FC Barcelona

Slideshow on Barcelona

While Lionel Messi may be out of this world, Vincenzo Montella still believes Sevilla can spring a surprise against Barcelona.
Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella
While Lionel Messi may be out of this world, Vincenzo Montella still believes Sevilla can spring a surprise against Barcelona.
<p>Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella</p>
Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella

Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella

<p>Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella</p>
Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella

Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella

While Lionel Messi may be out of this world, Vincenzo Montella still believes Sevilla can spring a surprise against Barcelona.
Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella
While Lionel Messi may be out of this world, Vincenzo Montella still believes Sevilla can spring a surprise against Barcelona.
<p>Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella</p>
Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella

Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella

While Lionel Messi may be out of this world, Vincenzo Montella still believes Sevilla can spring a surprise against Barcelona.
Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella
While Lionel Messi may be out of this world, Vincenzo Montella still believes Sevilla can spring a surprise against Barcelona.
While Lionel Messi may be out of this world, Vincenzo Montella still believes Sevilla can spring a surprise against Barcelona.
Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella
While Lionel Messi may be out of this world, Vincenzo Montella still believes Sevilla can spring a surprise against Barcelona.
<p>Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella</p>
Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella

Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella

While Lionel Messi may be out of this world, Vincenzo Montella still believes Sevilla can spring a surprise against Barcelona.
Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella
While Lionel Messi may be out of this world, Vincenzo Montella still believes Sevilla can spring a surprise against Barcelona.
<p>Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella</p>
Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella

Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella

While Lionel Messi may be out of this world, Vincenzo Montella still believes Sevilla can spring a surprise against Barcelona.
Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella
While Lionel Messi may be out of this world, Vincenzo Montella still believes Sevilla can spring a surprise against Barcelona.
<p>Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella</p>
Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella

Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella

FILE - In this Friday, May 26, 2017 file photo, FC Barcelona&#39;s coach Luis Enrique attends a press conference at the Sports Center FC Barcelona Joan Gamper in Sant Joan Despi, Spain. Arsenal is looking for a new manager for the first time this century after Arsene Wenger on Friday, April 20, 2018 announced his decision to leave his role at the end of this season. Arsenal has reportedly made informal contact with Luis Enrique, the former Barcelona coach who led the Spanish team to the La Liga-Copa del Rey-Champions League treble in his first season there in 2015 and a domestic league-and-cup double the following year. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, file)
FILE - In this Friday, May 26, 2017 file photo, FC Barcelona's coach Luis Enrique attends a press conference at the Sports Center FC Barcelona Joan Gamper in Sant Joan Despi, Spain. Arsenal is looking for a new manager for the first time this century after Arsene Wenger on Friday, April 20, 2018 announced his decision to leave his role at the end of this season. Arsenal has reportedly made informal contact with Luis Enrique, the former Barcelona coach who led the Spanish team to the La Liga-Copa del Rey-Champions League treble in his first season there in 2015 and a domestic league-and-cup double the following year. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, file)
FILE - In this Friday, May 26, 2017 file photo, FC Barcelona's coach Luis Enrique attends a press conference at the Sports Center FC Barcelona Joan Gamper in Sant Joan Despi, Spain. Arsenal is looking for a new manager for the first time this century after Arsene Wenger on Friday, April 20, 2018 announced his decision to leave his role at the end of this season. Arsenal has reportedly made informal contact with Luis Enrique, the former Barcelona coach who led the Spanish team to the La Liga-Copa del Rey-Champions League treble in his first season there in 2015 and a domestic league-and-cup double the following year. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, file)
The Barcelona coach believes all trophies are important ahead of the final with Sevilla
Don't lose sight of Copa Del Rey's value - Valverde
The Barcelona coach believes all trophies are important ahead of the final with Sevilla
The Barcelona coach believes all trophies are important ahead of the final with Sevilla
Don't lose sight of Copa Del Rey's value - Valverde
The Barcelona coach believes all trophies are important ahead of the final with Sevilla
The Barcelona coach believes all trophies are important ahead of the final with Sevilla
Don't lose sight of Copa Del Rey's value - Valverde
The Barcelona coach believes all trophies are important ahead of the final with Sevilla
Jose Mourinho has his shot at reaching a second FA Cup final of his long career at Wembley on Saturday although on a landmark day for English football it was hard for him to keep his thoughts straying from the challenge that awaits him next season at Manchester United. This semi-final sees him hunting his 21st major trophy and now, with Arsene Wenger’s pending departure, Mourinho is the senior figure at the top of the table clubs, older than all the other four current managers of the big six excluding Arsenal. Perhaps it was the departure of an old rival but speaking at a London hotel ahead of the game at Wembley he was left wondering whether his new rival, Manchester City, could be caught at all next season. Mourinho was asked a general question about whether the consistency of his team could be improved after that comeback against City was followed by defeat at West Bromwich Albion and a performance somewhere in between at Bournemouth. He immediately responded with the question that it would depend on “what the direct opponents do”. “One of the reasons related to your question - you don’t win a title, is it a failure or not? - it depends on your opponents,” he said. “I was champion in Spain [in 2012] with 100 points and Barcelona had 91 points. Was that a failure for Barcelona? I don’t think it was, but the other guys had 100 points. “In this Premier League, many clubs had positive seasons, like us, like Tottenham, like Liverpool. But it was impossible because City were really good and consistent and will reach a number of points that make it impossible for you … can you say the three [semi-final] teams who do not win the FA Cup are going to fail? It is too harsh. Praise the winner and we are going to try to be the one.” Mourinho must get more out of his expensive signings next season Credit: GETTY IMAGES It was the follow-up to that which was telling. Would it be impossible to win the title next year if City repeat their dominance? “If they get the same number of points it will be almost impossible,” Mourinho said. “If they get into the 90 something points, it is almost impossible.” Of course, you could make the argument that it is up to Mourinho’s team to stop them, having managed it over the course of one game at the Etihad Stadium this season, and by raising their own standards. Mourinho is not a man who easily suppresses what is on his mind and when he reminded everyone that City scored their winner against Bournemouth in August “in minute 145” it was obvious that there are certain things he has not yet reconciled about this season. “I was champions with Chelsea with 95 points,” he said. “That’s the reason why we were champions three months before the end of the season. We gave no chance to the opponents, which is what Manchester City did. We had periods of winning matches and waiting for them to lose a couple of points. They never did it … they were really, really strong. That is why there is no question about who deserves to be champions.” So to Tottenham and their 46-year-old manager, Mauricio Pochettino, at an age at which Mourinho had already won major five trophies at both Porto and Chelsea and his first Serie A title at Inter Milan. Mourinho said that Spurs’ targets for the season were not his business. “I don’t know their objectives. I don’t know the way they see their season. I don’t know their targets. That’s not my job.” He was also not prepared to concede that playing at Spurs’ temporary home ground Wembley was an advantage. Mourinho and Pochettino will go head-to-head at Wembley on Saturday Credit: MANCHESTER UNITED Mourinho reminded everyone that as Inter manager he won the 2010 Coppa Italia final against Roma at their Stadio Olympico, and also that he lost the 2013 Copa del Rey final at the Bernabeu as Real Madrid manager. “When you go to these big moments, with these big decisions, semi-finals, finals, I don&#39;t think it [the stadium] is an advantage at all,” he said. His view of Paul Pogba, the player who has divided opinion the most in Mourinho’s two seasons at Old Trafford, was that after three games in which his form has fluctuated, Bournemouth was a return to what was expected. “I told him after Manchester City that I am not expecting him [Pogba] to be the man of the match in every match,” he said. “I am not expecting him to be phenomenal in every match, because that is really difficult, but to keep a certain level is the challenge. That’s obvious. “I think he was phenomenal against City. I think he was not good against West Brom. And I think he was [good] against Bournemouth. Against City you have the two goals where people can say ‘Wow, super-decisive’. But I think he played even better against Bournemouth. Since minute one he was more consistent, more in control of the game. I think he was really good.” His response to whether elimination from the FA Cup and a season without a trophy would be a failure, was a single-word denial. Of course, there was a time when he had a say on another manager’s failure to win trophies, but for now that had all been forgotten.
Jose Mourinho and Manchester United face up to next season's challenge of matching city rivals' gold standard
Jose Mourinho has his shot at reaching a second FA Cup final of his long career at Wembley on Saturday although on a landmark day for English football it was hard for him to keep his thoughts straying from the challenge that awaits him next season at Manchester United. This semi-final sees him hunting his 21st major trophy and now, with Arsene Wenger’s pending departure, Mourinho is the senior figure at the top of the table clubs, older than all the other four current managers of the big six excluding Arsenal. Perhaps it was the departure of an old rival but speaking at a London hotel ahead of the game at Wembley he was left wondering whether his new rival, Manchester City, could be caught at all next season. Mourinho was asked a general question about whether the consistency of his team could be improved after that comeback against City was followed by defeat at West Bromwich Albion and a performance somewhere in between at Bournemouth. He immediately responded with the question that it would depend on “what the direct opponents do”. “One of the reasons related to your question - you don’t win a title, is it a failure or not? - it depends on your opponents,” he said. “I was champion in Spain [in 2012] with 100 points and Barcelona had 91 points. Was that a failure for Barcelona? I don’t think it was, but the other guys had 100 points. “In this Premier League, many clubs had positive seasons, like us, like Tottenham, like Liverpool. But it was impossible because City were really good and consistent and will reach a number of points that make it impossible for you … can you say the three [semi-final] teams who do not win the FA Cup are going to fail? It is too harsh. Praise the winner and we are going to try to be the one.” Mourinho must get more out of his expensive signings next season Credit: GETTY IMAGES It was the follow-up to that which was telling. Would it be impossible to win the title next year if City repeat their dominance? “If they get the same number of points it will be almost impossible,” Mourinho said. “If they get into the 90 something points, it is almost impossible.” Of course, you could make the argument that it is up to Mourinho’s team to stop them, having managed it over the course of one game at the Etihad Stadium this season, and by raising their own standards. Mourinho is not a man who easily suppresses what is on his mind and when he reminded everyone that City scored their winner against Bournemouth in August “in minute 145” it was obvious that there are certain things he has not yet reconciled about this season. “I was champions with Chelsea with 95 points,” he said. “That’s the reason why we were champions three months before the end of the season. We gave no chance to the opponents, which is what Manchester City did. We had periods of winning matches and waiting for them to lose a couple of points. They never did it … they were really, really strong. That is why there is no question about who deserves to be champions.” So to Tottenham and their 46-year-old manager, Mauricio Pochettino, at an age at which Mourinho had already won major five trophies at both Porto and Chelsea and his first Serie A title at Inter Milan. Mourinho said that Spurs’ targets for the season were not his business. “I don’t know their objectives. I don’t know the way they see their season. I don’t know their targets. That’s not my job.” He was also not prepared to concede that playing at Spurs’ temporary home ground Wembley was an advantage. Mourinho and Pochettino will go head-to-head at Wembley on Saturday Credit: MANCHESTER UNITED Mourinho reminded everyone that as Inter manager he won the 2010 Coppa Italia final against Roma at their Stadio Olympico, and also that he lost the 2013 Copa del Rey final at the Bernabeu as Real Madrid manager. “When you go to these big moments, with these big decisions, semi-finals, finals, I don't think it [the stadium] is an advantage at all,” he said. His view of Paul Pogba, the player who has divided opinion the most in Mourinho’s two seasons at Old Trafford, was that after three games in which his form has fluctuated, Bournemouth was a return to what was expected. “I told him after Manchester City that I am not expecting him [Pogba] to be the man of the match in every match,” he said. “I am not expecting him to be phenomenal in every match, because that is really difficult, but to keep a certain level is the challenge. That’s obvious. “I think he was phenomenal against City. I think he was not good against West Brom. And I think he was [good] against Bournemouth. Against City you have the two goals where people can say ‘Wow, super-decisive’. But I think he played even better against Bournemouth. Since minute one he was more consistent, more in control of the game. I think he was really good.” His response to whether elimination from the FA Cup and a season without a trophy would be a failure, was a single-word denial. Of course, there was a time when he had a say on another manager’s failure to win trophies, but for now that had all been forgotten.
Jose Mourinho has his shot at reaching a second FA Cup final of his long career at Wembley on Saturday although on a landmark day for English football it was hard for him to keep his thoughts straying from the challenge that awaits him next season at Manchester United. This semi-final sees him hunting his 21st major trophy and now, with Arsene Wenger’s pending departure, Mourinho is the senior figure at the top of the table clubs, older than all the other four current managers of the big six excluding Arsenal. Perhaps it was the departure of an old rival but speaking at a London hotel ahead of the game at Wembley he was left wondering whether his new rival, Manchester City, could be caught at all next season. Mourinho was asked a general question about whether the consistency of his team could be improved after that comeback against City was followed by defeat at West Bromwich Albion and a performance somewhere in between at Bournemouth. He immediately responded with the question that it would depend on “what the direct opponents do”. “One of the reasons related to your question - you don’t win a title, is it a failure or not? - it depends on your opponents,” he said. “I was champion in Spain [in 2012] with 100 points and Barcelona had 91 points. Was that a failure for Barcelona? I don’t think it was, but the other guys had 100 points. “In this Premier League, many clubs had positive seasons, like us, like Tottenham, like Liverpool. But it was impossible because City were really good and consistent and will reach a number of points that make it impossible for you … can you say the three [semi-final] teams who do not win the FA Cup are going to fail? It is too harsh. Praise the winner and we are going to try to be the one.” Mourinho must get more out of his expensive signings next season Credit: GETTY IMAGES It was the follow-up to that which was telling. Would it be impossible to win the title next year if City repeat their dominance? “If they get the same number of points it will be almost impossible,” Mourinho said. “If they get into the 90 something points, it is almost impossible.” Of course, you could make the argument that it is up to Mourinho’s team to stop them, having managed it over the course of one game at the Etihad Stadium this season, and by raising their own standards. Mourinho is not a man who easily suppresses what is on his mind and when he reminded everyone that City scored their winner against Bournemouth in August “in minute 145” it was obvious that there are certain things he has not yet reconciled about this season. “I was champions with Chelsea with 95 points,” he said. “That’s the reason why we were champions three months before the end of the season. We gave no chance to the opponents, which is what Manchester City did. We had periods of winning matches and waiting for them to lose a couple of points. They never did it … they were really, really strong. That is why there is no question about who deserves to be champions.” So to Tottenham and their 46-year-old manager, Mauricio Pochettino, at an age at which Mourinho had already won major five trophies at both Porto and Chelsea and his first Serie A title at Inter Milan. Mourinho said that Spurs’ targets for the season were not his business. “I don’t know their objectives. I don’t know the way they see their season. I don’t know their targets. That’s not my job.” He was also not prepared to concede that playing at Spurs’ temporary home ground Wembley was an advantage. Mourinho and Pochettino will go head-to-head at Wembley on Saturday Credit: MANCHESTER UNITED Mourinho reminded everyone that as Inter manager he won the 2010 Coppa Italia final against Roma at their Stadio Olympico, and also that he lost the 2013 Copa del Rey final at the Bernabeu as Real Madrid manager. “When you go to these big moments, with these big decisions, semi-finals, finals, I don&#39;t think it [the stadium] is an advantage at all,” he said. His view of Paul Pogba, the player who has divided opinion the most in Mourinho’s two seasons at Old Trafford, was that after three games in which his form has fluctuated, Bournemouth was a return to what was expected. “I told him after Manchester City that I am not expecting him [Pogba] to be the man of the match in every match,” he said. “I am not expecting him to be phenomenal in every match, because that is really difficult, but to keep a certain level is the challenge. That’s obvious. “I think he was phenomenal against City. I think he was not good against West Brom. And I think he was [good] against Bournemouth. Against City you have the two goals where people can say ‘Wow, super-decisive’. But I think he played even better against Bournemouth. Since minute one he was more consistent, more in control of the game. I think he was really good.” His response to whether elimination from the FA Cup and a season without a trophy would be a failure, was a single-word denial. Of course, there was a time when he had a say on another manager’s failure to win trophies, but for now that had all been forgotten.
Jose Mourinho and Manchester United face up to next season's challenge of matching city rivals' gold standard
Jose Mourinho has his shot at reaching a second FA Cup final of his long career at Wembley on Saturday although on a landmark day for English football it was hard for him to keep his thoughts straying from the challenge that awaits him next season at Manchester United. This semi-final sees him hunting his 21st major trophy and now, with Arsene Wenger’s pending departure, Mourinho is the senior figure at the top of the table clubs, older than all the other four current managers of the big six excluding Arsenal. Perhaps it was the departure of an old rival but speaking at a London hotel ahead of the game at Wembley he was left wondering whether his new rival, Manchester City, could be caught at all next season. Mourinho was asked a general question about whether the consistency of his team could be improved after that comeback against City was followed by defeat at West Bromwich Albion and a performance somewhere in between at Bournemouth. He immediately responded with the question that it would depend on “what the direct opponents do”. “One of the reasons related to your question - you don’t win a title, is it a failure or not? - it depends on your opponents,” he said. “I was champion in Spain [in 2012] with 100 points and Barcelona had 91 points. Was that a failure for Barcelona? I don’t think it was, but the other guys had 100 points. “In this Premier League, many clubs had positive seasons, like us, like Tottenham, like Liverpool. But it was impossible because City were really good and consistent and will reach a number of points that make it impossible for you … can you say the three [semi-final] teams who do not win the FA Cup are going to fail? It is too harsh. Praise the winner and we are going to try to be the one.” Mourinho must get more out of his expensive signings next season Credit: GETTY IMAGES It was the follow-up to that which was telling. Would it be impossible to win the title next year if City repeat their dominance? “If they get the same number of points it will be almost impossible,” Mourinho said. “If they get into the 90 something points, it is almost impossible.” Of course, you could make the argument that it is up to Mourinho’s team to stop them, having managed it over the course of one game at the Etihad Stadium this season, and by raising their own standards. Mourinho is not a man who easily suppresses what is on his mind and when he reminded everyone that City scored their winner against Bournemouth in August “in minute 145” it was obvious that there are certain things he has not yet reconciled about this season. “I was champions with Chelsea with 95 points,” he said. “That’s the reason why we were champions three months before the end of the season. We gave no chance to the opponents, which is what Manchester City did. We had periods of winning matches and waiting for them to lose a couple of points. They never did it … they were really, really strong. That is why there is no question about who deserves to be champions.” So to Tottenham and their 46-year-old manager, Mauricio Pochettino, at an age at which Mourinho had already won major five trophies at both Porto and Chelsea and his first Serie A title at Inter Milan. Mourinho said that Spurs’ targets for the season were not his business. “I don’t know their objectives. I don’t know the way they see their season. I don’t know their targets. That’s not my job.” He was also not prepared to concede that playing at Spurs’ temporary home ground Wembley was an advantage. Mourinho and Pochettino will go head-to-head at Wembley on Saturday Credit: MANCHESTER UNITED Mourinho reminded everyone that as Inter manager he won the 2010 Coppa Italia final against Roma at their Stadio Olympico, and also that he lost the 2013 Copa del Rey final at the Bernabeu as Real Madrid manager. “When you go to these big moments, with these big decisions, semi-finals, finals, I don't think it [the stadium] is an advantage at all,” he said. His view of Paul Pogba, the player who has divided opinion the most in Mourinho’s two seasons at Old Trafford, was that after three games in which his form has fluctuated, Bournemouth was a return to what was expected. “I told him after Manchester City that I am not expecting him [Pogba] to be the man of the match in every match,” he said. “I am not expecting him to be phenomenal in every match, because that is really difficult, but to keep a certain level is the challenge. That’s obvious. “I think he was phenomenal against City. I think he was not good against West Brom. And I think he was [good] against Bournemouth. Against City you have the two goals where people can say ‘Wow, super-decisive’. But I think he played even better against Bournemouth. Since minute one he was more consistent, more in control of the game. I think he was really good.” His response to whether elimination from the FA Cup and a season without a trophy would be a failure, was a single-word denial. Of course, there was a time when he had a say on another manager’s failure to win trophies, but for now that had all been forgotten.
Jose Mourinho has his shot at reaching a second FA Cup final of his long career at Wembley on Saturday although on a landmark day for English football it was hard for him to keep his thoughts straying from the challenge that awaits him next season at Manchester United. This semi-final sees him hunting his 21st major trophy and now, with Arsene Wenger’s pending departure, Mourinho is the senior figure at the top of the table clubs, older than all the other four current managers of the big six excluding Arsenal. Perhaps it was the departure of an old rival but speaking at a London hotel ahead of the game at Wembley he was left wondering whether his new rival, Manchester City, could be caught at all next season. Mourinho was asked a general question about whether the consistency of his team could be improved after that comeback against City was followed by defeat at West Bromwich Albion and a performance somewhere in between at Bournemouth. He immediately responded with the question that it would depend on “what the direct opponents do”. “One of the reasons related to your question - you don’t win a title, is it a failure or not? - it depends on your opponents,” he said. “I was champion in Spain [in 2012] with 100 points and Barcelona had 91 points. Was that a failure for Barcelona? I don’t think it was, but the other guys had 100 points. “In this Premier League, many clubs had positive seasons, like us, like Tottenham, like Liverpool. But it was impossible because City were really good and consistent and will reach a number of points that make it impossible for you … can you say the three [semi-final] teams who do not win the FA Cup are going to fail? It is too harsh. Praise the winner and we are going to try to be the one.” Mourinho must get more out of his expensive signings next season Credit: GETTY IMAGES It was the follow-up to that which was telling. Would it be impossible to win the title next year if City repeat their dominance? “If they get the same number of points it will be almost impossible,” Mourinho said. “If they get into the 90 something points, it is almost impossible.” Of course, you could make the argument that it is up to Mourinho’s team to stop them, having managed it over the course of one game at the Etihad Stadium this season, and by raising their own standards. Mourinho is not a man who easily suppresses what is on his mind and when he reminded everyone that City scored their winner against Bournemouth in August “in minute 145” it was obvious that there are certain things he has not yet reconciled about this season. “I was champions with Chelsea with 95 points,” he said. “That’s the reason why we were champions three months before the end of the season. We gave no chance to the opponents, which is what Manchester City did. We had periods of winning matches and waiting for them to lose a couple of points. They never did it … they were really, really strong. That is why there is no question about who deserves to be champions.” So to Tottenham and their 46-year-old manager, Mauricio Pochettino, at an age at which Mourinho had already won major five trophies at both Porto and Chelsea and his first Serie A title at Inter Milan. Mourinho said that Spurs’ targets for the season were not his business. “I don’t know their objectives. I don’t know the way they see their season. I don’t know their targets. That’s not my job.” He was also not prepared to concede that playing at Spurs’ temporary home ground Wembley was an advantage. Mourinho and Pochettino will go head-to-head at Wembley on Saturday Credit: MANCHESTER UNITED Mourinho reminded everyone that as Inter manager he won the 2010 Coppa Italia final against Roma at their Stadio Olympico, and also that he lost the 2013 Copa del Rey final at the Bernabeu as Real Madrid manager. “When you go to these big moments, with these big decisions, semi-finals, finals, I don&#39;t think it [the stadium] is an advantage at all,” he said. His view of Paul Pogba, the player who has divided opinion the most in Mourinho’s two seasons at Old Trafford, was that after three games in which his form has fluctuated, Bournemouth was a return to what was expected. “I told him after Manchester City that I am not expecting him [Pogba] to be the man of the match in every match,” he said. “I am not expecting him to be phenomenal in every match, because that is really difficult, but to keep a certain level is the challenge. That’s obvious. “I think he was phenomenal against City. I think he was not good against West Brom. And I think he was [good] against Bournemouth. Against City you have the two goals where people can say ‘Wow, super-decisive’. But I think he played even better against Bournemouth. Since minute one he was more consistent, more in control of the game. I think he was really good.” His response to whether elimination from the FA Cup and a season without a trophy would be a failure, was a single-word denial. Of course, there was a time when he had a say on another manager’s failure to win trophies, but for now that had all been forgotten.
Jose Mourinho and Manchester United face up to next season's challenge of matching city rivals' gold standard
Jose Mourinho has his shot at reaching a second FA Cup final of his long career at Wembley on Saturday although on a landmark day for English football it was hard for him to keep his thoughts straying from the challenge that awaits him next season at Manchester United. This semi-final sees him hunting his 21st major trophy and now, with Arsene Wenger’s pending departure, Mourinho is the senior figure at the top of the table clubs, older than all the other four current managers of the big six excluding Arsenal. Perhaps it was the departure of an old rival but speaking at a London hotel ahead of the game at Wembley he was left wondering whether his new rival, Manchester City, could be caught at all next season. Mourinho was asked a general question about whether the consistency of his team could be improved after that comeback against City was followed by defeat at West Bromwich Albion and a performance somewhere in between at Bournemouth. He immediately responded with the question that it would depend on “what the direct opponents do”. “One of the reasons related to your question - you don’t win a title, is it a failure or not? - it depends on your opponents,” he said. “I was champion in Spain [in 2012] with 100 points and Barcelona had 91 points. Was that a failure for Barcelona? I don’t think it was, but the other guys had 100 points. “In this Premier League, many clubs had positive seasons, like us, like Tottenham, like Liverpool. But it was impossible because City were really good and consistent and will reach a number of points that make it impossible for you … can you say the three [semi-final] teams who do not win the FA Cup are going to fail? It is too harsh. Praise the winner and we are going to try to be the one.” Mourinho must get more out of his expensive signings next season Credit: GETTY IMAGES It was the follow-up to that which was telling. Would it be impossible to win the title next year if City repeat their dominance? “If they get the same number of points it will be almost impossible,” Mourinho said. “If they get into the 90 something points, it is almost impossible.” Of course, you could make the argument that it is up to Mourinho’s team to stop them, having managed it over the course of one game at the Etihad Stadium this season, and by raising their own standards. Mourinho is not a man who easily suppresses what is on his mind and when he reminded everyone that City scored their winner against Bournemouth in August “in minute 145” it was obvious that there are certain things he has not yet reconciled about this season. “I was champions with Chelsea with 95 points,” he said. “That’s the reason why we were champions three months before the end of the season. We gave no chance to the opponents, which is what Manchester City did. We had periods of winning matches and waiting for them to lose a couple of points. They never did it … they were really, really strong. That is why there is no question about who deserves to be champions.” So to Tottenham and their 46-year-old manager, Mauricio Pochettino, at an age at which Mourinho had already won major five trophies at both Porto and Chelsea and his first Serie A title at Inter Milan. Mourinho said that Spurs’ targets for the season were not his business. “I don’t know their objectives. I don’t know the way they see their season. I don’t know their targets. That’s not my job.” He was also not prepared to concede that playing at Spurs’ temporary home ground Wembley was an advantage. Mourinho and Pochettino will go head-to-head at Wembley on Saturday Credit: MANCHESTER UNITED Mourinho reminded everyone that as Inter manager he won the 2010 Coppa Italia final against Roma at their Stadio Olympico, and also that he lost the 2013 Copa del Rey final at the Bernabeu as Real Madrid manager. “When you go to these big moments, with these big decisions, semi-finals, finals, I don't think it [the stadium] is an advantage at all,” he said. His view of Paul Pogba, the player who has divided opinion the most in Mourinho’s two seasons at Old Trafford, was that after three games in which his form has fluctuated, Bournemouth was a return to what was expected. “I told him after Manchester City that I am not expecting him [Pogba] to be the man of the match in every match,” he said. “I am not expecting him to be phenomenal in every match, because that is really difficult, but to keep a certain level is the challenge. That’s obvious. “I think he was phenomenal against City. I think he was not good against West Brom. And I think he was [good] against Bournemouth. Against City you have the two goals where people can say ‘Wow, super-decisive’. But I think he played even better against Bournemouth. Since minute one he was more consistent, more in control of the game. I think he was really good.” His response to whether elimination from the FA Cup and a season without a trophy would be a failure, was a single-word denial. Of course, there was a time when he had a say on another manager’s failure to win trophies, but for now that had all been forgotten.
In 2012 Roma wanted to sign Christian Eriksen but, with two years left on his contract at Ajax, the deal was too expensive for a player who would not go straight into the first team and so the following year he joined Tottenham Hotspur for a reduced price. There was nothing unusual in that, all the top teams had looked at Eriksen, but what was remarkable is precisely why Roma wanted him. They had identified him as the natural successor to their greatest ever player: Francesco Totti. It showed just how highly he was rated and the potential he has. Totti was also one of Eriksen’s football heroes. Now that potential is being fulfilled – spectacularly – and Eriksen is being talked about in the most accomplished of current company. “Of course [Kevin] De Bruyne is amazing and I love [David] Silva but Eriksen is the same, the same,” says Martin Jol, the man who gave the Dane his debut at Ajax, aged just 17, and who also has strong links to Spurs, who he also managed. But Jol is not the only one who makes the connection between Eriksen and Manchester City’s two star midfield playmakers. Mauricio Pochettino also brackets them together.“For me, you can compare him with special players like De Bruyne or David Silva,” the Spurs manager says. “This type of player who is capable to play football, and run, and fight. That is a massive, massive value to have a player like Christian on the team.” Eriksen has been hugely impressive this season Credit: Getty Images Jol goes even further. “If I was at another club, even at Barcelona, even at Real Madrid – you know [Andres] Iniesta? Eriksen will score more goals than Iniesta,” the Dutchman says. “Five years ago I think Iniesta was the best player in the world and Eriksen is probably as good or better because to play for Barcelona is probably easier than to play at Tottenham where they develop all these youngsters. &quot;Maybe I am exaggerating a bit. But I think that, of course, he’s already a £100 million player – like De Bruyne. And If I was the manager of one of the biggest clubs, like Bayern Munich, I would try and sign him. But, for me, I hope he stays at Spurs because I think there is more to come and every time you see him, it’s a joy to watch him.” The figure of £100million is probably no exaggeration. Scouts around Europe are comparing Eriksen’s value to that of Philippe Coutinho, for whom Barcelona paid £142 million in January. With two years left on his contract Spurs may have a fight to keep Eriksen, especially if he excels with Denmark at this summer’s World Cup. Ahead of the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United at Wembley there are recurrent themes when it comes to discussing Eriksen. The 26-year-old has a prodigious appetite for work and self-improvement. Even as a teenager at Ajax he employed a personal trainer to work with him two days a week with the specific aim of making him the fittest player at the club. Tottenham are failing their fans with season ticket prices at the new stadium At Spurs, who he joined for £11.5 million, he has been a willing pupil under Pochettino and at the training ground staff speak of his desire to listen and learn and harness his extraordinary talent with a tough mentality to succeed. He has also bought in to Pochettino’s demands for hard work and a disciplined approach – in and, crucially, out of possession. Adding consistency and reliability to his talent, something he realised he had to do after that first season with Pochettino, was the game-changer. Until then he was told he was too “intermittent”. The scouting reports on Eriksen were unanimous. One scout told The Daily Telegraph: “Technically he was excellent. He saw passes between the lines and that is not common and he had this remarkable right-foot. Quite incredible. He was also a very modern player in the sense that he was technically gifted and dynamic. But there was also a lot of room for improvement and that was exciting. “For a player like him to be in possession is quite easy. The game comes easy. What needed to follow was how he operated out of possession and how he developed physically.” It is a theme that Pochettino picks up on. “I think in the four seasons that he’s been playing for us, he has improved in every season,” he explains. “More mature, more experienced. He was so young when I arrived here. Of course now he’s a more mature player. That is one of the things that is easy to recognise and to give him the credit.” Eriksen could have been at Barcelona already, having had trials there as well as with AC Milan and Chelsea before he was advised by Jol’s friend and Chelsea’s former sporting director Frank Arnesen to join the fellow Dane’s former club, Ajax, aged just 16. Tottenham&#39;s new stadium in pictures “He is an unbelievable talent,” Jol states when asked what his first recollections of Eriksen were. “There are a few talents you work with but he is a born footballer. Like [Wesley] Sneijder, [Rafael] Van der Vaart, Silva. These No 10 players who are born players. He was a born player. Everybody saw that so I thought it’s probably better to give him his debut. “The thing with him is he was dedicated. When he was 17 he was almost the same as he is now, an old-fashioned play-maker, although there is one big difference in the way he has developed himself into an overall midfield player. He goes for the ball, then he’s on the right, then he’s on the left. He’s feeding Harry Kane and Harry Kane knows that. If Christian does not play, Spurs have a problem. There are so many passes, so many assists for [Dele] Alli and for Kane. “He is probably one of the few real playmakers in Europe now. In the concept of Pochettino he plays on the left, sometimes on the right, but he drifts in and you will see that again on Saturday in the semi-final and nobody has got an answer to that.” Pochettino refers to Eriksen as “Golazo”, a Spanish term that translates as “screamer” as in a screaming goal. Eriksen scores them in training, often from free-kicks, and Jol says that more goals is the only thing the player lacks. “It is almost unimaginable that he can play better,” he says. “Maybe he could score 15-20 goals, he’s got 10 so far this season, because he’s got a very good shot. And the thing with him is he’s right and left-footed. “He does not hesitate. He’s one of the most influential players in Europe at this moment.”
Spurs midfielder Christian Eriksen rises into world’s elite with drive to keep on improving
In 2012 Roma wanted to sign Christian Eriksen but, with two years left on his contract at Ajax, the deal was too expensive for a player who would not go straight into the first team and so the following year he joined Tottenham Hotspur for a reduced price. There was nothing unusual in that, all the top teams had looked at Eriksen, but what was remarkable is precisely why Roma wanted him. They had identified him as the natural successor to their greatest ever player: Francesco Totti. It showed just how highly he was rated and the potential he has. Totti was also one of Eriksen’s football heroes. Now that potential is being fulfilled – spectacularly – and Eriksen is being talked about in the most accomplished of current company. “Of course [Kevin] De Bruyne is amazing and I love [David] Silva but Eriksen is the same, the same,” says Martin Jol, the man who gave the Dane his debut at Ajax, aged just 17, and who also has strong links to Spurs, who he also managed. But Jol is not the only one who makes the connection between Eriksen and Manchester City’s two star midfield playmakers. Mauricio Pochettino also brackets them together.“For me, you can compare him with special players like De Bruyne or David Silva,” the Spurs manager says. “This type of player who is capable to play football, and run, and fight. That is a massive, massive value to have a player like Christian on the team.” Eriksen has been hugely impressive this season Credit: Getty Images Jol goes even further. “If I was at another club, even at Barcelona, even at Real Madrid – you know [Andres] Iniesta? Eriksen will score more goals than Iniesta,” the Dutchman says. “Five years ago I think Iniesta was the best player in the world and Eriksen is probably as good or better because to play for Barcelona is probably easier than to play at Tottenham where they develop all these youngsters. "Maybe I am exaggerating a bit. But I think that, of course, he’s already a £100 million player – like De Bruyne. And If I was the manager of one of the biggest clubs, like Bayern Munich, I would try and sign him. But, for me, I hope he stays at Spurs because I think there is more to come and every time you see him, it’s a joy to watch him.” The figure of £100million is probably no exaggeration. Scouts around Europe are comparing Eriksen’s value to that of Philippe Coutinho, for whom Barcelona paid £142 million in January. With two years left on his contract Spurs may have a fight to keep Eriksen, especially if he excels with Denmark at this summer’s World Cup. Ahead of the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United at Wembley there are recurrent themes when it comes to discussing Eriksen. The 26-year-old has a prodigious appetite for work and self-improvement. Even as a teenager at Ajax he employed a personal trainer to work with him two days a week with the specific aim of making him the fittest player at the club. Tottenham are failing their fans with season ticket prices at the new stadium At Spurs, who he joined for £11.5 million, he has been a willing pupil under Pochettino and at the training ground staff speak of his desire to listen and learn and harness his extraordinary talent with a tough mentality to succeed. He has also bought in to Pochettino’s demands for hard work and a disciplined approach – in and, crucially, out of possession. Adding consistency and reliability to his talent, something he realised he had to do after that first season with Pochettino, was the game-changer. Until then he was told he was too “intermittent”. The scouting reports on Eriksen were unanimous. One scout told The Daily Telegraph: “Technically he was excellent. He saw passes between the lines and that is not common and he had this remarkable right-foot. Quite incredible. He was also a very modern player in the sense that he was technically gifted and dynamic. But there was also a lot of room for improvement and that was exciting. “For a player like him to be in possession is quite easy. The game comes easy. What needed to follow was how he operated out of possession and how he developed physically.” It is a theme that Pochettino picks up on. “I think in the four seasons that he’s been playing for us, he has improved in every season,” he explains. “More mature, more experienced. He was so young when I arrived here. Of course now he’s a more mature player. That is one of the things that is easy to recognise and to give him the credit.” Eriksen could have been at Barcelona already, having had trials there as well as with AC Milan and Chelsea before he was advised by Jol’s friend and Chelsea’s former sporting director Frank Arnesen to join the fellow Dane’s former club, Ajax, aged just 16. Tottenham's new stadium in pictures “He is an unbelievable talent,” Jol states when asked what his first recollections of Eriksen were. “There are a few talents you work with but he is a born footballer. Like [Wesley] Sneijder, [Rafael] Van der Vaart, Silva. These No 10 players who are born players. He was a born player. Everybody saw that so I thought it’s probably better to give him his debut. “The thing with him is he was dedicated. When he was 17 he was almost the same as he is now, an old-fashioned play-maker, although there is one big difference in the way he has developed himself into an overall midfield player. He goes for the ball, then he’s on the right, then he’s on the left. He’s feeding Harry Kane and Harry Kane knows that. If Christian does not play, Spurs have a problem. There are so many passes, so many assists for [Dele] Alli and for Kane. “He is probably one of the few real playmakers in Europe now. In the concept of Pochettino he plays on the left, sometimes on the right, but he drifts in and you will see that again on Saturday in the semi-final and nobody has got an answer to that.” Pochettino refers to Eriksen as “Golazo”, a Spanish term that translates as “screamer” as in a screaming goal. Eriksen scores them in training, often from free-kicks, and Jol says that more goals is the only thing the player lacks. “It is almost unimaginable that he can play better,” he says. “Maybe he could score 15-20 goals, he’s got 10 so far this season, because he’s got a very good shot. And the thing with him is he’s right and left-footed. “He does not hesitate. He’s one of the most influential players in Europe at this moment.”
In 2012 Roma wanted to sign Christian Eriksen but, with two years left on his contract at Ajax, the deal was too expensive for a player who would not go straight into the first team and so the following year he joined Tottenham Hotspur for a reduced price. There was nothing unusual in that, all the top teams had looked at Eriksen, but what was remarkable is precisely why Roma wanted him. They had identified him as the natural successor to their greatest ever player: Francesco Totti. It showed just how highly he was rated and the potential he has. Totti was also one of Eriksen’s football heroes. Now that potential is being fulfilled – spectacularly – and Eriksen is being talked about in the most accomplished of current company. “Of course [Kevin] De Bruyne is amazing and I love [David] Silva but Eriksen is the same, the same,” says Martin Jol, the man who gave the Dane his debut at Ajax, aged just 17, and who also has strong links to Spurs, who he also managed. But Jol is not the only one who makes the connection between Eriksen and Manchester City’s two star midfield playmakers. Mauricio Pochettino also brackets them together.“For me, you can compare him with special players like De Bruyne or David Silva,” the Spurs manager says. “This type of player who is capable to play football, and run, and fight. That is a massive, massive value to have a player like Christian on the team.” Eriksen has been hugely impressive this season Credit: Getty Images Jol goes even further. “If I was at another club, even at Barcelona, even at Real Madrid – you know [Andres] Iniesta? Eriksen will score more goals than Iniesta,” the Dutchman says. “Five years ago I think Iniesta was the best player in the world and Eriksen is probably as good or better because to play for Barcelona is probably easier than to play at Tottenham where they develop all these youngsters. &quot;Maybe I am exaggerating a bit. But I think that, of course, he’s already a £100 million player – like De Bruyne. And If I was the manager of one of the biggest clubs, like Bayern Munich, I would try and sign him. But, for me, I hope he stays at Spurs because I think there is more to come and every time you see him, it’s a joy to watch him.” The figure of £100million is probably no exaggeration. Scouts around Europe are comparing Eriksen’s value to that of Philippe Coutinho, for whom Barcelona paid £142 million in January. With two years left on his contract Spurs may have a fight to keep Eriksen, especially if he excels with Denmark at this summer’s World Cup. Ahead of the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United at Wembley there are recurrent themes when it comes to discussing Eriksen. The 26-year-old has a prodigious appetite for work and self-improvement. Even as a teenager at Ajax he employed a personal trainer to work with him two days a week with the specific aim of making him the fittest player at the club. Tottenham are failing their fans with season ticket prices at the new stadium At Spurs, who he joined for £11.5 million, he has been a willing pupil under Pochettino and at the training ground staff speak of his desire to listen and learn and harness his extraordinary talent with a tough mentality to succeed. He has also bought in to Pochettino’s demands for hard work and a disciplined approach – in and, crucially, out of possession. Adding consistency and reliability to his talent, something he realised he had to do after that first season with Pochettino, was the game-changer. Until then he was told he was too “intermittent”. The scouting reports on Eriksen were unanimous. One scout told The Daily Telegraph: “Technically he was excellent. He saw passes between the lines and that is not common and he had this remarkable right-foot. Quite incredible. He was also a very modern player in the sense that he was technically gifted and dynamic. But there was also a lot of room for improvement and that was exciting. “For a player like him to be in possession is quite easy. The game comes easy. What needed to follow was how he operated out of possession and how he developed physically.” It is a theme that Pochettino picks up on. “I think in the four seasons that he’s been playing for us, he has improved in every season,” he explains. “More mature, more experienced. He was so young when I arrived here. Of course now he’s a more mature player. That is one of the things that is easy to recognise and to give him the credit.” Eriksen could have been at Barcelona already, having had trials there as well as with AC Milan and Chelsea before he was advised by Jol’s friend and Chelsea’s former sporting director Frank Arnesen to join the fellow Dane’s former club, Ajax, aged just 16. Tottenham&#39;s new stadium in pictures “He is an unbelievable talent,” Jol states when asked what his first recollections of Eriksen were. “There are a few talents you work with but he is a born footballer. Like [Wesley] Sneijder, [Rafael] Van der Vaart, Silva. These No 10 players who are born players. He was a born player. Everybody saw that so I thought it’s probably better to give him his debut. “The thing with him is he was dedicated. When he was 17 he was almost the same as he is now, an old-fashioned play-maker, although there is one big difference in the way he has developed himself into an overall midfield player. He goes for the ball, then he’s on the right, then he’s on the left. He’s feeding Harry Kane and Harry Kane knows that. If Christian does not play, Spurs have a problem. There are so many passes, so many assists for [Dele] Alli and for Kane. “He is probably one of the few real playmakers in Europe now. In the concept of Pochettino he plays on the left, sometimes on the right, but he drifts in and you will see that again on Saturday in the semi-final and nobody has got an answer to that.” Pochettino refers to Eriksen as “Golazo”, a Spanish term that translates as “screamer” as in a screaming goal. Eriksen scores them in training, often from free-kicks, and Jol says that more goals is the only thing the player lacks. “It is almost unimaginable that he can play better,” he says. “Maybe he could score 15-20 goals, he’s got 10 so far this season, because he’s got a very good shot. And the thing with him is he’s right and left-footed. “He does not hesitate. He’s one of the most influential players in Europe at this moment.”
Spurs midfielder Christian Eriksen rises into world’s elite with drive to keep on improving
In 2012 Roma wanted to sign Christian Eriksen but, with two years left on his contract at Ajax, the deal was too expensive for a player who would not go straight into the first team and so the following year he joined Tottenham Hotspur for a reduced price. There was nothing unusual in that, all the top teams had looked at Eriksen, but what was remarkable is precisely why Roma wanted him. They had identified him as the natural successor to their greatest ever player: Francesco Totti. It showed just how highly he was rated and the potential he has. Totti was also one of Eriksen’s football heroes. Now that potential is being fulfilled – spectacularly – and Eriksen is being talked about in the most accomplished of current company. “Of course [Kevin] De Bruyne is amazing and I love [David] Silva but Eriksen is the same, the same,” says Martin Jol, the man who gave the Dane his debut at Ajax, aged just 17, and who also has strong links to Spurs, who he also managed. But Jol is not the only one who makes the connection between Eriksen and Manchester City’s two star midfield playmakers. Mauricio Pochettino also brackets them together.“For me, you can compare him with special players like De Bruyne or David Silva,” the Spurs manager says. “This type of player who is capable to play football, and run, and fight. That is a massive, massive value to have a player like Christian on the team.” Eriksen has been hugely impressive this season Credit: Getty Images Jol goes even further. “If I was at another club, even at Barcelona, even at Real Madrid – you know [Andres] Iniesta? Eriksen will score more goals than Iniesta,” the Dutchman says. “Five years ago I think Iniesta was the best player in the world and Eriksen is probably as good or better because to play for Barcelona is probably easier than to play at Tottenham where they develop all these youngsters. "Maybe I am exaggerating a bit. But I think that, of course, he’s already a £100 million player – like De Bruyne. And If I was the manager of one of the biggest clubs, like Bayern Munich, I would try and sign him. But, for me, I hope he stays at Spurs because I think there is more to come and every time you see him, it’s a joy to watch him.” The figure of £100million is probably no exaggeration. Scouts around Europe are comparing Eriksen’s value to that of Philippe Coutinho, for whom Barcelona paid £142 million in January. With two years left on his contract Spurs may have a fight to keep Eriksen, especially if he excels with Denmark at this summer’s World Cup. Ahead of the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United at Wembley there are recurrent themes when it comes to discussing Eriksen. The 26-year-old has a prodigious appetite for work and self-improvement. Even as a teenager at Ajax he employed a personal trainer to work with him two days a week with the specific aim of making him the fittest player at the club. Tottenham are failing their fans with season ticket prices at the new stadium At Spurs, who he joined for £11.5 million, he has been a willing pupil under Pochettino and at the training ground staff speak of his desire to listen and learn and harness his extraordinary talent with a tough mentality to succeed. He has also bought in to Pochettino’s demands for hard work and a disciplined approach – in and, crucially, out of possession. Adding consistency and reliability to his talent, something he realised he had to do after that first season with Pochettino, was the game-changer. Until then he was told he was too “intermittent”. The scouting reports on Eriksen were unanimous. One scout told The Daily Telegraph: “Technically he was excellent. He saw passes between the lines and that is not common and he had this remarkable right-foot. Quite incredible. He was also a very modern player in the sense that he was technically gifted and dynamic. But there was also a lot of room for improvement and that was exciting. “For a player like him to be in possession is quite easy. The game comes easy. What needed to follow was how he operated out of possession and how he developed physically.” It is a theme that Pochettino picks up on. “I think in the four seasons that he’s been playing for us, he has improved in every season,” he explains. “More mature, more experienced. He was so young when I arrived here. Of course now he’s a more mature player. That is one of the things that is easy to recognise and to give him the credit.” Eriksen could have been at Barcelona already, having had trials there as well as with AC Milan and Chelsea before he was advised by Jol’s friend and Chelsea’s former sporting director Frank Arnesen to join the fellow Dane’s former club, Ajax, aged just 16. Tottenham's new stadium in pictures “He is an unbelievable talent,” Jol states when asked what his first recollections of Eriksen were. “There are a few talents you work with but he is a born footballer. Like [Wesley] Sneijder, [Rafael] Van der Vaart, Silva. These No 10 players who are born players. He was a born player. Everybody saw that so I thought it’s probably better to give him his debut. “The thing with him is he was dedicated. When he was 17 he was almost the same as he is now, an old-fashioned play-maker, although there is one big difference in the way he has developed himself into an overall midfield player. He goes for the ball, then he’s on the right, then he’s on the left. He’s feeding Harry Kane and Harry Kane knows that. If Christian does not play, Spurs have a problem. There are so many passes, so many assists for [Dele] Alli and for Kane. “He is probably one of the few real playmakers in Europe now. In the concept of Pochettino he plays on the left, sometimes on the right, but he drifts in and you will see that again on Saturday in the semi-final and nobody has got an answer to that.” Pochettino refers to Eriksen as “Golazo”, a Spanish term that translates as “screamer” as in a screaming goal. Eriksen scores them in training, often from free-kicks, and Jol says that more goals is the only thing the player lacks. “It is almost unimaginable that he can play better,” he says. “Maybe he could score 15-20 goals, he’s got 10 so far this season, because he’s got a very good shot. And the thing with him is he’s right and left-footed. “He does not hesitate. He’s one of the most influential players in Europe at this moment.”
Soccer Football - Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg - AS Roma vs FC Barcelona - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - April 10, 2018 Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde looks on REUTERS/Tony Gentile
Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg - AS Roma vs FC Barcelona
Soccer Football - Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg - AS Roma vs FC Barcelona - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - April 10, 2018 Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde looks on REUTERS/Tony Gentile
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg - AS Roma vs FC Barcelona - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - April 10, 2018 Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde looks on REUTERS/Tony Gentile
Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg - AS Roma vs FC Barcelona
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg - AS Roma vs FC Barcelona - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - April 10, 2018 Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde looks on REUTERS/Tony Gentile
<p>Valverde: Barcelona can move on from Champions League exit by winning Copa del Rey</p>
Valverde: Barcelona can move on from Champions League exit by winning Copa del Rey

Valverde: Barcelona can move on from Champions League exit by winning Copa del Rey

The Blaugrana boss knows his side are favourites in the cup final, but he is not taking Sevilla lightly after the club&#39;s European exit
Valverde: Barcelona can move on from Champions League exit by winning Copa del Rey
The Blaugrana boss knows his side are favourites in the cup final, but he is not taking Sevilla lightly after the club's European exit
<p>Valverde: Barcelona can move on from Champions League exit by winning Copa del Rey</p>
Valverde: Barcelona can move on from Champions League exit by winning Copa del Rey

Valverde: Barcelona can move on from Champions League exit by winning Copa del Rey

It was an extraordinary press conference; an unprecedented press conference. A football club chief executive spoke about the departure of a manager and listed encouraging George Weah to become not only the best footballer in the world but a politician and the president of his country, Liberia, among his greatest achievements. That statement summed up Arsene Wenger, a football coach who became a manager of statesmen, with all-encompassing quality but whose greatest achievements took place some time ago. After all, he worked with Weah at Monaco and although Wenger is leaving Arsenal, there is no indication he is retiring from football. He wants another job. When asked to name his most memorable moments working with Wenger, it felt telling that Ivan Gazidis mentioned the FA Cup triumphs – three of them, in 2014, 2015, and 2017 – and hesitated before adding a Champions League victory over Barcelona. That, though, ended in defeat with Arsenal’s 2-1 advantage in 2011 being overturned in the second leg to provoke another last-16 exit. Gazidis quickly moved on to the private conversations he had had with Wenger – “speaking to him in private moments” – and addressed the human qualities of the now outgoing Arsenal manager. It was an awkward blurring of the lines between public and private given that he then said he did not want to speak about the latter. Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis refused to drawn on whether Arsene Wenger jumped first Credit: GETTY IMAGES The problem for Gazidis, who arrived at Arsenal in 2008, is that Wenger’s greatest on-field achievements occurred before his appointment. That is not to blame Gazidis, but it meant that while he spoke of Wenger having “reinvented the game” and having “transformed the beautiful game” that referred to the first half of his remarkable career at Arsenal. Wenger’s departure was always going to be a tricky path to negotiate and as Gazidis walked into the press-conference theatre, open-shirted and clutching a piece of paper from which he then read a tribute before taking questions, he appeared understandably nervous and evidently wanted to steer away from the detail of what had led to this momentous decision. And whether – to cut to the chase – Wenger jumped before he was pushed. End of an era | Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season “Not getting into that,” Gazidis politely said, time and again, when asked about the mechanics of the departure and – also crucially – whether he had attempted to talk Wenger out of quitting. There was no sense that he had. Was there even a hint of relief? Inevitably there was a strange feeling of euphoria around the Emirates in the April sunshine as fans gathered, several interviewed by television crews, and wondered what next. It appeared to extend to the club. Not quite demob happy but no longer apparently beaten down by the sense of the familiar which had sadly run its course. Arsenal fan&#39;s view | &#39;All the bad feeling has disappeared&#39; That euphoria is not a slight on Wenger even if he arguably should have gone earlier than now but an acknowledgement, as Gazidis said, that it was difficult to quantify “how impactful today is. It feels, very, very big.” Even bigger because of the uncertainty it brings. What was inescapable was the tone. Yes, one of respect and of paying tribute to Wenger. But it was also of release from the ‘groundhog day’ grind of Arsenal and the opportunity firstly to surf a tide of emotion from now until the end of the season when Wenger goes. For those final home games, the Emirates will be packed, there will be no vitriol, and that has not happened of late. Timeline | Arsene Wenger&#39;s seasons at Arsenal “Obviously this has been an emotional day for everyone and I have now an impossible job,” Gazidis said but that impossible job referred not to replacing Wenger – “we are not going to find a replacement”, he said – but to paying the appropriate tribute to him. But then it was interesting that Gazidis even chose to hold a press conference in the first place, a move that puts him front and centre of the club and the decision to allow Wenger to go. Maybe given his role the he reasoned that it was a duty he had to perform and after 22 years Wenger should be afforded such an unusual briefing. Or maybe it was a sign of the power at the club moving on.
Ivan Gazidis remains tight-lipped over whether Arsene Wenger jumped before he was pushed out of Arsenal
It was an extraordinary press conference; an unprecedented press conference. A football club chief executive spoke about the departure of a manager and listed encouraging George Weah to become not only the best footballer in the world but a politician and the president of his country, Liberia, among his greatest achievements. That statement summed up Arsene Wenger, a football coach who became a manager of statesmen, with all-encompassing quality but whose greatest achievements took place some time ago. After all, he worked with Weah at Monaco and although Wenger is leaving Arsenal, there is no indication he is retiring from football. He wants another job. When asked to name his most memorable moments working with Wenger, it felt telling that Ivan Gazidis mentioned the FA Cup triumphs – three of them, in 2014, 2015, and 2017 – and hesitated before adding a Champions League victory over Barcelona. That, though, ended in defeat with Arsenal’s 2-1 advantage in 2011 being overturned in the second leg to provoke another last-16 exit. Gazidis quickly moved on to the private conversations he had had with Wenger – “speaking to him in private moments” – and addressed the human qualities of the now outgoing Arsenal manager. It was an awkward blurring of the lines between public and private given that he then said he did not want to speak about the latter. Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis refused to drawn on whether Arsene Wenger jumped first Credit: GETTY IMAGES The problem for Gazidis, who arrived at Arsenal in 2008, is that Wenger’s greatest on-field achievements occurred before his appointment. That is not to blame Gazidis, but it meant that while he spoke of Wenger having “reinvented the game” and having “transformed the beautiful game” that referred to the first half of his remarkable career at Arsenal. Wenger’s departure was always going to be a tricky path to negotiate and as Gazidis walked into the press-conference theatre, open-shirted and clutching a piece of paper from which he then read a tribute before taking questions, he appeared understandably nervous and evidently wanted to steer away from the detail of what had led to this momentous decision. And whether – to cut to the chase – Wenger jumped before he was pushed. End of an era | Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season “Not getting into that,” Gazidis politely said, time and again, when asked about the mechanics of the departure and – also crucially – whether he had attempted to talk Wenger out of quitting. There was no sense that he had. Was there even a hint of relief? Inevitably there was a strange feeling of euphoria around the Emirates in the April sunshine as fans gathered, several interviewed by television crews, and wondered what next. It appeared to extend to the club. Not quite demob happy but no longer apparently beaten down by the sense of the familiar which had sadly run its course. Arsenal fan's view | 'All the bad feeling has disappeared' That euphoria is not a slight on Wenger even if he arguably should have gone earlier than now but an acknowledgement, as Gazidis said, that it was difficult to quantify “how impactful today is. It feels, very, very big.” Even bigger because of the uncertainty it brings. What was inescapable was the tone. Yes, one of respect and of paying tribute to Wenger. But it was also of release from the ‘groundhog day’ grind of Arsenal and the opportunity firstly to surf a tide of emotion from now until the end of the season when Wenger goes. For those final home games, the Emirates will be packed, there will be no vitriol, and that has not happened of late. Timeline | Arsene Wenger's seasons at Arsenal “Obviously this has been an emotional day for everyone and I have now an impossible job,” Gazidis said but that impossible job referred not to replacing Wenger – “we are not going to find a replacement”, he said – but to paying the appropriate tribute to him. But then it was interesting that Gazidis even chose to hold a press conference in the first place, a move that puts him front and centre of the club and the decision to allow Wenger to go. Maybe given his role the he reasoned that it was a duty he had to perform and after 22 years Wenger should be afforded such an unusual briefing. Or maybe it was a sign of the power at the club moving on.
It was an extraordinary press conference; an unprecedented press conference. A football club chief executive spoke about the departure of a manager and listed encouraging George Weah to become not only the best footballer in the world but a politician and the president of his country, Liberia, among his greatest achievements. That statement summed up Arsene Wenger, a football coach who became a manager of statesmen, with all-encompassing quality but whose greatest achievements took place some time ago. After all, he worked with Weah at Monaco and although Wenger is leaving Arsenal, there is no indication he is retiring from football. He wants another job. When asked to name his most memorable moments working with Wenger, it felt telling that Ivan Gazidis mentioned the FA Cup triumphs – three of them, in 2014, 2015, and 2017 – and hesitated before adding a Champions League victory over Barcelona. That, though, ended in defeat with Arsenal’s 2-1 advantage in 2011 being overturned in the second leg to provoke another last-16 exit. Gazidis quickly moved on to the private conversations he had had with Wenger – “speaking to him in private moments” – and addressed the human qualities of the now outgoing Arsenal manager. It was an awkward blurring of the lines between public and private given that he then said he did not want to speak about the latter. The problem for Gazidis, who arrived at Arsenal in 2008, is that Wenger’s greatest on-field achievements occurred before his appointment. That is not to blame Gazidis, but it meant that while he spoke of Wenger having “reinvented the game” and having “transformed the beautiful game” that referred to the first half of his remarkable career at Arsenal. Wenger’s departure was always going to be a tricky path to negotiate and as Gazidis walked into the press-conference theatre, open-shirted and clutching a piece of paper from which he then read a tribute before taking questions, he appeared understandably nervous and evidently wanted to steer away from the detail of what had led to this momentous decision. And whether – to cut to the chase – Wenger jumped before he was pushed. End of an era | Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season “Not getting into that,” Gazidis politely said, time and again, when asked about the mechanics of the departure and – also crucially – whether he had attempted to talk Wenger out of quitting. There was no sense that he had. Was there even a hint of relief? Inevitably there was a strange feeling of euphoria around the Emirates in the April sunshine as fans gathered, several interviewed by television crews, and wondered what next. It appeared to extend to the club. Not quite demob happy but no longer apparently beaten down by the sense of the familiar which had sadly run its course. Arsenal fan&#39;s view | &#39;All the bad feeling has disappeared&#39; That euphoria is not a slight on Wenger even if he arguably should have gone earlier than now but an acknowledgement, as Gazidis said, that it was difficult to quantify “how impactful today is. It feels, very, very big.” Even bigger because of the uncertainty it brings. What was inescapable was the tone. Yes, one of respect and of paying tribute to Wenger. But it was also of release from the ‘groundhog day’ grind of Arsenal and the opportunity firstly to surf a tide of emotion from now until the end of the season when Wenger goes. For those final home games, the Emirates will be packed, there will be no vitriol, and that has not happened of late. Timeline | Arsene Wenger&#39;s seasons at Arsenal “Obviously this has been an emotional day for everyone and I have now an impossible job,” Gazidis said but that impossible job referred not to replacing Wenger – “we are not going to find a replacement”, he said – but to paying the appropriate tribute to him. But then it was interesting that Gazidis even chose to hold a press conference in the first place, a move that puts him front and centre of the club and the decision to allow Wenger to go. Maybe given his role the he reasoned that it was a duty he had to perform and after 22 years Wenger should be afforded such an unusual briefing. Or maybe it was a sign of the power at the club moving on.
Ivan Gazidis remains tight-lipped over whether Arsene Wenger jumped before he was pushed out of Arsenal
It was an extraordinary press conference; an unprecedented press conference. A football club chief executive spoke about the departure of a manager and listed encouraging George Weah to become not only the best footballer in the world but a politician and the president of his country, Liberia, among his greatest achievements. That statement summed up Arsene Wenger, a football coach who became a manager of statesmen, with all-encompassing quality but whose greatest achievements took place some time ago. After all, he worked with Weah at Monaco and although Wenger is leaving Arsenal, there is no indication he is retiring from football. He wants another job. When asked to name his most memorable moments working with Wenger, it felt telling that Ivan Gazidis mentioned the FA Cup triumphs – three of them, in 2014, 2015, and 2017 – and hesitated before adding a Champions League victory over Barcelona. That, though, ended in defeat with Arsenal’s 2-1 advantage in 2011 being overturned in the second leg to provoke another last-16 exit. Gazidis quickly moved on to the private conversations he had had with Wenger – “speaking to him in private moments” – and addressed the human qualities of the now outgoing Arsenal manager. It was an awkward blurring of the lines between public and private given that he then said he did not want to speak about the latter. The problem for Gazidis, who arrived at Arsenal in 2008, is that Wenger’s greatest on-field achievements occurred before his appointment. That is not to blame Gazidis, but it meant that while he spoke of Wenger having “reinvented the game” and having “transformed the beautiful game” that referred to the first half of his remarkable career at Arsenal. Wenger’s departure was always going to be a tricky path to negotiate and as Gazidis walked into the press-conference theatre, open-shirted and clutching a piece of paper from which he then read a tribute before taking questions, he appeared understandably nervous and evidently wanted to steer away from the detail of what had led to this momentous decision. And whether – to cut to the chase – Wenger jumped before he was pushed. End of an era | Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season “Not getting into that,” Gazidis politely said, time and again, when asked about the mechanics of the departure and – also crucially – whether he had attempted to talk Wenger out of quitting. There was no sense that he had. Was there even a hint of relief? Inevitably there was a strange feeling of euphoria around the Emirates in the April sunshine as fans gathered, several interviewed by television crews, and wondered what next. It appeared to extend to the club. Not quite demob happy but no longer apparently beaten down by the sense of the familiar which had sadly run its course. Arsenal fan's view | 'All the bad feeling has disappeared' That euphoria is not a slight on Wenger even if he arguably should have gone earlier than now but an acknowledgement, as Gazidis said, that it was difficult to quantify “how impactful today is. It feels, very, very big.” Even bigger because of the uncertainty it brings. What was inescapable was the tone. Yes, one of respect and of paying tribute to Wenger. But it was also of release from the ‘groundhog day’ grind of Arsenal and the opportunity firstly to surf a tide of emotion from now until the end of the season when Wenger goes. For those final home games, the Emirates will be packed, there will be no vitriol, and that has not happened of late. Timeline | Arsene Wenger's seasons at Arsenal “Obviously this has been an emotional day for everyone and I have now an impossible job,” Gazidis said but that impossible job referred not to replacing Wenger – “we are not going to find a replacement”, he said – but to paying the appropriate tribute to him. But then it was interesting that Gazidis even chose to hold a press conference in the first place, a move that puts him front and centre of the club and the decision to allow Wenger to go. Maybe given his role the he reasoned that it was a duty he had to perform and after 22 years Wenger should be afforded such an unusual briefing. Or maybe it was a sign of the power at the club moving on.
It was an extraordinary press conference; an unprecedented press conference. A football club chief executive spoke about the departure of a manager and listed encouraging George Weah to become not only the best footballer in the world but a politician and the president of his country, Liberia, among his greatest achievements. That statement summed up Arsene Wenger, a football coach who became a manager of statesmen, with all-encompassing quality but whose greatest achievements took place some time ago. After all, he worked with Weah at Monaco and although Wenger is leaving Arsenal, there is no indication he is retiring from football. He wants another job. When asked to name his most memorable moments working with Wenger, it felt telling that Ivan Gazidis mentioned the FA Cup triumphs – three of them, in 2014, 2015, and 2017 – and hesitated before adding a Champions League victory over Barcelona. That, though, ended in defeat with Arsenal’s 2-1 advantage in 2011 being overturned in the second leg to provoke another last-16 exit. Gazidis quickly moved on to the private conversations he had had with Wenger – “speaking to him in private moments” – and addressed the human qualities of the now outgoing Arsenal manager. It was an awkward blurring of the lines between public and private given that he then said he did not want to speak about the latter. Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis refused to drawn on whether Arsene Wenger jumped first Credit: GETTY IMAGES The problem for Gazidis, who arrived at Arsenal in 2008, is that Wenger’s greatest on-field achievements occurred before his appointment. That is not to blame Gazidis, but it meant that while he spoke of Wenger having “reinvented the game” and having “transformed the beautiful game” that referred to the first half of his remarkable career at Arsenal. Wenger’s departure was always going to be a tricky path to negotiate and as Gazidis walked into the press-conference theatre, open-shirted and clutching a piece of paper from which he then read a tribute before taking questions, he appeared understandably nervous and evidently wanted to steer away from the detail of what had led to this momentous decision. And whether – to cut to the chase – Wenger jumped before he was pushed. End of an era | Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season “Not getting into that,” Gazidis politely said, time and again, when asked about the mechanics of the departure and – also crucially – whether he had attempted to talk Wenger out of quitting. There was no sense that he had. Was there even a hint of relief? Inevitably there was a strange feeling of euphoria around the Emirates in the April sunshine as fans gathered, several interviewed by television crews, and wondered what next. It appeared to extend to the club. Not quite demob happy but no longer apparently beaten down by the sense of the familiar which had sadly run its course. Arsenal fan&#39;s view | &#39;All the bad feeling has disappeared&#39; That euphoria is not a slight on Wenger even if he arguably should have gone earlier than now but an acknowledgement, as Gazidis said, that it was difficult to quantify “how impactful today is. It feels, very, very big.” Even bigger because of the uncertainty it brings. What was inescapable was the tone. Yes, one of respect and of paying tribute to Wenger. But it was also of release from the ‘groundhog day’ grind of Arsenal and the opportunity firstly to surf a tide of emotion from now until the end of the season when Wenger goes. For those final home games, the Emirates will be packed, there will be no vitriol, and that has not happened of late. Timeline | Arsene Wenger&#39;s seasons at Arsenal “Obviously this has been an emotional day for everyone and I have now an impossible job,” Gazidis said but that impossible job referred not to replacing Wenger – “we are not going to find a replacement”, he said – but to paying the appropriate tribute to him. But then it was interesting that Gazidis even chose to hold a press conference in the first place, a move that puts him front and centre of the club and the decision to allow Wenger to go. Maybe given his role the he reasoned that it was a duty he had to perform and after 22 years Wenger should be afforded such an unusual briefing. Or maybe it was a sign of the power at the club moving on.
Ivan Gazidis remains tight-lipped over whether Arsene Wenger jumped before he was pushed out of Arsenal
It was an extraordinary press conference; an unprecedented press conference. A football club chief executive spoke about the departure of a manager and listed encouraging George Weah to become not only the best footballer in the world but a politician and the president of his country, Liberia, among his greatest achievements. That statement summed up Arsene Wenger, a football coach who became a manager of statesmen, with all-encompassing quality but whose greatest achievements took place some time ago. After all, he worked with Weah at Monaco and although Wenger is leaving Arsenal, there is no indication he is retiring from football. He wants another job. When asked to name his most memorable moments working with Wenger, it felt telling that Ivan Gazidis mentioned the FA Cup triumphs – three of them, in 2014, 2015, and 2017 – and hesitated before adding a Champions League victory over Barcelona. That, though, ended in defeat with Arsenal’s 2-1 advantage in 2011 being overturned in the second leg to provoke another last-16 exit. Gazidis quickly moved on to the private conversations he had had with Wenger – “speaking to him in private moments” – and addressed the human qualities of the now outgoing Arsenal manager. It was an awkward blurring of the lines between public and private given that he then said he did not want to speak about the latter. Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis refused to drawn on whether Arsene Wenger jumped first Credit: GETTY IMAGES The problem for Gazidis, who arrived at Arsenal in 2008, is that Wenger’s greatest on-field achievements occurred before his appointment. That is not to blame Gazidis, but it meant that while he spoke of Wenger having “reinvented the game” and having “transformed the beautiful game” that referred to the first half of his remarkable career at Arsenal. Wenger’s departure was always going to be a tricky path to negotiate and as Gazidis walked into the press-conference theatre, open-shirted and clutching a piece of paper from which he then read a tribute before taking questions, he appeared understandably nervous and evidently wanted to steer away from the detail of what had led to this momentous decision. And whether – to cut to the chase – Wenger jumped before he was pushed. End of an era | Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season “Not getting into that,” Gazidis politely said, time and again, when asked about the mechanics of the departure and – also crucially – whether he had attempted to talk Wenger out of quitting. There was no sense that he had. Was there even a hint of relief? Inevitably there was a strange feeling of euphoria around the Emirates in the April sunshine as fans gathered, several interviewed by television crews, and wondered what next. It appeared to extend to the club. Not quite demob happy but no longer apparently beaten down by the sense of the familiar which had sadly run its course. Arsenal fan's view | 'All the bad feeling has disappeared' That euphoria is not a slight on Wenger even if he arguably should have gone earlier than now but an acknowledgement, as Gazidis said, that it was difficult to quantify “how impactful today is. It feels, very, very big.” Even bigger because of the uncertainty it brings. What was inescapable was the tone. Yes, one of respect and of paying tribute to Wenger. But it was also of release from the ‘groundhog day’ grind of Arsenal and the opportunity firstly to surf a tide of emotion from now until the end of the season when Wenger goes. For those final home games, the Emirates will be packed, there will be no vitriol, and that has not happened of late. Timeline | Arsene Wenger's seasons at Arsenal “Obviously this has been an emotional day for everyone and I have now an impossible job,” Gazidis said but that impossible job referred not to replacing Wenger – “we are not going to find a replacement”, he said – but to paying the appropriate tribute to him. But then it was interesting that Gazidis even chose to hold a press conference in the first place, a move that puts him front and centre of the club and the decision to allow Wenger to go. Maybe given his role the he reasoned that it was a duty he had to perform and after 22 years Wenger should be afforded such an unusual briefing. Or maybe it was a sign of the power at the club moving on.
Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal at the end of the season Wenger&#39;s last match at Emirates on May 6 against Burnley Last Premier League match ever on May 13 against Huddersfield Arsenal to hold press conference with Ivan Gazidis at 5pm Mourinho speaks: &quot;We&#39;ll show Mr Wenger respect he deserves&quot; Why Wenger will enjoy great success in life after Arsenal Next Arsenal manager odds: Who will replace Wenger? How many times did your team lose to Wenger&#39;s Arsenal? Arsenal are promising to be “bold” and could again go left-field in replacing Arsene Wenger after the club’s most successful-ever manager decided to announce his departure amid the prospect of being sacked this summer. Wenger revealed on Friday morning that this would be his 22nd and last season as Arsenal manager and, while the timing of the public announcement was his, the wider backdrop was of the club already actively preparing for change. The clear expectation was that he would be asked to leave this summer and Wenger did not want to wait to be sacked. It was also felt that an early announcement would ensure that Wenger received a big unifying send-off and allow all sides to prepare for a future apart. It was noticeable that Gazidis would not answer on Friday whether he had wanted Wenger to stay or tried to persuade him to see out the remaining year on his contract. Wenger has shown no sign of wanting to retire from management and is expected to make a clear break and seek employment elsewhere. Gazidis has been assessing potential replacements for several years, but has now actively begun the search and wants to preserve many of Wenger’s values within a structure that gives the manager rather less power. End of an era | Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season A new backroom team has already been assembled and, while Gazidis called it “our biggest ever challenge&quot;, he said the club had never been better prepared. Former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and ex-Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta are thought to be the leading contenders to replace Wenger, while Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim, former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti and Germany head coach Joachim Low are also in the running. A complication with Low will be his reluctance to do anything that could destabilise Germany’s defence of the World Cup. Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers would be interested and has admirers inside Arsenal, but there are concerns at how fans might respond to his appointment at a time when unity is desperately sought. Former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel is close to be appointed Paris St Germain, but Juventus manager Max Allegri is keen on eventually working in England and would be of interest if he is ready to move this summer. Gazidis noticeably highlighted how Arsenal appointed an unknown in Wenger way back in 1996. Guy Wenger “Replace Arsene? That’s not going to happen,” he said. “But we have to make sure we don’t lose his qualities and his values in the club and that we take them forward. So someone who will continue to play exciting, progressive football that gets people interested and excited in the games we play. How the candidate represents the club is important. “That value of giving youth a chance is also very important. I think we’ve got to be open-minded and brave in the decision. When Arsene was appointed, I don’t think he was on many people’s radar. We need to be bold in the appointment.” Wenger made the final decision to leave earlier this week and, after discussions with directors on Thursday, he personally informed his staff and the players on Friday morning. There were many tears both at the stadium and training ground, where club staff were said to be in a state of shock. Wenger has won three Premier League titles, an all-time record seven FA Cups, two doubles, reached the 2006 European Cup final and went the entire 2003-4 Premier League season undefeated. He also helped oversee the move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium. Tributes were paid to Wenger on Friday from across sport, with his old adversary Sir Alex Ferguson saying that he was “proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man.&quot; As ever, Wenger stressed the importance of maintaining the values he has embodied in his time in English football. Put simply, that is an entertaining playing style, opportunities for young players and a fiscal structure that safeguards the club’s long-term future. “After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season,” said Wenger. “I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever.” Arsenal fan&#39;s view | &#39;All the bad feeling has disappeared&#39; Arsenal’s majority owner, Stan Kroenke, has always been a massive supporter of Wenger and regarded this as perhaps the hardest moment in his time in professional sport. “This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport,” he said. “One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. “Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played.” Gazidis added: “Arsene is going to feel the full force of this club behind him over the next couple of weeks. Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard. A new ambition. An ambition not just to win, but to win while achieving perfection. To make art out of football. He was always brave enough to be true to that extraordinary ambition and incredibly he achieved it with Arsenal’s Invincibles season.“ 5:26PM Gazidis on his abiding memories of Wenger&#39;s reign: “There are great moments - the trophies, the FA Cups, the victory against Barcelona. But the memories I have of Arsene are of speaking to him in quiet moments. He’s an incredibly self-critical man who always gives others the benefit of the doubt. There’s a reason there is so much affection for him. He’s a special person.” 5:23PM Gazidis on the players&#39; reaction: “I think from the reaction at the training ground today, what I felt was an incredible amount of passion to give Arsene the send off that he deserves. “The decision had to come at some point. Now it’s time for us to look forward.” 5:21PM Gazidis on Wenger&#39;s future: “Will he retire? He’s somebody who is in great shape and has a competitive edge but that’s a question for him.” 5:19PM Gazidis on the next Arsenal manager: &quot;We&#39;re going to have a process around that. The process begins today but I want to keep that process in-house. I don&#39;t want to be making public comments about it. We haven&#39;t had any discussions to date regarding that.&quot; 5:18PM Gazidis on where Arsenal go next: “Our first priority is to come together as a club and we are seeing that today. Our players. staff and fans are behind this great man and we will give him the send off he deserves. I don’t underestimate that challenge but I am confident in the people we have in place to take Arsene’s vision forward and build on it.” &quot;We are not going to find a replacement for Arsene Wenger&quot; 5:16PM Gazidis on Wenger&#39;s immediate legacy “Arsene often said his aim was to leave the club in a better place than when he found out. We are in a better place than we could have ever imagined.” 5:15PM Gazidis on Wenger&#39;s inspiration: “Beyond football, he has inspired the people around him. He is able to make people believe that they can achieve great things. He inspired George Weah to believe he could not only become the world’s best football player, but to become the president of a nation. He has taken every challenge with humour and grace and class.” 5:15PM Gazidis on the Wenger philosophy: “Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard. A new ambition. Not just to win, but to win while achieving perfection - to make art. Incredibly, he achieved it with the Invincibles. Arsene has been brave enough to live by his philosophy. He’s made Arsenal throughout the world for the kind of football we play.” 5:14PM Gazidis on today&#39;s news: “Obviously this has been an emotional day for everyone. Now I have the impossible job of communicating that feeling. Typically, Arsene is not here as he is taking training. I will leave it to others to talk about the facts and figures of his tenure. There is something more coming out today. There is an affection from Arsenal fans and right across the sphere of football. I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Arsene over the last 10 years.” 5:12PM Ivan Gazidis addresses the media... &quot;Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard, a new ambition. Am ambition not just to win but to win while achieving perfection. To make art out of football.&quot; 4:42PM Jack Wilshere on the outgoing boss... &quot;We need to send him off in the right way now&quot; �� Turn your sound up and listen to this from @JackWilsherepic.twitter.com/aZ9UA5u0mo— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 &quot;I&#39;m sure when the dust settles, we have a few days to think about it, we&#39;ll start to reflect on it, but at the moment it&#39;s a bit raw, it&#39;s a bit sensitive.&quot; 4:08PM Thierry Henry on his former manager October 2002 and September&#39;s manager of the month congratulates the player of the month Credit: EDDIE KEOGH/PA I was a little mixed because it&#39;s a sad day for me to see the big man leave the club, although we all know he has matches left. I&#39;m happy in a way that people can give him the farewell he deserves. His legacy is untouchable. Managers, fans from other teams - [they say] how Arsène changed Arsenal. I am happy that now we can all talk about his legacy. But we must not get carried away with celebrating the end of his time. The team must win the Europa League, it would be an incredible feat and Arsène has never won in Europe before, so it would be a good way to give him a nice goodbye. I remember when I was playing for Arsenal, people were talking about how we play, not what we won, but how we did it and how Arsène made Arsenal a club known in the whole world. If I could be the successor of Wenger? Look at me laughing. It&#39;s funny. One person to whom you can ask this question is Ivan Gazidis. He should answer the question. 3:57PM And a word from Germany From one he helped to make it (to Bayern Munich) 22 years @Arsenal - almost my whole lifetime. Impressive. Glad I could be a small part of it ���� #MerciArsène#Wengerpic.twitter.com/lzGJXJlOGC— Serge Gnabry (@SergeGnabry) April 20, 2018 3:51PM A tribute from an opponent Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 3:36PM A trawl through the picture archive ... Has inspired this, 22 years in 11 photographs: Wenger at Arsenal gallery 3:17PM Sir Alex Ferguson pays tribute &quot;I am really happy for Arsène Wenger. I have great respect for him and for the job he has done at Arsenal. It is great testament to his talent, professionalism and determination that has been able to dedicate 22 years of his life to a job that he loves. &quot;In an era where football managers sometimes only last one or two seasons, it shows what an achievement it is to serve that length of time at a club the size of Arsenal. &quot;I am pleased that he has announced he is leaving at this stage of the season, as he can now have the send-off that he truly deserves. &quot;He is, without doubt, one the greatest Premier League managers and I am proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man.&quot; 2:47PM Pep Guardiola tips his hat Luke Edwards reports from the Manchester City manager&#39;s press conference: “He has all my respect for what he has done. The Premier League is about huge personalities like Arsène, it is because of what he has done, his vision. “I wish him all the best in the future, I hope he can be involved in world football in a different way with his experience. Whether it is with Arsenal, Uefa, Fifa, or somewhere else, I don&#39;t know. It was a pleasure to compete against him here, with City, as well as Barcelona and Bayern. Pep Guardiola takes Manchester City training on Friday Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images “It will be difficult for anyone to do what he has done at a top European club again. Sir Alex Ferguson did it at Manchester United, but it is so, so complicated. With the way social media is now, everybody has an opinion and can express it, you feel the pressure as a manager. “You can also feel pressure because staying in the Premier League is so important, then you have the sporting directors, who do not have a lot of patience. It will be so difficult to find a person who will be able to stay at a club for so long and do what Arsène has done.” 2:32PM &#39;Arsenal will unite behind Wenger now&#39; Paul Matz, from the Arsenal Independent Supporters&#39; Association, speaks to Telegraph Sport 2:06PM &#39;I have been talking well about him for a while&#39; Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, who has locked horns with Arsene Wenger plenty of times down the years in his time at Liverpool, Chelsea and on Tyneside, said this at today&#39;s press conference: &quot;I have been talking well about him for a while. &quot;To do things in the way that he has done and win the way he was winning, for so many years... we are talking about one of the best managers in football history.&quot; 2:01PM &#39;Like a father through tough times in my career&#39; Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere posted this on Facebook: &quot;To the man who gave me my chance as a 16-year-old, and showed unbelievable faith and commitment towards me. Always a gentleman, like a father through tough times in my career. He always believed in me when most people didn&#39;t. Thank you for everything boss! It&#39;s down to us now to end your era right. #onearsenewenger&quot; Big shoes for anyone to fill,playing for Arsenal under Arsene was one of the best period of my career, 2 premiership, 2 FA cups, The invincibles, playing with some of the best assembled players,influencing millions of fans in Africa to support this great club. pic.twitter.com/tILZo70jBE— Kanu Nwankwo (@papilokanu) April 20, 2018 Personally a very sad day. I am forever in debt to this man. The person who had faith in me and gave me a platform to progress. Thank you for all the memories and trophies bosspic.twitter.com/EP26M6TP3W— Héctor Bellerín (@HectorBellerin) April 20, 2018 1:56PM &#39;He deserves respect from the whole world of football&#39; Our man Matt Law was at Stamford Bridge today and asked Antonio Conte for his thoughts on Arsene Wenger. Reaction to Wenger? &quot;My reaction... I think we must pay a great tribute to Arsene Wenger for his career. For his career at Arsenal. He and Ferguson, we&#39;re talking about the last two managers to stay for such a long time in a club. Arsene Wenger worked 22 years for Arsenal. I think that&#39;s great, it&#39;s a fantastic story. He won a lot at this club and, for this reason, I think he deserves a great tribute for his career.&quot; What was his influence in a footballing sense? &quot;I think Arsene is one of the managers who had a great influence on football because, in every moment in his idea of football, he tried to play good football, creative and offensive football. He deserves great tribute also for this.&quot; How important is it that he gains that great tribute? &quot;He deserves great respect. Not only from Arsenal supporters, but from the whole world of football. He deserves great respect. We are talking about one of the best managers in the world with a great and important career with Arsenal. He deserves a great tribute for his career. It would be very difficult to see in the future another manager staying for such a long time at the same club. I think, maybe, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger were a really good story for football. Now it will be very difficult to see that again, another situation like this.&quot; 1:54PM &#39;A proper football man who lives and breathes it&#39; David Moyes, whose West Ham side face Arsenal on Sunday, hailed Arsene Wenger&#39;s longevity. &quot;He&#39;s been a great competitor, a terrific manager who has graced the Premier League for many years. &quot;He&#39;s a proper football man who lives and breathes it. To do 22 years is an incredible achievement.&quot; 1:53PM &#39;There are not enough words for what he&#39;s done&#39; Burnley boss Sean Dyche, who will be the second-longest serving current manager in the Premier League once Arsene Wenger stands down, has paid tribute to the Frenchman. &quot;He is a legend of the game - the work that he&#39;s done will be remembered. &quot;Some things that now seem normal and simple weren&#39;t at the time. Hydration in football sounds a simple thing but was not taken to a high level. Making sure the food they were eating was correct. Their health and well-being. &quot;For youngish managers like myself there are not enough good words you can use for what he&#39;s done.&quot; 1:42PM &#39;It was a pleasure to compete against him&#39; Pep Guardiola, manager of new Premier League champions Man City, has also spoken. &quot;He is a huge personality. The Premier League is the Premier League because of what he has done and his vision. I wish him all the best for the future. &quot;Hopefully he will be involved in a different way in world football. Of course it was a pleasure at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and here to compete against him.&quot; 1:39PM &#39;Arsenal fans will unite behind Wenger now&#39; Paul Matz from the Arsenal Independent Supporters&#39; Association, has told The Telegraph he believes the club will unite behind departing manager Arsene Wenger for the rest of the season as they focus on winning the Europa League. 1:37PM Mourinho asked about Wenger... wait for it Jose Mourinho has claimed that deep down he really respects Arsene Wenger and his various insults over the years did not reflect his true relationship with the Arsenal manager, who announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season. &quot;If he&#39;s happy with the decision he makes and looks forward to the next chapter of his career and his life I&#39;m really happy for him. If he&#39;s sad, I&#39;m sad. I&#39;m pretty sure as a club - and especially because Mr Wenger and Arsenal were for many, many years the biggest rivals of Sir Alex [Ferguson&#39;s] era - we will show Mr Wenger the respect he deserves.&quot; Asked whether he regretted many of his spats with Wenger, which were often characterised by the strength of Mourinho&#39;s response, he was dismissive. &quot;It&#39;s not about regretting. I think your question is a typical question from somebody that was not a manager, not a player. Of course, you don&#39;t know the way we respect each other even when sometimes it doesn&#39;t look like we don&#39;t. &quot;Players that get yellow cards and red cards by aggressive actions against each other, bad words during the career - the manager is the same thing. The ones that respect each other more are the ones with the problems. It&#39;s power against power; ambition against ambition; quality against quality. But in the end it&#39;s people from the same business who respect one another’s careers. &quot;So it happened. What matters for me is the way I respect the person, the professional, the career. I always say that for some the memories are short, but for us football people - the real football people, the others live on us - don&#39;t have short memories. I know what it means, three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, what he did in Japan and France, what he brought to French football. &quot;[Also] What he gave to Arsenal in the period without Premier Leagues, the transition from stadium to stadium, we know what he did. If he&#39;s happy with the decision, I&#39;m really happy and I hope he doesn&#39;t retire from football.&quot; 1:23PM Where it all began for Wenger Where it all began for Arsene Wenger in the #PL... pic.twitter.com/gbhqBu9LTq— Premier League (@premierleague) April 20, 2018 1:19PM The Top 10 longest-serving managers in Premier League history Arsene Wenger, Arsenal, October 1996 to May 2018 (21 years, seven months) Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United, August 1992 to May 2013 (20 years, nine months) David Moyes, Everton, March 2002 to May 2013 (11 years, two months) Harry Redknapp, West Ham, August 1994 to May 2001 (six years, eight months) Rafael Benitez, Liverpool, August 2004 to June 2010 (five years, 10 months) Alan Curbishley, Charlton, August 2000 to May 2006 (five years, nine months) Sam Allardyce, Bolton, August 2001 to April 2007 (five years, eight months) Gerard Houllier, Liverpool, November 1998 to May 2004 (five years, six months) Jim Smith, Derby, August 1996 to October 2001 (five years, two months) Sir Bobby Robson, Newcastle, September 1999 to August 2004 (four years, 11 months) 12:58PM &#39;One of the best in English football history&#39; Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore offered his own tribute to Arsene Wenger. &quot;It is hard to encapsulate the enormity of Arsene Wenger&#39;s contribution to Arsenal Football Club, the Premier League and football generally over these past 22 seasons. &quot;All of Arsene&#39;s teams have been a joy to watch and his 2003-04 &#39;Invincibles&#39; will go down as one of the best in English football history.&quot; 12:50PM &#39;One major reason why I&#39;m here is because of him&#39; Club captain Per Mertesacker admitted it was &quot;emotional&quot; to find out that Arsene Wenger was set to depart. &quot;We have just been informed basically. It is quite emotional. Obviously he has been at the club for such a long time, he has been so supportive to me. One major reason why I&#39;m here is because of him. &quot;It&#39;s been emotional and there will be time to digest it but it is a sad feeling right now.&quot; 12:47PM Wenger told players of his exit beforehand Arsene Wenger asked Arsenal to hold off announcing his decision to leave the club so he could inform his players first-hand. The news was announced this morning, with Wenger set to depart 12 months into a two-year deal. It is understood Wenger was keen to tell the Arsenal players himself and did so ahead of training at their London Colney base and minutes before the news was made public. His coaching staff were also informed of the decision in advance, although club staff working at the Emirates Stadium rather than the training ground discovered the news at the same time as everyone else. Wenger&#39;s surprise announcement came a day after he evaded questions over his future at his usual pre-match press conference. 12:36PM How many times did your team lose to Wenger&#39;s Arsenal? Was your club one of the teams Arsene Wenger had the wood over? How many times did your team lose to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal? 12:35PM &#39;Today will mark the start of a new era for the club&#39; Arsene Wenger&#39;s decision to leave Arsenal at the end of the season is good for all those involved, according to a leading supporters&#39; group. Lois Langton, chair of the Arsenal Independent Supporters&#39; Association, believes the timing is right and hailed Wenger as a &quot;fantastic&quot; manager in his day. &quot;Without question, the announcement that Arsene Wenger will finally stand down at the end of this season is the right decision, both for the club and the manager, although, having been so long coming, it feels surreal that the day has finally arrived. &quot;The problems associated with his tenure in recent years are well documented and now that the announcement has been made, there is nothing to be gained by going over old ground. &quot;Arsene Wenger was, for a period of time, a fantastic manager for Arsenal. The Invincibles epitomise what he brought to the Club and, to that extent, his legacy will continue. &quot;We have seen with Manchester City this season how difficult it is to go a league campaign undefeated. The 2003/2004 season in particular will forever be a source of pride and achievement. &quot;It is now time to move on. We have a Europa League semi-final coming up against Atletico and a first success in Europe for Arsene Wenger would provide a fitting farewell. &quot;Arsenal has a rich and wonderful heritage and today will mark the start of a new era for the club.&quot; 12:31PM Will Arsenal now raise their game against the Hammers? Arsenal play West Ham this Sunday. Here&#39;s our man Nick Callow&#39;s abbreviated preview: West Ham are not mathematically safe from relegation so Arsenal should fear a club they have lost to three times at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal can be pipped to sixth by Burnley, but Thursday&#39;s Europa Atletico Madrid semi-final will dictate Arsene Wenger&#39;s selection while David Moyes can go for broke. PREDICTION: 1-1 12:04PM VOTE: Who should Arsenal choose to replace Wenger? 11:55AM Where next for Wenger? Seeing as the man eats, drinks and sleeps football, it is highly unlikely he will walk off into the sunset and retire. The odds are now stacked in favour of him becoming the next Paris Saint-Germain manager, with Unai Emery expected to be shown the door by the Paris giants. Wenger would also be a a highly-popular choice given his profile in France and continuing analysis as a guest pundit for French TV. 11:48AM &#39;Name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium&#39; Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has urged fans to get behind the Frenchman for the rest of the season, starting with Sunday&#39;s home match against West Ham. &quot;I think everybody can pay their respect to him now about how great he was as a manager. It&#39;s perfect timing. &quot;I think it gives the fans (the chance) to pack the Emirates for the last few games of the season and have a right go. &quot;If fans do not turn up against West Ham and pack that place out, they need serious questions asked about them and are they real Arsenal fans or are they glory-hunters?&quot; Merson has also called for the Emirates Stadium to be renamed in Wenger&#39;s honour. &quot;They should drop the Emirates bit - they don&#39;t need the money - and name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium. &quot;That&#39;s his stadium. He built that. He made that stadium. Even if they called it the Emirates Arsene Wenger Stadium. He deserves to be on that.&quot; 11:44AM &#39;It shows the great dignity and class of the man&#39; Spain and Chelsea&#39;s Cesc Fabregas, who burst in to the Arsenal starting line-up under Arsene Wenger, posted on Instagram... &quot;Wow. I never expected that but it shows the great dignity and class of the man. I will never forget his guidance and support, his tutelage and mentorship. &quot;He had faith in me from day one and I owe him a lot, he was like a father figure to me who always pushed me to be the best. Arsene, you deserve all the respect and happiness in the world. #classact&quot; 11:43AM Inside information Ian Wright appeared to have been aware of the news before it was announced, tweeting a shocked face emoji around half an hour before the club&#39;s statement. — Ian Wright (@IanWright0) April 20, 2018 11:41AM Will it be Rodgers who replaces Wenger? Celtic majority shareholder Dermot Desmond has admitted he would let manager Brendan Rodgers speak to Arsenal if the Premier League club approached the Northern Irishman... &quot;Absolutely. I don&#39;t think you can put handcuffs on anybody if they want to go to a club as good as Arsenal. &quot;It will be Brendan&#39;s decision and Brendan&#39;s decision only.&quot; 11:33AM &#39;He moved the goalposts for everyone else&#39; Southampton manager Mark Hughes believes it would be a &quot;massive wrench&quot; for Arsene Wenger to leave after so long in the post. &quot;When you have had longevity in the game like Arsene has, and I have been in the Premier League for a long time, our paths have crossed on numerous occasions, we had a few run-ins but other times we were very civil and respectful of each other&#39;s efforts. &quot;I had a good conversation with him two weeks ago, he looked very relaxed and chilled. &quot;He came with different ideas, different views on how the game should be played, he moved the goalposts for everyone else, he came in and had success and everyone else had to catch up.&quot; 11:31AM &#39;Fans are celebrating like they&#39;ve won the lottery&#39; Former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman, Arsene Wenger&#39;s No 1 for the first seven years of his reign, is not happy with how some Gunners fans are reacting... &quot;It&#39;s going to be good now, because there&#39;s going to be a chance he will get the send-off and the respect he deserves. The fans that are celebrating like they&#39;ve won the lottery, it makes me a little bit angry if I&#39;m honest. It&#39;s time to show respect and realise what he&#39;s done. &quot;For me, he is Arsenal, and it&#39;s right that he&#39;s decided to leave on his own terms. &quot;Now let&#39;s enjoy that. I hope all the fans that have stayed away now return because they&#39;ve still got a chance of winning something this season. Get behind the team, get behind Arsenal, and show him the respect he deserves. &quot;He&#39;s a gentleman. It&#39;s brilliant to be in his company. He&#39;s a really, really nice guy - and a lot of people don&#39;t see that. People say he&#39;s stubborn and this and that, but that&#39;s not true. It might have been true as a manager, but as a man he&#39;s a true gentleman. &quot;When he came in he changed everything - the way we played, the diet... He revolutionised Arsenal. He was brilliant. For me, and especially for the back four - he added years to their careers.&quot; 11:05AM Wenger&#39;s Arsenal reign in numbers 1996 - the year when a then-unheralded Wenger, who had been in charge at Monaco and Japanese side Nagoya Grampus Eight, took over at Highbury. 1228 - games at the helm, ahead of Sunday&#39;s Premier League fixture against West Ham. 704 - wins to date as Arsenal boss. 3 - Premier League title wins, the last during an unbeaten Invincibles campaign of 2003/2004. 1549 - goals scored in Premier League matches by Wenger&#39;s teams. 10 - major trophies won. 473 - Premier League victories. 7 - FA Cup triumphs, with three of those having come the last four seasons. 151 - Premier League losses. 21 - full seasons in charge. 49 - games unbeaten in the Premier League from May 2003 to October 2004. 10:58AM Nearly 22 years in three minutes #MerciArsènepic.twitter.com/bjP0wLMgee— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 10:55AM How Twitter is reacting to Wenger leaving Unsurprisingly, frequent Arsene Wenger critic Piers Morgan has tweeted with a certain amount of relish... BREAKING: Wenger out. pic.twitter.com/HBuwQdY9aw— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 20, 2018 Fortunately, Gary Neville, the voice of reason, has said what many feel... Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 Arsenal legend David Seaman has called on Gunners fans to give Wenger the send-off he deserves... Sad day for @Arsenal with Arsene leaving, can we now give him the send off/respect he deserves?!! #rememberthetrophies— David Seaman (@thedavidseaman) April 20, 2018 Journalist and TV presenter Robert Peston is suffering from mixed emotions... Such mixed feelings about Wenger resignation. I wanted him to go, but I miss him already. He was magnificent for us over many years, but it was time #Arsenal— Robert Peston (@Peston) April 20, 2018 Radio 1 DJ Greg James sees the funny side... BUT WHO GETS THE COAT?! I WANT THE COAT. SHOTGUN THE COAT. pic.twitter.com/C4qJEbO8YG— Greg James (@gregjames) April 20, 2018 Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams posted on Instagram: &quot;Thanks for everything Arsene. Move over Herbert, Arsene Wenger the greatest Arsenal Manager.&quot; 10:50AM How fickle football can be It was expected that many Arsenal fans would boycott the club&#39;s remaining home games as a way of voicing their unhappiness at Arsene Wenger. BUT... Arsenal sure to be packed out for remaining games now— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) April 20, 2018 10:36AM One word: longevity 823 - Arsene Wenger has managed more Premier League games than any other manager (823) and only Sir Alex Ferguson has won more games (528) than Wenger (473). Longevity. pic.twitter.com/ktdsaZPb1y— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 20, 2018 10:34AM Klopp hails Wenger Other Premier League manages are being asked for their thoughts on Arsene Wenger after today&#39;s momentous announcement. Here&#39;s what Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says: &quot;He is an influence in football. A fantastic career, outstanding personality. A big player in the business.&quot; 10:32AM How has it come to this? Arsene Wenger has won three Premier League titles during his spell of over 21 years at the helm, the last of which came as a result of the unbeaten &#39;Invincibles&#39; season in 2003-04. No-one has won more FA Cups than the former Monaco boss, who was a shock appointment back in 1996. Protests against his reign picked up last season as the Gunners finished outside of the top four for the first time in a full campaign under Wenger&#39;s control. But despite the growing negativity, Wenger signed a new two-year deal last summer with the mandate of sustaining a title challenge. That failed miserably and, at the time of the announcement, Arsenal sit sixth in the table and 33 points adrift of newly-crowned champions Manchester City. 10:26AM Set your alarms for 5pm! Arsenal are holding a media conference with chief executive Ivan Gazidis at 5pm at the Emirates Stadium. 10:24AM Winterburn says &#39;time is right&#39; Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn believes the decision is the right one: &quot;I think it&#39;s run its natural course. Arsene Wenger has been absolutely amazing for Arsenal Football Club. &quot;It probably feels to me like it is the right time. When Arsene Wenger does step down, I think he will be remembered very, very fondly. We talk about the modern era, George Graham started it and Arsene Wenger&#39;s taken it to the next level. &quot;When he leaves the football club, I think people will look back and really appreciate what Arsene Wenger has done.&quot; 10:05AM Who will replace him? Arsene Wenger will lead the team to the end of the season and the club say they will &#39;make an appointment as soon as possible&#39;. Our Arsenal man - Jeremy Wilson - says these are the leading candidates: Leonardo Jardim, Mikel Arteta, Joachim Low, Brendan Rodgers, Max Allegri and Luis Enrique. 10:02AM &#39;Arsene has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful&#39; Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has issued the following statement: &quot;This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. &quot;Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played. &quot;We have high ambitions to build on Arsène&#39;s remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game. &quot;We must now focus on making a strong finish to the season and ask our millions of fans around the world to join us in paying appropriate tribute to one of the greats of Arsenal&#39;s history and one of the greats of the game.&quot; 9:57AM BREAKING NEWS: Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal Arsene Wenger has announced he is to step down as manager of Arsenal at the end of the season. &quot;After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season. &quot;I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. &quot;I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. &quot;I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special. &quot;I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. &quot;To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. &quot;My love and support for ever.&quot;
Arsenal prepare for 'biggest ever challenge' to replace outgoing Arsene Wenger after 22 years in charge
Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal at the end of the season Wenger's last match at Emirates on May 6 against Burnley Last Premier League match ever on May 13 against Huddersfield Arsenal to hold press conference with Ivan Gazidis at 5pm Mourinho speaks: "We'll show Mr Wenger respect he deserves" Why Wenger will enjoy great success in life after Arsenal Next Arsenal manager odds: Who will replace Wenger? How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Arsenal are promising to be “bold” and could again go left-field in replacing Arsene Wenger after the club’s most successful-ever manager decided to announce his departure amid the prospect of being sacked this summer. Wenger revealed on Friday morning that this would be his 22nd and last season as Arsenal manager and, while the timing of the public announcement was his, the wider backdrop was of the club already actively preparing for change. The clear expectation was that he would be asked to leave this summer and Wenger did not want to wait to be sacked. It was also felt that an early announcement would ensure that Wenger received a big unifying send-off and allow all sides to prepare for a future apart. It was noticeable that Gazidis would not answer on Friday whether he had wanted Wenger to stay or tried to persuade him to see out the remaining year on his contract. Wenger has shown no sign of wanting to retire from management and is expected to make a clear break and seek employment elsewhere. Gazidis has been assessing potential replacements for several years, but has now actively begun the search and wants to preserve many of Wenger’s values within a structure that gives the manager rather less power. End of an era | Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season A new backroom team has already been assembled and, while Gazidis called it “our biggest ever challenge", he said the club had never been better prepared. Former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and ex-Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta are thought to be the leading contenders to replace Wenger, while Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim, former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti and Germany head coach Joachim Low are also in the running. A complication with Low will be his reluctance to do anything that could destabilise Germany’s defence of the World Cup. Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers would be interested and has admirers inside Arsenal, but there are concerns at how fans might respond to his appointment at a time when unity is desperately sought. Former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel is close to be appointed Paris St Germain, but Juventus manager Max Allegri is keen on eventually working in England and would be of interest if he is ready to move this summer. Gazidis noticeably highlighted how Arsenal appointed an unknown in Wenger way back in 1996. Guy Wenger “Replace Arsene? That’s not going to happen,” he said. “But we have to make sure we don’t lose his qualities and his values in the club and that we take them forward. So someone who will continue to play exciting, progressive football that gets people interested and excited in the games we play. How the candidate represents the club is important. “That value of giving youth a chance is also very important. I think we’ve got to be open-minded and brave in the decision. When Arsene was appointed, I don’t think he was on many people’s radar. We need to be bold in the appointment.” Wenger made the final decision to leave earlier this week and, after discussions with directors on Thursday, he personally informed his staff and the players on Friday morning. There were many tears both at the stadium and training ground, where club staff were said to be in a state of shock. Wenger has won three Premier League titles, an all-time record seven FA Cups, two doubles, reached the 2006 European Cup final and went the entire 2003-4 Premier League season undefeated. He also helped oversee the move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium. Tributes were paid to Wenger on Friday from across sport, with his old adversary Sir Alex Ferguson saying that he was “proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man." As ever, Wenger stressed the importance of maintaining the values he has embodied in his time in English football. Put simply, that is an entertaining playing style, opportunities for young players and a fiscal structure that safeguards the club’s long-term future. “After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season,” said Wenger. “I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever.” Arsenal fan's view | 'All the bad feeling has disappeared' Arsenal’s majority owner, Stan Kroenke, has always been a massive supporter of Wenger and regarded this as perhaps the hardest moment in his time in professional sport. “This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport,” he said. “One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. “Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played.” Gazidis added: “Arsene is going to feel the full force of this club behind him over the next couple of weeks. Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard. A new ambition. An ambition not just to win, but to win while achieving perfection. To make art out of football. He was always brave enough to be true to that extraordinary ambition and incredibly he achieved it with Arsenal’s Invincibles season.“ 5:26PM Gazidis on his abiding memories of Wenger's reign: “There are great moments - the trophies, the FA Cups, the victory against Barcelona. But the memories I have of Arsene are of speaking to him in quiet moments. He’s an incredibly self-critical man who always gives others the benefit of the doubt. There’s a reason there is so much affection for him. He’s a special person.” 5:23PM Gazidis on the players' reaction: “I think from the reaction at the training ground today, what I felt was an incredible amount of passion to give Arsene the send off that he deserves. “The decision had to come at some point. Now it’s time for us to look forward.” 5:21PM Gazidis on Wenger's future: “Will he retire? He’s somebody who is in great shape and has a competitive edge but that’s a question for him.” 5:19PM Gazidis on the next Arsenal manager: "We're going to have a process around that. The process begins today but I want to keep that process in-house. I don't want to be making public comments about it. We haven't had any discussions to date regarding that." 5:18PM Gazidis on where Arsenal go next: “Our first priority is to come together as a club and we are seeing that today. Our players. staff and fans are behind this great man and we will give him the send off he deserves. I don’t underestimate that challenge but I am confident in the people we have in place to take Arsene’s vision forward and build on it.” "We are not going to find a replacement for Arsene Wenger" 5:16PM Gazidis on Wenger's immediate legacy “Arsene often said his aim was to leave the club in a better place than when he found out. We are in a better place than we could have ever imagined.” 5:15PM Gazidis on Wenger's inspiration: “Beyond football, he has inspired the people around him. He is able to make people believe that they can achieve great things. He inspired George Weah to believe he could not only become the world’s best football player, but to become the president of a nation. He has taken every challenge with humour and grace and class.” 5:15PM Gazidis on the Wenger philosophy: “Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard. A new ambition. Not just to win, but to win while achieving perfection - to make art. Incredibly, he achieved it with the Invincibles. Arsene has been brave enough to live by his philosophy. He’s made Arsenal throughout the world for the kind of football we play.” 5:14PM Gazidis on today's news: “Obviously this has been an emotional day for everyone. Now I have the impossible job of communicating that feeling. Typically, Arsene is not here as he is taking training. I will leave it to others to talk about the facts and figures of his tenure. There is something more coming out today. There is an affection from Arsenal fans and right across the sphere of football. I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Arsene over the last 10 years.” 5:12PM Ivan Gazidis addresses the media... "Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard, a new ambition. Am ambition not just to win but to win while achieving perfection. To make art out of football." 4:42PM Jack Wilshere on the outgoing boss... "We need to send him off in the right way now" �� Turn your sound up and listen to this from @JackWilsherepic.twitter.com/aZ9UA5u0mo— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 "I'm sure when the dust settles, we have a few days to think about it, we'll start to reflect on it, but at the moment it's a bit raw, it's a bit sensitive." 4:08PM Thierry Henry on his former manager October 2002 and September's manager of the month congratulates the player of the month Credit: EDDIE KEOGH/PA I was a little mixed because it's a sad day for me to see the big man leave the club, although we all know he has matches left. I'm happy in a way that people can give him the farewell he deserves. His legacy is untouchable. Managers, fans from other teams - [they say] how Arsène changed Arsenal. I am happy that now we can all talk about his legacy. But we must not get carried away with celebrating the end of his time. The team must win the Europa League, it would be an incredible feat and Arsène has never won in Europe before, so it would be a good way to give him a nice goodbye. I remember when I was playing for Arsenal, people were talking about how we play, not what we won, but how we did it and how Arsène made Arsenal a club known in the whole world. If I could be the successor of Wenger? Look at me laughing. It's funny. One person to whom you can ask this question is Ivan Gazidis. He should answer the question. 3:57PM And a word from Germany From one he helped to make it (to Bayern Munich) 22 years @Arsenal - almost my whole lifetime. Impressive. Glad I could be a small part of it ���� #MerciArsène#Wengerpic.twitter.com/lzGJXJlOGC— Serge Gnabry (@SergeGnabry) April 20, 2018 3:51PM A tribute from an opponent Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 3:36PM A trawl through the picture archive ... Has inspired this, 22 years in 11 photographs: Wenger at Arsenal gallery 3:17PM Sir Alex Ferguson pays tribute "I am really happy for Arsène Wenger. I have great respect for him and for the job he has done at Arsenal. It is great testament to his talent, professionalism and determination that has been able to dedicate 22 years of his life to a job that he loves. "In an era where football managers sometimes only last one or two seasons, it shows what an achievement it is to serve that length of time at a club the size of Arsenal. "I am pleased that he has announced he is leaving at this stage of the season, as he can now have the send-off that he truly deserves. "He is, without doubt, one the greatest Premier League managers and I am proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man." 2:47PM Pep Guardiola tips his hat Luke Edwards reports from the Manchester City manager's press conference: “He has all my respect for what he has done. The Premier League is about huge personalities like Arsène, it is because of what he has done, his vision. “I wish him all the best in the future, I hope he can be involved in world football in a different way with his experience. Whether it is with Arsenal, Uefa, Fifa, or somewhere else, I don't know. It was a pleasure to compete against him here, with City, as well as Barcelona and Bayern. Pep Guardiola takes Manchester City training on Friday Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images “It will be difficult for anyone to do what he has done at a top European club again. Sir Alex Ferguson did it at Manchester United, but it is so, so complicated. With the way social media is now, everybody has an opinion and can express it, you feel the pressure as a manager. “You can also feel pressure because staying in the Premier League is so important, then you have the sporting directors, who do not have a lot of patience. It will be so difficult to find a person who will be able to stay at a club for so long and do what Arsène has done.” 2:32PM 'Arsenal will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz, from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, speaks to Telegraph Sport 2:06PM 'I have been talking well about him for a while' Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, who has locked horns with Arsene Wenger plenty of times down the years in his time at Liverpool, Chelsea and on Tyneside, said this at today's press conference: "I have been talking well about him for a while. "To do things in the way that he has done and win the way he was winning, for so many years... we are talking about one of the best managers in football history." 2:01PM 'Like a father through tough times in my career' Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere posted this on Facebook: "To the man who gave me my chance as a 16-year-old, and showed unbelievable faith and commitment towards me. Always a gentleman, like a father through tough times in my career. He always believed in me when most people didn't. Thank you for everything boss! It's down to us now to end your era right. #onearsenewenger" Big shoes for anyone to fill,playing for Arsenal under Arsene was one of the best period of my career, 2 premiership, 2 FA cups, The invincibles, playing with some of the best assembled players,influencing millions of fans in Africa to support this great club. pic.twitter.com/tILZo70jBE— Kanu Nwankwo (@papilokanu) April 20, 2018 Personally a very sad day. I am forever in debt to this man. The person who had faith in me and gave me a platform to progress. Thank you for all the memories and trophies bosspic.twitter.com/EP26M6TP3W— Héctor Bellerín (@HectorBellerin) April 20, 2018 1:56PM 'He deserves respect from the whole world of football' Our man Matt Law was at Stamford Bridge today and asked Antonio Conte for his thoughts on Arsene Wenger. Reaction to Wenger? "My reaction... I think we must pay a great tribute to Arsene Wenger for his career. For his career at Arsenal. He and Ferguson, we're talking about the last two managers to stay for such a long time in a club. Arsene Wenger worked 22 years for Arsenal. I think that's great, it's a fantastic story. He won a lot at this club and, for this reason, I think he deserves a great tribute for his career." What was his influence in a footballing sense? "I think Arsene is one of the managers who had a great influence on football because, in every moment in his idea of football, he tried to play good football, creative and offensive football. He deserves great tribute also for this." How important is it that he gains that great tribute? "He deserves great respect. Not only from Arsenal supporters, but from the whole world of football. He deserves great respect. We are talking about one of the best managers in the world with a great and important career with Arsenal. He deserves a great tribute for his career. It would be very difficult to see in the future another manager staying for such a long time at the same club. I think, maybe, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger were a really good story for football. Now it will be very difficult to see that again, another situation like this." 1:54PM 'A proper football man who lives and breathes it' David Moyes, whose West Ham side face Arsenal on Sunday, hailed Arsene Wenger's longevity. "He's been a great competitor, a terrific manager who has graced the Premier League for many years. "He's a proper football man who lives and breathes it. To do 22 years is an incredible achievement." 1:53PM 'There are not enough words for what he's done' Burnley boss Sean Dyche, who will be the second-longest serving current manager in the Premier League once Arsene Wenger stands down, has paid tribute to the Frenchman. "He is a legend of the game - the work that he's done will be remembered. "Some things that now seem normal and simple weren't at the time. Hydration in football sounds a simple thing but was not taken to a high level. Making sure the food they were eating was correct. Their health and well-being. "For youngish managers like myself there are not enough good words you can use for what he's done." 1:42PM 'It was a pleasure to compete against him' Pep Guardiola, manager of new Premier League champions Man City, has also spoken. "He is a huge personality. The Premier League is the Premier League because of what he has done and his vision. I wish him all the best for the future. "Hopefully he will be involved in a different way in world football. Of course it was a pleasure at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and here to compete against him." 1:39PM 'Arsenal fans will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, has told The Telegraph he believes the club will unite behind departing manager Arsene Wenger for the rest of the season as they focus on winning the Europa League. 1:37PM Mourinho asked about Wenger... wait for it Jose Mourinho has claimed that deep down he really respects Arsene Wenger and his various insults over the years did not reflect his true relationship with the Arsenal manager, who announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season. "If he's happy with the decision he makes and looks forward to the next chapter of his career and his life I'm really happy for him. If he's sad, I'm sad. I'm pretty sure as a club - and especially because Mr Wenger and Arsenal were for many, many years the biggest rivals of Sir Alex [Ferguson's] era - we will show Mr Wenger the respect he deserves." Asked whether he regretted many of his spats with Wenger, which were often characterised by the strength of Mourinho's response, he was dismissive. "It's not about regretting. I think your question is a typical question from somebody that was not a manager, not a player. Of course, you don't know the way we respect each other even when sometimes it doesn't look like we don't. "Players that get yellow cards and red cards by aggressive actions against each other, bad words during the career - the manager is the same thing. The ones that respect each other more are the ones with the problems. It's power against power; ambition against ambition; quality against quality. But in the end it's people from the same business who respect one another’s careers. "So it happened. What matters for me is the way I respect the person, the professional, the career. I always say that for some the memories are short, but for us football people - the real football people, the others live on us - don't have short memories. I know what it means, three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, what he did in Japan and France, what he brought to French football. "[Also] What he gave to Arsenal in the period without Premier Leagues, the transition from stadium to stadium, we know what he did. If he's happy with the decision, I'm really happy and I hope he doesn't retire from football." 1:23PM Where it all began for Wenger Where it all began for Arsene Wenger in the #PL... pic.twitter.com/gbhqBu9LTq— Premier League (@premierleague) April 20, 2018 1:19PM The Top 10 longest-serving managers in Premier League history Arsene Wenger, Arsenal, October 1996 to May 2018 (21 years, seven months) Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United, August 1992 to May 2013 (20 years, nine months) David Moyes, Everton, March 2002 to May 2013 (11 years, two months) Harry Redknapp, West Ham, August 1994 to May 2001 (six years, eight months) Rafael Benitez, Liverpool, August 2004 to June 2010 (five years, 10 months) Alan Curbishley, Charlton, August 2000 to May 2006 (five years, nine months) Sam Allardyce, Bolton, August 2001 to April 2007 (five years, eight months) Gerard Houllier, Liverpool, November 1998 to May 2004 (five years, six months) Jim Smith, Derby, August 1996 to October 2001 (five years, two months) Sir Bobby Robson, Newcastle, September 1999 to August 2004 (four years, 11 months) 12:58PM 'One of the best in English football history' Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore offered his own tribute to Arsene Wenger. "It is hard to encapsulate the enormity of Arsene Wenger's contribution to Arsenal Football Club, the Premier League and football generally over these past 22 seasons. "All of Arsene's teams have been a joy to watch and his 2003-04 'Invincibles' will go down as one of the best in English football history." 12:50PM 'One major reason why I'm here is because of him' Club captain Per Mertesacker admitted it was "emotional" to find out that Arsene Wenger was set to depart. "We have just been informed basically. It is quite emotional. Obviously he has been at the club for such a long time, he has been so supportive to me. One major reason why I'm here is because of him. "It's been emotional and there will be time to digest it but it is a sad feeling right now." 12:47PM Wenger told players of his exit beforehand Arsene Wenger asked Arsenal to hold off announcing his decision to leave the club so he could inform his players first-hand. The news was announced this morning, with Wenger set to depart 12 months into a two-year deal. It is understood Wenger was keen to tell the Arsenal players himself and did so ahead of training at their London Colney base and minutes before the news was made public. His coaching staff were also informed of the decision in advance, although club staff working at the Emirates Stadium rather than the training ground discovered the news at the same time as everyone else. Wenger's surprise announcement came a day after he evaded questions over his future at his usual pre-match press conference. 12:36PM How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Was your club one of the teams Arsene Wenger had the wood over? How many times did your team lose to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal? 12:35PM 'Today will mark the start of a new era for the club' Arsene Wenger's decision to leave Arsenal at the end of the season is good for all those involved, according to a leading supporters' group. Lois Langton, chair of the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, believes the timing is right and hailed Wenger as a "fantastic" manager in his day. "Without question, the announcement that Arsene Wenger will finally stand down at the end of this season is the right decision, both for the club and the manager, although, having been so long coming, it feels surreal that the day has finally arrived. "The problems associated with his tenure in recent years are well documented and now that the announcement has been made, there is nothing to be gained by going over old ground. "Arsene Wenger was, for a period of time, a fantastic manager for Arsenal. The Invincibles epitomise what he brought to the Club and, to that extent, his legacy will continue. "We have seen with Manchester City this season how difficult it is to go a league campaign undefeated. The 2003/2004 season in particular will forever be a source of pride and achievement. "It is now time to move on. We have a Europa League semi-final coming up against Atletico and a first success in Europe for Arsene Wenger would provide a fitting farewell. "Arsenal has a rich and wonderful heritage and today will mark the start of a new era for the club." 12:31PM Will Arsenal now raise their game against the Hammers? Arsenal play West Ham this Sunday. Here's our man Nick Callow's abbreviated preview: West Ham are not mathematically safe from relegation so Arsenal should fear a club they have lost to three times at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal can be pipped to sixth by Burnley, but Thursday's Europa Atletico Madrid semi-final will dictate Arsene Wenger's selection while David Moyes can go for broke. PREDICTION: 1-1 12:04PM VOTE: Who should Arsenal choose to replace Wenger? 11:55AM Where next for Wenger? Seeing as the man eats, drinks and sleeps football, it is highly unlikely he will walk off into the sunset and retire. The odds are now stacked in favour of him becoming the next Paris Saint-Germain manager, with Unai Emery expected to be shown the door by the Paris giants. Wenger would also be a a highly-popular choice given his profile in France and continuing analysis as a guest pundit for French TV. 11:48AM 'Name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium' Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has urged fans to get behind the Frenchman for the rest of the season, starting with Sunday's home match against West Ham. "I think everybody can pay their respect to him now about how great he was as a manager. It's perfect timing. "I think it gives the fans (the chance) to pack the Emirates for the last few games of the season and have a right go. "If fans do not turn up against West Ham and pack that place out, they need serious questions asked about them and are they real Arsenal fans or are they glory-hunters?" Merson has also called for the Emirates Stadium to be renamed in Wenger's honour. "They should drop the Emirates bit - they don't need the money - and name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium. "That's his stadium. He built that. He made that stadium. Even if they called it the Emirates Arsene Wenger Stadium. He deserves to be on that." 11:44AM 'It shows the great dignity and class of the man' Spain and Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas, who burst in to the Arsenal starting line-up under Arsene Wenger, posted on Instagram... "Wow. I never expected that but it shows the great dignity and class of the man. I will never forget his guidance and support, his tutelage and mentorship. "He had faith in me from day one and I owe him a lot, he was like a father figure to me who always pushed me to be the best. Arsene, you deserve all the respect and happiness in the world. #classact" 11:43AM Inside information Ian Wright appeared to have been aware of the news before it was announced, tweeting a shocked face emoji around half an hour before the club's statement. — Ian Wright (@IanWright0) April 20, 2018 11:41AM Will it be Rodgers who replaces Wenger? Celtic majority shareholder Dermot Desmond has admitted he would let manager Brendan Rodgers speak to Arsenal if the Premier League club approached the Northern Irishman... "Absolutely. I don't think you can put handcuffs on anybody if they want to go to a club as good as Arsenal. "It will be Brendan's decision and Brendan's decision only." 11:33AM 'He moved the goalposts for everyone else' Southampton manager Mark Hughes believes it would be a "massive wrench" for Arsene Wenger to leave after so long in the post. "When you have had longevity in the game like Arsene has, and I have been in the Premier League for a long time, our paths have crossed on numerous occasions, we had a few run-ins but other times we were very civil and respectful of each other's efforts. "I had a good conversation with him two weeks ago, he looked very relaxed and chilled. "He came with different ideas, different views on how the game should be played, he moved the goalposts for everyone else, he came in and had success and everyone else had to catch up." 11:31AM 'Fans are celebrating like they've won the lottery' Former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman, Arsene Wenger's No 1 for the first seven years of his reign, is not happy with how some Gunners fans are reacting... "It's going to be good now, because there's going to be a chance he will get the send-off and the respect he deserves. The fans that are celebrating like they've won the lottery, it makes me a little bit angry if I'm honest. It's time to show respect and realise what he's done. "For me, he is Arsenal, and it's right that he's decided to leave on his own terms. "Now let's enjoy that. I hope all the fans that have stayed away now return because they've still got a chance of winning something this season. Get behind the team, get behind Arsenal, and show him the respect he deserves. "He's a gentleman. It's brilliant to be in his company. He's a really, really nice guy - and a lot of people don't see that. People say he's stubborn and this and that, but that's not true. It might have been true as a manager, but as a man he's a true gentleman. "When he came in he changed everything - the way we played, the diet... He revolutionised Arsenal. He was brilliant. For me, and especially for the back four - he added years to their careers." 11:05AM Wenger's Arsenal reign in numbers 1996 - the year when a then-unheralded Wenger, who had been in charge at Monaco and Japanese side Nagoya Grampus Eight, took over at Highbury. 1228 - games at the helm, ahead of Sunday's Premier League fixture against West Ham. 704 - wins to date as Arsenal boss. 3 - Premier League title wins, the last during an unbeaten Invincibles campaign of 2003/2004. 1549 - goals scored in Premier League matches by Wenger's teams. 10 - major trophies won. 473 - Premier League victories. 7 - FA Cup triumphs, with three of those having come the last four seasons. 151 - Premier League losses. 21 - full seasons in charge. 49 - games unbeaten in the Premier League from May 2003 to October 2004. 10:58AM Nearly 22 years in three minutes #MerciArsènepic.twitter.com/bjP0wLMgee— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 10:55AM How Twitter is reacting to Wenger leaving Unsurprisingly, frequent Arsene Wenger critic Piers Morgan has tweeted with a certain amount of relish... BREAKING: Wenger out. pic.twitter.com/HBuwQdY9aw— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 20, 2018 Fortunately, Gary Neville, the voice of reason, has said what many feel... Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 Arsenal legend David Seaman has called on Gunners fans to give Wenger the send-off he deserves... Sad day for @Arsenal with Arsene leaving, can we now give him the send off/respect he deserves?!! #rememberthetrophies— David Seaman (@thedavidseaman) April 20, 2018 Journalist and TV presenter Robert Peston is suffering from mixed emotions... Such mixed feelings about Wenger resignation. I wanted him to go, but I miss him already. He was magnificent for us over many years, but it was time #Arsenal— Robert Peston (@Peston) April 20, 2018 Radio 1 DJ Greg James sees the funny side... BUT WHO GETS THE COAT?! I WANT THE COAT. SHOTGUN THE COAT. pic.twitter.com/C4qJEbO8YG— Greg James (@gregjames) April 20, 2018 Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams posted on Instagram: "Thanks for everything Arsene. Move over Herbert, Arsene Wenger the greatest Arsenal Manager." 10:50AM How fickle football can be It was expected that many Arsenal fans would boycott the club's remaining home games as a way of voicing their unhappiness at Arsene Wenger. BUT... Arsenal sure to be packed out for remaining games now— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) April 20, 2018 10:36AM One word: longevity 823 - Arsene Wenger has managed more Premier League games than any other manager (823) and only Sir Alex Ferguson has won more games (528) than Wenger (473). Longevity. pic.twitter.com/ktdsaZPb1y— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 20, 2018 10:34AM Klopp hails Wenger Other Premier League manages are being asked for their thoughts on Arsene Wenger after today's momentous announcement. Here's what Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says: "He is an influence in football. A fantastic career, outstanding personality. A big player in the business." 10:32AM How has it come to this? Arsene Wenger has won three Premier League titles during his spell of over 21 years at the helm, the last of which came as a result of the unbeaten 'Invincibles' season in 2003-04. No-one has won more FA Cups than the former Monaco boss, who was a shock appointment back in 1996. Protests against his reign picked up last season as the Gunners finished outside of the top four for the first time in a full campaign under Wenger's control. But despite the growing negativity, Wenger signed a new two-year deal last summer with the mandate of sustaining a title challenge. That failed miserably and, at the time of the announcement, Arsenal sit sixth in the table and 33 points adrift of newly-crowned champions Manchester City. 10:26AM Set your alarms for 5pm! Arsenal are holding a media conference with chief executive Ivan Gazidis at 5pm at the Emirates Stadium. 10:24AM Winterburn says 'time is right' Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn believes the decision is the right one: "I think it's run its natural course. Arsene Wenger has been absolutely amazing for Arsenal Football Club. "It probably feels to me like it is the right time. When Arsene Wenger does step down, I think he will be remembered very, very fondly. We talk about the modern era, George Graham started it and Arsene Wenger's taken it to the next level. "When he leaves the football club, I think people will look back and really appreciate what Arsene Wenger has done." 10:05AM Who will replace him? Arsene Wenger will lead the team to the end of the season and the club say they will 'make an appointment as soon as possible'. Our Arsenal man - Jeremy Wilson - says these are the leading candidates: Leonardo Jardim, Mikel Arteta, Joachim Low, Brendan Rodgers, Max Allegri and Luis Enrique. 10:02AM 'Arsene has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful' Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has issued the following statement: "This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. "Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played. "We have high ambitions to build on Arsène's remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game. "We must now focus on making a strong finish to the season and ask our millions of fans around the world to join us in paying appropriate tribute to one of the greats of Arsenal's history and one of the greats of the game." 9:57AM BREAKING NEWS: Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal Arsene Wenger has announced he is to step down as manager of Arsenal at the end of the season. "After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season. "I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. "I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. "I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special. "I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. "To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. "My love and support for ever."
Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal at the end of the season Wenger&#39;s last match at Emirates on May 6 against Burnley Last Premier League match ever on May 13 against Huddersfield Arsenal to hold press conference with Ivan Gazidis at 5pm Mourinho speaks: &quot;We&#39;ll show Mr Wenger respect he deserves&quot; Why Wenger will enjoy great success in life after Arsenal Next Arsenal manager odds: Who will replace Wenger? How many times did your team lose to Wenger&#39;s Arsenal? Arsenal are promising to be “bold” and could again go left-field in replacing Arsene Wenger after the club’s most successful-ever manager decided to announce his departure amid the prospect of being sacked this summer. Wenger revealed on Friday morning that this would be his 22nd and last season as Arsenal manager and, while the timing of the public announcement was his, the wider backdrop was of the club already actively preparing for change. The clear expectation was that he would be asked to leave this summer and Wenger did not want to wait to be sacked. It was also felt that an early announcement would ensure that Wenger received a big unifying send-off and allow all sides to prepare for a future apart. It was noticeable that Gazidis would not answer on Friday whether he had wanted Wenger to stay or tried to persuade him to see out the remaining year on his contract. Wenger has shown no sign of wanting to retire from management and is expected to make a clear break and seek employment elsewhere. Gazidis has been assessing potential replacements for several years, but has now actively begun the search and wants to preserve many of Wenger’s values within a structure that gives the manager rather less power. End of an era | Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season A new backroom team has already been assembled and, while Gazidis called it “our biggest ever challenge&quot;, he said the club had never been better prepared. Former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and ex-Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta are thought to be the leading contenders to replace Wenger, while Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim, former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti and Germany head coach Joachim Low are also in the running. A complication with Low will be his reluctance to do anything that could destabilise Germany’s defence of the World Cup. Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers would be interested and has admirers inside Arsenal, but there are concerns at how fans might respond to his appointment at a time when unity is desperately sought. Former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel is close to be appointed Paris St Germain, but Juventus manager Max Allegri is keen on eventually working in England and would be of interest if he is ready to move this summer. Gazidis noticeably highlighted how Arsenal appointed an unknown in Wenger way back in 1996. Guy Wenger “Replace Arsene? That’s not going to happen,” he said. “But we have to make sure we don’t lose his qualities and his values in the club and that we take them forward. So someone who will continue to play exciting, progressive football that gets people interested and excited in the games we play. How the candidate represents the club is important. “That value of giving youth a chance is also very important. I think we’ve got to be open-minded and brave in the decision. When Arsene was appointed, I don’t think he was on many people’s radar. We need to be bold in the appointment.” Wenger made the final decision to leave earlier this week and, after discussions with directors on Thursday, he personally informed his staff and the players on Friday morning. There were many tears both at the stadium and training ground, where club staff were said to be in a state of shock. Wenger has won three Premier League titles, an all-time record seven FA Cups, two doubles, reached the 2006 European Cup final and went the entire 2003-4 Premier League season undefeated. He also helped oversee the move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium. Tributes were paid to Wenger on Friday from across sport, with his old adversary Sir Alex Ferguson saying that he was “proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man.&quot; As ever, Wenger stressed the importance of maintaining the values he has embodied in his time in English football. Put simply, that is an entertaining playing style, opportunities for young players and a fiscal structure that safeguards the club’s long-term future. “After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season,” said Wenger. “I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever.” Arsenal fan&#39;s view | &#39;All the bad feeling has disappeared&#39; Arsenal’s majority owner, Stan Kroenke, has always been a massive supporter of Wenger and regarded this as perhaps the hardest moment in his time in professional sport. “This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport,” he said. “One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. “Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played.” Gazidis added: “Arsene is going to feel the full force of this club behind him over the next couple of weeks. Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard. A new ambition. An ambition not just to win, but to win while achieving perfection. To make art out of football. He was always brave enough to be true to that extraordinary ambition and incredibly he achieved it with Arsenal’s Invincibles season.“ 5:26PM Gazidis on his abiding memories of Wenger&#39;s reign: “There are great moments - the trophies, the FA Cups, the victory against Barcelona. But the memories I have of Arsene are of speaking to him in quiet moments. He’s an incredibly self-critical man who always gives others the benefit of the doubt. There’s a reason there is so much affection for him. He’s a special person.” 5:23PM Gazidis on the players&#39; reaction: “I think from the reaction at the training ground today, what I felt was an incredible amount of passion to give Arsene the send off that he deserves. “The decision had to come at some point. Now it’s time for us to look forward.” 5:21PM Gazidis on Wenger&#39;s future: “Will he retire? He’s somebody who is in great shape and has a competitive edge but that’s a question for him.” 5:19PM Gazidis on the next Arsenal manager: &quot;We&#39;re going to have a process around that. The process begins today but I want to keep that process in-house. I don&#39;t want to be making public comments about it. We haven&#39;t had any discussions to date regarding that.&quot; 5:18PM Gazidis on where Arsenal go next: “Our first priority is to come together as a club and we are seeing that today. Our players. staff and fans are behind this great man and we will give him the send off he deserves. I don’t underestimate that challenge but I am confident in the people we have in place to take Arsene’s vision forward and build on it.” &quot;We are not going to find a replacement for Arsene Wenger&quot; 5:16PM Gazidis on Wenger&#39;s immediate legacy “Arsene often said his aim was to leave the club in a better place than when he found out. We are in a better place than we could have ever imagined.” 5:15PM Gazidis on Wenger&#39;s inspiration: “Beyond football, he has inspired the people around him. He is able to make people believe that they can achieve great things. He inspired George Weah to believe he could not only become the world’s best football player, but to become the president of a nation. He has taken every challenge with humour and grace and class.” 5:15PM Gazidis on the Wenger philosophy: “Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard. A new ambition. Not just to win, but to win while achieving perfection - to make art. Incredibly, he achieved it with the Invincibles. Arsene has been brave enough to live by his philosophy. He’s made Arsenal throughout the world for the kind of football we play.” 5:14PM Gazidis on today&#39;s news: “Obviously this has been an emotional day for everyone. Now I have the impossible job of communicating that feeling. Typically, Arsene is not here as he is taking training. I will leave it to others to talk about the facts and figures of his tenure. There is something more coming out today. There is an affection from Arsenal fans and right across the sphere of football. I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Arsene over the last 10 years.” 5:12PM Ivan Gazidis addresses the media... &quot;Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard, a new ambition. Am ambition not just to win but to win while achieving perfection. To make art out of football.&quot; 4:42PM Jack Wilshere on the outgoing boss... &quot;We need to send him off in the right way now&quot; �� Turn your sound up and listen to this from @JackWilsherepic.twitter.com/aZ9UA5u0mo— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 &quot;I&#39;m sure when the dust settles, we have a few days to think about it, we&#39;ll start to reflect on it, but at the moment it&#39;s a bit raw, it&#39;s a bit sensitive.&quot; 4:08PM Thierry Henry on his former manager October 2002 and September&#39;s manager of the month congratulates the player of the month Credit: EDDIE KEOGH/PA I was a little mixed because it&#39;s a sad day for me to see the big man leave the club, although we all know he has matches left. I&#39;m happy in a way that people can give him the farewell he deserves. His legacy is untouchable. Managers, fans from other teams - [they say] how Arsène changed Arsenal. I am happy that now we can all talk about his legacy. But we must not get carried away with celebrating the end of his time. The team must win the Europa League, it would be an incredible feat and Arsène has never won in Europe before, so it would be a good way to give him a nice goodbye. I remember when I was playing for Arsenal, people were talking about how we play, not what we won, but how we did it and how Arsène made Arsenal a club known in the whole world. If I could be the successor of Wenger? Look at me laughing. It&#39;s funny. One person to whom you can ask this question is Ivan Gazidis. He should answer the question. 3:57PM And a word from Germany From one he helped to make it (to Bayern Munich) 22 years @Arsenal - almost my whole lifetime. Impressive. Glad I could be a small part of it ���� #MerciArsène#Wengerpic.twitter.com/lzGJXJlOGC— Serge Gnabry (@SergeGnabry) April 20, 2018 3:51PM A tribute from an opponent Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 3:36PM A trawl through the picture archive ... Has inspired this, 22 years in 11 photographs: Wenger at Arsenal gallery 3:17PM Sir Alex Ferguson pays tribute &quot;I am really happy for Arsène Wenger. I have great respect for him and for the job he has done at Arsenal. It is great testament to his talent, professionalism and determination that has been able to dedicate 22 years of his life to a job that he loves. &quot;In an era where football managers sometimes only last one or two seasons, it shows what an achievement it is to serve that length of time at a club the size of Arsenal. &quot;I am pleased that he has announced he is leaving at this stage of the season, as he can now have the send-off that he truly deserves. &quot;He is, without doubt, one the greatest Premier League managers and I am proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man.&quot; 2:47PM Pep Guardiola tips his hat Luke Edwards reports from the Manchester City manager&#39;s press conference: “He has all my respect for what he has done. The Premier League is about huge personalities like Arsène, it is because of what he has done, his vision. “I wish him all the best in the future, I hope he can be involved in world football in a different way with his experience. Whether it is with Arsenal, Uefa, Fifa, or somewhere else, I don&#39;t know. It was a pleasure to compete against him here, with City, as well as Barcelona and Bayern. Pep Guardiola takes Manchester City training on Friday Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images “It will be difficult for anyone to do what he has done at a top European club again. Sir Alex Ferguson did it at Manchester United, but it is so, so complicated. With the way social media is now, everybody has an opinion and can express it, you feel the pressure as a manager. “You can also feel pressure because staying in the Premier League is so important, then you have the sporting directors, who do not have a lot of patience. It will be so difficult to find a person who will be able to stay at a club for so long and do what Arsène has done.” 2:32PM &#39;Arsenal will unite behind Wenger now&#39; Paul Matz, from the Arsenal Independent Supporters&#39; Association, speaks to Telegraph Sport 2:06PM &#39;I have been talking well about him for a while&#39; Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, who has locked horns with Arsene Wenger plenty of times down the years in his time at Liverpool, Chelsea and on Tyneside, said this at today&#39;s press conference: &quot;I have been talking well about him for a while. &quot;To do things in the way that he has done and win the way he was winning, for so many years... we are talking about one of the best managers in football history.&quot; 2:01PM &#39;Like a father through tough times in my career&#39; Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere posted this on Facebook: &quot;To the man who gave me my chance as a 16-year-old, and showed unbelievable faith and commitment towards me. Always a gentleman, like a father through tough times in my career. He always believed in me when most people didn&#39;t. Thank you for everything boss! It&#39;s down to us now to end your era right. #onearsenewenger&quot; Big shoes for anyone to fill,playing for Arsenal under Arsene was one of the best period of my career, 2 premiership, 2 FA cups, The invincibles, playing with some of the best assembled players,influencing millions of fans in Africa to support this great club. pic.twitter.com/tILZo70jBE— Kanu Nwankwo (@papilokanu) April 20, 2018 Personally a very sad day. I am forever in debt to this man. The person who had faith in me and gave me a platform to progress. Thank you for all the memories and trophies bosspic.twitter.com/EP26M6TP3W— Héctor Bellerín (@HectorBellerin) April 20, 2018 1:56PM &#39;He deserves respect from the whole world of football&#39; Our man Matt Law was at Stamford Bridge today and asked Antonio Conte for his thoughts on Arsene Wenger. Reaction to Wenger? &quot;My reaction... I think we must pay a great tribute to Arsene Wenger for his career. For his career at Arsenal. He and Ferguson, we&#39;re talking about the last two managers to stay for such a long time in a club. Arsene Wenger worked 22 years for Arsenal. I think that&#39;s great, it&#39;s a fantastic story. He won a lot at this club and, for this reason, I think he deserves a great tribute for his career.&quot; What was his influence in a footballing sense? &quot;I think Arsene is one of the managers who had a great influence on football because, in every moment in his idea of football, he tried to play good football, creative and offensive football. He deserves great tribute also for this.&quot; How important is it that he gains that great tribute? &quot;He deserves great respect. Not only from Arsenal supporters, but from the whole world of football. He deserves great respect. We are talking about one of the best managers in the world with a great and important career with Arsenal. He deserves a great tribute for his career. It would be very difficult to see in the future another manager staying for such a long time at the same club. I think, maybe, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger were a really good story for football. Now it will be very difficult to see that again, another situation like this.&quot; 1:54PM &#39;A proper football man who lives and breathes it&#39; David Moyes, whose West Ham side face Arsenal on Sunday, hailed Arsene Wenger&#39;s longevity. &quot;He&#39;s been a great competitor, a terrific manager who has graced the Premier League for many years. &quot;He&#39;s a proper football man who lives and breathes it. To do 22 years is an incredible achievement.&quot; 1:53PM &#39;There are not enough words for what he&#39;s done&#39; Burnley boss Sean Dyche, who will be the second-longest serving current manager in the Premier League once Arsene Wenger stands down, has paid tribute to the Frenchman. &quot;He is a legend of the game - the work that he&#39;s done will be remembered. &quot;Some things that now seem normal and simple weren&#39;t at the time. Hydration in football sounds a simple thing but was not taken to a high level. Making sure the food they were eating was correct. Their health and well-being. &quot;For youngish managers like myself there are not enough good words you can use for what he&#39;s done.&quot; 1:42PM &#39;It was a pleasure to compete against him&#39; Pep Guardiola, manager of new Premier League champions Man City, has also spoken. &quot;He is a huge personality. The Premier League is the Premier League because of what he has done and his vision. I wish him all the best for the future. &quot;Hopefully he will be involved in a different way in world football. Of course it was a pleasure at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and here to compete against him.&quot; 1:39PM &#39;Arsenal fans will unite behind Wenger now&#39; Paul Matz from the Arsenal Independent Supporters&#39; Association, has told The Telegraph he believes the club will unite behind departing manager Arsene Wenger for the rest of the season as they focus on winning the Europa League. 1:37PM Mourinho asked about Wenger... wait for it Jose Mourinho has claimed that deep down he really respects Arsene Wenger and his various insults over the years did not reflect his true relationship with the Arsenal manager, who announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season. &quot;If he&#39;s happy with the decision he makes and looks forward to the next chapter of his career and his life I&#39;m really happy for him. If he&#39;s sad, I&#39;m sad. I&#39;m pretty sure as a club - and especially because Mr Wenger and Arsenal were for many, many years the biggest rivals of Sir Alex [Ferguson&#39;s] era - we will show Mr Wenger the respect he deserves.&quot; Asked whether he regretted many of his spats with Wenger, which were often characterised by the strength of Mourinho&#39;s response, he was dismissive. &quot;It&#39;s not about regretting. I think your question is a typical question from somebody that was not a manager, not a player. Of course, you don&#39;t know the way we respect each other even when sometimes it doesn&#39;t look like we don&#39;t. &quot;Players that get yellow cards and red cards by aggressive actions against each other, bad words during the career - the manager is the same thing. The ones that respect each other more are the ones with the problems. It&#39;s power against power; ambition against ambition; quality against quality. But in the end it&#39;s people from the same business who respect one another’s careers. &quot;So it happened. What matters for me is the way I respect the person, the professional, the career. I always say that for some the memories are short, but for us football people - the real football people, the others live on us - don&#39;t have short memories. I know what it means, three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, what he did in Japan and France, what he brought to French football. &quot;[Also] What he gave to Arsenal in the period without Premier Leagues, the transition from stadium to stadium, we know what he did. If he&#39;s happy with the decision, I&#39;m really happy and I hope he doesn&#39;t retire from football.&quot; 1:23PM Where it all began for Wenger Where it all began for Arsene Wenger in the #PL... pic.twitter.com/gbhqBu9LTq— Premier League (@premierleague) April 20, 2018 1:19PM The Top 10 longest-serving managers in Premier League history Arsene Wenger, Arsenal, October 1996 to May 2018 (21 years, seven months) Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United, August 1992 to May 2013 (20 years, nine months) David Moyes, Everton, March 2002 to May 2013 (11 years, two months) Harry Redknapp, West Ham, August 1994 to May 2001 (six years, eight months) Rafael Benitez, Liverpool, August 2004 to June 2010 (five years, 10 months) Alan Curbishley, Charlton, August 2000 to May 2006 (five years, nine months) Sam Allardyce, Bolton, August 2001 to April 2007 (five years, eight months) Gerard Houllier, Liverpool, November 1998 to May 2004 (five years, six months) Jim Smith, Derby, August 1996 to October 2001 (five years, two months) Sir Bobby Robson, Newcastle, September 1999 to August 2004 (four years, 11 months) 12:58PM &#39;One of the best in English football history&#39; Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore offered his own tribute to Arsene Wenger. &quot;It is hard to encapsulate the enormity of Arsene Wenger&#39;s contribution to Arsenal Football Club, the Premier League and football generally over these past 22 seasons. &quot;All of Arsene&#39;s teams have been a joy to watch and his 2003-04 &#39;Invincibles&#39; will go down as one of the best in English football history.&quot; 12:50PM &#39;One major reason why I&#39;m here is because of him&#39; Club captain Per Mertesacker admitted it was &quot;emotional&quot; to find out that Arsene Wenger was set to depart. &quot;We have just been informed basically. It is quite emotional. Obviously he has been at the club for such a long time, he has been so supportive to me. One major reason why I&#39;m here is because of him. &quot;It&#39;s been emotional and there will be time to digest it but it is a sad feeling right now.&quot; 12:47PM Wenger told players of his exit beforehand Arsene Wenger asked Arsenal to hold off announcing his decision to leave the club so he could inform his players first-hand. The news was announced this morning, with Wenger set to depart 12 months into a two-year deal. It is understood Wenger was keen to tell the Arsenal players himself and did so ahead of training at their London Colney base and minutes before the news was made public. His coaching staff were also informed of the decision in advance, although club staff working at the Emirates Stadium rather than the training ground discovered the news at the same time as everyone else. Wenger&#39;s surprise announcement came a day after he evaded questions over his future at his usual pre-match press conference. 12:36PM How many times did your team lose to Wenger&#39;s Arsenal? Was your club one of the teams Arsene Wenger had the wood over? How many times did your team lose to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal? 12:35PM &#39;Today will mark the start of a new era for the club&#39; Arsene Wenger&#39;s decision to leave Arsenal at the end of the season is good for all those involved, according to a leading supporters&#39; group. Lois Langton, chair of the Arsenal Independent Supporters&#39; Association, believes the timing is right and hailed Wenger as a &quot;fantastic&quot; manager in his day. &quot;Without question, the announcement that Arsene Wenger will finally stand down at the end of this season is the right decision, both for the club and the manager, although, having been so long coming, it feels surreal that the day has finally arrived. &quot;The problems associated with his tenure in recent years are well documented and now that the announcement has been made, there is nothing to be gained by going over old ground. &quot;Arsene Wenger was, for a period of time, a fantastic manager for Arsenal. The Invincibles epitomise what he brought to the Club and, to that extent, his legacy will continue. &quot;We have seen with Manchester City this season how difficult it is to go a league campaign undefeated. The 2003/2004 season in particular will forever be a source of pride and achievement. &quot;It is now time to move on. We have a Europa League semi-final coming up against Atletico and a first success in Europe for Arsene Wenger would provide a fitting farewell. &quot;Arsenal has a rich and wonderful heritage and today will mark the start of a new era for the club.&quot; 12:31PM Will Arsenal now raise their game against the Hammers? Arsenal play West Ham this Sunday. Here&#39;s our man Nick Callow&#39;s abbreviated preview: West Ham are not mathematically safe from relegation so Arsenal should fear a club they have lost to three times at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal can be pipped to sixth by Burnley, but Thursday&#39;s Europa Atletico Madrid semi-final will dictate Arsene Wenger&#39;s selection while David Moyes can go for broke. PREDICTION: 1-1 12:04PM VOTE: Who should Arsenal choose to replace Wenger? 11:55AM Where next for Wenger? Seeing as the man eats, drinks and sleeps football, it is highly unlikely he will walk off into the sunset and retire. The odds are now stacked in favour of him becoming the next Paris Saint-Germain manager, with Unai Emery expected to be shown the door by the Paris giants. Wenger would also be a a highly-popular choice given his profile in France and continuing analysis as a guest pundit for French TV. 11:48AM &#39;Name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium&#39; Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has urged fans to get behind the Frenchman for the rest of the season, starting with Sunday&#39;s home match against West Ham. &quot;I think everybody can pay their respect to him now about how great he was as a manager. It&#39;s perfect timing. &quot;I think it gives the fans (the chance) to pack the Emirates for the last few games of the season and have a right go. &quot;If fans do not turn up against West Ham and pack that place out, they need serious questions asked about them and are they real Arsenal fans or are they glory-hunters?&quot; Merson has also called for the Emirates Stadium to be renamed in Wenger&#39;s honour. &quot;They should drop the Emirates bit - they don&#39;t need the money - and name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium. &quot;That&#39;s his stadium. He built that. He made that stadium. Even if they called it the Emirates Arsene Wenger Stadium. He deserves to be on that.&quot; 11:44AM &#39;It shows the great dignity and class of the man&#39; Spain and Chelsea&#39;s Cesc Fabregas, who burst in to the Arsenal starting line-up under Arsene Wenger, posted on Instagram... &quot;Wow. I never expected that but it shows the great dignity and class of the man. I will never forget his guidance and support, his tutelage and mentorship. &quot;He had faith in me from day one and I owe him a lot, he was like a father figure to me who always pushed me to be the best. Arsene, you deserve all the respect and happiness in the world. #classact&quot; 11:43AM Inside information Ian Wright appeared to have been aware of the news before it was announced, tweeting a shocked face emoji around half an hour before the club&#39;s statement. — Ian Wright (@IanWright0) April 20, 2018 11:41AM Will it be Rodgers who replaces Wenger? Celtic majority shareholder Dermot Desmond has admitted he would let manager Brendan Rodgers speak to Arsenal if the Premier League club approached the Northern Irishman... &quot;Absolutely. I don&#39;t think you can put handcuffs on anybody if they want to go to a club as good as Arsenal. &quot;It will be Brendan&#39;s decision and Brendan&#39;s decision only.&quot; 11:33AM &#39;He moved the goalposts for everyone else&#39; Southampton manager Mark Hughes believes it would be a &quot;massive wrench&quot; for Arsene Wenger to leave after so long in the post. &quot;When you have had longevity in the game like Arsene has, and I have been in the Premier League for a long time, our paths have crossed on numerous occasions, we had a few run-ins but other times we were very civil and respectful of each other&#39;s efforts. &quot;I had a good conversation with him two weeks ago, he looked very relaxed and chilled. &quot;He came with different ideas, different views on how the game should be played, he moved the goalposts for everyone else, he came in and had success and everyone else had to catch up.&quot; 11:31AM &#39;Fans are celebrating like they&#39;ve won the lottery&#39; Former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman, Arsene Wenger&#39;s No 1 for the first seven years of his reign, is not happy with how some Gunners fans are reacting... &quot;It&#39;s going to be good now, because there&#39;s going to be a chance he will get the send-off and the respect he deserves. The fans that are celebrating like they&#39;ve won the lottery, it makes me a little bit angry if I&#39;m honest. It&#39;s time to show respect and realise what he&#39;s done. &quot;For me, he is Arsenal, and it&#39;s right that he&#39;s decided to leave on his own terms. &quot;Now let&#39;s enjoy that. I hope all the fans that have stayed away now return because they&#39;ve still got a chance of winning something this season. Get behind the team, get behind Arsenal, and show him the respect he deserves. &quot;He&#39;s a gentleman. It&#39;s brilliant to be in his company. He&#39;s a really, really nice guy - and a lot of people don&#39;t see that. People say he&#39;s stubborn and this and that, but that&#39;s not true. It might have been true as a manager, but as a man he&#39;s a true gentleman. &quot;When he came in he changed everything - the way we played, the diet... He revolutionised Arsenal. He was brilliant. For me, and especially for the back four - he added years to their careers.&quot; 11:05AM Wenger&#39;s Arsenal reign in numbers 1996 - the year when a then-unheralded Wenger, who had been in charge at Monaco and Japanese side Nagoya Grampus Eight, took over at Highbury. 1228 - games at the helm, ahead of Sunday&#39;s Premier League fixture against West Ham. 704 - wins to date as Arsenal boss. 3 - Premier League title wins, the last during an unbeaten Invincibles campaign of 2003/2004. 1549 - goals scored in Premier League matches by Wenger&#39;s teams. 10 - major trophies won. 473 - Premier League victories. 7 - FA Cup triumphs, with three of those having come the last four seasons. 151 - Premier League losses. 21 - full seasons in charge. 49 - games unbeaten in the Premier League from May 2003 to October 2004. 10:58AM Nearly 22 years in three minutes #MerciArsènepic.twitter.com/bjP0wLMgee— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 10:55AM How Twitter is reacting to Wenger leaving Unsurprisingly, frequent Arsene Wenger critic Piers Morgan has tweeted with a certain amount of relish... BREAKING: Wenger out. pic.twitter.com/HBuwQdY9aw— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 20, 2018 Fortunately, Gary Neville, the voice of reason, has said what many feel... Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 Arsenal legend David Seaman has called on Gunners fans to give Wenger the send-off he deserves... Sad day for @Arsenal with Arsene leaving, can we now give him the send off/respect he deserves?!! #rememberthetrophies— David Seaman (@thedavidseaman) April 20, 2018 Journalist and TV presenter Robert Peston is suffering from mixed emotions... Such mixed feelings about Wenger resignation. I wanted him to go, but I miss him already. He was magnificent for us over many years, but it was time #Arsenal— Robert Peston (@Peston) April 20, 2018 Radio 1 DJ Greg James sees the funny side... BUT WHO GETS THE COAT?! I WANT THE COAT. SHOTGUN THE COAT. pic.twitter.com/C4qJEbO8YG— Greg James (@gregjames) April 20, 2018 Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams posted on Instagram: &quot;Thanks for everything Arsene. Move over Herbert, Arsene Wenger the greatest Arsenal Manager.&quot; 10:50AM How fickle football can be It was expected that many Arsenal fans would boycott the club&#39;s remaining home games as a way of voicing their unhappiness at Arsene Wenger. BUT... Arsenal sure to be packed out for remaining games now— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) April 20, 2018 10:36AM One word: longevity 823 - Arsene Wenger has managed more Premier League games than any other manager (823) and only Sir Alex Ferguson has won more games (528) than Wenger (473). Longevity. pic.twitter.com/ktdsaZPb1y— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 20, 2018 10:34AM Klopp hails Wenger Other Premier League manages are being asked for their thoughts on Arsene Wenger after today&#39;s momentous announcement. Here&#39;s what Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says: &quot;He is an influence in football. A fantastic career, outstanding personality. A big player in the business.&quot; 10:32AM How has it come to this? Arsene Wenger has won three Premier League titles during his spell of over 21 years at the helm, the last of which came as a result of the unbeaten &#39;Invincibles&#39; season in 2003-04. No-one has won more FA Cups than the former Monaco boss, who was a shock appointment back in 1996. Protests against his reign picked up last season as the Gunners finished outside of the top four for the first time in a full campaign under Wenger&#39;s control. But despite the growing negativity, Wenger signed a new two-year deal last summer with the mandate of sustaining a title challenge. That failed miserably and, at the time of the announcement, Arsenal sit sixth in the table and 33 points adrift of newly-crowned champions Manchester City. 10:26AM Set your alarms for 5pm! Arsenal are holding a media conference with chief executive Ivan Gazidis at 5pm at the Emirates Stadium. 10:24AM Winterburn says &#39;time is right&#39; Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn believes the decision is the right one: &quot;I think it&#39;s run its natural course. Arsene Wenger has been absolutely amazing for Arsenal Football Club. &quot;It probably feels to me like it is the right time. When Arsene Wenger does step down, I think he will be remembered very, very fondly. We talk about the modern era, George Graham started it and Arsene Wenger&#39;s taken it to the next level. &quot;When he leaves the football club, I think people will look back and really appreciate what Arsene Wenger has done.&quot; 10:05AM Who will replace him? Arsene Wenger will lead the team to the end of the season and the club say they will &#39;make an appointment as soon as possible&#39;. Our Arsenal man - Jeremy Wilson - says these are the leading candidates: Leonardo Jardim, Mikel Arteta, Joachim Low, Brendan Rodgers, Max Allegri and Luis Enrique. 10:02AM &#39;Arsene has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful&#39; Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has issued the following statement: &quot;This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. &quot;Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played. &quot;We have high ambitions to build on Arsène&#39;s remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game. &quot;We must now focus on making a strong finish to the season and ask our millions of fans around the world to join us in paying appropriate tribute to one of the greats of Arsenal&#39;s history and one of the greats of the game.&quot; 9:57AM BREAKING NEWS: Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal Arsene Wenger has announced he is to step down as manager of Arsenal at the end of the season. &quot;After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season. &quot;I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. &quot;I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. &quot;I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special. &quot;I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. &quot;To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. &quot;My love and support for ever.&quot;
Arsenal prepare for 'biggest ever challenge' to replace outgoing Arsene Wenger after 22 years in charge
Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal at the end of the season Wenger's last match at Emirates on May 6 against Burnley Last Premier League match ever on May 13 against Huddersfield Arsenal to hold press conference with Ivan Gazidis at 5pm Mourinho speaks: "We'll show Mr Wenger respect he deserves" Why Wenger will enjoy great success in life after Arsenal Next Arsenal manager odds: Who will replace Wenger? How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Arsenal are promising to be “bold” and could again go left-field in replacing Arsene Wenger after the club’s most successful-ever manager decided to announce his departure amid the prospect of being sacked this summer. Wenger revealed on Friday morning that this would be his 22nd and last season as Arsenal manager and, while the timing of the public announcement was his, the wider backdrop was of the club already actively preparing for change. The clear expectation was that he would be asked to leave this summer and Wenger did not want to wait to be sacked. It was also felt that an early announcement would ensure that Wenger received a big unifying send-off and allow all sides to prepare for a future apart. It was noticeable that Gazidis would not answer on Friday whether he had wanted Wenger to stay or tried to persuade him to see out the remaining year on his contract. Wenger has shown no sign of wanting to retire from management and is expected to make a clear break and seek employment elsewhere. Gazidis has been assessing potential replacements for several years, but has now actively begun the search and wants to preserve many of Wenger’s values within a structure that gives the manager rather less power. End of an era | Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season A new backroom team has already been assembled and, while Gazidis called it “our biggest ever challenge", he said the club had never been better prepared. Former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and ex-Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta are thought to be the leading contenders to replace Wenger, while Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim, former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti and Germany head coach Joachim Low are also in the running. A complication with Low will be his reluctance to do anything that could destabilise Germany’s defence of the World Cup. Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers would be interested and has admirers inside Arsenal, but there are concerns at how fans might respond to his appointment at a time when unity is desperately sought. Former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel is close to be appointed Paris St Germain, but Juventus manager Max Allegri is keen on eventually working in England and would be of interest if he is ready to move this summer. Gazidis noticeably highlighted how Arsenal appointed an unknown in Wenger way back in 1996. Guy Wenger “Replace Arsene? That’s not going to happen,” he said. “But we have to make sure we don’t lose his qualities and his values in the club and that we take them forward. So someone who will continue to play exciting, progressive football that gets people interested and excited in the games we play. How the candidate represents the club is important. “That value of giving youth a chance is also very important. I think we’ve got to be open-minded and brave in the decision. When Arsene was appointed, I don’t think he was on many people’s radar. We need to be bold in the appointment.” Wenger made the final decision to leave earlier this week and, after discussions with directors on Thursday, he personally informed his staff and the players on Friday morning. There were many tears both at the stadium and training ground, where club staff were said to be in a state of shock. Wenger has won three Premier League titles, an all-time record seven FA Cups, two doubles, reached the 2006 European Cup final and went the entire 2003-4 Premier League season undefeated. He also helped oversee the move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium. Tributes were paid to Wenger on Friday from across sport, with his old adversary Sir Alex Ferguson saying that he was “proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man." As ever, Wenger stressed the importance of maintaining the values he has embodied in his time in English football. Put simply, that is an entertaining playing style, opportunities for young players and a fiscal structure that safeguards the club’s long-term future. “After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season,” said Wenger. “I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever.” Arsenal fan's view | 'All the bad feeling has disappeared' Arsenal’s majority owner, Stan Kroenke, has always been a massive supporter of Wenger and regarded this as perhaps the hardest moment in his time in professional sport. “This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport,” he said. “One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. “Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played.” Gazidis added: “Arsene is going to feel the full force of this club behind him over the next couple of weeks. Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard. A new ambition. An ambition not just to win, but to win while achieving perfection. To make art out of football. He was always brave enough to be true to that extraordinary ambition and incredibly he achieved it with Arsenal’s Invincibles season.“ 5:26PM Gazidis on his abiding memories of Wenger's reign: “There are great moments - the trophies, the FA Cups, the victory against Barcelona. But the memories I have of Arsene are of speaking to him in quiet moments. He’s an incredibly self-critical man who always gives others the benefit of the doubt. There’s a reason there is so much affection for him. He’s a special person.” 5:23PM Gazidis on the players' reaction: “I think from the reaction at the training ground today, what I felt was an incredible amount of passion to give Arsene the send off that he deserves. “The decision had to come at some point. Now it’s time for us to look forward.” 5:21PM Gazidis on Wenger's future: “Will he retire? He’s somebody who is in great shape and has a competitive edge but that’s a question for him.” 5:19PM Gazidis on the next Arsenal manager: "We're going to have a process around that. The process begins today but I want to keep that process in-house. I don't want to be making public comments about it. We haven't had any discussions to date regarding that." 5:18PM Gazidis on where Arsenal go next: “Our first priority is to come together as a club and we are seeing that today. Our players. staff and fans are behind this great man and we will give him the send off he deserves. I don’t underestimate that challenge but I am confident in the people we have in place to take Arsene’s vision forward and build on it.” "We are not going to find a replacement for Arsene Wenger" 5:16PM Gazidis on Wenger's immediate legacy “Arsene often said his aim was to leave the club in a better place than when he found out. We are in a better place than we could have ever imagined.” 5:15PM Gazidis on Wenger's inspiration: “Beyond football, he has inspired the people around him. He is able to make people believe that they can achieve great things. He inspired George Weah to believe he could not only become the world’s best football player, but to become the president of a nation. He has taken every challenge with humour and grace and class.” 5:15PM Gazidis on the Wenger philosophy: “Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard. A new ambition. Not just to win, but to win while achieving perfection - to make art. Incredibly, he achieved it with the Invincibles. Arsene has been brave enough to live by his philosophy. He’s made Arsenal throughout the world for the kind of football we play.” 5:14PM Gazidis on today's news: “Obviously this has been an emotional day for everyone. Now I have the impossible job of communicating that feeling. Typically, Arsene is not here as he is taking training. I will leave it to others to talk about the facts and figures of his tenure. There is something more coming out today. There is an affection from Arsenal fans and right across the sphere of football. I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Arsene over the last 10 years.” 5:12PM Ivan Gazidis addresses the media... "Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard, a new ambition. Am ambition not just to win but to win while achieving perfection. To make art out of football." 4:42PM Jack Wilshere on the outgoing boss... "We need to send him off in the right way now" �� Turn your sound up and listen to this from @JackWilsherepic.twitter.com/aZ9UA5u0mo— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 "I'm sure when the dust settles, we have a few days to think about it, we'll start to reflect on it, but at the moment it's a bit raw, it's a bit sensitive." 4:08PM Thierry Henry on his former manager October 2002 and September's manager of the month congratulates the player of the month Credit: EDDIE KEOGH/PA I was a little mixed because it's a sad day for me to see the big man leave the club, although we all know he has matches left. I'm happy in a way that people can give him the farewell he deserves. His legacy is untouchable. Managers, fans from other teams - [they say] how Arsène changed Arsenal. I am happy that now we can all talk about his legacy. But we must not get carried away with celebrating the end of his time. The team must win the Europa League, it would be an incredible feat and Arsène has never won in Europe before, so it would be a good way to give him a nice goodbye. I remember when I was playing for Arsenal, people were talking about how we play, not what we won, but how we did it and how Arsène made Arsenal a club known in the whole world. If I could be the successor of Wenger? Look at me laughing. It's funny. One person to whom you can ask this question is Ivan Gazidis. He should answer the question. 3:57PM And a word from Germany From one he helped to make it (to Bayern Munich) 22 years @Arsenal - almost my whole lifetime. Impressive. Glad I could be a small part of it ���� #MerciArsène#Wengerpic.twitter.com/lzGJXJlOGC— Serge Gnabry (@SergeGnabry) April 20, 2018 3:51PM A tribute from an opponent Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 3:36PM A trawl through the picture archive ... Has inspired this, 22 years in 11 photographs: Wenger at Arsenal gallery 3:17PM Sir Alex Ferguson pays tribute "I am really happy for Arsène Wenger. I have great respect for him and for the job he has done at Arsenal. It is great testament to his talent, professionalism and determination that has been able to dedicate 22 years of his life to a job that he loves. "In an era where football managers sometimes only last one or two seasons, it shows what an achievement it is to serve that length of time at a club the size of Arsenal. "I am pleased that he has announced he is leaving at this stage of the season, as he can now have the send-off that he truly deserves. "He is, without doubt, one the greatest Premier League managers and I am proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man." 2:47PM Pep Guardiola tips his hat Luke Edwards reports from the Manchester City manager's press conference: “He has all my respect for what he has done. The Premier League is about huge personalities like Arsène, it is because of what he has done, his vision. “I wish him all the best in the future, I hope he can be involved in world football in a different way with his experience. Whether it is with Arsenal, Uefa, Fifa, or somewhere else, I don't know. It was a pleasure to compete against him here, with City, as well as Barcelona and Bayern. Pep Guardiola takes Manchester City training on Friday Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images “It will be difficult for anyone to do what he has done at a top European club again. Sir Alex Ferguson did it at Manchester United, but it is so, so complicated. With the way social media is now, everybody has an opinion and can express it, you feel the pressure as a manager. “You can also feel pressure because staying in the Premier League is so important, then you have the sporting directors, who do not have a lot of patience. It will be so difficult to find a person who will be able to stay at a club for so long and do what Arsène has done.” 2:32PM 'Arsenal will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz, from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, speaks to Telegraph Sport 2:06PM 'I have been talking well about him for a while' Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, who has locked horns with Arsene Wenger plenty of times down the years in his time at Liverpool, Chelsea and on Tyneside, said this at today's press conference: "I have been talking well about him for a while. "To do things in the way that he has done and win the way he was winning, for so many years... we are talking about one of the best managers in football history." 2:01PM 'Like a father through tough times in my career' Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere posted this on Facebook: "To the man who gave me my chance as a 16-year-old, and showed unbelievable faith and commitment towards me. Always a gentleman, like a father through tough times in my career. He always believed in me when most people didn't. Thank you for everything boss! It's down to us now to end your era right. #onearsenewenger" Big shoes for anyone to fill,playing for Arsenal under Arsene was one of the best period of my career, 2 premiership, 2 FA cups, The invincibles, playing with some of the best assembled players,influencing millions of fans in Africa to support this great club. pic.twitter.com/tILZo70jBE— Kanu Nwankwo (@papilokanu) April 20, 2018 Personally a very sad day. I am forever in debt to this man. The person who had faith in me and gave me a platform to progress. Thank you for all the memories and trophies bosspic.twitter.com/EP26M6TP3W— Héctor Bellerín (@HectorBellerin) April 20, 2018 1:56PM 'He deserves respect from the whole world of football' Our man Matt Law was at Stamford Bridge today and asked Antonio Conte for his thoughts on Arsene Wenger. Reaction to Wenger? "My reaction... I think we must pay a great tribute to Arsene Wenger for his career. For his career at Arsenal. He and Ferguson, we're talking about the last two managers to stay for such a long time in a club. Arsene Wenger worked 22 years for Arsenal. I think that's great, it's a fantastic story. He won a lot at this club and, for this reason, I think he deserves a great tribute for his career." What was his influence in a footballing sense? "I think Arsene is one of the managers who had a great influence on football because, in every moment in his idea of football, he tried to play good football, creative and offensive football. He deserves great tribute also for this." How important is it that he gains that great tribute? "He deserves great respect. Not only from Arsenal supporters, but from the whole world of football. He deserves great respect. We are talking about one of the best managers in the world with a great and important career with Arsenal. He deserves a great tribute for his career. It would be very difficult to see in the future another manager staying for such a long time at the same club. I think, maybe, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger were a really good story for football. Now it will be very difficult to see that again, another situation like this." 1:54PM 'A proper football man who lives and breathes it' David Moyes, whose West Ham side face Arsenal on Sunday, hailed Arsene Wenger's longevity. "He's been a great competitor, a terrific manager who has graced the Premier League for many years. "He's a proper football man who lives and breathes it. To do 22 years is an incredible achievement." 1:53PM 'There are not enough words for what he's done' Burnley boss Sean Dyche, who will be the second-longest serving current manager in the Premier League once Arsene Wenger stands down, has paid tribute to the Frenchman. "He is a legend of the game - the work that he's done will be remembered. "Some things that now seem normal and simple weren't at the time. Hydration in football sounds a simple thing but was not taken to a high level. Making sure the food they were eating was correct. Their health and well-being. "For youngish managers like myself there are not enough good words you can use for what he's done." 1:42PM 'It was a pleasure to compete against him' Pep Guardiola, manager of new Premier League champions Man City, has also spoken. "He is a huge personality. The Premier League is the Premier League because of what he has done and his vision. I wish him all the best for the future. "Hopefully he will be involved in a different way in world football. Of course it was a pleasure at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and here to compete against him." 1:39PM 'Arsenal fans will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, has told The Telegraph he believes the club will unite behind departing manager Arsene Wenger for the rest of the season as they focus on winning the Europa League. 1:37PM Mourinho asked about Wenger... wait for it Jose Mourinho has claimed that deep down he really respects Arsene Wenger and his various insults over the years did not reflect his true relationship with the Arsenal manager, who announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season. "If he's happy with the decision he makes and looks forward to the next chapter of his career and his life I'm really happy for him. If he's sad, I'm sad. I'm pretty sure as a club - and especially because Mr Wenger and Arsenal were for many, many years the biggest rivals of Sir Alex [Ferguson's] era - we will show Mr Wenger the respect he deserves." Asked whether he regretted many of his spats with Wenger, which were often characterised by the strength of Mourinho's response, he was dismissive. "It's not about regretting. I think your question is a typical question from somebody that was not a manager, not a player. Of course, you don't know the way we respect each other even when sometimes it doesn't look like we don't. "Players that get yellow cards and red cards by aggressive actions against each other, bad words during the career - the manager is the same thing. The ones that respect each other more are the ones with the problems. It's power against power; ambition against ambition; quality against quality. But in the end it's people from the same business who respect one another’s careers. "So it happened. What matters for me is the way I respect the person, the professional, the career. I always say that for some the memories are short, but for us football people - the real football people, the others live on us - don't have short memories. I know what it means, three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, what he did in Japan and France, what he brought to French football. "[Also] What he gave to Arsenal in the period without Premier Leagues, the transition from stadium to stadium, we know what he did. If he's happy with the decision, I'm really happy and I hope he doesn't retire from football." 1:23PM Where it all began for Wenger Where it all began for Arsene Wenger in the #PL... pic.twitter.com/gbhqBu9LTq— Premier League (@premierleague) April 20, 2018 1:19PM The Top 10 longest-serving managers in Premier League history Arsene Wenger, Arsenal, October 1996 to May 2018 (21 years, seven months) Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United, August 1992 to May 2013 (20 years, nine months) David Moyes, Everton, March 2002 to May 2013 (11 years, two months) Harry Redknapp, West Ham, August 1994 to May 2001 (six years, eight months) Rafael Benitez, Liverpool, August 2004 to June 2010 (five years, 10 months) Alan Curbishley, Charlton, August 2000 to May 2006 (five years, nine months) Sam Allardyce, Bolton, August 2001 to April 2007 (five years, eight months) Gerard Houllier, Liverpool, November 1998 to May 2004 (five years, six months) Jim Smith, Derby, August 1996 to October 2001 (five years, two months) Sir Bobby Robson, Newcastle, September 1999 to August 2004 (four years, 11 months) 12:58PM 'One of the best in English football history' Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore offered his own tribute to Arsene Wenger. "It is hard to encapsulate the enormity of Arsene Wenger's contribution to Arsenal Football Club, the Premier League and football generally over these past 22 seasons. "All of Arsene's teams have been a joy to watch and his 2003-04 'Invincibles' will go down as one of the best in English football history." 12:50PM 'One major reason why I'm here is because of him' Club captain Per Mertesacker admitted it was "emotional" to find out that Arsene Wenger was set to depart. "We have just been informed basically. It is quite emotional. Obviously he has been at the club for such a long time, he has been so supportive to me. One major reason why I'm here is because of him. "It's been emotional and there will be time to digest it but it is a sad feeling right now." 12:47PM Wenger told players of his exit beforehand Arsene Wenger asked Arsenal to hold off announcing his decision to leave the club so he could inform his players first-hand. The news was announced this morning, with Wenger set to depart 12 months into a two-year deal. It is understood Wenger was keen to tell the Arsenal players himself and did so ahead of training at their London Colney base and minutes before the news was made public. His coaching staff were also informed of the decision in advance, although club staff working at the Emirates Stadium rather than the training ground discovered the news at the same time as everyone else. Wenger's surprise announcement came a day after he evaded questions over his future at his usual pre-match press conference. 12:36PM How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Was your club one of the teams Arsene Wenger had the wood over? How many times did your team lose to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal? 12:35PM 'Today will mark the start of a new era for the club' Arsene Wenger's decision to leave Arsenal at the end of the season is good for all those involved, according to a leading supporters' group. Lois Langton, chair of the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, believes the timing is right and hailed Wenger as a "fantastic" manager in his day. "Without question, the announcement that Arsene Wenger will finally stand down at the end of this season is the right decision, both for the club and the manager, although, having been so long coming, it feels surreal that the day has finally arrived. "The problems associated with his tenure in recent years are well documented and now that the announcement has been made, there is nothing to be gained by going over old ground. "Arsene Wenger was, for a period of time, a fantastic manager for Arsenal. The Invincibles epitomise what he brought to the Club and, to that extent, his legacy will continue. "We have seen with Manchester City this season how difficult it is to go a league campaign undefeated. The 2003/2004 season in particular will forever be a source of pride and achievement. "It is now time to move on. We have a Europa League semi-final coming up against Atletico and a first success in Europe for Arsene Wenger would provide a fitting farewell. "Arsenal has a rich and wonderful heritage and today will mark the start of a new era for the club." 12:31PM Will Arsenal now raise their game against the Hammers? Arsenal play West Ham this Sunday. Here's our man Nick Callow's abbreviated preview: West Ham are not mathematically safe from relegation so Arsenal should fear a club they have lost to three times at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal can be pipped to sixth by Burnley, but Thursday's Europa Atletico Madrid semi-final will dictate Arsene Wenger's selection while David Moyes can go for broke. PREDICTION: 1-1 12:04PM VOTE: Who should Arsenal choose to replace Wenger? 11:55AM Where next for Wenger? Seeing as the man eats, drinks and sleeps football, it is highly unlikely he will walk off into the sunset and retire. The odds are now stacked in favour of him becoming the next Paris Saint-Germain manager, with Unai Emery expected to be shown the door by the Paris giants. Wenger would also be a a highly-popular choice given his profile in France and continuing analysis as a guest pundit for French TV. 11:48AM 'Name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium' Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has urged fans to get behind the Frenchman for the rest of the season, starting with Sunday's home match against West Ham. "I think everybody can pay their respect to him now about how great he was as a manager. It's perfect timing. "I think it gives the fans (the chance) to pack the Emirates for the last few games of the season and have a right go. "If fans do not turn up against West Ham and pack that place out, they need serious questions asked about them and are they real Arsenal fans or are they glory-hunters?" Merson has also called for the Emirates Stadium to be renamed in Wenger's honour. "They should drop the Emirates bit - they don't need the money - and name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium. "That's his stadium. He built that. He made that stadium. Even if they called it the Emirates Arsene Wenger Stadium. He deserves to be on that." 11:44AM 'It shows the great dignity and class of the man' Spain and Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas, who burst in to the Arsenal starting line-up under Arsene Wenger, posted on Instagram... "Wow. I never expected that but it shows the great dignity and class of the man. I will never forget his guidance and support, his tutelage and mentorship. "He had faith in me from day one and I owe him a lot, he was like a father figure to me who always pushed me to be the best. Arsene, you deserve all the respect and happiness in the world. #classact" 11:43AM Inside information Ian Wright appeared to have been aware of the news before it was announced, tweeting a shocked face emoji around half an hour before the club's statement. — Ian Wright (@IanWright0) April 20, 2018 11:41AM Will it be Rodgers who replaces Wenger? Celtic majority shareholder Dermot Desmond has admitted he would let manager Brendan Rodgers speak to Arsenal if the Premier League club approached the Northern Irishman... "Absolutely. I don't think you can put handcuffs on anybody if they want to go to a club as good as Arsenal. "It will be Brendan's decision and Brendan's decision only." 11:33AM 'He moved the goalposts for everyone else' Southampton manager Mark Hughes believes it would be a "massive wrench" for Arsene Wenger to leave after so long in the post. "When you have had longevity in the game like Arsene has, and I have been in the Premier League for a long time, our paths have crossed on numerous occasions, we had a few run-ins but other times we were very civil and respectful of each other's efforts. "I had a good conversation with him two weeks ago, he looked very relaxed and chilled. "He came with different ideas, different views on how the game should be played, he moved the goalposts for everyone else, he came in and had success and everyone else had to catch up." 11:31AM 'Fans are celebrating like they've won the lottery' Former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman, Arsene Wenger's No 1 for the first seven years of his reign, is not happy with how some Gunners fans are reacting... "It's going to be good now, because there's going to be a chance he will get the send-off and the respect he deserves. The fans that are celebrating like they've won the lottery, it makes me a little bit angry if I'm honest. It's time to show respect and realise what he's done. "For me, he is Arsenal, and it's right that he's decided to leave on his own terms. "Now let's enjoy that. I hope all the fans that have stayed away now return because they've still got a chance of winning something this season. Get behind the team, get behind Arsenal, and show him the respect he deserves. "He's a gentleman. It's brilliant to be in his company. He's a really, really nice guy - and a lot of people don't see that. People say he's stubborn and this and that, but that's not true. It might have been true as a manager, but as a man he's a true gentleman. "When he came in he changed everything - the way we played, the diet... He revolutionised Arsenal. He was brilliant. For me, and especially for the back four - he added years to their careers." 11:05AM Wenger's Arsenal reign in numbers 1996 - the year when a then-unheralded Wenger, who had been in charge at Monaco and Japanese side Nagoya Grampus Eight, took over at Highbury. 1228 - games at the helm, ahead of Sunday's Premier League fixture against West Ham. 704 - wins to date as Arsenal boss. 3 - Premier League title wins, the last during an unbeaten Invincibles campaign of 2003/2004. 1549 - goals scored in Premier League matches by Wenger's teams. 10 - major trophies won. 473 - Premier League victories. 7 - FA Cup triumphs, with three of those having come the last four seasons. 151 - Premier League losses. 21 - full seasons in charge. 49 - games unbeaten in the Premier League from May 2003 to October 2004. 10:58AM Nearly 22 years in three minutes #MerciArsènepic.twitter.com/bjP0wLMgee— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 10:55AM How Twitter is reacting to Wenger leaving Unsurprisingly, frequent Arsene Wenger critic Piers Morgan has tweeted with a certain amount of relish... BREAKING: Wenger out. pic.twitter.com/HBuwQdY9aw— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 20, 2018 Fortunately, Gary Neville, the voice of reason, has said what many feel... Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 Arsenal legend David Seaman has called on Gunners fans to give Wenger the send-off he deserves... Sad day for @Arsenal with Arsene leaving, can we now give him the send off/respect he deserves?!! #rememberthetrophies— David Seaman (@thedavidseaman) April 20, 2018 Journalist and TV presenter Robert Peston is suffering from mixed emotions... Such mixed feelings about Wenger resignation. I wanted him to go, but I miss him already. He was magnificent for us over many years, but it was time #Arsenal— Robert Peston (@Peston) April 20, 2018 Radio 1 DJ Greg James sees the funny side... BUT WHO GETS THE COAT?! I WANT THE COAT. SHOTGUN THE COAT. pic.twitter.com/C4qJEbO8YG— Greg James (@gregjames) April 20, 2018 Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams posted on Instagram: "Thanks for everything Arsene. Move over Herbert, Arsene Wenger the greatest Arsenal Manager." 10:50AM How fickle football can be It was expected that many Arsenal fans would boycott the club's remaining home games as a way of voicing their unhappiness at Arsene Wenger. BUT... Arsenal sure to be packed out for remaining games now— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) April 20, 2018 10:36AM One word: longevity 823 - Arsene Wenger has managed more Premier League games than any other manager (823) and only Sir Alex Ferguson has won more games (528) than Wenger (473). Longevity. pic.twitter.com/ktdsaZPb1y— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 20, 2018 10:34AM Klopp hails Wenger Other Premier League manages are being asked for their thoughts on Arsene Wenger after today's momentous announcement. Here's what Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says: "He is an influence in football. A fantastic career, outstanding personality. A big player in the business." 10:32AM How has it come to this? Arsene Wenger has won three Premier League titles during his spell of over 21 years at the helm, the last of which came as a result of the unbeaten 'Invincibles' season in 2003-04. No-one has won more FA Cups than the former Monaco boss, who was a shock appointment back in 1996. Protests against his reign picked up last season as the Gunners finished outside of the top four for the first time in a full campaign under Wenger's control. But despite the growing negativity, Wenger signed a new two-year deal last summer with the mandate of sustaining a title challenge. That failed miserably and, at the time of the announcement, Arsenal sit sixth in the table and 33 points adrift of newly-crowned champions Manchester City. 10:26AM Set your alarms for 5pm! Arsenal are holding a media conference with chief executive Ivan Gazidis at 5pm at the Emirates Stadium. 10:24AM Winterburn says 'time is right' Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn believes the decision is the right one: "I think it's run its natural course. Arsene Wenger has been absolutely amazing for Arsenal Football Club. "It probably feels to me like it is the right time. When Arsene Wenger does step down, I think he will be remembered very, very fondly. We talk about the modern era, George Graham started it and Arsene Wenger's taken it to the next level. "When he leaves the football club, I think people will look back and really appreciate what Arsene Wenger has done." 10:05AM Who will replace him? Arsene Wenger will lead the team to the end of the season and the club say they will 'make an appointment as soon as possible'. Our Arsenal man - Jeremy Wilson - says these are the leading candidates: Leonardo Jardim, Mikel Arteta, Joachim Low, Brendan Rodgers, Max Allegri and Luis Enrique. 10:02AM 'Arsene has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful' Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has issued the following statement: "This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. "Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played. "We have high ambitions to build on Arsène's remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game. "We must now focus on making a strong finish to the season and ask our millions of fans around the world to join us in paying appropriate tribute to one of the greats of Arsenal's history and one of the greats of the game." 9:57AM BREAKING NEWS: Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal Arsene Wenger has announced he is to step down as manager of Arsenal at the end of the season. "After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season. "I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. "I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. "I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special. "I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. "To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. "My love and support for ever."
Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal at the end of the season Wenger&#39;s last match at Emirates on May 6 against Burnley Last Premier League match ever on May 13 against Huddersfield Arsenal to hold press conference with Ivan Gazidis at 5pm Mourinho speaks: &quot;We&#39;ll show Mr Wenger respect he deserves&quot; Why Wenger will enjoy great success in life after Arsenal Next Arsenal manager odds: Who will replace Wenger? How many times did your team lose to Wenger&#39;s Arsenal? Arsenal are promising to be “bold” and could again go left-field in replacing Arsene Wenger after the club’s most successful-ever manager decided to announce his departure amid the prospect of being sacked this summer. Wenger revealed on Friday morning that this would be his 22nd and last season as Arsenal manager and, while the timing of the public announcement was his, the wider backdrop was of the club already actively preparing for change. The clear expectation was that he would be asked to leave this summer and Wenger did not want to wait to be sacked. It was also felt that an early announcement would ensure that Wenger received a big unifying send-off and allow all sides to prepare for a future apart. It was noticeable that Gazidis would not answer on Friday whether he had wanted Wenger to stay or tried to persuade him to see out the remaining year on his contract. Wenger has shown no sign of wanting to retire from management and is expected to make a clear break and seek employment elsewhere. Gazidis has been assessing potential replacements for several years, but has now actively begun the search and wants to preserve many of Wenger’s values within a structure that gives the manager rather less power. End of an era | Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season A new backroom team has already been assembled and, while Gazidis called it “our biggest ever challenge&quot;, he said the club had never been better prepared. Former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and ex-Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta are thought to be the leading contenders to replace Wenger, while Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim, former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti and Germany head coach Joachim Low are also in the running. A complication with Low will be his reluctance to do anything that could destabilise Germany’s defence of the World Cup. Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers would be interested and has admirers inside Arsenal, but there are concerns at how fans might respond to his appointment at a time when unity is desperately sought. Former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel is close to be appointed Paris St Germain, but Juventus manager Max Allegri is keen on eventually working in England and would be of interest if he is ready to move this summer. Gazidis noticeably highlighted how Arsenal appointed an unknown in Wenger way back in 1996. Guy Wenger “Replace Arsene? That’s not going to happen,” he said. “But we have to make sure we don’t lose his qualities and his values in the club and that we take them forward. So someone who will continue to play exciting, progressive football that gets people interested and excited in the games we play. How the candidate represents the club is important. “That value of giving youth a chance is also very important. I think we’ve got to be open-minded and brave in the decision. When Arsene was appointed, I don’t think he was on many people’s radar. We need to be bold in the appointment.” Wenger made the final decision to leave earlier this week and, after discussions with directors on Thursday, he personally informed his staff and the players on Friday morning. There were many tears both at the stadium and training ground, where club staff were said to be in a state of shock. Wenger has won three Premier League titles, an all-time record seven FA Cups, two doubles, reached the 2006 European Cup final and went the entire 2003-4 Premier League season undefeated. He also helped oversee the move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium. Tributes were paid to Wenger on Friday from across sport, with his old adversary Sir Alex Ferguson saying that he was “proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man.&quot; As ever, Wenger stressed the importance of maintaining the values he has embodied in his time in English football. Put simply, that is an entertaining playing style, opportunities for young players and a fiscal structure that safeguards the club’s long-term future. “After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season,” said Wenger. “I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever.” Arsenal fan&#39;s view | &#39;All the bad feeling has disappeared&#39; Arsenal’s majority owner, Stan Kroenke, has always been a massive supporter of Wenger and regarded this as perhaps the hardest moment in his time in professional sport. “This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport,” he said. “One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. “Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played.” Gazidis added: “Arsene is going to feel the full force of this club behind him over the next couple of weeks. Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard. A new ambition. An ambition not just to win, but to win while achieving perfection. To make art out of football. He was always brave enough to be true to that extraordinary ambition and incredibly he achieved it with Arsenal’s Invincibles season.“ 5:26PM Gazidis on his abiding memories of Wenger&#39;s reign: “There are great moments - the trophies, the FA Cups, the victory against Barcelona. But the memories I have of Arsene are of speaking to him in quiet moments. He’s an incredibly self-critical man who always gives others the benefit of the doubt. There’s a reason there is so much affection for him. He’s a special person.” 5:23PM Gazidis on the players&#39; reaction: “I think from the reaction at the training ground today, what I felt was an incredible amount of passion to give Arsene the send off that he deserves. “The decision had to come at some point. Now it’s time for us to look forward.” 5:21PM Gazidis on Wenger&#39;s future: “Will he retire? He’s somebody who is in great shape and has a competitive edge but that’s a question for him.” 5:19PM Gazidis on the next Arsenal manager: &quot;We&#39;re going to have a process around that. The process begins today but I want to keep that process in-house. I don&#39;t want to be making public comments about it. We haven&#39;t had any discussions to date regarding that.&quot; 5:18PM Gazidis on where Arsenal go next: “Our first priority is to come together as a club and we are seeing that today. Our players. staff and fans are behind this great man and we will give him the send off he deserves. I don’t underestimate that challenge but I am confident in the people we have in place to take Arsene’s vision forward and build on it.” &quot;We are not going to find a replacement for Arsene Wenger&quot; 5:16PM Gazidis on Wenger&#39;s immediate legacy “Arsene often said his aim was to leave the club in a better place than when he found out. We are in a better place than we could have ever imagined.” 5:15PM Gazidis on Wenger&#39;s inspiration: “Beyond football, he has inspired the people around him. He is able to make people believe that they can achieve great things. He inspired George Weah to believe he could not only become the world’s best football player, but to become the president of a nation. He has taken every challenge with humour and grace and class.” 5:15PM Gazidis on the Wenger philosophy: “Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard. A new ambition. Not just to win, but to win while achieving perfection - to make art. Incredibly, he achieved it with the Invincibles. Arsene has been brave enough to live by his philosophy. He’s made Arsenal throughout the world for the kind of football we play.” 5:14PM Gazidis on today&#39;s news: “Obviously this has been an emotional day for everyone. Now I have the impossible job of communicating that feeling. Typically, Arsene is not here as he is taking training. I will leave it to others to talk about the facts and figures of his tenure. There is something more coming out today. There is an affection from Arsenal fans and right across the sphere of football. I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Arsene over the last 10 years.” 5:12PM Ivan Gazidis addresses the media... &quot;Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard, a new ambition. Am ambition not just to win but to win while achieving perfection. To make art out of football.&quot; 4:42PM Jack Wilshere on the outgoing boss... &quot;We need to send him off in the right way now&quot; �� Turn your sound up and listen to this from @JackWilsherepic.twitter.com/aZ9UA5u0mo— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 &quot;I&#39;m sure when the dust settles, we have a few days to think about it, we&#39;ll start to reflect on it, but at the moment it&#39;s a bit raw, it&#39;s a bit sensitive.&quot; 4:08PM Thierry Henry on his former manager October 2002 and September&#39;s manager of the month congratulates the player of the month Credit: EDDIE KEOGH/PA I was a little mixed because it&#39;s a sad day for me to see the big man leave the club, although we all know he has matches left. I&#39;m happy in a way that people can give him the farewell he deserves. His legacy is untouchable. Managers, fans from other teams - [they say] how Arsène changed Arsenal. I am happy that now we can all talk about his legacy. But we must not get carried away with celebrating the end of his time. The team must win the Europa League, it would be an incredible feat and Arsène has never won in Europe before, so it would be a good way to give him a nice goodbye. I remember when I was playing for Arsenal, people were talking about how we play, not what we won, but how we did it and how Arsène made Arsenal a club known in the whole world. If I could be the successor of Wenger? Look at me laughing. It&#39;s funny. One person to whom you can ask this question is Ivan Gazidis. He should answer the question. 3:57PM And a word from Germany From one he helped to make it (to Bayern Munich) 22 years @Arsenal - almost my whole lifetime. Impressive. Glad I could be a small part of it ���� #MerciArsène#Wengerpic.twitter.com/lzGJXJlOGC— Serge Gnabry (@SergeGnabry) April 20, 2018 3:51PM A tribute from an opponent Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 3:36PM A trawl through the picture archive ... Has inspired this, 22 years in 11 photographs: Wenger at Arsenal gallery 3:17PM Sir Alex Ferguson pays tribute &quot;I am really happy for Arsène Wenger. I have great respect for him and for the job he has done at Arsenal. It is great testament to his talent, professionalism and determination that has been able to dedicate 22 years of his life to a job that he loves. &quot;In an era where football managers sometimes only last one or two seasons, it shows what an achievement it is to serve that length of time at a club the size of Arsenal. &quot;I am pleased that he has announced he is leaving at this stage of the season, as he can now have the send-off that he truly deserves. &quot;He is, without doubt, one the greatest Premier League managers and I am proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man.&quot; 2:47PM Pep Guardiola tips his hat Luke Edwards reports from the Manchester City manager&#39;s press conference: “He has all my respect for what he has done. The Premier League is about huge personalities like Arsène, it is because of what he has done, his vision. “I wish him all the best in the future, I hope he can be involved in world football in a different way with his experience. Whether it is with Arsenal, Uefa, Fifa, or somewhere else, I don&#39;t know. It was a pleasure to compete against him here, with City, as well as Barcelona and Bayern. Pep Guardiola takes Manchester City training on Friday Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images “It will be difficult for anyone to do what he has done at a top European club again. Sir Alex Ferguson did it at Manchester United, but it is so, so complicated. With the way social media is now, everybody has an opinion and can express it, you feel the pressure as a manager. “You can also feel pressure because staying in the Premier League is so important, then you have the sporting directors, who do not have a lot of patience. It will be so difficult to find a person who will be able to stay at a club for so long and do what Arsène has done.” 2:32PM &#39;Arsenal will unite behind Wenger now&#39; Paul Matz, from the Arsenal Independent Supporters&#39; Association, speaks to Telegraph Sport 2:06PM &#39;I have been talking well about him for a while&#39; Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, who has locked horns with Arsene Wenger plenty of times down the years in his time at Liverpool, Chelsea and on Tyneside, said this at today&#39;s press conference: &quot;I have been talking well about him for a while. &quot;To do things in the way that he has done and win the way he was winning, for so many years... we are talking about one of the best managers in football history.&quot; 2:01PM &#39;Like a father through tough times in my career&#39; Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere posted this on Facebook: &quot;To the man who gave me my chance as a 16-year-old, and showed unbelievable faith and commitment towards me. Always a gentleman, like a father through tough times in my career. He always believed in me when most people didn&#39;t. Thank you for everything boss! It&#39;s down to us now to end your era right. #onearsenewenger&quot; Big shoes for anyone to fill,playing for Arsenal under Arsene was one of the best period of my career, 2 premiership, 2 FA cups, The invincibles, playing with some of the best assembled players,influencing millions of fans in Africa to support this great club. pic.twitter.com/tILZo70jBE— Kanu Nwankwo (@papilokanu) April 20, 2018 Personally a very sad day. I am forever in debt to this man. The person who had faith in me and gave me a platform to progress. Thank you for all the memories and trophies bosspic.twitter.com/EP26M6TP3W— Héctor Bellerín (@HectorBellerin) April 20, 2018 1:56PM &#39;He deserves respect from the whole world of football&#39; Our man Matt Law was at Stamford Bridge today and asked Antonio Conte for his thoughts on Arsene Wenger. Reaction to Wenger? &quot;My reaction... I think we must pay a great tribute to Arsene Wenger for his career. For his career at Arsenal. He and Ferguson, we&#39;re talking about the last two managers to stay for such a long time in a club. Arsene Wenger worked 22 years for Arsenal. I think that&#39;s great, it&#39;s a fantastic story. He won a lot at this club and, for this reason, I think he deserves a great tribute for his career.&quot; What was his influence in a footballing sense? &quot;I think Arsene is one of the managers who had a great influence on football because, in every moment in his idea of football, he tried to play good football, creative and offensive football. He deserves great tribute also for this.&quot; How important is it that he gains that great tribute? &quot;He deserves great respect. Not only from Arsenal supporters, but from the whole world of football. He deserves great respect. We are talking about one of the best managers in the world with a great and important career with Arsenal. He deserves a great tribute for his career. It would be very difficult to see in the future another manager staying for such a long time at the same club. I think, maybe, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger were a really good story for football. Now it will be very difficult to see that again, another situation like this.&quot; 1:54PM &#39;A proper football man who lives and breathes it&#39; David Moyes, whose West Ham side face Arsenal on Sunday, hailed Arsene Wenger&#39;s longevity. &quot;He&#39;s been a great competitor, a terrific manager who has graced the Premier League for many years. &quot;He&#39;s a proper football man who lives and breathes it. To do 22 years is an incredible achievement.&quot; 1:53PM &#39;There are not enough words for what he&#39;s done&#39; Burnley boss Sean Dyche, who will be the second-longest serving current manager in the Premier League once Arsene Wenger stands down, has paid tribute to the Frenchman. &quot;He is a legend of the game - the work that he&#39;s done will be remembered. &quot;Some things that now seem normal and simple weren&#39;t at the time. Hydration in football sounds a simple thing but was not taken to a high level. Making sure the food they were eating was correct. Their health and well-being. &quot;For youngish managers like myself there are not enough good words you can use for what he&#39;s done.&quot; 1:42PM &#39;It was a pleasure to compete against him&#39; Pep Guardiola, manager of new Premier League champions Man City, has also spoken. &quot;He is a huge personality. The Premier League is the Premier League because of what he has done and his vision. I wish him all the best for the future. &quot;Hopefully he will be involved in a different way in world football. Of course it was a pleasure at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and here to compete against him.&quot; 1:39PM &#39;Arsenal fans will unite behind Wenger now&#39; Paul Matz from the Arsenal Independent Supporters&#39; Association, has told The Telegraph he believes the club will unite behind departing manager Arsene Wenger for the rest of the season as they focus on winning the Europa League. 1:37PM Mourinho asked about Wenger... wait for it Jose Mourinho has claimed that deep down he really respects Arsene Wenger and his various insults over the years did not reflect his true relationship with the Arsenal manager, who announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season. &quot;If he&#39;s happy with the decision he makes and looks forward to the next chapter of his career and his life I&#39;m really happy for him. If he&#39;s sad, I&#39;m sad. I&#39;m pretty sure as a club - and especially because Mr Wenger and Arsenal were for many, many years the biggest rivals of Sir Alex [Ferguson&#39;s] era - we will show Mr Wenger the respect he deserves.&quot; Asked whether he regretted many of his spats with Wenger, which were often characterised by the strength of Mourinho&#39;s response, he was dismissive. &quot;It&#39;s not about regretting. I think your question is a typical question from somebody that was not a manager, not a player. Of course, you don&#39;t know the way we respect each other even when sometimes it doesn&#39;t look like we don&#39;t. &quot;Players that get yellow cards and red cards by aggressive actions against each other, bad words during the career - the manager is the same thing. The ones that respect each other more are the ones with the problems. It&#39;s power against power; ambition against ambition; quality against quality. But in the end it&#39;s people from the same business who respect one another’s careers. &quot;So it happened. What matters for me is the way I respect the person, the professional, the career. I always say that for some the memories are short, but for us football people - the real football people, the others live on us - don&#39;t have short memories. I know what it means, three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, what he did in Japan and France, what he brought to French football. &quot;[Also] What he gave to Arsenal in the period without Premier Leagues, the transition from stadium to stadium, we know what he did. If he&#39;s happy with the decision, I&#39;m really happy and I hope he doesn&#39;t retire from football.&quot; 1:23PM Where it all began for Wenger Where it all began for Arsene Wenger in the #PL... pic.twitter.com/gbhqBu9LTq— Premier League (@premierleague) April 20, 2018 1:19PM The Top 10 longest-serving managers in Premier League history Arsene Wenger, Arsenal, October 1996 to May 2018 (21 years, seven months) Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United, August 1992 to May 2013 (20 years, nine months) David Moyes, Everton, March 2002 to May 2013 (11 years, two months) Harry Redknapp, West Ham, August 1994 to May 2001 (six years, eight months) Rafael Benitez, Liverpool, August 2004 to June 2010 (five years, 10 months) Alan Curbishley, Charlton, August 2000 to May 2006 (five years, nine months) Sam Allardyce, Bolton, August 2001 to April 2007 (five years, eight months) Gerard Houllier, Liverpool, November 1998 to May 2004 (five years, six months) Jim Smith, Derby, August 1996 to October 2001 (five years, two months) Sir Bobby Robson, Newcastle, September 1999 to August 2004 (four years, 11 months) 12:58PM &#39;One of the best in English football history&#39; Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore offered his own tribute to Arsene Wenger. &quot;It is hard to encapsulate the enormity of Arsene Wenger&#39;s contribution to Arsenal Football Club, the Premier League and football generally over these past 22 seasons. &quot;All of Arsene&#39;s teams have been a joy to watch and his 2003-04 &#39;Invincibles&#39; will go down as one of the best in English football history.&quot; 12:50PM &#39;One major reason why I&#39;m here is because of him&#39; Club captain Per Mertesacker admitted it was &quot;emotional&quot; to find out that Arsene Wenger was set to depart. &quot;We have just been informed basically. It is quite emotional. Obviously he has been at the club for such a long time, he has been so supportive to me. One major reason why I&#39;m here is because of him. &quot;It&#39;s been emotional and there will be time to digest it but it is a sad feeling right now.&quot; 12:47PM Wenger told players of his exit beforehand Arsene Wenger asked Arsenal to hold off announcing his decision to leave the club so he could inform his players first-hand. The news was announced this morning, with Wenger set to depart 12 months into a two-year deal. It is understood Wenger was keen to tell the Arsenal players himself and did so ahead of training at their London Colney base and minutes before the news was made public. His coaching staff were also informed of the decision in advance, although club staff working at the Emirates Stadium rather than the training ground discovered the news at the same time as everyone else. Wenger&#39;s surprise announcement came a day after he evaded questions over his future at his usual pre-match press conference. 12:36PM How many times did your team lose to Wenger&#39;s Arsenal? Was your club one of the teams Arsene Wenger had the wood over? How many times did your team lose to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal? 12:35PM &#39;Today will mark the start of a new era for the club&#39; Arsene Wenger&#39;s decision to leave Arsenal at the end of the season is good for all those involved, according to a leading supporters&#39; group. Lois Langton, chair of the Arsenal Independent Supporters&#39; Association, believes the timing is right and hailed Wenger as a &quot;fantastic&quot; manager in his day. &quot;Without question, the announcement that Arsene Wenger will finally stand down at the end of this season is the right decision, both for the club and the manager, although, having been so long coming, it feels surreal that the day has finally arrived. &quot;The problems associated with his tenure in recent years are well documented and now that the announcement has been made, there is nothing to be gained by going over old ground. &quot;Arsene Wenger was, for a period of time, a fantastic manager for Arsenal. The Invincibles epitomise what he brought to the Club and, to that extent, his legacy will continue. &quot;We have seen with Manchester City this season how difficult it is to go a league campaign undefeated. The 2003/2004 season in particular will forever be a source of pride and achievement. &quot;It is now time to move on. We have a Europa League semi-final coming up against Atletico and a first success in Europe for Arsene Wenger would provide a fitting farewell. &quot;Arsenal has a rich and wonderful heritage and today will mark the start of a new era for the club.&quot; 12:31PM Will Arsenal now raise their game against the Hammers? Arsenal play West Ham this Sunday. Here&#39;s our man Nick Callow&#39;s abbreviated preview: West Ham are not mathematically safe from relegation so Arsenal should fear a club they have lost to three times at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal can be pipped to sixth by Burnley, but Thursday&#39;s Europa Atletico Madrid semi-final will dictate Arsene Wenger&#39;s selection while David Moyes can go for broke. PREDICTION: 1-1 12:04PM VOTE: Who should Arsenal choose to replace Wenger? 11:55AM Where next for Wenger? Seeing as the man eats, drinks and sleeps football, it is highly unlikely he will walk off into the sunset and retire. The odds are now stacked in favour of him becoming the next Paris Saint-Germain manager, with Unai Emery expected to be shown the door by the Paris giants. Wenger would also be a a highly-popular choice given his profile in France and continuing analysis as a guest pundit for French TV. 11:48AM &#39;Name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium&#39; Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has urged fans to get behind the Frenchman for the rest of the season, starting with Sunday&#39;s home match against West Ham. &quot;I think everybody can pay their respect to him now about how great he was as a manager. It&#39;s perfect timing. &quot;I think it gives the fans (the chance) to pack the Emirates for the last few games of the season and have a right go. &quot;If fans do not turn up against West Ham and pack that place out, they need serious questions asked about them and are they real Arsenal fans or are they glory-hunters?&quot; Merson has also called for the Emirates Stadium to be renamed in Wenger&#39;s honour. &quot;They should drop the Emirates bit - they don&#39;t need the money - and name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium. &quot;That&#39;s his stadium. He built that. He made that stadium. Even if they called it the Emirates Arsene Wenger Stadium. He deserves to be on that.&quot; 11:44AM &#39;It shows the great dignity and class of the man&#39; Spain and Chelsea&#39;s Cesc Fabregas, who burst in to the Arsenal starting line-up under Arsene Wenger, posted on Instagram... &quot;Wow. I never expected that but it shows the great dignity and class of the man. I will never forget his guidance and support, his tutelage and mentorship. &quot;He had faith in me from day one and I owe him a lot, he was like a father figure to me who always pushed me to be the best. Arsene, you deserve all the respect and happiness in the world. #classact&quot; 11:43AM Inside information Ian Wright appeared to have been aware of the news before it was announced, tweeting a shocked face emoji around half an hour before the club&#39;s statement. — Ian Wright (@IanWright0) April 20, 2018 11:41AM Will it be Rodgers who replaces Wenger? Celtic majority shareholder Dermot Desmond has admitted he would let manager Brendan Rodgers speak to Arsenal if the Premier League club approached the Northern Irishman... &quot;Absolutely. I don&#39;t think you can put handcuffs on anybody if they want to go to a club as good as Arsenal. &quot;It will be Brendan&#39;s decision and Brendan&#39;s decision only.&quot; 11:33AM &#39;He moved the goalposts for everyone else&#39; Southampton manager Mark Hughes believes it would be a &quot;massive wrench&quot; for Arsene Wenger to leave after so long in the post. &quot;When you have had longevity in the game like Arsene has, and I have been in the Premier League for a long time, our paths have crossed on numerous occasions, we had a few run-ins but other times we were very civil and respectful of each other&#39;s efforts. &quot;I had a good conversation with him two weeks ago, he looked very relaxed and chilled. &quot;He came with different ideas, different views on how the game should be played, he moved the goalposts for everyone else, he came in and had success and everyone else had to catch up.&quot; 11:31AM &#39;Fans are celebrating like they&#39;ve won the lottery&#39; Former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman, Arsene Wenger&#39;s No 1 for the first seven years of his reign, is not happy with how some Gunners fans are reacting... &quot;It&#39;s going to be good now, because there&#39;s going to be a chance he will get the send-off and the respect he deserves. The fans that are celebrating like they&#39;ve won the lottery, it makes me a little bit angry if I&#39;m honest. It&#39;s time to show respect and realise what he&#39;s done. &quot;For me, he is Arsenal, and it&#39;s right that he&#39;s decided to leave on his own terms. &quot;Now let&#39;s enjoy that. I hope all the fans that have stayed away now return because they&#39;ve still got a chance of winning something this season. Get behind the team, get behind Arsenal, and show him the respect he deserves. &quot;He&#39;s a gentleman. It&#39;s brilliant to be in his company. He&#39;s a really, really nice guy - and a lot of people don&#39;t see that. People say he&#39;s stubborn and this and that, but that&#39;s not true. It might have been true as a manager, but as a man he&#39;s a true gentleman. &quot;When he came in he changed everything - the way we played, the diet... He revolutionised Arsenal. He was brilliant. For me, and especially for the back four - he added years to their careers.&quot; 11:05AM Wenger&#39;s Arsenal reign in numbers 1996 - the year when a then-unheralded Wenger, who had been in charge at Monaco and Japanese side Nagoya Grampus Eight, took over at Highbury. 1228 - games at the helm, ahead of Sunday&#39;s Premier League fixture against West Ham. 704 - wins to date as Arsenal boss. 3 - Premier League title wins, the last during an unbeaten Invincibles campaign of 2003/2004. 1549 - goals scored in Premier League matches by Wenger&#39;s teams. 10 - major trophies won. 473 - Premier League victories. 7 - FA Cup triumphs, with three of those having come the last four seasons. 151 - Premier League losses. 21 - full seasons in charge. 49 - games unbeaten in the Premier League from May 2003 to October 2004. 10:58AM Nearly 22 years in three minutes #MerciArsènepic.twitter.com/bjP0wLMgee— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 10:55AM How Twitter is reacting to Wenger leaving Unsurprisingly, frequent Arsene Wenger critic Piers Morgan has tweeted with a certain amount of relish... BREAKING: Wenger out. pic.twitter.com/HBuwQdY9aw— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 20, 2018 Fortunately, Gary Neville, the voice of reason, has said what many feel... Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 Arsenal legend David Seaman has called on Gunners fans to give Wenger the send-off he deserves... Sad day for @Arsenal with Arsene leaving, can we now give him the send off/respect he deserves?!! #rememberthetrophies— David Seaman (@thedavidseaman) April 20, 2018 Journalist and TV presenter Robert Peston is suffering from mixed emotions... Such mixed feelings about Wenger resignation. I wanted him to go, but I miss him already. He was magnificent for us over many years, but it was time #Arsenal— Robert Peston (@Peston) April 20, 2018 Radio 1 DJ Greg James sees the funny side... BUT WHO GETS THE COAT?! I WANT THE COAT. SHOTGUN THE COAT. pic.twitter.com/C4qJEbO8YG— Greg James (@gregjames) April 20, 2018 Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams posted on Instagram: &quot;Thanks for everything Arsene. Move over Herbert, Arsene Wenger the greatest Arsenal Manager.&quot; 10:50AM How fickle football can be It was expected that many Arsenal fans would boycott the club&#39;s remaining home games as a way of voicing their unhappiness at Arsene Wenger. BUT... Arsenal sure to be packed out for remaining games now— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) April 20, 2018 10:36AM One word: longevity 823 - Arsene Wenger has managed more Premier League games than any other manager (823) and only Sir Alex Ferguson has won more games (528) than Wenger (473). Longevity. pic.twitter.com/ktdsaZPb1y— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 20, 2018 10:34AM Klopp hails Wenger Other Premier League manages are being asked for their thoughts on Arsene Wenger after today&#39;s momentous announcement. Here&#39;s what Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says: &quot;He is an influence in football. A fantastic career, outstanding personality. A big player in the business.&quot; 10:32AM How has it come to this? Arsene Wenger has won three Premier League titles during his spell of over 21 years at the helm, the last of which came as a result of the unbeaten &#39;Invincibles&#39; season in 2003-04. No-one has won more FA Cups than the former Monaco boss, who was a shock appointment back in 1996. Protests against his reign picked up last season as the Gunners finished outside of the top four for the first time in a full campaign under Wenger&#39;s control. But despite the growing negativity, Wenger signed a new two-year deal last summer with the mandate of sustaining a title challenge. That failed miserably and, at the time of the announcement, Arsenal sit sixth in the table and 33 points adrift of newly-crowned champions Manchester City. 10:26AM Set your alarms for 5pm! Arsenal are holding a media conference with chief executive Ivan Gazidis at 5pm at the Emirates Stadium. 10:24AM Winterburn says &#39;time is right&#39; Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn believes the decision is the right one: &quot;I think it&#39;s run its natural course. Arsene Wenger has been absolutely amazing for Arsenal Football Club. &quot;It probably feels to me like it is the right time. When Arsene Wenger does step down, I think he will be remembered very, very fondly. We talk about the modern era, George Graham started it and Arsene Wenger&#39;s taken it to the next level. &quot;When he leaves the football club, I think people will look back and really appreciate what Arsene Wenger has done.&quot; 10:05AM Who will replace him? Arsene Wenger will lead the team to the end of the season and the club say they will &#39;make an appointment as soon as possible&#39;. Our Arsenal man - Jeremy Wilson - says these are the leading candidates: Leonardo Jardim, Mikel Arteta, Joachim Low, Brendan Rodgers, Max Allegri and Luis Enrique. 10:02AM &#39;Arsene has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful&#39; Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has issued the following statement: &quot;This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. &quot;Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played. &quot;We have high ambitions to build on Arsène&#39;s remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game. &quot;We must now focus on making a strong finish to the season and ask our millions of fans around the world to join us in paying appropriate tribute to one of the greats of Arsenal&#39;s history and one of the greats of the game.&quot; 9:57AM BREAKING NEWS: Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal Arsene Wenger has announced he is to step down as manager of Arsenal at the end of the season. &quot;After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season. &quot;I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. &quot;I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. &quot;I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special. &quot;I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. &quot;To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. &quot;My love and support for ever.&quot;
Arsenal prepare for 'biggest ever challenge' to replace outgoing Arsene Wenger after 22 years in charge
Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal at the end of the season Wenger's last match at Emirates on May 6 against Burnley Last Premier League match ever on May 13 against Huddersfield Arsenal to hold press conference with Ivan Gazidis at 5pm Mourinho speaks: "We'll show Mr Wenger respect he deserves" Why Wenger will enjoy great success in life after Arsenal Next Arsenal manager odds: Who will replace Wenger? How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Arsenal are promising to be “bold” and could again go left-field in replacing Arsene Wenger after the club’s most successful-ever manager decided to announce his departure amid the prospect of being sacked this summer. Wenger revealed on Friday morning that this would be his 22nd and last season as Arsenal manager and, while the timing of the public announcement was his, the wider backdrop was of the club already actively preparing for change. The clear expectation was that he would be asked to leave this summer and Wenger did not want to wait to be sacked. It was also felt that an early announcement would ensure that Wenger received a big unifying send-off and allow all sides to prepare for a future apart. It was noticeable that Gazidis would not answer on Friday whether he had wanted Wenger to stay or tried to persuade him to see out the remaining year on his contract. Wenger has shown no sign of wanting to retire from management and is expected to make a clear break and seek employment elsewhere. Gazidis has been assessing potential replacements for several years, but has now actively begun the search and wants to preserve many of Wenger’s values within a structure that gives the manager rather less power. End of an era | Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season A new backroom team has already been assembled and, while Gazidis called it “our biggest ever challenge", he said the club had never been better prepared. Former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and ex-Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta are thought to be the leading contenders to replace Wenger, while Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim, former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti and Germany head coach Joachim Low are also in the running. A complication with Low will be his reluctance to do anything that could destabilise Germany’s defence of the World Cup. Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers would be interested and has admirers inside Arsenal, but there are concerns at how fans might respond to his appointment at a time when unity is desperately sought. Former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel is close to be appointed Paris St Germain, but Juventus manager Max Allegri is keen on eventually working in England and would be of interest if he is ready to move this summer. Gazidis noticeably highlighted how Arsenal appointed an unknown in Wenger way back in 1996. Guy Wenger “Replace Arsene? That’s not going to happen,” he said. “But we have to make sure we don’t lose his qualities and his values in the club and that we take them forward. So someone who will continue to play exciting, progressive football that gets people interested and excited in the games we play. How the candidate represents the club is important. “That value of giving youth a chance is also very important. I think we’ve got to be open-minded and brave in the decision. When Arsene was appointed, I don’t think he was on many people’s radar. We need to be bold in the appointment.” Wenger made the final decision to leave earlier this week and, after discussions with directors on Thursday, he personally informed his staff and the players on Friday morning. There were many tears both at the stadium and training ground, where club staff were said to be in a state of shock. Wenger has won three Premier League titles, an all-time record seven FA Cups, two doubles, reached the 2006 European Cup final and went the entire 2003-4 Premier League season undefeated. He also helped oversee the move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium. Tributes were paid to Wenger on Friday from across sport, with his old adversary Sir Alex Ferguson saying that he was “proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man." As ever, Wenger stressed the importance of maintaining the values he has embodied in his time in English football. Put simply, that is an entertaining playing style, opportunities for young players and a fiscal structure that safeguards the club’s long-term future. “After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season,” said Wenger. “I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever.” Arsenal fan's view | 'All the bad feeling has disappeared' Arsenal’s majority owner, Stan Kroenke, has always been a massive supporter of Wenger and regarded this as perhaps the hardest moment in his time in professional sport. “This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport,” he said. “One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. “Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played.” Gazidis added: “Arsene is going to feel the full force of this club behind him over the next couple of weeks. Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard. A new ambition. An ambition not just to win, but to win while achieving perfection. To make art out of football. He was always brave enough to be true to that extraordinary ambition and incredibly he achieved it with Arsenal’s Invincibles season.“ 5:26PM Gazidis on his abiding memories of Wenger's reign: “There are great moments - the trophies, the FA Cups, the victory against Barcelona. But the memories I have of Arsene are of speaking to him in quiet moments. He’s an incredibly self-critical man who always gives others the benefit of the doubt. There’s a reason there is so much affection for him. He’s a special person.” 5:23PM Gazidis on the players' reaction: “I think from the reaction at the training ground today, what I felt was an incredible amount of passion to give Arsene the send off that he deserves. “The decision had to come at some point. Now it’s time for us to look forward.” 5:21PM Gazidis on Wenger's future: “Will he retire? He’s somebody who is in great shape and has a competitive edge but that’s a question for him.” 5:19PM Gazidis on the next Arsenal manager: "We're going to have a process around that. The process begins today but I want to keep that process in-house. I don't want to be making public comments about it. We haven't had any discussions to date regarding that." 5:18PM Gazidis on where Arsenal go next: “Our first priority is to come together as a club and we are seeing that today. Our players. staff and fans are behind this great man and we will give him the send off he deserves. I don’t underestimate that challenge but I am confident in the people we have in place to take Arsene’s vision forward and build on it.” "We are not going to find a replacement for Arsene Wenger" 5:16PM Gazidis on Wenger's immediate legacy “Arsene often said his aim was to leave the club in a better place than when he found out. We are in a better place than we could have ever imagined.” 5:15PM Gazidis on Wenger's inspiration: “Beyond football, he has inspired the people around him. He is able to make people believe that they can achieve great things. He inspired George Weah to believe he could not only become the world’s best football player, but to become the president of a nation. He has taken every challenge with humour and grace and class.” 5:15PM Gazidis on the Wenger philosophy: “Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard. A new ambition. Not just to win, but to win while achieving perfection - to make art. Incredibly, he achieved it with the Invincibles. Arsene has been brave enough to live by his philosophy. He’s made Arsenal throughout the world for the kind of football we play.” 5:14PM Gazidis on today's news: “Obviously this has been an emotional day for everyone. Now I have the impossible job of communicating that feeling. Typically, Arsene is not here as he is taking training. I will leave it to others to talk about the facts and figures of his tenure. There is something more coming out today. There is an affection from Arsenal fans and right across the sphere of football. I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Arsene over the last 10 years.” 5:12PM Ivan Gazidis addresses the media... "Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard, a new ambition. Am ambition not just to win but to win while achieving perfection. To make art out of football." 4:42PM Jack Wilshere on the outgoing boss... "We need to send him off in the right way now" �� Turn your sound up and listen to this from @JackWilsherepic.twitter.com/aZ9UA5u0mo— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 "I'm sure when the dust settles, we have a few days to think about it, we'll start to reflect on it, but at the moment it's a bit raw, it's a bit sensitive." 4:08PM Thierry Henry on his former manager October 2002 and September's manager of the month congratulates the player of the month Credit: EDDIE KEOGH/PA I was a little mixed because it's a sad day for me to see the big man leave the club, although we all know he has matches left. I'm happy in a way that people can give him the farewell he deserves. His legacy is untouchable. Managers, fans from other teams - [they say] how Arsène changed Arsenal. I am happy that now we can all talk about his legacy. But we must not get carried away with celebrating the end of his time. The team must win the Europa League, it would be an incredible feat and Arsène has never won in Europe before, so it would be a good way to give him a nice goodbye. I remember when I was playing for Arsenal, people were talking about how we play, not what we won, but how we did it and how Arsène made Arsenal a club known in the whole world. If I could be the successor of Wenger? Look at me laughing. It's funny. One person to whom you can ask this question is Ivan Gazidis. He should answer the question. 3:57PM And a word from Germany From one he helped to make it (to Bayern Munich) 22 years @Arsenal - almost my whole lifetime. Impressive. Glad I could be a small part of it ���� #MerciArsène#Wengerpic.twitter.com/lzGJXJlOGC— Serge Gnabry (@SergeGnabry) April 20, 2018 3:51PM A tribute from an opponent Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 3:36PM A trawl through the picture archive ... Has inspired this, 22 years in 11 photographs: Wenger at Arsenal gallery 3:17PM Sir Alex Ferguson pays tribute "I am really happy for Arsène Wenger. I have great respect for him and for the job he has done at Arsenal. It is great testament to his talent, professionalism and determination that has been able to dedicate 22 years of his life to a job that he loves. "In an era where football managers sometimes only last one or two seasons, it shows what an achievement it is to serve that length of time at a club the size of Arsenal. "I am pleased that he has announced he is leaving at this stage of the season, as he can now have the send-off that he truly deserves. "He is, without doubt, one the greatest Premier League managers and I am proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man." 2:47PM Pep Guardiola tips his hat Luke Edwards reports from the Manchester City manager's press conference: “He has all my respect for what he has done. The Premier League is about huge personalities like Arsène, it is because of what he has done, his vision. “I wish him all the best in the future, I hope he can be involved in world football in a different way with his experience. Whether it is with Arsenal, Uefa, Fifa, or somewhere else, I don't know. It was a pleasure to compete against him here, with City, as well as Barcelona and Bayern. Pep Guardiola takes Manchester City training on Friday Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images “It will be difficult for anyone to do what he has done at a top European club again. Sir Alex Ferguson did it at Manchester United, but it is so, so complicated. With the way social media is now, everybody has an opinion and can express it, you feel the pressure as a manager. “You can also feel pressure because staying in the Premier League is so important, then you have the sporting directors, who do not have a lot of patience. It will be so difficult to find a person who will be able to stay at a club for so long and do what Arsène has done.” 2:32PM 'Arsenal will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz, from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, speaks to Telegraph Sport 2:06PM 'I have been talking well about him for a while' Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, who has locked horns with Arsene Wenger plenty of times down the years in his time at Liverpool, Chelsea and on Tyneside, said this at today's press conference: "I have been talking well about him for a while. "To do things in the way that he has done and win the way he was winning, for so many years... we are talking about one of the best managers in football history." 2:01PM 'Like a father through tough times in my career' Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere posted this on Facebook: "To the man who gave me my chance as a 16-year-old, and showed unbelievable faith and commitment towards me. Always a gentleman, like a father through tough times in my career. He always believed in me when most people didn't. Thank you for everything boss! It's down to us now to end your era right. #onearsenewenger" Big shoes for anyone to fill,playing for Arsenal under Arsene was one of the best period of my career, 2 premiership, 2 FA cups, The invincibles, playing with some of the best assembled players,influencing millions of fans in Africa to support this great club. pic.twitter.com/tILZo70jBE— Kanu Nwankwo (@papilokanu) April 20, 2018 Personally a very sad day. I am forever in debt to this man. The person who had faith in me and gave me a platform to progress. Thank you for all the memories and trophies bosspic.twitter.com/EP26M6TP3W— Héctor Bellerín (@HectorBellerin) April 20, 2018 1:56PM 'He deserves respect from the whole world of football' Our man Matt Law was at Stamford Bridge today and asked Antonio Conte for his thoughts on Arsene Wenger. Reaction to Wenger? "My reaction... I think we must pay a great tribute to Arsene Wenger for his career. For his career at Arsenal. He and Ferguson, we're talking about the last two managers to stay for such a long time in a club. Arsene Wenger worked 22 years for Arsenal. I think that's great, it's a fantastic story. He won a lot at this club and, for this reason, I think he deserves a great tribute for his career." What was his influence in a footballing sense? "I think Arsene is one of the managers who had a great influence on football because, in every moment in his idea of football, he tried to play good football, creative and offensive football. He deserves great tribute also for this." How important is it that he gains that great tribute? "He deserves great respect. Not only from Arsenal supporters, but from the whole world of football. He deserves great respect. We are talking about one of the best managers in the world with a great and important career with Arsenal. He deserves a great tribute for his career. It would be very difficult to see in the future another manager staying for such a long time at the same club. I think, maybe, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger were a really good story for football. Now it will be very difficult to see that again, another situation like this." 1:54PM 'A proper football man who lives and breathes it' David Moyes, whose West Ham side face Arsenal on Sunday, hailed Arsene Wenger's longevity. "He's been a great competitor, a terrific manager who has graced the Premier League for many years. "He's a proper football man who lives and breathes it. To do 22 years is an incredible achievement." 1:53PM 'There are not enough words for what he's done' Burnley boss Sean Dyche, who will be the second-longest serving current manager in the Premier League once Arsene Wenger stands down, has paid tribute to the Frenchman. "He is a legend of the game - the work that he's done will be remembered. "Some things that now seem normal and simple weren't at the time. Hydration in football sounds a simple thing but was not taken to a high level. Making sure the food they were eating was correct. Their health and well-being. "For youngish managers like myself there are not enough good words you can use for what he's done." 1:42PM 'It was a pleasure to compete against him' Pep Guardiola, manager of new Premier League champions Man City, has also spoken. "He is a huge personality. The Premier League is the Premier League because of what he has done and his vision. I wish him all the best for the future. "Hopefully he will be involved in a different way in world football. Of course it was a pleasure at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and here to compete against him." 1:39PM 'Arsenal fans will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, has told The Telegraph he believes the club will unite behind departing manager Arsene Wenger for the rest of the season as they focus on winning the Europa League. 1:37PM Mourinho asked about Wenger... wait for it Jose Mourinho has claimed that deep down he really respects Arsene Wenger and his various insults over the years did not reflect his true relationship with the Arsenal manager, who announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season. "If he's happy with the decision he makes and looks forward to the next chapter of his career and his life I'm really happy for him. If he's sad, I'm sad. I'm pretty sure as a club - and especially because Mr Wenger and Arsenal were for many, many years the biggest rivals of Sir Alex [Ferguson's] era - we will show Mr Wenger the respect he deserves." Asked whether he regretted many of his spats with Wenger, which were often characterised by the strength of Mourinho's response, he was dismissive. "It's not about regretting. I think your question is a typical question from somebody that was not a manager, not a player. Of course, you don't know the way we respect each other even when sometimes it doesn't look like we don't. "Players that get yellow cards and red cards by aggressive actions against each other, bad words during the career - the manager is the same thing. The ones that respect each other more are the ones with the problems. It's power against power; ambition against ambition; quality against quality. But in the end it's people from the same business who respect one another’s careers. "So it happened. What matters for me is the way I respect the person, the professional, the career. I always say that for some the memories are short, but for us football people - the real football people, the others live on us - don't have short memories. I know what it means, three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, what he did in Japan and France, what he brought to French football. "[Also] What he gave to Arsenal in the period without Premier Leagues, the transition from stadium to stadium, we know what he did. If he's happy with the decision, I'm really happy and I hope he doesn't retire from football." 1:23PM Where it all began for Wenger Where it all began for Arsene Wenger in the #PL... pic.twitter.com/gbhqBu9LTq— Premier League (@premierleague) April 20, 2018 1:19PM The Top 10 longest-serving managers in Premier League history Arsene Wenger, Arsenal, October 1996 to May 2018 (21 years, seven months) Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United, August 1992 to May 2013 (20 years, nine months) David Moyes, Everton, March 2002 to May 2013 (11 years, two months) Harry Redknapp, West Ham, August 1994 to May 2001 (six years, eight months) Rafael Benitez, Liverpool, August 2004 to June 2010 (five years, 10 months) Alan Curbishley, Charlton, August 2000 to May 2006 (five years, nine months) Sam Allardyce, Bolton, August 2001 to April 2007 (five years, eight months) Gerard Houllier, Liverpool, November 1998 to May 2004 (five years, six months) Jim Smith, Derby, August 1996 to October 2001 (five years, two months) Sir Bobby Robson, Newcastle, September 1999 to August 2004 (four years, 11 months) 12:58PM 'One of the best in English football history' Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore offered his own tribute to Arsene Wenger. "It is hard to encapsulate the enormity of Arsene Wenger's contribution to Arsenal Football Club, the Premier League and football generally over these past 22 seasons. "All of Arsene's teams have been a joy to watch and his 2003-04 'Invincibles' will go down as one of the best in English football history." 12:50PM 'One major reason why I'm here is because of him' Club captain Per Mertesacker admitted it was "emotional" to find out that Arsene Wenger was set to depart. "We have just been informed basically. It is quite emotional. Obviously he has been at the club for such a long time, he has been so supportive to me. One major reason why I'm here is because of him. "It's been emotional and there will be time to digest it but it is a sad feeling right now." 12:47PM Wenger told players of his exit beforehand Arsene Wenger asked Arsenal to hold off announcing his decision to leave the club so he could inform his players first-hand. The news was announced this morning, with Wenger set to depart 12 months into a two-year deal. It is understood Wenger was keen to tell the Arsenal players himself and did so ahead of training at their London Colney base and minutes before the news was made public. His coaching staff were also informed of the decision in advance, although club staff working at the Emirates Stadium rather than the training ground discovered the news at the same time as everyone else. Wenger's surprise announcement came a day after he evaded questions over his future at his usual pre-match press conference. 12:36PM How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Was your club one of the teams Arsene Wenger had the wood over? How many times did your team lose to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal? 12:35PM 'Today will mark the start of a new era for the club' Arsene Wenger's decision to leave Arsenal at the end of the season is good for all those involved, according to a leading supporters' group. Lois Langton, chair of the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, believes the timing is right and hailed Wenger as a "fantastic" manager in his day. "Without question, the announcement that Arsene Wenger will finally stand down at the end of this season is the right decision, both for the club and the manager, although, having been so long coming, it feels surreal that the day has finally arrived. "The problems associated with his tenure in recent years are well documented and now that the announcement has been made, there is nothing to be gained by going over old ground. "Arsene Wenger was, for a period of time, a fantastic manager for Arsenal. The Invincibles epitomise what he brought to the Club and, to that extent, his legacy will continue. "We have seen with Manchester City this season how difficult it is to go a league campaign undefeated. The 2003/2004 season in particular will forever be a source of pride and achievement. "It is now time to move on. We have a Europa League semi-final coming up against Atletico and a first success in Europe for Arsene Wenger would provide a fitting farewell. "Arsenal has a rich and wonderful heritage and today will mark the start of a new era for the club." 12:31PM Will Arsenal now raise their game against the Hammers? Arsenal play West Ham this Sunday. Here's our man Nick Callow's abbreviated preview: West Ham are not mathematically safe from relegation so Arsenal should fear a club they have lost to three times at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal can be pipped to sixth by Burnley, but Thursday's Europa Atletico Madrid semi-final will dictate Arsene Wenger's selection while David Moyes can go for broke. PREDICTION: 1-1 12:04PM VOTE: Who should Arsenal choose to replace Wenger? 11:55AM Where next for Wenger? Seeing as the man eats, drinks and sleeps football, it is highly unlikely he will walk off into the sunset and retire. The odds are now stacked in favour of him becoming the next Paris Saint-Germain manager, with Unai Emery expected to be shown the door by the Paris giants. Wenger would also be a a highly-popular choice given his profile in France and continuing analysis as a guest pundit for French TV. 11:48AM 'Name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium' Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has urged fans to get behind the Frenchman for the rest of the season, starting with Sunday's home match against West Ham. "I think everybody can pay their respect to him now about how great he was as a manager. It's perfect timing. "I think it gives the fans (the chance) to pack the Emirates for the last few games of the season and have a right go. "If fans do not turn up against West Ham and pack that place out, they need serious questions asked about them and are they real Arsenal fans or are they glory-hunters?" Merson has also called for the Emirates Stadium to be renamed in Wenger's honour. "They should drop the Emirates bit - they don't need the money - and name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium. "That's his stadium. He built that. He made that stadium. Even if they called it the Emirates Arsene Wenger Stadium. He deserves to be on that." 11:44AM 'It shows the great dignity and class of the man' Spain and Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas, who burst in to the Arsenal starting line-up under Arsene Wenger, posted on Instagram... "Wow. I never expected that but it shows the great dignity and class of the man. I will never forget his guidance and support, his tutelage and mentorship. "He had faith in me from day one and I owe him a lot, he was like a father figure to me who always pushed me to be the best. Arsene, you deserve all the respect and happiness in the world. #classact" 11:43AM Inside information Ian Wright appeared to have been aware of the news before it was announced, tweeting a shocked face emoji around half an hour before the club's statement. — Ian Wright (@IanWright0) April 20, 2018 11:41AM Will it be Rodgers who replaces Wenger? Celtic majority shareholder Dermot Desmond has admitted he would let manager Brendan Rodgers speak to Arsenal if the Premier League club approached the Northern Irishman... "Absolutely. I don't think you can put handcuffs on anybody if they want to go to a club as good as Arsenal. "It will be Brendan's decision and Brendan's decision only." 11:33AM 'He moved the goalposts for everyone else' Southampton manager Mark Hughes believes it would be a "massive wrench" for Arsene Wenger to leave after so long in the post. "When you have had longevity in the game like Arsene has, and I have been in the Premier League for a long time, our paths have crossed on numerous occasions, we had a few run-ins but other times we were very civil and respectful of each other's efforts. "I had a good conversation with him two weeks ago, he looked very relaxed and chilled. "He came with different ideas, different views on how the game should be played, he moved the goalposts for everyone else, he came in and had success and everyone else had to catch up." 11:31AM 'Fans are celebrating like they've won the lottery' Former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman, Arsene Wenger's No 1 for the first seven years of his reign, is not happy with how some Gunners fans are reacting... "It's going to be good now, because there's going to be a chance he will get the send-off and the respect he deserves. The fans that are celebrating like they've won the lottery, it makes me a little bit angry if I'm honest. It's time to show respect and realise what he's done. "For me, he is Arsenal, and it's right that he's decided to leave on his own terms. "Now let's enjoy that. I hope all the fans that have stayed away now return because they've still got a chance of winning something this season. Get behind the team, get behind Arsenal, and show him the respect he deserves. "He's a gentleman. It's brilliant to be in his company. He's a really, really nice guy - and a lot of people don't see that. People say he's stubborn and this and that, but that's not true. It might have been true as a manager, but as a man he's a true gentleman. "When he came in he changed everything - the way we played, the diet... He revolutionised Arsenal. He was brilliant. For me, and especially for the back four - he added years to their careers." 11:05AM Wenger's Arsenal reign in numbers 1996 - the year when a then-unheralded Wenger, who had been in charge at Monaco and Japanese side Nagoya Grampus Eight, took over at Highbury. 1228 - games at the helm, ahead of Sunday's Premier League fixture against West Ham. 704 - wins to date as Arsenal boss. 3 - Premier League title wins, the last during an unbeaten Invincibles campaign of 2003/2004. 1549 - goals scored in Premier League matches by Wenger's teams. 10 - major trophies won. 473 - Premier League victories. 7 - FA Cup triumphs, with three of those having come the last four seasons. 151 - Premier League losses. 21 - full seasons in charge. 49 - games unbeaten in the Premier League from May 2003 to October 2004. 10:58AM Nearly 22 years in three minutes #MerciArsènepic.twitter.com/bjP0wLMgee— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 10:55AM How Twitter is reacting to Wenger leaving Unsurprisingly, frequent Arsene Wenger critic Piers Morgan has tweeted with a certain amount of relish... BREAKING: Wenger out. pic.twitter.com/HBuwQdY9aw— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 20, 2018 Fortunately, Gary Neville, the voice of reason, has said what many feel... Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 Arsenal legend David Seaman has called on Gunners fans to give Wenger the send-off he deserves... Sad day for @Arsenal with Arsene leaving, can we now give him the send off/respect he deserves?!! #rememberthetrophies— David Seaman (@thedavidseaman) April 20, 2018 Journalist and TV presenter Robert Peston is suffering from mixed emotions... Such mixed feelings about Wenger resignation. I wanted him to go, but I miss him already. He was magnificent for us over many years, but it was time #Arsenal— Robert Peston (@Peston) April 20, 2018 Radio 1 DJ Greg James sees the funny side... BUT WHO GETS THE COAT?! I WANT THE COAT. SHOTGUN THE COAT. pic.twitter.com/C4qJEbO8YG— Greg James (@gregjames) April 20, 2018 Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams posted on Instagram: "Thanks for everything Arsene. Move over Herbert, Arsene Wenger the greatest Arsenal Manager." 10:50AM How fickle football can be It was expected that many Arsenal fans would boycott the club's remaining home games as a way of voicing their unhappiness at Arsene Wenger. BUT... Arsenal sure to be packed out for remaining games now— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) April 20, 2018 10:36AM One word: longevity 823 - Arsene Wenger has managed more Premier League games than any other manager (823) and only Sir Alex Ferguson has won more games (528) than Wenger (473). Longevity. pic.twitter.com/ktdsaZPb1y— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 20, 2018 10:34AM Klopp hails Wenger Other Premier League manages are being asked for their thoughts on Arsene Wenger after today's momentous announcement. Here's what Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says: "He is an influence in football. A fantastic career, outstanding personality. A big player in the business." 10:32AM How has it come to this? Arsene Wenger has won three Premier League titles during his spell of over 21 years at the helm, the last of which came as a result of the unbeaten 'Invincibles' season in 2003-04. No-one has won more FA Cups than the former Monaco boss, who was a shock appointment back in 1996. Protests against his reign picked up last season as the Gunners finished outside of the top four for the first time in a full campaign under Wenger's control. But despite the growing negativity, Wenger signed a new two-year deal last summer with the mandate of sustaining a title challenge. That failed miserably and, at the time of the announcement, Arsenal sit sixth in the table and 33 points adrift of newly-crowned champions Manchester City. 10:26AM Set your alarms for 5pm! Arsenal are holding a media conference with chief executive Ivan Gazidis at 5pm at the Emirates Stadium. 10:24AM Winterburn says 'time is right' Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn believes the decision is the right one: "I think it's run its natural course. Arsene Wenger has been absolutely amazing for Arsenal Football Club. "It probably feels to me like it is the right time. When Arsene Wenger does step down, I think he will be remembered very, very fondly. We talk about the modern era, George Graham started it and Arsene Wenger's taken it to the next level. "When he leaves the football club, I think people will look back and really appreciate what Arsene Wenger has done." 10:05AM Who will replace him? Arsene Wenger will lead the team to the end of the season and the club say they will 'make an appointment as soon as possible'. Our Arsenal man - Jeremy Wilson - says these are the leading candidates: Leonardo Jardim, Mikel Arteta, Joachim Low, Brendan Rodgers, Max Allegri and Luis Enrique. 10:02AM 'Arsene has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful' Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has issued the following statement: "This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. "Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played. "We have high ambitions to build on Arsène's remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game. "We must now focus on making a strong finish to the season and ask our millions of fans around the world to join us in paying appropriate tribute to one of the greats of Arsenal's history and one of the greats of the game." 9:57AM BREAKING NEWS: Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal Arsene Wenger has announced he is to step down as manager of Arsenal at the end of the season. "After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season. "I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. "I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. "I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special. "I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. "To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. "My love and support for ever."
On CBS Sports HQ, Thomas Rongen joins Jorge Andres to preview the Copa Del Rey final between Barcelona and Sevilla.
Copa Del Rey Final: Barcelona vs Sevilla
On CBS Sports HQ, Thomas Rongen joins Jorge Andres to preview the Copa Del Rey final between Barcelona and Sevilla.
On CBS Sports HQ, Thomas Rongen joins Jorge Andres to preview the Copa Del Rey final between Barcelona and Sevilla.
Copa Del Rey Final: Barcelona vs Sevilla
On CBS Sports HQ, Thomas Rongen joins Jorge Andres to preview the Copa Del Rey final between Barcelona and Sevilla.
On CBS Sports HQ, Thomas Rongen joins Jorge Andres to preview the Copa Del Rey final between Barcelona and Sevilla.
Copa Del Rey Final: Barcelona vs Sevilla
On CBS Sports HQ, Thomas Rongen joins Jorge Andres to preview the Copa Del Rey final between Barcelona and Sevilla.
On CBS Sports HQ, Thomas Rongen joins Jorge Andres to preview the Copa Del Rey final between Barcelona and Sevilla.
Copa Del Rey Final: Barcelona vs Sevilla
On CBS Sports HQ, Thomas Rongen joins Jorge Andres to preview the Copa Del Rey final between Barcelona and Sevilla.
<p>Valverde: Barcelona can move on from Champions League exit by winning Copa del Rey</p>
Valverde: Barcelona can move on from Champions League exit by winning Copa del Rey

Valverde: Barcelona can move on from Champions League exit by winning Copa del Rey

<p>Valverde: Barcelona can move on from Champions League exit by winning Copa del Rey</p>
Valverde: Barcelona can move on from Champions League exit by winning Copa del Rey

Valverde: Barcelona can move on from Champions League exit by winning Copa del Rey

The Blaugrana boss knows his side are favourites in the cup final, but he is not taking Sevilla lightly after the club&#39;s European exit
Valverde: Barcelona can move on from Champions League exit by winning Copa del Rey
The Blaugrana boss knows his side are favourites in the cup final, but he is not taking Sevilla lightly after the club's European exit
Sevilla&#39;s Sergio Escudero speaks during a press conference at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain, Friday April 20, 2018. Sevilla will play Barcelona Saturday in the Copa del Rey final soccer match in Madrid. (AP Photo/Paul White)
Sevilla's Sergio Escudero speaks during a press conference at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain, Friday April 20, 2018. Sevilla will play Barcelona Saturday in the Copa del Rey final soccer match in Madrid. (AP Photo/Paul White)
Sevilla's Sergio Escudero speaks during a press conference at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain, Friday April 20, 2018. Sevilla will play Barcelona Saturday in the Copa del Rey final soccer match in Madrid. (AP Photo/Paul White)

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