Arsene Wenger: ‘Maybe I stayed too long’ at Arsenal

Arsene Wenger left Arsenal in 2018
Arsene Wenger left Arsenal in 2018 - (Copyright PA Archive)
21:29pm, Fri 02 Oct 2020
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Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has admitted he ‘maybe stayed too long’ at the club.

Wenger left the Gunners in 2018 after a 22-year spell in charge which returned three Premier League titles, seven FA Cups, a Champions League final appearance and a new stadium.

But with the club failing to mount a serious title challenge following the move to the Emirates Stadium from Highbury in 2006, calls of ‘Wenger out’ from the fans had become a common occurrence in his last few seasons.

Fans hold up a Wenger Out banner - (Copyright PA Archive)

The Frenchman, now chief of global football development at FIFA, admitted he could maybe have left the north London club earlier – but is adamant every decision he made was in Arsenal’s best interests.

“Maybe I stayed too long,” he told the Times. “I don’t know. But I was committed like on the first day.

“I think I guided the club through the most difficult period in a very successful way.

“At some stage people say you’re too old, but they don’t really look at what you do. I served the club as much as I could.

Arsene Wenger enjoyed success with the club - (Copyright PA Wire)

“The supporters were not happy any more. Some of them. You can understand that, at some stage, 22 years, people want a change.”

His long-time rival Sir Alex Ferguson – now a friend according to Wenger – was offered a role as a director after ending his long spell in charge of Manchester United.

Wenger – who said in the interview he was once offered the United job but would not be drawn on when he was approached – got no such offer from the Gunners.

He said: “I don’t know (why he was not offered a place on the board). I always said I would still play a part in the club, but I could understand that at the start it’s better that we take a complete distance.

“It was difficult at the start, of course, after leading my club as long as I did, but I thought it’s better to follow from a distance.”

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