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Monday, April 23, 2018

After 22 years, Arsene Wenger leaves Arsenal

Por Nina

French coach Arsene Wenger announced that he will no longer be Arsenal's coach at the end of the current season after 22 years at the helm of the English club. Wenger, 68, won three Premier Leagues and seven Cups of the English Football Association, including two doubles (league and cup) in 1998 and 2002 and the historic undefeated title in the 2003-2004 season with the legendary team "The Invincibles".

However, the decline of the club in recent years, leaving to qualify for the Champions League after two decades in the maximum continental competition, made his continuity more and more difficult, with a good sector of the fans demanding a change in the direction of the team. "I am grateful to have had the privilege of having served the club for so many memorable years," the French coach said in a statement. "I led the club with all the commitment and integrity," he added. "For all lovers of Arsenal, take care of the values of the club."

Named on October 1, 1996, Wegner is the longest-serving coach in English football today, setting a record of 823 games. In his early years he revolutionized the way of perceiving football in England, professionalizing each of the facets of a football club. He was also a defender of an attack style of play based on touch and possession, leading Arsenal to the elite of European football. But after an initial stage in which he accumulated most of his successes, Wenger conditioned his philosophy of football with the construction of a new stadium and his idea of the way in which a club should be run.

The lack of titles was undermining his aura, to the point that his stay on the bench became practically unbearable. The defeat suffered last Sunday against Newcastle was the 11th of the season, equaling the worst Arsenal campaign lowered the orders of the French coach. He is 33 points behind champion Manchester City and 14 points behind his ruthless rivals in north London, Tottenham, who occupy the last place in the Champions League. The only option left to return to the Champions League is to win the Europe League, a tournament in which he will play against Atlético de Madrid in the semifinals.

The German Thomas Tuchel has been linked repeatedly to Arsenal throughout the season since leaving his post at the helm of Borussia Dortmund, although Wenger himself has said that one of the top legends of the London club, Patrick Vieira, "has the potential "to be his successor. Other names that are being mentioned in the British betting houses are those of the German coach, Joachim Low, the ex-coach of Real Madrid, Milan and Chelsea, the Italian Carlo Ancelotti, and the current Celtic coach of Glasgow, Brendan Rodgers.

The president of the club, Stan Kroenke, assured that the new coach will be named "as soon as possible". "We have the highest ambition to continue building from the base of the fabulous stage of Arsene and honor their vision ensuring that Arsenal competes and wins the biggest and most important awards in football."