CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Arsene Wenger resigns as Arsenal manager after 22 years

Manager won three league titles and seven FA Cups during time in charge

20 April, 2018 — By Richard Osley

Arsene Wenger: ‘I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season’

HIS future has been the subject of fan debate throughout the season but Arsene Wenger has finally ended all the speculation this morning (Friday) by announcing he is to step down as Arsenal’s manager.

Wenger said in a statement: “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.”

He added: “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.”

Wenger signed a new deal last summer after securing the club’s third FA Cup trophy in four years. But success in the knockout cup competition has only temporarily masked frustration on the terraces that Arsenal have not made more serious challenges for the league title in recent years. Arsenal have not been champions of England since 2004, the Invincibles season. This year, Wenger’s team surrendered to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup and have struggled to compete for a return to the Champions League after a string of away-day defeats. They reached the final of the Carabao Cup, but were outclassed by Manchester City.

The last hope of salvaging a miserable season, which saw star forward Alexis Sanchez join Manchester United, is the Europa League. Athletico Madrid await in next week’s semi-final.

Majority owner Stan Kroenke said: “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.”

He added: “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.”

Arsenal host West Ham United in the Premier League on Sunday.

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