Arsene Wenger agrees to leave Arsenal
Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger has announced that he will leave The Gunners in 2017, after 21 years at the helm.
The 65-year-old made the announcement after a heated Annual General Meeting where shareholders put him on the spot over Arsenal’s results in the Champions League and his laxity in spending during summer transfers.
Wenger, whose current £8 million a year contract expires at the end of next season said he wanted to leave a legacy at the club for the next manager to carry on with, according to the Mirror.
“I am resolute to commit absolutely until the last day of my contract to bring back big success to this club, and leave the club in a position where it can do even better under a new manager.”
“It is, for me, very important that I leave the club in the shape that the guy who comes after me can do better.”
“The responsibility on my shoulders is much bigger. I know what it means for people. I know how sad people are when we don’t do well, I know how sad people are when we lose a game,” Wenger is quoted as saying.
The shareholders were mostly angered by Arsenal’s performance against Monaco last season and Olympiakos two weeks ago.
In his defence Wenger said though the results in the Champions League are dismal, the club has equally posted some great performances on the same stage.
“I agree with you that the performances were not good enough. But we have played over 150 games in Europe and you have just picked three,” he said.
“If you look at percentages of games won in Europe you will see Arsenal are in top five. You speak about Monaco, but they lost against Juventus who went on to the final, yet they never deserved to lose. They deserved to beat Juventus.”
Wenger has come under sharp criticism in the past months with most of Arsenal supporters questioning his unwillingness to spend during transfers in order to get top class players.
The Gunners had at one time been linked with Monaco striker Anthony Martial, but brushed off the deal as ‘beyond reach.’
Martial has since joined Manchester United.
“We are not scared to spend money – I know I have that reputation. We have shown in the last three years if the player has the quality, we will spend money to get him,” Wenger said.
Arsenal are set to play Watford in their next premier league fixture on Saturday. The Gunners are currently placed second in the league with 16 points from 8 matches, two points behind Manchester City.
Manchester United are third.
Arsenal’s next Champions League match is against Bayern Munich on October 20th at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners are bottom of Group F in Champions League with no point from two matches played so far.
Bayern Munich top the table with 6 points.
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