Arsenal legend Robert Pires believes there's no chance of Arsene Wenger ending his near two-decade love affair with the Gunners any time soon, insisting that the 65-year-old remains driven to succeed and will go in search of his fourth Premier League title once again next season.
Wenger signed a new three-year deal to remain Arsenal manager last summer, fresh from FA Cup success and securing Champions League qualification for the 17th season running.
This season has been another energy-sapping rollercaster though, with the lows of terrible performances against Stoke City and Monaco matched by signs of progress in a run of six successive Premier League wins. Lurching from disaster to triumph would be enough to take it out of even the most seasoned coach, but Pires is adamant Wenger still absolutely loves the challenge of coaching Arsenal and won't stop any time soon.
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Pires backs his close friend
In an interview with French news agency RMC Sport the Gunners legend was asked if there's any signs of fatigue in Wenger, particularly as Pires is a close ally who still trains semi-regularly at the club's London Colney base.
Pires insisted: "It's not a question of strength. He's not tired. He still has that desire to be on the pitch, because he loves it, it's his vocation, he's been doing it for many years," the former France international, who still occasionally trains with the first-team squad, said.
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"His aim is to qualify for the Champions League, which I think will happen, and what is certain is that you will see him on the bench again next year."
Wenger going absolutely nowhere
A large section of Arsenal fans may be frustrated that the Gunner have now failed to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for five seasons running, but Wenger looks a safe bet to see out his current contract unless something drastic changes over the next 12 months.
Arsenal have definitely shown signs of domestic progress in 2015, with victories at the Etihad and Old Trafford proving Arsenal can deliver away from home in big matches under pressure.
The challenge now is for Arsenal to find the kind of consistency that delivers their first Premier League title since 2004, a famous campaign in which Pires featured prominently.
Pires knows Wenger better than most and is adamant his former boss and mentor remains in rude health and determined to prove his worth all over again next season, so don't expect Jurgen Klopp or anyone else to replace him until 2017 at the very earliest.
Arsenal fans, is Wenger still the right man to take the club forward? Do you think the search for his successor should have started already? Let us know in the comment box below!
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