Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has decided to leave the North London club at the end of the season. Wenger announced that he will part ways with the Gunners this summer, putting an end to his 22-year stay at the club. The Frenchman is currently the longest-serving manager in the history of the Premier League.
In a recent press conference on Friday morning, ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League clash against West Ham United, Wenger made the shock announcement and was quoted to have said,
“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 forever.”
The Gunners have also revealed that they will “make an appointment as soon as possible”, but are not ready to make any further comment on the matter at this moment in time.
Some pundits and celebrities reacted to the surprise announcement on Twitter.
'The hottest love has the coldest end' – Socrates. pic.twitter.com/CdKp8qupl0
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) May 31, 2017
Arsene Wenger is to leave @Arsenal at the end of the season. He has given much of his life to Arsenal. He has brought much success to the club. He has given much to the game of football in our country. Merci et bonne chance, Monsieur Wenger. #Wenger
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 20, 2018
Some folks saw the lighter side of this recent development.
Right, how many times are we going to see this meme in the next hour or so…? ? pic.twitter.com/Frf5UUnCA2
— Umbro (@umbro) April 20, 2018
— Wah (@T_Wandile) April 20, 2018
— ten (@spikeowen27) April 20, 2018
Some Arsenal supporters couldn’t believe that Wenger was finally hanging up his hat as the Gunners head coach.
Wexit is actually happening! What the hell!? #Wenger
— Jack Whitehall (@jackwhitehall) April 20, 2018
— Gareth Keenan (@_GarethKeenan) April 20, 2018
The timing of the announcement has surprised a lot of people as it comes just a few days before their season-defining semi-final clash versus Atletico Madrid in the Europa League. It is believed that Wenger wanted to announce his departure to calm the supporters down and give his players the best possible chance of winning the Europe League and thus, ending his Arsenal career on a high.
The Gunners are currently lying in the 6th spot in the English top-flight with a tally of 54 points after Gameweek 33. They are in need of a change at the Emirates Stadium and perhaps, Wenger’s departure could be a start of a new era of success at the North London club.
They are still in with a great chance of winning the Europa League if they can get a victory against Atletico Madrid next week. Only time will tell what lies ahead in the future of Wenger and whether the Gunners can cope without him at the helm in the near future.