Arsenal balls: Wenger quits ‘all of a sudden’
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has ‘named the date when his career at the Gunners end – the Mirror says it’s June 30 2017:
The Mirror says Wenger will “quit in 19 moths”.
On October 3, the same newspaper said Wenger had no plans to quit:
“I will retire, don’t worry. But no, I haven’t decided on a plan yet. I think it can be more instinctive and impulsive than that. I’ve heard that so many times, ‘Next year I will retire’ and then they continue, or go somewhere else. I think one thing is for sure that, when I retire, I will really retire.”
And so to today’s scoop:
Gunners boss Wenger’s current £8m-a-deal expires at the end of next season and talked as if he was preparing to leave at the club’s AGM on Thursday
No quitting, then, but reaching the end of his current deal.
“I am resolute to commit absolutely until the last day of my contract to bring back big success to this club, and leave as well one day in a position where it can do even better when I leave. That is for me very important that I leave the club in the shape that the guy who comes after me can do better. The responsibility on my shoulders is much bigger. I know what it means for people. I know how sad people are when we don’t do well, I know how sad people are when we lose a game.”
So he has not set a date when he will quit. The Mirror’s scoop is balls.
The Times is more circumspect:
Arsène Wenger hints at his Arsenal exit strategy
Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, has given the first hint he is starting to contemplate his legacy at the Emirates Stadium, suggesting that he is determined to make sure that he leaves the club in such rude health that his successor is more successful than he has been.
Speaking at a stormy annual general meeting, the 65-year-old insisted he is “absolutely committed” to seeing out his contract, which expires in 2017. Sir Chips Keswick, the club’s chairman, also made clear that he and the board remain convinced that Wenger is the “best person to take charge of Arsenal for as long as he feels inclined”.
“Looking back, I am proud we have won titles and FA Cups, but the first quality of a club is to be consistent. We have had 18 consecutive years in the Champions League. Only one club — Real Madrid — has done better. I can understand that is not enough. I am the first person to agree that it is not enough. We want more.