STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Arsene Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of the season

Widely credited with revolutionizing English football, Arsene Wenger is to leave his long-time role as Arsenal manage...

Posted: Apr 20, 2018 4:30 PM
Updated: Apr 20, 2018 4:30 PM

Widely credited with revolutionizing English football, Arsene Wenger is to leave his long-time role as Arsenal manager at the end of the season.

The 68-year-old Frenchman has been at the north London club since 1996.

Arsene Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season

Has managed the English Premier League club since 1996

Frenchman took Arsenal to three EPL titles and seven FA Cups

He is the longest serving manager still in the English Premier League, but has been under pressure in recent years from a disgruntled section of fans.

"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 wrote in a statement on the Arsenal website.

"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."

Currently sixth in the Premier League, Arsenal is 14 points off fourth place -- the top-flight's last Champions League qualification slot -- but faces Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semifinals next week.

Victory in that competition would qualify Arsenal for next season's Champions League.

"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."

READ: Who will replace Arsene Wenger as Arsenal manager?

'Unparalleled class'

When Wenger arrived in England he was only the third overseas manager to coach a Premier League team.

He introduced new ideas about nutrition, training and tactics and established a track record for signing players who became global stars, notably Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie.

Nicknamed the "Professor" -- Wenger has a degree in economics -- the Frenchman also played a pivotal role in the building of Arsenal's new training ground and the move from Highbury to their new state-of-the-art Emirates stadium in 2006.

"This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport," said Arsenal's majority shareholder Stan Kroenke in a statement.

"One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Ars-ne 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.

"Ars-ne 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."

Under Wenger Arsenal won the Premier League title in 1998, 2002, and 2004 and clinched seven FA Cups, including three of the past four seasons. Arsenal won the league and FA Cup Double in 1998 and 2002.

The 2003-2004 team was nicknamed "The Invincibles" after it went through the Premier League season undefeated -- with 26 wins and 12 draws.

Arsenal has only once finished outside of the Premier League's top four (it was fifth in 2017) since Wenger took over.

However, European glory has eluded the Gunners. Arsenal was runner-up in the UEFA Cup in 2000 and beaten finalist in the Champions League final in 2006.

It failed to qualify for this season's elite European competition and hasn't reached the Champions League quarterfinals since 2010.

READ: 'Wenger out' campaigners get their wish

'Greatest manager'

Former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman said it was the right time for Wenger to go but urged fans to "respect what he's done."

"It's time for everyone to get behind him now and show Arsene Wenger their appreciation because he's had such a massive impact on the club," Seaman, who won two Premier League titles under Wenger, told CNN World Sport.

"When he came to Arsenal we were successful but we played in quite a negative way... he let people express themselves, he brought out a whole new way of football, not just to Arsenal but to England as well -- the way we trained, relaxed, massages... a lot of other clubs have got Arsene Wenger to thank for that."

Tony Adams, captain of Arsenal's two Double-winning sides, said on Instagram: "Thanks for everything Arsene. Move over Herbert [Chapman], Arsene Wenger the greatest Arsenal Manager."

Fabregas wrote on Instagram: "Wow. I never expected that but it shows the great dignity and class of the man.

"I will never forget his guidance and support, his tutelage and mentorship.

"He had faith in me from day one and I owe him a lot, he was like a father figure to me who always pushed me to be the best. Arsene, you deserve all the respect and happiness in the world. #classact"

Van Persie tweeted: "Thanks Arsene for all your confidence in me over the years. You are a very special man & a top coach! Definitely one of the very best ever! I will always see you as my footballing father where under your guidance I had the chance to grow as a man and a player, i'm forever thankful for that and wish you all the very best for the next chapter in your life!"

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who enjoyed a fierce rivalry with Wenger, said the Frenchman's impact on the game in England and worldwide "has been immense."

"It's been an incredible journey for Ars-ne, during which he has maintained the highest levels of professionalism throughout," Ferguson said in a statement in his role as a member of the League Managers Association.

"He has been in charge of one of Britain's greatest football clubs for over two decades and has produced some fantastic teams. His longevity shows that continuity can bring great success."

Wenger will be remembered "as one of the greats," former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov told CNN World Sport.

"For me it always a pleasure to play against Arsenal, against a team of Wenger. They were always going to try to play football, football in its purest form," the Bulgarian told the show's anchor Alex Thomas.

Ex-Manchester United and England international Gary Neville wrote on Twitter: "Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.

"The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said of Wenger: "He is an influence in football. A fantastic career, outstanding personality. A big player in the business."

Arsenal said it will name a replacement "as soon as possible."

Kroenke added: "We have high ambitions to build on Ars-ne's remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game."

Born in Strasbourg, Wenger began his career as a player in France, followed by managerial stints with AS Nancy, AS Monaco and Nagoya Grampus Eight in Japan before joining Arsenal.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 25208

Reported Deaths: 1060
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin8514616
Ramsey3075128
Stearns203013
Nobles15445
Anoka142970
Dakota134957
Washington64532
Olmsted63410
Kandiyohi4971
Rice4622
Scott4362
Clay42728
Mower3452
Wright3202
Todd3190
Sherburne2462
Carver2182
Benton1783
Steele1600
Blue Earth1420
Martin1325
Freeborn1250
St. Louis11814
Pine890
Unassigned8810
Nicollet8810
Winona8015
Cottonwood760
Watonwan750
Carlton750
Crow Wing712
Otter Tail700
Goodhue683
Chisago621
Polk612
Lyon570
Itasca5510
Dodge530
Chippewa511
Morrison470
Meeker450
Douglas440
Le Sueur441
Becker400
Murray390
Jackson390
McLeod370
Isanti350
Waseca260
Rock220
Swift190
Mille Lacs191
Pennington190
Faribault190
Wabasha180
Fillmore171
Sibley160
Brown162
Beltrami150
Cass142
Norman130
Marshall120
Pipestone120
Kanabec111
Wilkin113
Wadena100
Koochiching90
Pope90
Aitkin80
Mahnomen61
Yellow Medicine60
Big Stone60
Lincoln50
Redwood50
Renville50
Red Lake40
Grant40
Lac qui Parle30
Clearwater30
Traverse30
Houston20
Hubbard20
Roseau20
Lake10
Kittson10
Stevens10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 19669

Reported Deaths: 555
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk4236133
Woodbury276136
Black Hawk174745
Linn95379
Dallas91623
Marshall89616
Buena Vista8100
Johnson6149
Wapello59712
Muscatine55741
Crawford5282
Tama40327
Scott36110
Dubuque34619
Louisa34511
Sioux2830
Pottawattamie2698
Jasper26017
Washington1898
Wright1780
Warren1350
Plymouth1332
Allamakee1204
Story1161
Mahaska9510
Poweshiek908
Henry711
Bremer696
Des Moines651
Boone650
Clinton641
Taylor560
Clarke560
Guthrie513
Cedar481
Benton431
Hamilton430
Webster421
Monroe385
Shelby370
Jones360
Clayton343
Osceola340
Buchanan330
Iowa330
Marion320
Cherokee310
Jefferson300
Cerro Gordo291
Madison292
Lee270
Fayette270
Monona250
Winneshiek240
Lyon240
Davis230
Harrison230
Dickinson210
Sac200
Grundy200
Mills190
Floyd191
Humboldt181
Clay170
Delaware171
Hardin170
Butler171
Lucas170
Emmet160
Hancock160
Appanoose143
Ida140
Page140
Franklin140
Keokuk140
Pocahontas130
Greene130
Howard120
Cass120
Audubon121
Jackson120
Carroll110
Winnebago110
Chickasaw100
Kossuth100
Adair90
Van Buren90
Union90
Montgomery80
Adams70
Palo Alto70
Fremont40
Ringgold40
Mitchell40
Worth30
Calhoun20
Wayne10
Decatur10
Unassigned10
Rochester
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 70°
Mason City
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 71°
Albert Lea
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 72°
Austin
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 73°
Charles City
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 72°
Powerful storms and summer-like conditions are coming our way
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

${item.thumbnail.title}

StormTeam 3: Today's Severe Weather Update

Image

Yoga studio closes space, tries new idea

Image

Forager Brewery welcomes new business

Image

Salons reopen at 25% capacity

Image

DMC's impact on Rochester's economic recovery

Image

Forager Brewery - best patio in Rochester

Image

Protests in Mason City

Image

Barbershop town hall discusses racial profiling

Image

Minnesota salons reopen

Image

Barbershop Talk: Town hall

Community Events