Sport Soccer

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Arsene Wenger tempted by move away from day-to-day management

The Frenchman, who is leaving Arsenal at the end of the season, has refused to be drawn on what he intends to do next.

Arsene Wenger is leaving Arsenal at the end of the season
Arsene Wenger is leaving Arsenal at the end of the season

By Mark Mann-Bryans, Press Association Sport

Arsene Wenger has hinted he may be tempted by a job away from day-to-day club management after leaving Arsenal.

The 68-year-old will step down following Sunday’s clash at Huddersfield, ending a spell of almost 22 years in charge of the Gunners.

Since news on Wenger’s departure was made public last month, the Frenchman has refused to be drawn on what he intends to do after leaving Arsenal.

A break from the game looks likely but, despite suggesting management is where his heart lies, Wenger would not rule out the possibility of a different role – whether that be higher up within the structure of a club or working as a general manager.

Asked if it was his desire to remain as a day-to-day manager, Wenger replied: “That is what I have to decide.

“I have not made the decision so at the moment I would say yes, spontaneously yes. But maybe with a distance I will think: ‘no, maybe it’s a time to change a little bit of direction.’ Honestly, I can’t give you an answer. I don’t know.

“But I enjoy going out there every day, of course. You know I didn’t miss a training session in 22 years, I never stayed in my office. Every day I was out there. That is something that I will miss.”

Wenger has been linked with a role at Paris St Germain but insists his relationship with the club’s chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi stretches only to media commitments with his beIN Sport television network.

One thing that is for certain is that Wenger will not be finished with football and, having professed his surprise at the number of job offers he has received since the announcement he was leaving, he stressed that he did not want his age to be a factor.

“As long as I feel I want to,” he replied when asked how long he would like to continue working for.

“But overall look at your age and make an issue of it. It becomes a bit discrimination. They don’t really look how you work and perform. They look ‘oh he is old.’. I can understand that as I thought the same when I was young.

“But who knows? I like the English saying ‘you have to live every day like it is your last’ and one day you will be right.

“I keep myself fit, I can still play! If I was really objective then I would pick myself every week. We have staff games. I don’t play with the players, they are a bit too quick for me.”

He has also been tight-lipped over any talk of who will replace him in the dugout at the Emirates Stadium, saying he has no part to play in selecting his successor.

But he did offer a word of advice, suggesting the incoming boss retain some of the backroom staff currently in place who have a feel for the history of the club.

Asked if he would recommend that the new man keep some of his staff, Wenger said: “Yes, of course. But of course people who come in also want their own staff, that’s about finding the right adjustment.

“Personally, I always tried to have a local person, who knows the culture, who knows the habits, the tradition and makes sure you don’t make the mistakes.”

Press Association

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