Arsenal’s French manager Arsene Wenger / AFP PHOTO / Paul ELLIS /
Reports in Italy have revealed that Arsene Wenger has told his players that he will quit Arsenal at the end of this season.
According to Italian football journalist, Tancredi Palmeri, the Frenchman has informed the team members about his decision but has yet to have a meeting with the club’s board to inform people running the club as well.
Arsenal are reported to have offered Wenger a two-year contract extension although the Frenchman seems intentioned to part companies with the North London club after spending over 20 years with the Gunners.
Wenger’s Arsenal faced Bayern Munich yesterday with the impossible task of subverting the first leg’s verdict as Bayern Munich trashed the Gunners 5-1 in an Allianz Arena clash three weeks ago.
Many Arsenal fans will celebrate this news although Palmeri insists that the club’s board has yet to be informed about Wenger’s decision and that “everything can still happen.”
Also yesterday, Gilberto Silva became the latest Arsenal great to say his former manager Arsene Wenger has reached the end of the road.
The World Cup-winning midfielder, a cornerstone of Wenger’s ‘Invincible’ league champions of 2003-04, believes that a new breed of Premier League managers, including Chelsea’s Antonio Conte, Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola and Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp – have the energy the 67-year-old lacks after over two decades at the Arsenal helm.
“I feel that the time has come,” the 2004 Premier League champion told Sport 360.
“The more the past is coming to a close, the more his time is coming – not because he can’t do the job any longer, but, perhaps because the other clubs have changed their way of working, the way of doings things.
“He hasn’t changed much, he hasn’t changed his way of working – not because he doesn’t want to, but it is not so easy to compete with clubs who spend a lot of money every season.
“Wenger has spent a lot more years than them (Conte, Guardiola and Klopp) in the Premier League. They are younger and motivated and they have a lot of energy to look around and source ways to win against Wenger.
“He has his own way of working, in which he believes. Irrespective of whether you are either a young or an old coach, you have to believe in something, and that’s what he does.”
Gilberto is not the only member of the Invincibles to have criticised Wenger, whose contract expires at the end of the season, in recent weeks. After last month’s 5-1 defeat former Arsenal defenders, Martin Keown and Lee Dixon said they believed the Frenchman’s time at the club was up.