Arsene Wenger has admitted he wanted to see out the remaining year of his contract at Arsenal, but the club thought otherwise as he left his role as Gunners boss after 22 years in 2018.
In a spell spanning over two decades, Wenger led the Gunners to three league titles and seven FA Cups, the Frenchman left the club he held so close to his heart.
Wenger’s earlier years were his most successful, with his Invincibles side of 2003/04 remaining the only Premier League team to go a whole season without losing a single league game.
Their Champions League final loss in 2006 at the hands of Barcelona was the beginning of Arsenal’s downturn in fortunes, as Wenger’s Invincible team slowly broke up and finances tightened with the move to the Emirates Stadium in the same year as their European heartbreak.
A section of Arsenal fans began to turn on the manager and he eventually jumped before he was pushed, announcing his departure from the club in April 2018.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Times, Wenger admitted if it was down to him, he would have seen out his contract, but also conceded that his 22-year spell at the club may have gone on for too long.
‘I would have respected my contract,’ he said.’The club thought it was better I stopped.
‘You can understand that, at some stage, 22 years, people want a change.
‘Maybe I stayed too long. I don’t know. But I was committed like on the first day. I think I guided the club through the most difficult period in a very successful way.
‘At some stage people say you’re too old, but they don’t really look at what you do. I served the club as much as I could.’