Arsene Wenger

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Wenger hints he may be retired from management

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It’s been a year since Arsene Wenger‘s Arsenal departure was announced, and the legendary manager remains on the sidelines.

Whether by his choice or not, Wenger has spent the year away from soccer, instead vacationing and being a studio TV pundit in France. In his latest public comments, Wenger hinted that while he still plans to return to a role in soccer, he likely won’t be a club manager anymore.

“I thought I will come back into management very quickly, but I enjoyed taking a little distance,” Wenger told the BBC. Now I’m at a crossroads.”

Per the BBC, Wenger later added: “You will see me again in football. As a manager… I don’t know.”

In the weeks and months after Wenger was effectively forced out of Arsenal after 22 seasons, Wenger repeatedly said that he had many offers to return to management, and it was only a matter of time before he’d accept one of these offers. And yet, it’s been a year and Wenger remains on the outside, perhaps a clear sign that today’s soccer has passed him by, and unless he wants to move to the Middle East or another soccer outpost, he won’t be able to get a top job in Western Europe.

Despite his acrimonious exit, Wenger still supports the Gunners and had some thoughts on the team’s season, as well as the club’s run to the Europa League final.

“I miss competition and I miss Arsenal because I left my heart in there,” Wenger said. “I gave my life to this club for 22 years. Every minute of my life was dedicated to this club and I miss the values we developed inside the club.

“I support Arsenal. It will be forever my club.”

Former Arsenal midfielder Diaby announces retirement

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Arsene Wenger had high hopes for Abou Diaby when he signed just over 13 years ago in London. Unfortunately, injuries kept Diaby from realizing his sky-high potential.

Arsenal confirmed on Monday that Diaby has announced his retirement from playing soccer at the age of 32. Diaby has been without a club since the end of the 2016-2017 season, where he left Marseille after playing just five league matches in two years.

Despite a career with Arsenal that lasted nearly a decade (January 2006 through July 2015), Diaby made just 180 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners. That’s because, according to the Daily Mail, he suffered an incredible 42 separate injuries in London. Diaby missed action due to injuries to his calf muscles, thigh muscles, knees, back, and one concussion he suffered as well.

All in all, he only had two seasons in his entire career where he played more than 20 league matches in a season – 2008/2009 and 2009-2010. Diaby’s 2009/2010 season was enough to get him into the France National Team squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. However, despite starting all three group games, that tournament ended in infamy for Les Bleus, with some players staging a mutiny.

Amazingly, despite the years of injuries and lack of matches, Wenger continued to believe in Diaby and give him a second chance, hoping that if healthy, he could shore up the team’s shaky central midfield position. Alas, Diaby was never truly able to be fit for long enough stretches, and Arsenal let him leave in 2015.

When he did play, Diaby showed good technical ability for a player standing at 6’4″, and he was agile enough to evade tacklers when dribbling through midfield.

It’s a sad end to Diaby’s career, but by officially calling it quits, perhaps the Frenchman can now move on to another career, within soccer or on the outside. Even though he never became a club legend, he’ll always have a connection to Arsenal.

Report: Qatar reach out to Wenger to lead national team at 2022 World Cup

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Arsene Wenger reportedly has a chance to be on the sidelines at the 2022 World Cup as a manager.

Looking to hire a big name in the soccer world, the Qatar soccer establishment has turned its attention to the former Arsenal boss to lead Qatar into its first World Cup, according to France Football. The report states that Wenger has long been on the Qatari shortlist, either as a sporting director for Paris Saint-Germain, a club owned by Qataris, or to take over the Qatar National Team.

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If given the job, Wenger would also reportedly play a large role in youth development across the oil-and-gas-rich nation.

Since leaving Arsenal at the end of May, Wenger has been without a job, spending time in his native France while waiting by the phone, presumably. Wenger’s name has circulated around many of Europe’s top clubs when there has been a change in manager, but the 69-year-old has yet to sign with a new club.

The report by France Football says it’s unknown yet how Wenger will respond to the Qatari approach. If he joins, it will be his first foray into National Team football after more than three decades as a club coach.

Report: Bayern opening would interest Wenger

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As Unai Emery sorts the pieces at Arsenal, the club’s legendary boss is reportedly hoping to do the same for another European giant.

Arsene Wenger is hopeful that Bayern Munich will look its way should the Bavarians choose to part ways with new coach Niko Kovac early in its campaign, and Bild reports that Bayern is considering just that.

[ MORE: Arsenal beats Bournemouth ]

Bayern is nine points back of first place Borussia Dortmund and even two behind Kovac’s former side, Eintracht Frankfurt, after 12 matches of the Bundesliga season.

The latest setback at the Allianz Arena, a 3-3 draw to newly-promoted Fortuna Dusseldorf after holding leads of 2-0 and 3-1, has many thinking Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge could make a change.

Wenger last managed a club not named Arsenal in 1996 when we led Japanese side Nagoya Grampus Eight. Before that, he led Monaco and Nancy.

How would Wenger fare at a side like Bayern? It’s difficult to imagine he’d struggle given that the club’s defensive players are quite good, with Mats Hummels and Joshua Kimmich among those who are not the reason the Bavarians aren’t winning matches like they should.

Emery ‘had to change things’ after Arsenal fell flat under Wenger

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Unai Emery has said what anyone and everyone who watched Arsenal at any point during the final few years of Arsene Wenger‘s tenure observed: the club had lost its way under the legendary Frenchman and needed a drastic refresh.

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Emery feels he’s managed to do just that in a very short time — his first three months on the job — and sees the club already headed in the right direction. Particularly, it was the balance of attacking and defending that Emery noted wasn’t quite right, which undoubtedly came down to the mentality of the club and its players — quotes from the Guardian:

“I met once with him, and little else. I respect him a lot but no matter how much info he gave me, I had to change things. I told the players, ‘We started at kilometer zero.’ Even now, four months later, I still say it, ‘We are in the beginning.”

“Over time, only technical quality and offensive freedom were taken care of, and the team lost the defensive structure. What I want is to unite both essences and be more competitive. The Arsenal was in decline. We had to stop it and start climbing.”