Thursday, June 20, 2024

Wenger still in shock but excited by ‘blank page’

Arsene Wenger says he’s giving himself a month to figure out what he does next and admits he’s still in ‘a state of shock’ at his change in circumstances.

The Frenchman, who presided over his final game as Arsenal manager last Sunday, is under contract until the end of June but wants to decide on his next challenge before he heads off to watch the World Cup in Russia. It’s believed he’s been inundated with job offers, ranging from coaching positions to work in the media.


In an interview with beIN Sports broadcaster Darren Tulett, the 68-year-old admitted he’s been overwhelmed by the recent recognition of his achievements at Highbury and the Emirates and stressed that he’s excited by the ‘blank page’ in front of him.

“It’s just too soon to know what I will do next,” he says. “I haven’t even emptied my desk yet and in a way I am still in a state of shock. I am going to give myself until June 14, the day the World Cup begins, to decide. The question is do I still want to coach, to be on the bench, or is it time to take up different functions? The one thing I can say for sure is that I will continue to work.

“But do I want to continue to suffer as much? I want to continue to defend my ideas of football, that’s for sure. Spontaneously, I would say I still want to coach but I can’t really say that yet for sure.”

He went on: “I need a challenge. I have lived and breathed football all these years and it’s a passion – I can’t imagine doing anything else. That’s why in a way this is an exciting moment for me, too.

“I have a new page, a blank page in front of me. As all good writers know, that can be a time of anguish but I hope I won’t have too much of that. It’s also a chance to write new chapters.”

Wenger was given a hero’s farewell by the Emirates faithful when the Gunners played Burnley in the final home game of the season and there were further standing ovations from opposition fans at Manchester United, Leicester City and Huddersfield. His departure from the Gunners became THE talking point on both the front and back pages of the newspaper and enveloped social media.

“It was very touching to see,” Wenger said of the attention. “It has been a strange period – switching from contestation to unanimity in just a few days. Surprising, but quite nice also. I have the impression people wanted to salute my longevity, my fidelity to my club and perhaps the ideas about football I always tried to defend.

“I take it as a sign of recognition for the total commitment I have always had towards values I hold dearly – the desire to play dynamic, attacking football with a certain idea of how to go about it, too.

“My type of loyalty probably doesn’t exist any more. Maybe the dinosaur I became was the last symbol of times that have changed. We are today in a society which is so quick to reject. There is no time to build, to construct, always this demand for results immediately. Maybe people wanted to manifest that too.

“It was nice to see some of the recognition, I admit. When I arrived, you know, I was a complete unknown and I have always had the impression I am representing my country in a way. In a land where there has always been so much animosity between the English and the French I am proud to have achieved certain things and perhaps to have opened doors for other French coaches. Don’t forget, when I arrived in England a foreign manager was a very rare thing.”


If you’ve not already, it’s well worth reading Darren’s full interview with Arsene in the Guardian. There’s a fair bit more from ‘the boss’ on what he might do next, his take on Mikel Arteta being touted as his replacement and the emotion he’ll feel when he clears out his desk at London Colney.

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Ya gooner

Part of me wants to see how well he does with a different team, if only to settle the board vs arsene arguement. That part of me soon gets shouted down by the other part of me that would feel somewhat betrayed by the thought of him succeeding with any team that isn’t an international one.

Is this what it feels like to be divorced?..


I’d love to see Arsene take the French job. Just looking at their 23 man squad for this World Cup, that side is brimming with potential. I’d love to see what Arsene could do with them.

As I have always thought that his philosophy will work still, it just needs to be applied to the right calibre of player with the collective desire in the right place.


For me the argument has been settled. We sack our most successful manager ever and we are ready to take this club to another level. To compete with the Peps and Klopps of this world. To sort out our defence, to bring better and develop better players, to win titles and European trophies, to please our fanbase and so on…

Enter… Arteta.

What? If this doesn’t show lack of ambition and the fact the board has been the one running Arsenal like a business, I don’t know what does.

Donald's Trump

Most successful ever but most of his success came over a decade ago.

Ex-Priest Tobin

For god’s sake, just fuck off already. This has been the most extended farewell I’ve ever seen.


Fuck off yourself. Your farewell would end before it begins.


I dunno, from that comment I’d be happier seeing tobin go more than wenger.

Why not

You sir deserve a splinter between your finger nail and the finger so deep you cant reach it but you can see it through your nail.


It’s clear from this interview – if read in full in the Guardian – that Arsene did not endorse or give his backing to Arteta as his successor…he simply said some nice things about him, no more & no less.

And being the diplomat that he is, that’s exactly what you’d expect Arsene to do, to say nice things about whoever is put to him in an interview as being his possible successor at Arsenal.

In short, Arsene’s words have been taken out of context – and not for the last time, either.


He repeatedly said that he won’t give any suggestions what he thinks of certain candidates to not influence the decision. He said what he thinks about Arteta in general, nothing more, nothing less.


He could have told them not to ask about his successor. He spoke about Arteta in both beIN and Guardian. Arsene also spoke highly about Vieira just after he announced that he is stepping down but he did mention Premier league is different to MLS. It’s clear the man wants one of them to succeed him but the fact that Arteta has been involved in the management side in PL, CL helps his cause. Also, he’s been with a very successful Man City side. Ideally i would take Arteta, Buvac and keep Bould, Lehmann. Bring in one more ex-Gunner from… Read more »

Maxin In The Shade

I just want him to be happy and successful


You will always be respected and loved by us. 22 years, zero scandal. Class.


I agree totally.

Though finishing 6th was the biggest scandal ever in their lives (according to some)…

Laca auba

Zero scandals……….


Name me one scandal involving him


Merci Arsene
Hopefully The Arsenal can offer some sort of role to him
It would be a great shame to lose his experience to another club
I wonder why no one is talking about this


Because he said he’s not going to think about what he will do next immediately. He said he needs some time and will know what he will do at the start of the World Cup. He also said he has numerous offers, maybe one of them is a role within Arsenal. But I think he will be going to manage another team because this is what he loves and I don’t think he has lost it at all. Unjust think the atmosphere around Arsenal was one in which it was nearly impossible to overperform but that would have been needed… Read more »

SB Still

If Trump can be president of the world’s largest economy, democracy and advanced country, then I wish Wenger to replace him urgently 🙂

Wenger is so stubborn yet rational and intelligent, USA and the world could benefit.

Arse City Blues

‘advanced’ is a bit far.. Depends what your idea of progression is.


I wish beIN sports followed him everywhere throughout his tenure at Arsenal. He always gives them such detailed, open and honest answers.


Agreed, I’d love to know why he talks to openly with them. I know he doesn’t have much trust of british media but still

A Different George

Maybe a contract? Just a guess, based on the fact that he has given them a fairly in-depth interview during every international break for a year or two. (This may also be the answer to the nagging question of why he has provided commentary on French television during international tournaments.)

Spanish Gooner

I don’t think Wenger became a bad coach, I think he just became complacent and needed to update his coaching staff. At the next club he will have a fresh outlook, new staff and new possibilities and I think both he, and arsenal with be a success for the same reasons

Faisal Narrage

It’s weird that only now is he open to higher up positions, when that’s what we wanted from him for so long, due to the fact that a day-to-day coach, he is on the wane and a bit past it. Wenger has become not good enough to be a top coach maybe, but ironically he’s now also too good for simply being a coach or manager. Personally I think he embodies football, and it’s time to go beyond club football. I’d love to see Wenger become head of UEFA and change it inside out, then become head of FIFA and… Read more »

John Bull

“My type of loyalty probably does not exist any more ” So true . And I think it is fair to add : True loyalty, gratitude and support from fans for a legendary record making manager is no longer something which exists among a section of the current Arsenal fans — which ultimately led to AW giving up the remaining year of his contract . The Board’s protective shield has gone and the Wenger out fans’ scapegoat has gone as well . Ah well , lets hope Arsenal performs better with a new manager in the next 2 years than… Read more »


Everything has changed in Football & Society since the 1990’s. The Halcyon days of Tony Adams pinning players up against the wall in the dressing room are long gone. Now the little babies would be straight on social media or on to there agents.


Blank page : Hope he gets offered the National job with France following the Wcup.

He’s 68yrs so it will take him hopefully to Euros and 2022 world cup when he will be 72yrs.

Plus there will be a bit of time for him to recuperate after the Wcup if he takes over.

And it coincides with a new golden generation for France, young players who may benefit from his seasoned guidance.

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