Arteta Fits The Bill For Arsenal Manager Says Wenger

Mikel Arteta has “all of the qualities” required to become Arsenal manager, their legendary former handler Arsene Wenger told Bein Sports.

The 36-year-old Spaniard — who played 150 matches under Wenger at Arsenal — is imbued with the spirt of the Gunners, added Wenger, although the Frenchman was at pains to say he didn’t wish to influence the board’s decision.

Arteta, presently an assistant coach to Pep Guardiola at champions Manchester City, is one of several names that have been linked to filling the huge vacuum left after Wenger stepped down following 22 years in charge.

“He was a leader, has good passion for the game, knows the club and knows what is important at the club,” said Wenger.

“Overall he has the qualities but I don’t want to influence that publicly.

“I believe it is important they make their choice in an objective way and after that decision I will support him.”

Other names that have been mentioned include Massimiliano Allegri — though he says he would have to be fired to leave Italian champions Juventus — former Chelsea and Real Madrid handler Carlo Ancelotti, who reportedly last month turned down the chance to coach Italy, and Arsenal icon Patrick Vieira.

Arsenal — who finished without a trophy last season and failed to qualify for next term’s Champions League — are confident a new manager will be named before the World Cup begins on June 14.

(AFP)

Wenger: A Lot Of Clubs Want Me

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed he is being courted by a lot of clubs but has not decided on what he will do once he steps down as the Gunners’ boss.

Wenger will step down as Arsenal’s manager at the end of the season after 22 years in charge.

Following his announcement that he will quit as Arsenal’s boss, there were reports that clubs including Paris Saint-Germain are interested in his service.

And the French coach has come out to confirm that he is wanted by clubs.

“Yes! More than I expected,” Wenger said in his press conference on Tuesday ahead of his penultimate Premier League game away to Leicester City on Wednesday.

“But I’m not analysing or considering anything. I want to work well here until the last day of my contract.

“For sure I will be active. My brain demands work and is active.

“I have huge experience in management. Overall, I will work.
“What will I do? I don’t know.”

Wenger however says that he does not see himself taking charge of another English club while thanking former Arsenal Vice Chairman David Dein for giving him the chance to manage in the Premier League.

“At the moment, that is difficult for me. I don’t envisage that (on handling another EPL club).

“I would like to finish one of my last press conferences to thank David Dein who brought me here.

“He had a special vision for the future and the Premier League. He gave a foreign manager a chance when no-one knew me.

“He deserves special thanks because he is a special man.”

Wenger describes the duo of Luis Henrique and Massimiliano Allegro who have been tipped to replace him at Arsenal, as very good managers.

“All these guys [Enrique, Allegri] are very competent,” he said

“As an Arsenal fan I will support the man to do it.

“I don’t want to come out publicly on that. If they want my advice, I will give it them.”

On the injury front ahead of the game against Leicester, Wenger said: “We have four players that are out. Cazorla, Koscielny, Ozil and Elneny.

“We have checked everybody today. We may leave one or two out tomorrow because we play again on Sunday.

“Some of them played in Madrid and on Sunday.”

And on the current Arsenal squad, the three-time EPL winning manager tipped the team compete for the title next season.

He said:“The squad doesn’t need much. There is huge potential in there and good spirit.

“There’s a good basis. We need two or three additions and this team will compete for the title next season.

“We don’t need massive spending. You are seeing defenders go for £70million.

“It is difficult to know what is a lot.”

Wenger: Arsenal Draw With Atletico Madrid Feels Like Missed Opportunity

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that his side’s 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid in Thursday night’s Europa League semi-final first leg tie at the Emirates Stadium “feels like an opportunity missed”.

The visitors went a man down after just 10 minutes when Sime Vrsaljko was dismissed for two yellow cards, and coach Diego Simeone was banished to the stands shortly afterwards.

The Gunners missed a number of goal-scoring chances in the game and took the lead through French forward Alexandre Lacazette in the 61st minute, only for Antoine Griezmann to level scores eight minutes from the end.

“Looking at the performance and the way the game went, it was the worst possible result for us, but we have to go there in a positive mood and qualify,” Wenger stated after the game.

“Unfortunately, we gave a goal away from nowhere but now we need to recover from the disappointment and prepare for the next game.

“Of course, it feels like an opportunity missed. We could have qualified tonight but it didn’t happen. Their keeper made a lot of saves and they showed their quality by scoring with one chance. But they couldn’t score with a combination, they could only do it with a long ball, so we have to look at ourselves.

“You don’t look at the statistics, you can only look at your own performance and we know we can score from anywhere. What matters is that we go there with the belief to do it.”

The return leg of the tie takes place at the Wanda Metropolitano next Thursday, with the winner set to face either Marseille or Red Bull Salzburg in the final.

Wenger: It Wasn’t My Decision To Quit Arsenal; I Want Europa Trophy

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says that the timing of his departure from the club after nearly 22 years “was not really my decision”.

It was announced on Friday that the Frenchman would leave the club at the end of the season, despite having a year left on his contract.

Speaking before Thursday’s Europa League semi-final first leg against Atletico Madrid, Wenger said: “I focus on what I have to do every day.

“At the moment, I work like ever.”

The 68-year-old said he would continue to work “for sure” in the future, but was not ready to commit to anything else “at the moment”.

Arsenal have won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, including the Double in 1998 and 2002, under Wenger.

Wenger ‘Was Sacked’, Arsenal Great Wright Says

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has insisted Arsene Wenger must have been sacked as he cannot believe his old boss would have walked away from his post.

Wenger announced Friday his intention to step down as Arsenal manager at the end of the season after more than 21 years in charge of the north London club.

Arsenal haven’t won the Premier League title since 2004 and now face a second successive season where they will finish outside the top four.

They’ll also likely need to win the Europa League — Wenger’s men are in the semi-finals — to qualify for Europe’s elite Champions League tournament.

Wenger had faced repeated calls to quit from frustrated Gunners’ fans in recent seasons but the 68-year-old Frenchman had remained steadfast in wanting to carry on.

Wright, who helped Arsenal win the Premier League title in the early years of Wenger’s reign, was adamant he must have been forced by the club’s hierarchy.

“Arsene Wenger is a man of principle, honesty and integrity — that is why I am convinced he has been sacked and not resigned,” Wright told Saturday’s edition of The Sun tabloid.

“For all the vitriol and abuse thrown at him, Arsene has never been a man to walk out before the end of a contract,” he added.

– ‘Doesn’t add up’ –

“It is a sad situation that it’s come to this and I don’t suppose we will ever find out who is responsible, because they will hide behind each other.

“One day he is doing a press conference with no hint of this, the next he’s gone. It doesn’t add up.

“But Arsene can go with his head high. That’s why, whatever the results, it is imperative he gets the send-off a true Arsenal and football legend deserves. We all owe him so much.”

Meanwhile, Wright’s former team-mate Martin Keown, who won three titles under Wenger, said leaving Arsenal would feel like a “bereavement” for the manager.

“My overwhelming emotion is one of sadness,” Keown told the Daily Mail.

“Beyond his family, Arsenal and football are Arsene Wenger’s two greatest loves. To give up one of them will feel like a bereavement.

“That is what it felt like to me when my time with the club ended. I spent 18 years of my career there and, even now, I still have not really got over leaving. To leave Arsenal Football Club hurts to the very core.

“For many of Wenger’s former players – myself included – it will feel like a part of them is gone from the club forever following his departure.”

AFP

Arsene Wenger to Step Down at the End of the Season

Arsene Wenger, Arsenal’s manager will finally bring his 22-year to a close at the end of the season.

“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,” Wenger said in a statement posted on the club’s website.

“I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years.”

Wenger, 68, won three Premier League titles, leading the only side to go a full league season unbeaten in 2003-04, and lifted seven FA Cups during his tenure.

However, he has been under increasing pressure to step down from the club’s fans for several seasons as Arsenal haven’t won the Premier League for 14 years and risk missing out on Champions League qualification for the second consecutive season.

Arsenal’s only realistic chance of making the Champions League next season is by winning the Europa League where the Gunners face Spanish giants Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals on April 27 and May 4.

“I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high,” added Wenger.

“To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever.”

Arsenal’s majority shareholder Stan Kroenke paid tribute to a man of “unparallelled class”.

“Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude,” said Kroenke, who took a controlling stake in the club in 2011.

“One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsene 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 added that a successor to Wenger will be found “as soon as possible”.

Growing frustration
Wenger took charge with Arsenal in the doldrums in October 1996, but quickly set about a revolution in English football by overhauling players’ diets and bringing an end to the drinking culture that had dogged Arsenal in previous years.

Results soon arrived on the pitch as Wenger’s men beat an all-conquering Manchester United side to the title in 1997/98 and won the league again four years later.

His greatest achievement came in 2003/04 with “The Invincibles” side that not only gained plaudits for winning, but the free-flowing, attacking style with which they played.

Despite qualifying for the Champions League for 20 years in a row, though, Wenger was never able to end Arsenal’s quest to win the competition for a first time. The closest they came was in 2006 when a young side was edged out 2-1 in the final by Barcelona.

That season was also Arsenal’s final campaign at Highbury, but the promise that moving to the 60,000 capacity Emirates Stadium would allow the club to compete financially with the biggest spenders in England and the continent failed to materialise.

Instead, Wenger was much-criticised for his unwillingness to spend the money needed to keep up as booming TV revenues saw Premier League rivals splash the cash in an arms race to win titles.

Arsenal even sold a host of star players like Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie during the early years of their title drought.

And the fans’ frustration continued to grow as even after loosening the purse strings to buy Mesut Ozil in 2013 and Alexis Sanchez a year later, Arsenal still failed to compete for the title or the Champions League.

Wenger’s 20-year run of qualifying for the Champions League ended last season, and Arsenal currently sit sixth in the Premier League, 14 points adrift of north London rivals Tottenham in fourth.

Arsenal Announce Wenger’s Departure

Arsene Wenger is to leave Arsenal at the end of the season, ending a near 22-year reign as manager.

The Frenchman still has a year before his latest contract was due to expire.

“I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years,” said Wenger. “I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. To all the Arsenal lovers, take care of the values of the club.”

The club has stated that a successor will be appointed “as soon as possible”.

Wenger, 68, won 3 Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, including the Double in 1998 and 2002.

Wenger: CSKA Made My Heart Beat Quicker

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that his team lacked urgency as they were made to fight hard to book their spot in the last four of the Europa League against CSKA Moscow on Thursday night.

The Gunners who were boasting of a 4-1 lead from the first leg fell two goals behind on the night courtesy of goals by Fedor Chalov and Kirill Nababkin.

Danny Welbeck halted the CSKA comeback with a well-taken goal on 75 minutes, Arsenal’s first shot on target on the night.

Aaron Ramsey then scored in stoppage time to seal a 2-2 draw, sending Arsenal through 6-3 on aggregate.

“You could see when you have a big difference after the first game it is difficult to turn up with the same urgency than if the difference is very small and that played a part in the first half,” the Frenchman said after the game.

 

“I felt in the two games, they (CSKA) played well, especially tonight they made my heart beat much quicker than I expected it to be.

“We played against a good team. I knew that after the first game and they showed that again tonight, they gave us many problems.”

Wenger would not be drawn on his preferred semi-final opponent, with Atletico Madrid, Marseille, and Red Bull Salzburg lurking in Friday’s draw.

“Looking at all the results as a whole picture in Europe this week, you would say that teams have become closer and the games are very open and everything is possible in every single game,” he added.

“Everybody speaks about Atletico Madrid that they look the strongest team on paper but you must say when you look at the results that Salzburg have done again.

“I am from France and Marseille are in there as well and that is always a difficult place to go, maybe it is better that I don’t wish for anybody.”

Wenger: Arsenal Must Produce A Classy Performance To Beat CSKA

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has stated that his side must be in their very best form to beat Ahmed Musa’s CSKA Moscow in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League quarter-finals tie on Thursday at Emirates.

Arsenal’s only available chance to participate in the next season’s UEFA Champions League is to win this season’s Europa League.

They are currently sixth on the League table on 51 points, 13 points adrift of Tottenham Hotspur who are fourth.

“We play against a team who has done well in Europe so we certainly need a top class performance,” Wenger said in his press conference on Wednesday ahead of the game against the Russian side.

“When you play at home in the first leg you don’t know what you have to achieve.

“You are a bit more in a situation where you have to defend well and attack well.”

Wenger admitted his side are under pressure to perform in Europe’s second-tier club competition.

He added: “There is some extra pressure on us to do extremely well in this competition but that’s part of being where we are.

“It’s an opportunity we want to take.

“We don’t live in dreamland. We are in the quarter-final and have to go step by step.”

He stressed the importance of keeping a clean sheet in the first leg at the Emirates.

“The weight of the away goal in Europe is important so ideally you don’t want to concede,” Wenger explained.

Following the decision by some fans of the club to stay away from the Emirates Stadium due to the team’s poor performance so far this season, Wenger expressed confidence that it would not affect his players come Thursday.

He said: “I’m not worried.

“The crowd, when something is at stake, is always there and always behind us.

“What will decide the attitude of the crowd is the quality of our game.”

On Alexandre Lacazette’s readiness to lead the attack line for Arsenal against CSKA, Wenger said: “We have basically everybody available I think…

“Lacazette is ready to start, yes.

“I have not decided will he start but he is available and ready to start.”

And on whether he is interested in CSKA’s midfield star Aleksandr Golovin who has been linked to Arsenal in the past, Wenger said: “It’s not the case at the moment and I don’t think it would be appropriate to speak about a CSKA player the day before the game.”

Wenger To Miss Arsenal’s Game Against Stoke Due To Illness

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger could miss Sunday’s Premier League home clash against Stoke City due to Ill health.

This was confirmed on Arsenal’s Official handle on twitter.

According to the club, Wenger was absent  from the Thursday’s pre-match press conference as he was reported ill.

Wenger’s assistant Steve Bould stepped in to carryout the press conference.

“The boss is ill this morning, so it’s Steve Bould covering for him,” the club wrote on their Twitter handle.

Arsenal are currently sixth on 48 points in the Premier League table.

The 68-year old has been in charge at Arsenal since 1996 and is currently the Premier League’s longest serving manager.

Arsenal Stars Want Henry

Arsene Wenger has been told by senior Arsenal players to employ the services of Thierry Henry for the final months of the season, reports say.

Henry has been fantastic in his role as Belgium assistant coach and Arsenal’s biggest stars are passionate and hungry for some kind of change at the club.

A 2-0 away win at AC Milan in the Europa League has helped reduced concerns after four defeats in a row for Wenger’s side.

But, the turmoil is far from over at the Emirates and Wenger’s players want Henry to come in and freshen up training, reports say.

Henry has coached the likes of Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne in the Belgium set-up and Arsenal’s key players are convinced the former Gunner can help them rediscover their form.

Arsenal must win the Europa League to claim a spot in the Champions League, with the Londoners currently languishing sixth in the Premier League table and 11 points off fourth place.

Henry has already made it clear he would jump at the chance to join Arsenal’s coaching ranks, but Wenger has resisted his pleas in the past.

Wenger is confident he, and he alone, can turn his side around and it may be a battle to convince the Frenchman to bring Henry in.

However, Josh Kroenke, the son of major shareholder Stan, is a massive fan of Henry and may use his growing influence at the club to hire Henry.

Wenger is set to keep his job until the end of the season, but there is now a serious possibility the 68-year-old will be forced out of the club in the summer.

Arsenal are on the hunt for a fresh manager, which would end a remarkable 22-year reign for Wenger at the club.

The Gunners face Watford on Sunday looking for their first win in the league since the start of February