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Timing of Arsenal departure not really my decision: Wenger

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

By Sports Reporter 

It was announced on Friday that the 68-year-old Frenchman will 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.”

Wenger 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.

A number of managers have been linked with replacing Wenger, including former Gunners captain Patrick Vieira and ex-Barcelona manager Luis Enrique.

Asked about the latter, Wenger said: “I don’t want to influence the next manager, but of course I have a high opinion of Luis Enrique.”

Arsenal have said a replacement will be announced as soon as possible, while chief executive Ivan Gazidis said the club must be bold in their search for a new manager.

Thursday’s match will be the final time Wenger takes charge of the Gunners for a home European tie.

Their hopes of reaching the Champions League next season rest on winning the Europa League.

“Is there a perfect goodbye? I don’t know. I just want to do as well as I can,” Wenger said.

“This group of players deserve something special and I want to do it for them, to achieve something with them.

“My biggest satisfaction would be to be successful with the players we have.” bbc

Tongai Mwenje

Tongai Mwenje is a Senior Editor with Zimbabwe's largest online sports magazine Sportbrief www.sportbrief.co.zw. He has been writing professionally since 2012 and currently writes for technology and sport blogs. He has vast experience in digital marketing, sports reporting and analysis. He is also a Sports and Technology columnist with Financial Gazette Online Sports Column and Technology Magazine respectively.

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