English football: Arsène Wenger to leave Arsenal at season end

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Correction — May 23, 2018
 
This article incorrectly states Arsenal was undefeated in the 2002–2003 season when in fact it was the 2003–2004 season.
 

Monday, April 23, 2018

On Friday, Arsène Wenger, manager of English capital football club Arsenal FC announced he is to leave the club after the season end. "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", the 68-year-old manager said.

File photo of Arsène Wenger, 2009.
Image: Gordon Flood.

The Frenchman is the longest currently-serving Premier League manager, having managed Arsenal for 21 and a half years. He succeeded Bruce Rioch as Arsenal's manager on October 1, 1996. During his tenure, Wenger won three Premier League titles, seven FA Cups and seven FA Community Shield titles. In 2002–2003, Arsenal became the only club to win the Premier League undefeated. Under Wenger, The Gunners qualified for the UEFA Champions League for 20 consecutive seasons.

Arsenal under Wenger has had over 57% win rate in the English Premier League. Arsenal was sixth in the league table when Wenger announced the decision, fourteen points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, their arch-rivals. Arsenal is to face Atlético Madrid in the UEFA Europa League in the coming week. Arsenal trails current Premier League winners Manchester City by 33 points.

Last week, Arsenal lost their eleventh Premier League match of the season, which ended in a 2–1 win for Newcastle United. Under Wenger, Arsenal has never lost more than eleven matches in a single season.

"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", Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke said.

"I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years [...] I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special", Wenger said.

Sources

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