April 20, 2018
After 22 years, 10 major trophies and more than 800 Premier League games, Arsene Wenger announced on Friday that he will step down as the manager of Arsenal at the end of the season.
Arsene Wenger to step down as Arsenal manager at end of season
The French manager will bid farewell to the Gunners a year before his contract is set to expire. Arsenal stand sixth in the league and will miss out on next year’s Champions League spot if they fail to win the Europa League.
The 68-year old released a statement on Friday saying, “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.”
Wenger has won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups with the club since he was appointed as the manager in October 1996. However, there had been increasing pressure on Wenger in the last few years as fans at the Emirates Stadium demanded his resignation.
Arsenal currently stand 14-points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and 33-points behind Manchester City, who have already been declared as the winners of Premier League 2017-18.
Arsenal majority owner Stan Kroenke said that everyone who loves football owes Wenger a debt of gratitude. “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,” he added.
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