Arsene Wenger refused to deny speculation of his potential departure from Arsenal today during his pre-FA Cup press conference, going as far to say he will absolutely be a manager next season - whether that’s with Arsenal or another club:
When asked whether he has had enough of management, Wenger said: “No. No matter what I happens, I will manage next season, whether it’s here or somewhere else. That’s absolutely for sure.
Wenger, who will turn 68 in October, appears to be increasingly putting one foot out of the Arsenal door come this summer. In the past his reassurances of his continued stay at the club were routine, which was then followed with a subsequent contract extension. That he’s very willing to offer up his future outside of Arsenal this time is a very clear sign that he’s unsure himself of where things go from here.
A clean break, for all parties, is probably best at this point. The fans, including some of his most ardent long-time defenders (including yours truly), have turned largely en masse on him, pointing to continual failures in matches versus league and European rivals and inconsistent play from the club’s top players and earners. Wenger, more than likely aware his career is firmly in the twilight phase, is probably keen to make the most of his final days in charge of a club and taking care of a situation as volatile as Arsenal’s right now is, I’m guessing, not how he envisioned this time of his life turning out.
Hopefully we find out how this story eventually turns out in March or April, the timeline he offered up regarding the state of his future in an interview earlier this week. Any later will absolutely jeopardize the club, whether he stays or goes.
Until then, I suppose...