7409131
Floyd7207169
Wayne6633191
Grant6427157
Morgan6092125
Boone609088
Dubois5910111
Dearborn547467
Cass544499
Marshall5425104
Henry542393
Noble509378
Jackson464767
Shelby460690
Lawrence4184112
Gibson401281
Harrison399864
Clinton395853
Montgomery387083
DeKalb385278
Knox357485
Miami357463
Whitley349436
Huntington344476
Steuben338355
Wabash331476
Putnam330559
Ripley327161
Adams323549
Jasper316143
White297352
Jefferson294973
Daviess285396
Fayette271956
Decatur270888
Greene261280
Posey260931
Wells258275
Scott250350
Clay241444
LaGrange240870
Randolph225576
Spencer217330
Jennings215244
Washington211227
Sullivan203439
Fountain201542
Starke188151
Owen182153
Fulton178237
Jay177828
Carroll176518
Perry173235
Orange171250
Rush164822
Vermillion160542
Franklin159435
Tipton146441
Parke139316
Pike127632
Blackford120627
Pulaski106444
Newton96531
Brown95039
Benton92013
Crawford90713
Martin80114
Warren75814
Switzerland7548
Union67110
Ohio53711
Unassigned0433