Arsene Wenger

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Premier League On This Day: Invincibles! Arsenal makes history (video)

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It hasn’t been done before, and it’s unlikely to be done again (especially after Ismaila Sarr took Liverpool’s perceived team of destiny out to lunch).

Arsenal went an entire Premier League season unbeaten.

The Gunners drew 12 times including a three-match run late in the season, but put the finishing touches on their 26W-12D-0L season with wins over Fulham and Leicester City.

The final match for Arsene Wenger’s men was 16 years ago Friday, as the Gunners came back from a first-half deficit via goals from Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

League and FA Cup runs died at the semifinal stages, with Manchester United ousting Arsenal from the latter and Middlesbrough the former. Chelsea knocked Arsenal out of the UEFA Champions League.

The Gunners drew two teams twice: Portsmouth and Manchester United. They also drew with Fulham and Birmingham City at home, splitting the spoils with Spurs, Newcastle, Everton, Bolton, Leicester City, and Charlton Athletic away.

Arsenal is cheekily just “Arsena” today on Twitter because they just couldn’t take an L.

Premier League On this Day: Arsene Wenger to leave Arsenal

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Can you believe it’s been two years since Arsene Wenger announced he would be stepping down as Arsenal manager at the conclusion of the 2017-18 Premier League season?

[ MORE: On this Day in Premier League history

Wenger revolutionized the management game and achieved something well beyond legendary status during his 22 years at Arsenal, but you’ll undoubtedly recall the discord which festered during his final few years at the helm, effectively backing the Frenchman into a corner and creating a nearly untenable environment to extend his tenure.

It didn’t matter that Wenger won the PL title three times — including the “Invincibles” season, the only side to ever finish the season unbeaten — or that he won the FA Cup a record seven times — including three out of four seasons from 2014-2017. Looking back, it was astonishing and absurd to watch lifelong fans — many of whom had never known another Arsenal manger — turn on Wenger.

Of course, he remained supremely classy until his final game in charge (above video) and showed one final time why he’s one of the greatest to ever do it.

Arsenal fans, does it feel like it’s been longer or shorter than two years? If you were part of the #WengerOut brigade, are you pleased with what has transpired at your club since Wenger left the Emirates Stadium, or do you perhaps wish the legend had stuck around a little longer?

Arsene Wenger takes new job at FIFA

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Arsene Wenger has been named as FIFA’s new Chief of Global Football Development.

Wenger, 70, has been linked with a move to Bayern Munich in recent weeks but it appears the Frenchman will now end his role as a club or national team manager and instead focus on the bigger picture in this special role at FIFA.

Marco van Basten left FIFA’s technical director role in October 2018 and Wenger is the perfect person to replace him and lead the global game.

FIFA say that Wenger will “be chiefly responsible for overseeing and driving the growth and development of the sport for both men and women around the world. He will also be the leading authority on technical matters, both as a member of the Football and Technical Advisory Panels involved in The IFAB’s review and decision-making process on potential changes to the Laws of the Game, and as chairman of the FIFA Technical Study Group.”

They added that Wenger “will include a particular focus on coach education” and he will be key in FIFA’s executive programme, which helps former professionals enter management and help them in their post-career transition.

Speaking about his new gig from Switzerland as he stood alongside FIFA president Gianni Infantino, the legendary former Arsenal boss was delighted to arrive in a role which seems perfectly suited to his skillset.

“I very much look forward to taking on this extremely important challenge, not only because I have always been interested in analysing football from a broader perspective but also because FIFA’s mission as world football’s governing body is truly global,” Wenger said. “I believe that the new FIFA we have seen emerging in recent years has the sport itself at the very heart of its objectives and is determined to develop the game in its many different components. I know I can contribute to this objective and will put all my energy into this.”

Infantino added: “Arsene is someone who, with his strategic vision, competence and hard work, has dedicated his life to football. His arrival is just another example of how we keep strengthening our purpose to bring FIFA back to football and football back to FIFA.”

Wenger’s time as a coach was revolutionary, as he totally changed the structure at Arsenal and almost single-handedly altered the professionalism levels in the Premier League.

After a 22-year stint in charge of the Gunners, it appears Wenger’s time as a coach is up.

He will now travel the world trying to spread the gospel of the beautiful game. Considering his Arsenal team always played wonderful, free-flowing, attacking soccer, Wenger truly embodies the most beautiful parts of the beautiful game.

Arsene Wenger will not manage Bayern Munich

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Arsene Wenger has just popped his famous long jacket back in the cupboard. For now.

After reports suggested that the legendary manager was in the running to take charge of Bayern Munich, it has been revealed that the man who managed Arsenal for 22 years is now out of the running.

According to Raphael Honigstein and other outlets including Sky Sports in Germany, Wenger spoke with Bayern’s chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on the phone over the last 24 hours but he will not be considered for the vacant position.

The Bavarian giants sacked Niko Kovac on Sunday after they lost 5-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt and were said to be keen on making a short-term appointment between now and the end of the season.

Hermann Gerland and Hansi Flick have been placed in caretaker charge of Bayern for the time being, and they beat Olympiacos 2-0 in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday to secure their spot in the Round of 16.

Perhaps they will continue in charge as they eye Erik Ten Hag, Thomas Tuchel and Ralf Rangnick but all three have ruled themselves out of a mid-season move.

Arsene Wenger refuses to rule out Bayern Munich move

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There’s still plenty of life left in that old zipper coat…

Arsene Wenger has been heavily linked with a return to coaching with Bayern Munich.

The Bavarian giants sacked Niko Kovac on Sunday after they lost 5-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt and are said to be keen on making a short-term appointment between now and the end of the season.

Would Wenger be interested in coaching Bayern if the opportunity came up?

“Of course. Coaching was my whole life until now,” Wenger said on beIN Sport in his current role as a pundit. “Everybody who has coached will tell you the same. You miss the intensity but some things you miss a lot, some things you don’t miss. I enjoyed the things I don’t miss too much… But on the other hand, football games, winning football games, preparing the team for the game, and getting satisfaction and shared emotions. That is something that you miss.”

Hermann Gerland and Hansi Flick have been placed in caretaker charge of Bayern for the time being, but it is clear they want to act fast to replace Kovac as they continue to lose ground in the Bundesliga title race.

Other contenders for the job include Ajax boss Erik ten Hag, who has confirmed he will not leave midseason. Ralf Rangnick has turned down the chance to talk with Bayern and Thomas Tuchel has said he isn’t interested.

Wenger is now 70 years old and it has been almost 18 months since he left Arsenal after 22 years in charge of the Gunners.

For a while it has seemed like Wenger would not return to management at all, with perhaps an international job his only option in the future as he also weighed up offers to become an influential figure at FIFA.

But this opportunity to coach Bayern would work well for everyone. The players are clearly talented enough to go far in the UEFA Champions League and challenge for the Bundesliga title. Wenger will be keen to take on a new project after resting and he could prove to those who doubted him at Arsenal that he can win trophies and his methods can still work.

Another plus for Bayern is that Wenger can speak German as he grew up in the French town of Strasbourg, Alsace, which is close to the German border.

It would be lovely to see Wenger back in the game at a massive club and this seems like exactly the opportunity he has been waiting for since leaving Arsenal.

This move makes sense for pretty much everyone, right?