It’s difficult to envision anyone other than Arsene Wenger on the touchline during a match involving Arsenal.
But after more than two decades in charge of his beloved Gunners, the Frenchman will be saying goodbye at the end of the season.
The Europa League represents Arsenal’s last hope of clinching any silverware this term, and it would be a fitting way for Wenger to bid farewell in many ways.
It’s a major trophy, yet the prestige of its champions pales in comparison to that of the Premier League or Champions League.
Given Wenger hasn’t come close to achieving either of those feats since 2004, there’s a sense that winning the Europa League would be an appropriate reflection of where Arsenal are at.
Despite the club bearing this status for some time now, chief executive Ivan Gazidis claims they’re on the verge of sustained success.
“The decision had to happen at some point,” he said.
“I don’t think the club has ever been better prepared for it. Now it’s time to look forward. He leaves us in a very strong position to look forward.”
Wenger informed staff of his resignation before revealing the decision his players in a meeting before training on Friday morning.
Some might consider it poor timing just two days before the Gunners’ trip to West Ham on Sunday – especially without any previous indication he was considering terminating his contract.
IAN WRIGHT'S THEORY
With that in mind, Arsenal legend Ian Wright believes there’s more to Wenger’s departure than meets the eye.
“Arsene Wenger is a man of principle, honesty and integrity – that is why I am convinced he has been sacked and not resigned,” he wrote in the Sun.
“For all the vitriol and abuse thrown at him, Arsene has never been a man to walk out before the end of a contract.
“It is a sad situation that it’s come to this and I don’t suppose we will ever find out who is responsible, because they will hide behind each other.
“One day he is doing a Press conference with no hint of this – the next he’s gone. It doesn’t add up.
“But Arsene can go with his head high. That’s why, whatever the results, it is imperative he gets the send-off a true Arsenal and football legend deserves. We all owe him so much.”
Wright’s theory can’t be overlooked seeing as Wenger is understood to already be lining up another job in the summer.
A return to France is certainly plausible, with Paris Saint-Germain and his former club Monaco reportedly in the running.
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