- Wenger spent 22 at the club and left in 2018
- The now 70-year-old coach departed after winning three Premier League titles
- Wenger has now admitted that he could have left the north London club earlier
- A tough period for the club saw supporters loudly call for Wenger to step away
Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has admitted he ‘maybe stayed too long’ at the club. Wenger left the Gunners in 2018 after a 22-year spell in charge which returned three Premier League titles, seven FA Cups, a Champions League final appearance and a new stadium.
But with the club failing to mount a serious title challenge following the move to the Emirates Stadium from Highbury in 2006, calls of ‘Wenger out’ from the fans had become a common occurrence in his last few seasons. The Frenchman, now chief of global football development at FIFA, admitted he could maybe have left the north London club earlier – but is adamant every decision he made was in Arsenal’s best interests.
‘Maybe I stayed too long,’ he told the Times. ‘I don’t know. But I was committed like on the first day. I think I guided the club through the most difficult period in a very successful way. ‘At some stage people say you’re too old, but they don’t really look at what you do. I served the club as much as I could. ‘The supporters were not happy anymore. Some of them. You can understand that, at some stage, 22 years, people want a change.’
His long-time rival Sir Alex Ferguson – now a friend according to Wenger – was offered a role as a director after ending his long spell in charge of Manchester United. Wenger – who said in the interview he was once offered the United job but would not be drawn on when he was approached – got no such offer from the Gunners.
He said: ‘I don’t know (why he was not offered a place on the board). I always said I would still play a part in the club, but I could understand that at the start it’s better that we take a complete distance. It was difficult at the start, of course, after leading my club as long as I did, but I thought it’s better to follow from a distance.’