Bolton Wanderers

Bolton Wanderers slideshow

The serendipity of the fixture list sees two managers linked by speculation encounter each other at Easter Road on Saturday. A win for Brendan Rodgers and Celtic against Hibs would secure a seventh successive title for the Hoops and take them to within one victory of an unprecedented second successive clean sweep of the Scottish honours. That accomplishment could be Rodgers’ parting gift to the Parkhead faithful, if his status as a favourite to succeed Arsene Wenger should culminate in a move to Arsenal. Celtic’s single largest shareholder, Dermot Desmond, made a telling intervention in that regard, when he told Sky Sports: “We wouldn’t want him to leave but we won’t force him to stay. “Hopefully his love for the club and the set-up here will induce him to stay. I don't think you can put handcuffs on anybody if they want to go to a club as good as Arsenal. It will be Brendan's decision and his decision only.” Should Rodgers depart, Neil Lennon – his opposite number today - will be cited as a prime candidate to return to the east end of Glasgow, from whence he departed in 2014 after four years in charge, during which spell Celtic won three consecutive titles to commence the sequence which is on the verge of being supplemented with another. Lennon’s decision to leave was fuelled by frustration at the absence of a challenge in the league, with Rangers mired in the lower divisions after the financial implosion at Ibrox in 2012. He added a spell with Bolton Wanderers to his CV before leaving in March 2016 and joining Hibs that summer. Lennon would be a candidate to return to Parkhead if Rodgers were to leave Scotland Credit: ACTION PLUS In Lennon’s first season in Edinburgh Hibs returned to the Scottish Premiership after a three-year absence and their performances have exceeded expectations, to the extent that they are only three points behind Rangers and Aberdeen in the tussle for second place. The conspiracy theorists have had fun with this weekend’s card, with one narrative suggesting that Celtic would not be unhappy to draw with Hibs, to boost their former favourite’s chances of overtaking Rangers while preserving the possibility of Rodgers & Co securing the title at home in next weekend’s Old Firm derby. A supplementary contention is that, should such a possibility materialise, then Rangers will not exert themselves unduly to prevent Hearts securing some reward when the pair meet at Ibrox on Sunday, so that Graeme Murty and his players are not once more cast in the role of sacrificial lambs so soon after their slaughter in last weekend’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park. Such vapourings exclude Aberdeen’s part in the league endgame but they have added to the habitual gaiety of Glasgow pub conversations throughout the week. Not that Murty has been touring the city’s establishments in the aftermath of the derby trauma at Hampden, which was followed by news that two Rangers veterans – Lee Wallace and Kenny Miller – had been suspended by the club because of a dressing room row after the final whistle. Murty refused to discuss the incident, citing it as ‘an internal issue’, but also declared that he had not kept himself out of sight. “What am I going to do, hide under a rock? No, I won't,” he said. Murty has refused to discuss the dressing-room row involving Lee Wallace and Kenny Miller Credit: PA “Listen, I've walked around when we've done really well and people have been patting me on the back. We have to take the good and the bad times. You have to be man enough to front up to it.” Murty revealed that he had received strong support from his directors and staff – although he has not spoken to the Rangers chairman, Dave King – but admitted that the reverberations from last weekend’s debacle were still being felt, particularly in the instances of Daniel Candeias and Andy Halliday, both of whom were visibly angered by being substituted, particularly Halliday, who got the hook five minutes before the interval. “Andy didn’t direct any dissent towards me to my face, but I don’t expect him to be happy coming off the pitch, having been substituted that early,” said Murty. “Daniel plainly wasn’t happy to come off. “He said afterwards that he didn’t believe that he had done himself justice. He was desperate to stay on and play in a big, big game. “I am giving Andy a bit of space at the moment. He looks a little bit raw. As a human being I respect his space, but before Sunday Andy and I will have a sit down and have a chat.” Asked if there was still an issue with Halliday, Murty said, “Possibly”. He added: “Andy has focused in to training really, really well. I commend what he’s doing. I will address an issue with a player, as a person, at a time I consider appropriate.” No time like the present, one would have thought, but these are turbulent days at Ibrox – and perhaps there will soon be upheavals at Celtic Park and Easter Road, too, with the other domino in the series being resolution of the imminent managerial vacancy at the Emirates.
Celtic's seventh successive title could be Brendan Rodgers' parting gift if Arsenal believe he fits the bill
The serendipity of the fixture list sees two managers linked by speculation encounter each other at Easter Road on Saturday. A win for Brendan Rodgers and Celtic against Hibs would secure a seventh successive title for the Hoops and take them to within one victory of an unprecedented second successive clean sweep of the Scottish honours. That accomplishment could be Rodgers’ parting gift to the Parkhead faithful, if his status as a favourite to succeed Arsene Wenger should culminate in a move to Arsenal. Celtic’s single largest shareholder, Dermot Desmond, made a telling intervention in that regard, when he told Sky Sports: “We wouldn’t want him to leave but we won’t force him to stay. “Hopefully his love for the club and the set-up here will induce him to stay. I don't think you can put handcuffs on anybody if they want to go to a club as good as Arsenal. It will be Brendan's decision and his decision only.” Should Rodgers depart, Neil Lennon – his opposite number today - will be cited as a prime candidate to return to the east end of Glasgow, from whence he departed in 2014 after four years in charge, during which spell Celtic won three consecutive titles to commence the sequence which is on the verge of being supplemented with another. Lennon’s decision to leave was fuelled by frustration at the absence of a challenge in the league, with Rangers mired in the lower divisions after the financial implosion at Ibrox in 2012. He added a spell with Bolton Wanderers to his CV before leaving in March 2016 and joining Hibs that summer. Lennon would be a candidate to return to Parkhead if Rodgers were to leave Scotland Credit: ACTION PLUS In Lennon’s first season in Edinburgh Hibs returned to the Scottish Premiership after a three-year absence and their performances have exceeded expectations, to the extent that they are only three points behind Rangers and Aberdeen in the tussle for second place. The conspiracy theorists have had fun with this weekend’s card, with one narrative suggesting that Celtic would not be unhappy to draw with Hibs, to boost their former favourite’s chances of overtaking Rangers while preserving the possibility of Rodgers & Co securing the title at home in next weekend’s Old Firm derby. A supplementary contention is that, should such a possibility materialise, then Rangers will not exert themselves unduly to prevent Hearts securing some reward when the pair meet at Ibrox on Sunday, so that Graeme Murty and his players are not once more cast in the role of sacrificial lambs so soon after their slaughter in last weekend’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park. Such vapourings exclude Aberdeen’s part in the league endgame but they have added to the habitual gaiety of Glasgow pub conversations throughout the week. Not that Murty has been touring the city’s establishments in the aftermath of the derby trauma at Hampden, which was followed by news that two Rangers veterans – Lee Wallace and Kenny Miller – had been suspended by the club because of a dressing room row after the final whistle. Murty refused to discuss the incident, citing it as ‘an internal issue’, but also declared that he had not kept himself out of sight. “What am I going to do, hide under a rock? No, I won't,” he said. Murty has refused to discuss the dressing-room row involving Lee Wallace and Kenny Miller Credit: PA “Listen, I've walked around when we've done really well and people have been patting me on the back. We have to take the good and the bad times. You have to be man enough to front up to it.” Murty revealed that he had received strong support from his directors and staff – although he has not spoken to the Rangers chairman, Dave King – but admitted that the reverberations from last weekend’s debacle were still being felt, particularly in the instances of Daniel Candeias and Andy Halliday, both of whom were visibly angered by being substituted, particularly Halliday, who got the hook five minutes before the interval. “Andy didn’t direct any dissent towards me to my face, but I don’t expect him to be happy coming off the pitch, having been substituted that early,” said Murty. “Daniel plainly wasn’t happy to come off. “He said afterwards that he didn’t believe that he had done himself justice. He was desperate to stay on and play in a big, big game. “I am giving Andy a bit of space at the moment. He looks a little bit raw. As a human being I respect his space, but before Sunday Andy and I will have a sit down and have a chat.” Asked if there was still an issue with Halliday, Murty said, “Possibly”. He added: “Andy has focused in to training really, really well. I commend what he’s doing. I will address an issue with a player, as a person, at a time I consider appropriate.” No time like the present, one would have thought, but these are turbulent days at Ibrox – and perhaps there will soon be upheavals at Celtic Park and Easter Road, too, with the other domino in the series being resolution of the imminent managerial vacancy at the Emirates.
The serendipity of the fixture list sees two managers linked by speculation encounter each other at Easter Road on Saturday. A win for Brendan Rodgers and Celtic against Hibs would secure a seventh successive title for the Hoops and take them to within one victory of an unprecedented second successive clean sweep of the Scottish honours. That accomplishment could be Rodgers’ parting gift to the Parkhead faithful, if his status as a favourite to succeed Arsene Wenger should culminate in a move to Arsenal. Celtic’s single largest shareholder, Dermot Desmond, made a telling intervention in that regard, when he told Sky Sports: “We wouldn’t want him to leave but we won’t force him to stay. “Hopefully his love for the club and the set-up here will induce him to stay. I don't think you can put handcuffs on anybody if they want to go to a club as good as Arsenal. It will be Brendan's decision and his decision only.” Should Rodgers depart, Neil Lennon – his opposite number today - will be cited as a prime candidate to return to the east end of Glasgow, from whence he departed in 2014 after four years in charge, during which spell Celtic won three consecutive titles to commence the sequence which is on the verge of being supplemented with another. Lennon’s decision to leave was fuelled by frustration at the absence of a challenge in the league, with Rangers mired in the lower divisions after the financial implosion at Ibrox in 2012. He added a spell with Bolton Wanderers to his CV before leaving in March 2016 and joining Hibs that summer. Lennon would be a candidate to return to Parkhead if Rodgers were to leave Scotland Credit: ACTION PLUS In Lennon’s first season in Edinburgh Hibs returned to the Scottish Premiership after a three-year absence and their performances have exceeded expectations, to the extent that they are only three points behind Rangers and Aberdeen in the tussle for second place. The conspiracy theorists have had fun with this weekend’s card, with one narrative suggesting that Celtic would not be unhappy to draw with Hibs, to boost their former favourite’s chances of overtaking Rangers while preserving the possibility of Rodgers & Co securing the title at home in next weekend’s Old Firm derby. A supplementary contention is that, should such a possibility materialise, then Rangers will not exert themselves unduly to prevent Hearts securing some reward when the pair meet at Ibrox on Sunday, so that Graeme Murty and his players are not once more cast in the role of sacrificial lambs so soon after their slaughter in last weekend’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park. Such vapourings exclude Aberdeen’s part in the league endgame but they have added to the habitual gaiety of Glasgow pub conversations throughout the week. Not that Murty has been touring the city’s establishments in the aftermath of the derby trauma at Hampden, which was followed by news that two Rangers veterans – Lee Wallace and Kenny Miller – had been suspended by the club because of a dressing room row after the final whistle. Murty refused to discuss the incident, citing it as ‘an internal issue’, but also declared that he had not kept himself out of sight. “What am I going to do, hide under a rock? No, I won't,” he said. Murty has refused to discuss the dressing-room row involving Lee Wallace and Kenny Miller Credit: PA “Listen, I've walked around when we've done really well and people have been patting me on the back. We have to take the good and the bad times. You have to be man enough to front up to it.” Murty revealed that he had received strong support from his directors and staff – although he has not spoken to the Rangers chairman, Dave King – but admitted that the reverberations from last weekend’s debacle were still being felt, particularly in the instances of Daniel Candeias and Andy Halliday, both of whom were visibly angered by being substituted, particularly Halliday, who got the hook five minutes before the interval. “Andy didn’t direct any dissent towards me to my face, but I don’t expect him to be happy coming off the pitch, having been substituted that early,” said Murty. “Daniel plainly wasn’t happy to come off. “He said afterwards that he didn’t believe that he had done himself justice. He was desperate to stay on and play in a big, big game. “I am giving Andy a bit of space at the moment. He looks a little bit raw. As a human being I respect his space, but before Sunday Andy and I will have a sit down and have a chat.” Asked if there was still an issue with Halliday, Murty said, “Possibly”. He added: “Andy has focused in to training really, really well. I commend what he’s doing. I will address an issue with a player, as a person, at a time I consider appropriate.” No time like the present, one would have thought, but these are turbulent days at Ibrox – and perhaps there will soon be upheavals at Celtic Park and Easter Road, too, with the other domino in the series being resolution of the imminent managerial vacancy at the Emirates.
Celtic's seventh successive title could be Brendan Rodgers' parting gift if Arsenal believe he fits the bill
The serendipity of the fixture list sees two managers linked by speculation encounter each other at Easter Road on Saturday. A win for Brendan Rodgers and Celtic against Hibs would secure a seventh successive title for the Hoops and take them to within one victory of an unprecedented second successive clean sweep of the Scottish honours. That accomplishment could be Rodgers’ parting gift to the Parkhead faithful, if his status as a favourite to succeed Arsene Wenger should culminate in a move to Arsenal. Celtic’s single largest shareholder, Dermot Desmond, made a telling intervention in that regard, when he told Sky Sports: “We wouldn’t want him to leave but we won’t force him to stay. “Hopefully his love for the club and the set-up here will induce him to stay. I don't think you can put handcuffs on anybody if they want to go to a club as good as Arsenal. It will be Brendan's decision and his decision only.” Should Rodgers depart, Neil Lennon – his opposite number today - will be cited as a prime candidate to return to the east end of Glasgow, from whence he departed in 2014 after four years in charge, during which spell Celtic won three consecutive titles to commence the sequence which is on the verge of being supplemented with another. Lennon’s decision to leave was fuelled by frustration at the absence of a challenge in the league, with Rangers mired in the lower divisions after the financial implosion at Ibrox in 2012. He added a spell with Bolton Wanderers to his CV before leaving in March 2016 and joining Hibs that summer. Lennon would be a candidate to return to Parkhead if Rodgers were to leave Scotland Credit: ACTION PLUS In Lennon’s first season in Edinburgh Hibs returned to the Scottish Premiership after a three-year absence and their performances have exceeded expectations, to the extent that they are only three points behind Rangers and Aberdeen in the tussle for second place. The conspiracy theorists have had fun with this weekend’s card, with one narrative suggesting that Celtic would not be unhappy to draw with Hibs, to boost their former favourite’s chances of overtaking Rangers while preserving the possibility of Rodgers & Co securing the title at home in next weekend’s Old Firm derby. A supplementary contention is that, should such a possibility materialise, then Rangers will not exert themselves unduly to prevent Hearts securing some reward when the pair meet at Ibrox on Sunday, so that Graeme Murty and his players are not once more cast in the role of sacrificial lambs so soon after their slaughter in last weekend’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park. Such vapourings exclude Aberdeen’s part in the league endgame but they have added to the habitual gaiety of Glasgow pub conversations throughout the week. Not that Murty has been touring the city’s establishments in the aftermath of the derby trauma at Hampden, which was followed by news that two Rangers veterans – Lee Wallace and Kenny Miller – had been suspended by the club because of a dressing room row after the final whistle. Murty refused to discuss the incident, citing it as ‘an internal issue’, but also declared that he had not kept himself out of sight. “What am I going to do, hide under a rock? No, I won't,” he said. Murty has refused to discuss the dressing-room row involving Lee Wallace and Kenny Miller Credit: PA “Listen, I've walked around when we've done really well and people have been patting me on the back. We have to take the good and the bad times. You have to be man enough to front up to it.” Murty revealed that he had received strong support from his directors and staff – although he has not spoken to the Rangers chairman, Dave King – but admitted that the reverberations from last weekend’s debacle were still being felt, particularly in the instances of Daniel Candeias and Andy Halliday, both of whom were visibly angered by being substituted, particularly Halliday, who got the hook five minutes before the interval. “Andy didn’t direct any dissent towards me to my face, but I don’t expect him to be happy coming off the pitch, having been substituted that early,” said Murty. “Daniel plainly wasn’t happy to come off. “He said afterwards that he didn’t believe that he had done himself justice. He was desperate to stay on and play in a big, big game. “I am giving Andy a bit of space at the moment. He looks a little bit raw. As a human being I respect his space, but before Sunday Andy and I will have a sit down and have a chat.” Asked if there was still an issue with Halliday, Murty said, “Possibly”. He added: “Andy has focused in to training really, really well. I commend what he’s doing. I will address an issue with a player, as a person, at a time I consider appropriate.” No time like the present, one would have thought, but these are turbulent days at Ibrox – and perhaps there will soon be upheavals at Celtic Park and Easter Road, too, with the other domino in the series being resolution of the imminent managerial vacancy at the Emirates.
Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal at the end of the season Wenger's last match at Emirates on May 6 against Burnley Last Premier League match ever on May 13 against Huddersfield Arsenal to hold press conference with Ivan Gazidis at 5pm Mourinho speaks: "We'll show Mr Wenger respect he deserves" Why Wenger will enjoy great success in life after Arsenal Next Arsenal manager odds: Who will replace Wenger? How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Arsenal are promising to be “bold” and could again go left-field in replacing Arsene Wenger after the club’s most successful-ever manager decided to announce his departure amid the prospect of being sacked this summer. Wenger revealed on Friday morning that this would be his 22nd and last season as Arsenal manager and, while the timing of the public announcement was his, the wider backdrop was of the club already actively preparing for change. The clear expectation was that he would be asked to leave this summer and Wenger did not want to wait to be sacked. It was also felt that an early announcement would ensure that Wenger received a big unifying send-off and allow all sides to prepare for a future apart. It was noticeable that Gazidis would not answer on Friday whether he had wanted Wenger to stay or tried to persuade him to see out the remaining year on his contract. Wenger has shown no sign of wanting to retire from management and is expected to make a clear break and seek employment elsewhere. Gazidis has been assessing potential replacements for several years, but has now actively begun the search and wants to preserve many of Wenger’s values within a structure that gives the manager rather less power. End of an era | Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season A new backroom team has already been assembled and, while Gazidis called it “our biggest ever challenge", he said the club had never been better prepared. Leading candidates are Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim, former Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta, former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and Germany boss Joachim Low. A complication with Low will be his reluctance to do anything that could destabilise Germany’s defence of the World Cup. Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers would be interested and has admirers inside Arsenal, but there are concerns at how fans might respond to his appointment at a time when unity is desperately sought. Former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel is close to be appointed Paris St Germain, but Juventus manager Max Allegri is keen on eventually working in England and would be of interest if he is ready to move this summer. Gazidis noticeably highlighted how Arsenal appointed an unknown in Wenger way back in 1996. Guy Wenger “Replace Arsene? That’s not going to happen,” he said. “But we have to make sure we don’t lose his qualities and his values in the club and that we take them forward. So someone who will continue to play exciting, progressive football that gets people interested and excited in the games we play. How the candidate represents the club is important. “That value of giving youth a chance is also very important. I think we’ve got to be open-minded and brave in the decision. When Arsene was appointed, I don’t think he was on many people’s radar. We need to be bold in the appointment.” Wenger made the final decision to leave earlier this week and, after discussions with directors on Thursday, he personally informed his staff and the players on Friday morning. There were many tears both at the stadium and training ground, where club staff were said to be in a state of shock. Wenger has won three Premier League titles, an all-time record seven FA Cups, two doubles, reached the 2006 European Cup final and went the entire 2003-4 Premier League season undefeated. He also helped oversee the move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium. Tributes were paid to Wenger on Friday from across sport, with his old adversary Sir Alex Ferguson saying that he was “proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man." As ever, Wenger stressed the importance of maintaining the values he has embodied in his time in English football. Put simply, that is an entertaining playing style, opportunities for young players and a fiscal structure that safeguards the club’s long-term future. “After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season,” said Wenger. “I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever.” Arsenal fan's view | 'All the bad feeling has disappeared' Arsenal’s majority owner, Stan Kroenke, has always been a massive supporter of Wenger and regarded this as perhaps the hardest moment in his time in professional sport. “This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport,” he said. “One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. “Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played.” Gazidis added: “Arsene is going to feel the full force of this club behind him over the next couple of weeks. Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard. A new ambition. An ambition not just to win, but to win while achieving perfection. To make art out of football. He was always brave enough to be true to that extraordinary ambition and incredibly he achieved it with Arsenal’s Invincibles season.“ 5:26PM Gazidis on his abiding memories of Wenger's reign: “There are great moments - the trophies, the FA Cups, the victory against Barcelona. But the memories I have of Arsene are of speaking to him in quiet moments. He’s an incredibly self-critical man who always gives others the benefit of the doubt. There’s a reason there is so much affection for him. He’s a special person.” 5:23PM Gazidis on the players' reaction: “I think from the reaction at the training ground today, what I felt was an incredible amount of passion to give Arsene the send off that he deserves. “The decision had to come at some point. Now it’s time for us to look forward.” 5:21PM Gazidis on Wenger's future: “Will he retire? He’s somebody who is in great shape and has a competitive edge but that’s a question for him.” 5:19PM Gazidis on the next Arsenal manager: "We're going to have a process around that. The process begins today but I want to keep that process in-house. I don't want to be making public comments about it. We haven't had any discussions to date regarding that." 5:18PM Gazidis on where Arsenal go next: “Our first priority is to come together as a club and we are seeing that today. Our players. staff and fans are behind this great man and we will give him the send off he deserves. I don’t underestimate that challenge but I am confident in the people we have in place to take Arsene’s vision forward and build on it.” "We are not going to find a replacement for Arsene Wenger" 5:16PM Gazidis on Wenger's immediate legacy “Arsene often said his aim was to leave the club in a better place than when he found out. We are in a better place than we could have ever imagined.” 5:15PM Gazidis on Wenger's inspiration: “Beyond football, he has inspired the people around him. He is able to make people believe that they can achieve great things. He inspired George Weah to believe he could not only become the world’s best football player, but to become the president of a nation. He has taken every challenge with humour and grace and class.” 5:15PM Gazidis on the Wenger philosophy: “Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard. A new ambition. Not just to win, but to win while achieving perfection - to make art. Incredibly, he achieved it with the Invincibles. Arsene has been brave enough to live by his philosophy. He’s made Arsenal throughout the world for the kind of football we play.” 5:14PM Gazidis on today's news: “Obviously this has been an emotional day for everyone. Now I have the impossible job of communicating that feeling. Typically, Arsene is not here as he is taking training. I will leave it to others to talk about the facts and figures of his tenure. There is something more coming out today. There is an affection from Arsenal fans and right across the sphere of football. I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Arsene over the last 10 years.” 5:12PM Ivan Gazidis addresses the media... "Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard, a new ambition. Am ambition not just to win but to win while achieving perfection. To make art out of football." 4:42PM Jack Wilshere on the outgoing boss... "We need to send him off in the right way now" �� Turn your sound up and listen to this from @JackWilsherepic.twitter.com/aZ9UA5u0mo— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 "I'm sure when the dust settles, we have a few days to think about it, we'll start to reflect on it, but at the moment it's a bit raw, it's a bit sensitive." 4:08PM Thierry Henry on his former manager October 2002 and September's manager of the month congratulates the player of the month Credit: EDDIE KEOGH/PA I was a little mixed because it's a sad day for me to see the big man leave the club, although we all know he has matches left. I'm happy in a way that people can give him the farewell he deserves. His legacy is untouchable. Managers, fans from other teams - [they say] how Arsène changed Arsenal. I am happy that now we can all talk about his legacy. But we must not get carried away with celebrating the end of his time. The team must win the Europa League, it would be an incredible feat and Arsène has never won in Europe before, so it would be a good way to give him a nice goodbye. I remember when I was playing for Arsenal, people were talking about how we play, not what we won, but how we did it and how Arsène made Arsenal a club known in the whole world. If I could be the successor of Wenger? Look at me laughing. It's funny. One person to whom you can ask this question is Ivan Gazidis. He should answer the question. 3:57PM And a word from Germany From one he helped to make it (to Bayern Munich) 22 years @Arsenal - almost my whole lifetime. Impressive. Glad I could be a small part of it ���� #MerciArsène#Wengerpic.twitter.com/lzGJXJlOGC— Serge Gnabry (@SergeGnabry) April 20, 2018 3:51PM A tribute from an opponent Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 3:36PM A trawl through the picture archive ... Has inspired this, 22 years in 11 photographs: Wenger at Arsenal gallery 3:17PM Sir Alex Ferguson pays tribute "I am really happy for Arsène Wenger. I have great respect for him and for the job he has done at Arsenal. It is great testament to his talent, professionalism and determination that has been able to dedicate 22 years of his life to a job that he loves. "In an era where football managers sometimes only last one or two seasons, it shows what an achievement it is to serve that length of time at a club the size of Arsenal. "I am pleased that he has announced he is leaving at this stage of the season, as he can now have the send-off that he truly deserves. "He is, without doubt, one the greatest Premier League managers and I am proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man." 2:47PM Pep Guardiola tips his hat Luke Edwards reports from the Manchester City manager's press conference: “He has all my respect for what he has done. The Premier League is about huge personalities like Arsène, it is because of what he has done, his vision. “I wish him all the best in the future, I hope he can be involved in world football in a different way with his experience. Whether it is with Arsenal, Uefa, Fifa, or somewhere else, I don't know. It was a pleasure to compete against him here, with City, as well as Barcelona and Bayern. Pep Guardiola takes Manchester City training on Friday Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images “It will be difficult for anyone to do what he has done at a top European club again. Sir Alex Ferguson did it at Manchester United, but it is so, so complicated. With the way social media is now, everybody has an opinion and can express it, you feel the pressure as a manager. “You can also feel pressure because staying in the Premier League is so important, then you have the sporting directors, who do not have a lot of patience. It will be so difficult to find a person who will be able to stay at a club for so long and do what Arsène has done.” 2:32PM 'Arsenal will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz, from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, speaks to Telegraph Sport 2:06PM 'I have been talking well about him for a while' Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, who has locked horns with Arsene Wenger plenty of times down the years in his time at Liverpool, Chelsea and on Tyneside, said this at today's press conference: "I have been talking well about him for a while. "To do things in the way that he has done and win the way he was winning, for so many years... we are talking about one of the best managers in football history." 2:01PM 'Like a father through tough times in my career' Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere posted this on Facebook: "To the man who gave me my chance as a 16-year-old, and showed unbelievable faith and commitment towards me. Always a gentleman, like a father through tough times in my career. He always believed in me when most people didn't. Thank you for everything boss! It's down to us now to end your era right. #onearsenewenger" Big shoes for anyone to fill,playing for Arsenal under Arsene was one of the best period of my career, 2 premiership, 2 FA cups, The invincibles, playing with some of the best assembled players,influencing millions of fans in Africa to support this great club. pic.twitter.com/tILZo70jBE— Kanu Nwankwo (@papilokanu) April 20, 2018 Personally a very sad day. I am forever in debt to this man. The person who had faith in me and gave me a platform to progress. Thank you for all the memories and trophies bosspic.twitter.com/EP26M6TP3W— Héctor Bellerín (@HectorBellerin) April 20, 2018 1:56PM 'He deserves respect from the whole world of football' Our man Matt Law was at Stamford Bridge today and asked Antonio Conte for his thoughts on Arsene Wenger. Reaction to Wenger? "My reaction... I think we must pay a great tribute to Arsene Wenger for his career. For his career at Arsenal. He and Ferguson, we're talking about the last two managers to stay for such a long time in a club. Arsene Wenger worked 22 years for Arsenal. I think that's great, it's a fantastic story. He won a lot at this club and, for this reason, I think he deserves a great tribute for his career." What was his influence in a footballing sense? "I think Arsene is one of the managers who had a great influence on football because, in every moment in his idea of football, he tried to play good football, creative and offensive football. He deserves great tribute also for this." How important is it that he gains that great tribute? "He deserves great respect. Not only from Arsenal supporters, but from the whole world of football. He deserves great respect. We are talking about one of the best managers in the world with a great and important career with Arsenal. He deserves a great tribute for his career. It would be very difficult to see in the future another manager staying for such a long time at the same club. I think, maybe, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger were a really good story for football. Now it will be very difficult to see that again, another situation like this." 1:54PM 'A proper football man who lives and breathes it' David Moyes, whose West Ham side face Arsenal on Sunday, hailed Arsene Wenger's longevity. "He's been a great competitor, a terrific manager who has graced the Premier League for many years. "He's a proper football man who lives and breathes it. To do 22 years is an incredible achievement." 1:53PM 'There are not enough words for what he's done' Burnley boss Sean Dyche, who will be the second-longest serving current manager in the Premier League once Arsene Wenger stands down, has paid tribute to the Frenchman. "He is a legend of the game - the work that he's done will be remembered. "Some things that now seem normal and simple weren't at the time. Hydration in football sounds a simple thing but was not taken to a high level. Making sure the food they were eating was correct. Their health and well-being. "For youngish managers like myself there are not enough good words you can use for what he's done." 1:42PM 'It was a pleasure to compete against him' Pep Guardiola, manager of new Premier League champions Man City, has also spoken. "He is a huge personality. The Premier League is the Premier League because of what he has done and his vision. I wish him all the best for the future. "Hopefully he will be involved in a different way in world football. Of course it was a pleasure at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and here to compete against him." 1:39PM 'Arsenal fans will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, has told The Telegraph he believes the club will unite behind departing manager Arsene Wenger for the rest of the season as they focus on winning the Europa League. 1:37PM Mourinho asked about Wenger... wait for it Jose Mourinho has claimed that deep down he really respects Arsene Wenger and his various insults over the years did not reflect his true relationship with the Arsenal manager, who announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season. "If he's happy with the decision he makes and looks forward to the next chapter of his career and his life I'm really happy for him. If he's sad, I'm sad. I'm pretty sure as a club - and especially because Mr Wenger and Arsenal were for many, many years the biggest rivals of Sir Alex [Ferguson's] era - we will show Mr Wenger the respect he deserves." Asked whether he regretted many of his spats with Wenger, which were often characterised by the strength of Mourinho's response, he was dismissive. "It's not about regretting. I think your question is a typical question from somebody that was not a manager, not a player. Of course, you don't know the way we respect each other even when sometimes it doesn't look like we don't. "Players that get yellow cards and red cards by aggressive actions against each other, bad words during the career - the manager is the same thing. The ones that respect each other more are the ones with the problems. It's power against power; ambition against ambition; quality against quality. But in the end it's people from the same business who respect one another’s careers. "So it happened. What matters for me is the way I respect the person, the professional, the career. I always say that for some the memories are short, but for us football people - the real football people, the others live on us - don't have short memories. I know what it means, three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, what he did in Japan and France, what he brought to French football. "[Also] What he gave to Arsenal in the period without Premier Leagues, the transition from stadium to stadium, we know what he did. If he's happy with the decision, I'm really happy and I hope he doesn't retire from football." 1:23PM Where it all began for Wenger Where it all began for Arsene Wenger in the #PL... pic.twitter.com/gbhqBu9LTq— Premier League (@premierleague) April 20, 2018 1:19PM The Top 10 longest-serving managers in Premier League history Arsene Wenger, Arsenal, October 1996 to May 2018 (21 years, seven months) Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United, August 1992 to May 2013 (20 years, nine months) David Moyes, Everton, March 2002 to May 2013 (11 years, two months) Harry Redknapp, West Ham, August 1994 to May 2001 (six years, eight months) Rafael Benitez, Liverpool, August 2004 to June 2010 (five years, 10 months) Alan Curbishley, Charlton, August 2000 to May 2006 (five years, nine months) Sam Allardyce, Bolton, August 2001 to April 2007 (five years, eight months) Gerard Houllier, Liverpool, November 1998 to May 2004 (five years, six months) Jim Smith, Derby, August 1996 to October 2001 (five years, two months) Sir Bobby Robson, Newcastle, September 1999 to August 2004 (four years, 11 months) 12:58PM 'One of the best in English football history' Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore offered his own tribute to Arsene Wenger. "It is hard to encapsulate the enormity of Arsene Wenger's contribution to Arsenal Football Club, the Premier League and football generally over these past 22 seasons. "All of Arsene's teams have been a joy to watch and his 2003-04 'Invincibles' will go down as one of the best in English football history." 12:50PM 'One major reason why I'm here is because of him' Club captain Per Mertesacker admitted it was "emotional" to find out that Arsene Wenger was set to depart. "We have just been informed basically. It is quite emotional. Obviously he has been at the club for such a long time, he has been so supportive to me. One major reason why I'm here is because of him. "It's been emotional and there will be time to digest it but it is a sad feeling right now." 12:47PM Wenger told players of his exit beforehand Arsene Wenger asked Arsenal to hold off announcing his decision to leave the club so he could inform his players first-hand. The news was announced this morning, with Wenger set to depart 12 months into a two-year deal. It is understood Wenger was keen to tell the Arsenal players himself and did so ahead of training at their London Colney base and minutes before the news was made public. His coaching staff were also informed of the decision in advance, although club staff working at the Emirates Stadium rather than the training ground discovered the news at the same time as everyone else. Wenger's surprise announcement came a day after he evaded questions over his future at his usual pre-match press conference. 12:36PM How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Was your club one of the teams Arsene Wenger had the wood over? How many times did your team lose to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal? 12:35PM 'Today will mark the start of a new era for the club' Arsene Wenger's decision to leave Arsenal at the end of the season is good for all those involved, according to a leading supporters' group. Lois Langton, chair of the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, believes the timing is right and hailed Wenger as a "fantastic" manager in his day. "Without question, the announcement that Arsene Wenger will finally stand down at the end of this season is the right decision, both for the club and the manager, although, having been so long coming, it feels surreal that the day has finally arrived. "The problems associated with his tenure in recent years are well documented and now that the announcement has been made, there is nothing to be gained by going over old ground. "Arsene Wenger was, for a period of time, a fantastic manager for Arsenal. The Invincibles epitomise what he brought to the Club and, to that extent, his legacy will continue. "We have seen with Manchester City this season how difficult it is to go a league campaign undefeated. The 2003/2004 season in particular will forever be a source of pride and achievement. "It is now time to move on. We have a Europa League semi-final coming up against Atletico and a first success in Europe for Arsene Wenger would provide a fitting farewell. "Arsenal has a rich and wonderful heritage and today will mark the start of a new era for the club." 12:31PM Will Arsenal now raise their game against the Hammers? Arsenal play West Ham this Sunday. Here's our man Nick Callow's abbreviated preview: West Ham are not mathematically safe from relegation so Arsenal should fear a club they have lost to three times at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal can be pipped to sixth by Burnley, but Thursday's Europa Atletico Madrid semi-final will dictate Arsene Wenger's selection while David Moyes can go for broke. PREDICTION: 1-1 12:04PM VOTE: Who should Arsenal choose to replace Wenger? 11:55AM Where next for Wenger? Seeing as the man eats, drinks and sleeps football, it is highly unlikely he will walk off into the sunset and retire. The odds are now stacked in favour of him becoming the next Paris Saint-Germain manager, with Unai Emery expected to be shown the door by the Paris giants. Wenger would also be a a highly-popular choice given his profile in France and continuing analysis as a guest pundit for French TV. 11:48AM 'Name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium' Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has urged fans to get behind the Frenchman for the rest of the season, starting with Sunday's home match against West Ham. "I think everybody can pay their respect to him now about how great he was as a manager. It's perfect timing. "I think it gives the fans (the chance) to pack the Emirates for the last few games of the season and have a right go. "If fans do not turn up against West Ham and pack that place out, they need serious questions asked about them and are they real Arsenal fans or are they glory-hunters?" Merson has also called for the Emirates Stadium to be renamed in Wenger's honour. "They should drop the Emirates bit - they don't need the money - and name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium. "That's his stadium. He built that. He made that stadium. Even if they called it the Emirates Arsene Wenger Stadium. He deserves to be on that." 11:44AM 'It shows the great dignity and class of the man' Spain and Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas, who burst in to the Arsenal starting line-up under Arsene Wenger, posted on Instagram... "Wow. I never expected that but it shows the great dignity and class of the man. I will never forget his guidance and support, his tutelage and mentorship. "He had faith in me from day one and I owe him a lot, he was like a father figure to me who always pushed me to be the best. Arsene, you deserve all the respect and happiness in the world. #classact" 11:43AM Inside information Ian Wright appeared to have been aware of the news before it was announced, tweeting a shocked face emoji around half an hour before the club's statement. — Ian Wright (@IanWright0) April 20, 2018 11:41AM Will it be Rodgers who replaces Wenger? Celtic majority shareholder Dermot Desmond has admitted he would let manager Brendan Rodgers speak to Arsenal if the Premier League club approached the Northern Irishman... "Absolutely. I don't think you can put handcuffs on anybody if they want to go to a club as good as Arsenal. "It will be Brendan's decision and Brendan's decision only." 11:33AM 'He moved the goalposts for everyone else' Southampton manager Mark Hughes believes it would be a "massive wrench" for Arsene Wenger to leave after so long in the post. "When you have had longevity in the game like Arsene has, and I have been in the Premier League for a long time, our paths have crossed on numerous occasions, we had a few run-ins but other times we were very civil and respectful of each other's efforts. "I had a good conversation with him two weeks ago, he looked very relaxed and chilled. "He came with different ideas, different views on how the game should be played, he moved the goalposts for everyone else, he came in and had success and everyone else had to catch up." 11:31AM 'Fans are celebrating like they've won the lottery' Former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman, Arsene Wenger's No 1 for the first seven years of his reign, is not happy with how some Gunners fans are reacting... "It's going to be good now, because there's going to be a chance he will get the send-off and the respect he deserves. The fans that are celebrating like they've won the lottery, it makes me a little bit angry if I'm honest. It's time to show respect and realise what he's done. "For me, he is Arsenal, and it's right that he's decided to leave on his own terms. "Now let's enjoy that. I hope all the fans that have stayed away now return because they've still got a chance of winning something this season. Get behind the team, get behind Arsenal, and show him the respect he deserves. "He's a gentleman. It's brilliant to be in his company. He's a really, really nice guy - and a lot of people don't see that. People say he's stubborn and this and that, but that's not true. It might have been true as a manager, but as a man he's a true gentleman. "When he came in he changed everything - the way we played, the diet... He revolutionised Arsenal. He was brilliant. For me, and especially for the back four - he added years to their careers." 11:05AM Wenger's Arsenal reign in numbers 1996 - the year when a then-unheralded Wenger, who had been in charge at Monaco and Japanese side Nagoya Grampus Eight, took over at Highbury. 1228 - games at the helm, ahead of Sunday's Premier League fixture against West Ham. 704 - wins to date as Arsenal boss. 3 - Premier League title wins, the last during an unbeaten Invincibles campaign of 2003/2004. 1549 - goals scored in Premier League matches by Wenger's teams. 10 - major trophies won. 473 - Premier League victories. 7 - FA Cup triumphs, with three of those having come the last four seasons. 151 - Premier League losses. 21 - full seasons in charge. 49 - games unbeaten in the Premier League from May 2003 to October 2004. 10:58AM Nearly 22 years in three minutes #MerciArsènepic.twitter.com/bjP0wLMgee— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 10:55AM How Twitter is reacting to Wenger leaving Unsurprisingly, frequent Arsene Wenger critic Piers Morgan has tweeted with a certain amount of relish... BREAKING: Wenger out. pic.twitter.com/HBuwQdY9aw— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 20, 2018 Fortunately, Gary Neville, the voice of reason, has said what many feel... Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 Arsenal legend David Seaman has called on Gunners fans to give Wenger the send-off he deserves... Sad day for @Arsenal with Arsene leaving, can we now give him the send off/respect he deserves?!! #rememberthetrophies— David Seaman (@thedavidseaman) April 20, 2018 Journalist and TV presenter Robert Peston is suffering from mixed emotions... Such mixed feelings about Wenger resignation. I wanted him to go, but I miss him already. He was magnificent for us over many years, but it was time #Arsenal— Robert Peston (@Peston) April 20, 2018 Radio 1 DJ Greg James sees the funny side... BUT WHO GETS THE COAT?! I WANT THE COAT. SHOTGUN THE COAT. pic.twitter.com/C4qJEbO8YG— Greg James (@gregjames) April 20, 2018 Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams posted on Instagram: "Thanks for everything Arsene. Move over Herbert, Arsene Wenger the greatest Arsenal Manager." 10:50AM How fickle football can be It was expected that many Arsenal fans would boycott the club's remaining home games as a way of voicing their unhappiness at Arsene Wenger. BUT... Arsenal sure to be packed out for remaining games now— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) April 20, 2018 10:36AM One word: longevity 823 - Arsene Wenger has managed more Premier League games than any other manager (823) and only Sir Alex Ferguson has won more games (528) than Wenger (473). Longevity. pic.twitter.com/ktdsaZPb1y— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 20, 2018 10:34AM Klopp hails Wenger Other Premier League manages are being asked for their thoughts on Arsene Wenger after today's momentous announcement. Here's what Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says: "He is an influence in football. A fantastic career, outstanding personality. A big player in the business." 10:32AM How has it come to this? Arsene Wenger has won three Premier League titles during his spell of over 21 years at the helm, the last of which came as a result of the unbeaten 'Invincibles' season in 2003-04. No-one has won more FA Cups than the former Monaco boss, who was a shock appointment back in 1996. Protests against his reign picked up last season as the Gunners finished outside of the top four for the first time in a full campaign under Wenger's control. But despite the growing negativity, Wenger signed a new two-year deal last summer with the mandate of sustaining a title challenge. That failed miserably and, at the time of the announcement, Arsenal sit sixth in the table and 33 points adrift of newly-crowned champions Manchester City. 10:26AM Set your alarms for 5pm! Arsenal are holding a media conference with chief executive Ivan Gazidis at 5pm at the Emirates Stadium. 10:24AM Winterburn says 'time is right' Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn believes the decision is the right one: "I think it's run its natural course. Arsene Wenger has been absolutely amazing for Arsenal Football Club. "It probably feels to me like it is the right time. When Arsene Wenger does step down, I think he will be remembered very, very fondly. We talk about the modern era, George Graham started it and Arsene Wenger's taken it to the next level. "When he leaves the football club, I think people will look back and really appreciate what Arsene Wenger has done." 10:05AM Who will replace him? Arsene Wenger will lead the team to the end of the season and the club say they will 'make an appointment as soon as possible'. Our Arsenal man - Jeremy Wilson - says these are the leading candidates: Leonardo Jardim, Mikel Arteta, Joachim Low, Brendan Rodgers, Max Allegri and Luis Enrique. 10:02AM 'Arsene has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful' Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has issued the following statement: "This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. "Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played. "We have high ambitions to build on Arsène's remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game. "We must now focus on making a strong finish to the season and ask our millions of fans around the world to join us in paying appropriate tribute to one of the greats of Arsenal's history and one of the greats of the game." 9:57AM BREAKING NEWS: Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal Arsene Wenger has announced he is to step down as manager of Arsenal at the end of the season. "After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season. "I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. "I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. "I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special. "I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. "To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. "My love and support for ever."
Arsenal prepare for 'biggest ever challenge' to replace outgoing Arsene Wenger after 22 years in charge
Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal at the end of the season Wenger's last match at Emirates on May 6 against Burnley Last Premier League match ever on May 13 against Huddersfield Arsenal to hold press conference with Ivan Gazidis at 5pm Mourinho speaks: "We'll show Mr Wenger respect he deserves" Why Wenger will enjoy great success in life after Arsenal Next Arsenal manager odds: Who will replace Wenger? How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Arsenal are promising to be “bold” and could again go left-field in replacing Arsene Wenger after the club’s most successful-ever manager decided to announce his departure amid the prospect of being sacked this summer. Wenger revealed on Friday morning that this would be his 22nd and last season as Arsenal manager and, while the timing of the public announcement was his, the wider backdrop was of the club already actively preparing for change. The clear expectation was that he would be asked to leave this summer and Wenger did not want to wait to be sacked. It was also felt that an early announcement would ensure that Wenger received a big unifying send-off and allow all sides to prepare for a future apart. It was noticeable that Gazidis would not answer on Friday whether he had wanted Wenger to stay or tried to persuade him to see out the remaining year on his contract. Wenger has shown no sign of wanting to retire from management and is expected to make a clear break and seek employment elsewhere. Gazidis has been assessing potential replacements for several years, but has now actively begun the search and wants to preserve many of Wenger’s values within a structure that gives the manager rather less power. End of an era | Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season A new backroom team has already been assembled and, while Gazidis called it “our biggest ever challenge", he said the club had never been better prepared. Leading candidates are Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim, former Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta, former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and Germany boss Joachim Low. A complication with Low will be his reluctance to do anything that could destabilise Germany’s defence of the World Cup. Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers would be interested and has admirers inside Arsenal, but there are concerns at how fans might respond to his appointment at a time when unity is desperately sought. Former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel is close to be appointed Paris St Germain, but Juventus manager Max Allegri is keen on eventually working in England and would be of interest if he is ready to move this summer. Gazidis noticeably highlighted how Arsenal appointed an unknown in Wenger way back in 1996. Guy Wenger “Replace Arsene? That’s not going to happen,” he said. “But we have to make sure we don’t lose his qualities and his values in the club and that we take them forward. So someone who will continue to play exciting, progressive football that gets people interested and excited in the games we play. How the candidate represents the club is important. “That value of giving youth a chance is also very important. I think we’ve got to be open-minded and brave in the decision. When Arsene was appointed, I don’t think he was on many people’s radar. We need to be bold in the appointment.” Wenger made the final decision to leave earlier this week and, after discussions with directors on Thursday, he personally informed his staff and the players on Friday morning. There were many tears both at the stadium and training ground, where club staff were said to be in a state of shock. Wenger has won three Premier League titles, an all-time record seven FA Cups, two doubles, reached the 2006 European Cup final and went the entire 2003-4 Premier League season undefeated. He also helped oversee the move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium. Tributes were paid to Wenger on Friday from across sport, with his old adversary Sir Alex Ferguson saying that he was “proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man." As ever, Wenger stressed the importance of maintaining the values he has embodied in his time in English football. Put simply, that is an entertaining playing style, opportunities for young players and a fiscal structure that safeguards the club’s long-term future. “After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season,” said Wenger. “I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever.” Arsenal fan's view | 'All the bad feeling has disappeared' Arsenal’s majority owner, Stan Kroenke, has always been a massive supporter of Wenger and regarded this as perhaps the hardest moment in his time in professional sport. “This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport,” he said. “One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. “Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played.” Gazidis added: “Arsene is going to feel the full force of this club behind him over the next couple of weeks. Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard. A new ambition. An ambition not just to win, but to win while achieving perfection. To make art out of football. He was always brave enough to be true to that extraordinary ambition and incredibly he achieved it with Arsenal’s Invincibles season.“ 5:26PM Gazidis on his abiding memories of Wenger's reign: “There are great moments - the trophies, the FA Cups, the victory against Barcelona. But the memories I have of Arsene are of speaking to him in quiet moments. He’s an incredibly self-critical man who always gives others the benefit of the doubt. There’s a reason there is so much affection for him. He’s a special person.” 5:23PM Gazidis on the players' reaction: “I think from the reaction at the training ground today, what I felt was an incredible amount of passion to give Arsene the send off that he deserves. “The decision had to come at some point. Now it’s time for us to look forward.” 5:21PM Gazidis on Wenger's future: “Will he retire? He’s somebody who is in great shape and has a competitive edge but that’s a question for him.” 5:19PM Gazidis on the next Arsenal manager: "We're going to have a process around that. The process begins today but I want to keep that process in-house. I don't want to be making public comments about it. We haven't had any discussions to date regarding that." 5:18PM Gazidis on where Arsenal go next: “Our first priority is to come together as a club and we are seeing that today. Our players. staff and fans are behind this great man and we will give him the send off he deserves. I don’t underestimate that challenge but I am confident in the people we have in place to take Arsene’s vision forward and build on it.” "We are not going to find a replacement for Arsene Wenger" 5:16PM Gazidis on Wenger's immediate legacy “Arsene often said his aim was to leave the club in a better place than when he found out. We are in a better place than we could have ever imagined.” 5:15PM Gazidis on Wenger's inspiration: “Beyond football, he has inspired the people around him. He is able to make people believe that they can achieve great things. He inspired George Weah to believe he could not only become the world’s best football player, but to become the president of a nation. He has taken every challenge with humour and grace and class.” 5:15PM Gazidis on the Wenger philosophy: “Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard. A new ambition. Not just to win, but to win while achieving perfection - to make art. Incredibly, he achieved it with the Invincibles. Arsene has been brave enough to live by his philosophy. He’s made Arsenal throughout the world for the kind of football we play.” 5:14PM Gazidis on today's news: “Obviously this has been an emotional day for everyone. Now I have the impossible job of communicating that feeling. Typically, Arsene is not here as he is taking training. I will leave it to others to talk about the facts and figures of his tenure. There is something more coming out today. There is an affection from Arsenal fans and right across the sphere of football. I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Arsene over the last 10 years.” 5:12PM Ivan Gazidis addresses the media... "Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard, a new ambition. Am ambition not just to win but to win while achieving perfection. To make art out of football." 4:42PM Jack Wilshere on the outgoing boss... "We need to send him off in the right way now" �� Turn your sound up and listen to this from @JackWilsherepic.twitter.com/aZ9UA5u0mo— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 "I'm sure when the dust settles, we have a few days to think about it, we'll start to reflect on it, but at the moment it's a bit raw, it's a bit sensitive." 4:08PM Thierry Henry on his former manager October 2002 and September's manager of the month congratulates the player of the month Credit: EDDIE KEOGH/PA I was a little mixed because it's a sad day for me to see the big man leave the club, although we all know he has matches left. I'm happy in a way that people can give him the farewell he deserves. His legacy is untouchable. Managers, fans from other teams - [they say] how Arsène changed Arsenal. I am happy that now we can all talk about his legacy. But we must not get carried away with celebrating the end of his time. The team must win the Europa League, it would be an incredible feat and Arsène has never won in Europe before, so it would be a good way to give him a nice goodbye. I remember when I was playing for Arsenal, people were talking about how we play, not what we won, but how we did it and how Arsène made Arsenal a club known in the whole world. If I could be the successor of Wenger? Look at me laughing. It's funny. One person to whom you can ask this question is Ivan Gazidis. He should answer the question. 3:57PM And a word from Germany From one he helped to make it (to Bayern Munich) 22 years @Arsenal - almost my whole lifetime. Impressive. Glad I could be a small part of it ���� #MerciArsène#Wengerpic.twitter.com/lzGJXJlOGC— Serge Gnabry (@SergeGnabry) April 20, 2018 3:51PM A tribute from an opponent Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 3:36PM A trawl through the picture archive ... Has inspired this, 22 years in 11 photographs: Wenger at Arsenal gallery 3:17PM Sir Alex Ferguson pays tribute "I am really happy for Arsène Wenger. I have great respect for him and for the job he has done at Arsenal. It is great testament to his talent, professionalism and determination that has been able to dedicate 22 years of his life to a job that he loves. "In an era where football managers sometimes only last one or two seasons, it shows what an achievement it is to serve that length of time at a club the size of Arsenal. "I am pleased that he has announced he is leaving at this stage of the season, as he can now have the send-off that he truly deserves. "He is, without doubt, one the greatest Premier League managers and I am proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man." 2:47PM Pep Guardiola tips his hat Luke Edwards reports from the Manchester City manager's press conference: “He has all my respect for what he has done. The Premier League is about huge personalities like Arsène, it is because of what he has done, his vision. “I wish him all the best in the future, I hope he can be involved in world football in a different way with his experience. Whether it is with Arsenal, Uefa, Fifa, or somewhere else, I don't know. It was a pleasure to compete against him here, with City, as well as Barcelona and Bayern. Pep Guardiola takes Manchester City training on Friday Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images “It will be difficult for anyone to do what he has done at a top European club again. Sir Alex Ferguson did it at Manchester United, but it is so, so complicated. With the way social media is now, everybody has an opinion and can express it, you feel the pressure as a manager. “You can also feel pressure because staying in the Premier League is so important, then you have the sporting directors, who do not have a lot of patience. It will be so difficult to find a person who will be able to stay at a club for so long and do what Arsène has done.” 2:32PM 'Arsenal will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz, from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, speaks to Telegraph Sport 2:06PM 'I have been talking well about him for a while' Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, who has locked horns with Arsene Wenger plenty of times down the years in his time at Liverpool, Chelsea and on Tyneside, said this at today's press conference: "I have been talking well about him for a while. "To do things in the way that he has done and win the way he was winning, for so many years... we are talking about one of the best managers in football history." 2:01PM 'Like a father through tough times in my career' Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere posted this on Facebook: "To the man who gave me my chance as a 16-year-old, and showed unbelievable faith and commitment towards me. Always a gentleman, like a father through tough times in my career. He always believed in me when most people didn't. Thank you for everything boss! It's down to us now to end your era right. #onearsenewenger" Big shoes for anyone to fill,playing for Arsenal under Arsene was one of the best period of my career, 2 premiership, 2 FA cups, The invincibles, playing with some of the best assembled players,influencing millions of fans in Africa to support this great club. pic.twitter.com/tILZo70jBE— Kanu Nwankwo (@papilokanu) April 20, 2018 Personally a very sad day. I am forever in debt to this man. The person who had faith in me and gave me a platform to progress. Thank you for all the memories and trophies bosspic.twitter.com/EP26M6TP3W— Héctor Bellerín (@HectorBellerin) April 20, 2018 1:56PM 'He deserves respect from the whole world of football' Our man Matt Law was at Stamford Bridge today and asked Antonio Conte for his thoughts on Arsene Wenger. Reaction to Wenger? "My reaction... I think we must pay a great tribute to Arsene Wenger for his career. For his career at Arsenal. He and Ferguson, we're talking about the last two managers to stay for such a long time in a club. Arsene Wenger worked 22 years for Arsenal. I think that's great, it's a fantastic story. He won a lot at this club and, for this reason, I think he deserves a great tribute for his career." What was his influence in a footballing sense? "I think Arsene is one of the managers who had a great influence on football because, in every moment in his idea of football, he tried to play good football, creative and offensive football. He deserves great tribute also for this." How important is it that he gains that great tribute? "He deserves great respect. Not only from Arsenal supporters, but from the whole world of football. He deserves great respect. We are talking about one of the best managers in the world with a great and important career with Arsenal. He deserves a great tribute for his career. It would be very difficult to see in the future another manager staying for such a long time at the same club. I think, maybe, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger were a really good story for football. Now it will be very difficult to see that again, another situation like this." 1:54PM 'A proper football man who lives and breathes it' David Moyes, whose West Ham side face Arsenal on Sunday, hailed Arsene Wenger's longevity. "He's been a great competitor, a terrific manager who has graced the Premier League for many years. "He's a proper football man who lives and breathes it. To do 22 years is an incredible achievement." 1:53PM 'There are not enough words for what he's done' Burnley boss Sean Dyche, who will be the second-longest serving current manager in the Premier League once Arsene Wenger stands down, has paid tribute to the Frenchman. "He is a legend of the game - the work that he's done will be remembered. "Some things that now seem normal and simple weren't at the time. Hydration in football sounds a simple thing but was not taken to a high level. Making sure the food they were eating was correct. Their health and well-being. "For youngish managers like myself there are not enough good words you can use for what he's done." 1:42PM 'It was a pleasure to compete against him' Pep Guardiola, manager of new Premier League champions Man City, has also spoken. "He is a huge personality. The Premier League is the Premier League because of what he has done and his vision. I wish him all the best for the future. "Hopefully he will be involved in a different way in world football. Of course it was a pleasure at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and here to compete against him." 1:39PM 'Arsenal fans will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, has told The Telegraph he believes the club will unite behind departing manager Arsene Wenger for the rest of the season as they focus on winning the Europa League. 1:37PM Mourinho asked about Wenger... wait for it Jose Mourinho has claimed that deep down he really respects Arsene Wenger and his various insults over the years did not reflect his true relationship with the Arsenal manager, who announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season. "If he's happy with the decision he makes and looks forward to the next chapter of his career and his life I'm really happy for him. If he's sad, I'm sad. I'm pretty sure as a club - and especially because Mr Wenger and Arsenal were for many, many years the biggest rivals of Sir Alex [Ferguson's] era - we will show Mr Wenger the respect he deserves." Asked whether he regretted many of his spats with Wenger, which were often characterised by the strength of Mourinho's response, he was dismissive. "It's not about regretting. I think your question is a typical question from somebody that was not a manager, not a player. Of course, you don't know the way we respect each other even when sometimes it doesn't look like we don't. "Players that get yellow cards and red cards by aggressive actions against each other, bad words during the career - the manager is the same thing. The ones that respect each other more are the ones with the problems. It's power against power; ambition against ambition; quality against quality. But in the end it's people from the same business who respect one another’s careers. "So it happened. What matters for me is the way I respect the person, the professional, the career. I always say that for some the memories are short, but for us football people - the real football people, the others live on us - don't have short memories. I know what it means, three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, what he did in Japan and France, what he brought to French football. "[Also] What he gave to Arsenal in the period without Premier Leagues, the transition from stadium to stadium, we know what he did. If he's happy with the decision, I'm really happy and I hope he doesn't retire from football." 1:23PM Where it all began for Wenger Where it all began for Arsene Wenger in the #PL... pic.twitter.com/gbhqBu9LTq— Premier League (@premierleague) April 20, 2018 1:19PM The Top 10 longest-serving managers in Premier League history Arsene Wenger, Arsenal, October 1996 to May 2018 (21 years, seven months) Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United, August 1992 to May 2013 (20 years, nine months) David Moyes, Everton, March 2002 to May 2013 (11 years, two months) Harry Redknapp, West Ham, August 1994 to May 2001 (six years, eight months) Rafael Benitez, Liverpool, August 2004 to June 2010 (five years, 10 months) Alan Curbishley, Charlton, August 2000 to May 2006 (five years, nine months) Sam Allardyce, Bolton, August 2001 to April 2007 (five years, eight months) Gerard Houllier, Liverpool, November 1998 to May 2004 (five years, six months) Jim Smith, Derby, August 1996 to October 2001 (five years, two months) Sir Bobby Robson, Newcastle, September 1999 to August 2004 (four years, 11 months) 12:58PM 'One of the best in English football history' Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore offered his own tribute to Arsene Wenger. "It is hard to encapsulate the enormity of Arsene Wenger's contribution to Arsenal Football Club, the Premier League and football generally over these past 22 seasons. "All of Arsene's teams have been a joy to watch and his 2003-04 'Invincibles' will go down as one of the best in English football history." 12:50PM 'One major reason why I'm here is because of him' Club captain Per Mertesacker admitted it was "emotional" to find out that Arsene Wenger was set to depart. "We have just been informed basically. It is quite emotional. Obviously he has been at the club for such a long time, he has been so supportive to me. One major reason why I'm here is because of him. "It's been emotional and there will be time to digest it but it is a sad feeling right now." 12:47PM Wenger told players of his exit beforehand Arsene Wenger asked Arsenal to hold off announcing his decision to leave the club so he could inform his players first-hand. The news was announced this morning, with Wenger set to depart 12 months into a two-year deal. It is understood Wenger was keen to tell the Arsenal players himself and did so ahead of training at their London Colney base and minutes before the news was made public. His coaching staff were also informed of the decision in advance, although club staff working at the Emirates Stadium rather than the training ground discovered the news at the same time as everyone else. Wenger's surprise announcement came a day after he evaded questions over his future at his usual pre-match press conference. 12:36PM How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Was your club one of the teams Arsene Wenger had the wood over? How many times did your team lose to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal? 12:35PM 'Today will mark the start of a new era for the club' Arsene Wenger's decision to leave Arsenal at the end of the season is good for all those involved, according to a leading supporters' group. Lois Langton, chair of the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, believes the timing is right and hailed Wenger as a "fantastic" manager in his day. "Without question, the announcement that Arsene Wenger will finally stand down at the end of this season is the right decision, both for the club and the manager, although, having been so long coming, it feels surreal that the day has finally arrived. "The problems associated with his tenure in recent years are well documented and now that the announcement has been made, there is nothing to be gained by going over old ground. "Arsene Wenger was, for a period of time, a fantastic manager for Arsenal. The Invincibles epitomise what he brought to the Club and, to that extent, his legacy will continue. "We have seen with Manchester City this season how difficult it is to go a league campaign undefeated. The 2003/2004 season in particular will forever be a source of pride and achievement. "It is now time to move on. We have a Europa League semi-final coming up against Atletico and a first success in Europe for Arsene Wenger would provide a fitting farewell. "Arsenal has a rich and wonderful heritage and today will mark the start of a new era for the club." 12:31PM Will Arsenal now raise their game against the Hammers? Arsenal play West Ham this Sunday. Here's our man Nick Callow's abbreviated preview: West Ham are not mathematically safe from relegation so Arsenal should fear a club they have lost to three times at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal can be pipped to sixth by Burnley, but Thursday's Europa Atletico Madrid semi-final will dictate Arsene Wenger's selection while David Moyes can go for broke. PREDICTION: 1-1 12:04PM VOTE: Who should Arsenal choose to replace Wenger? 11:55AM Where next for Wenger? Seeing as the man eats, drinks and sleeps football, it is highly unlikely he will walk off into the sunset and retire. The odds are now stacked in favour of him becoming the next Paris Saint-Germain manager, with Unai Emery expected to be shown the door by the Paris giants. Wenger would also be a a highly-popular choice given his profile in France and continuing analysis as a guest pundit for French TV. 11:48AM 'Name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium' Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has urged fans to get behind the Frenchman for the rest of the season, starting with Sunday's home match against West Ham. "I think everybody can pay their respect to him now about how great he was as a manager. It's perfect timing. "I think it gives the fans (the chance) to pack the Emirates for the last few games of the season and have a right go. "If fans do not turn up against West Ham and pack that place out, they need serious questions asked about them and are they real Arsenal fans or are they glory-hunters?" Merson has also called for the Emirates Stadium to be renamed in Wenger's honour. "They should drop the Emirates bit - they don't need the money - and name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium. "That's his stadium. He built that. He made that stadium. Even if they called it the Emirates Arsene Wenger Stadium. He deserves to be on that." 11:44AM 'It shows the great dignity and class of the man' Spain and Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas, who burst in to the Arsenal starting line-up under Arsene Wenger, posted on Instagram... "Wow. I never expected that but it shows the great dignity and class of the man. I will never forget his guidance and support, his tutelage and mentorship. "He had faith in me from day one and I owe him a lot, he was like a father figure to me who always pushed me to be the best. Arsene, you deserve all the respect and happiness in the world. #classact" 11:43AM Inside information Ian Wright appeared to have been aware of the news before it was announced, tweeting a shocked face emoji around half an hour before the club's statement. — Ian Wright (@IanWright0) April 20, 2018 11:41AM Will it be Rodgers who replaces Wenger? Celtic majority shareholder Dermot Desmond has admitted he would let manager Brendan Rodgers speak to Arsenal if the Premier League club approached the Northern Irishman... "Absolutely. I don't think you can put handcuffs on anybody if they want to go to a club as good as Arsenal. "It will be Brendan's decision and Brendan's decision only." 11:33AM 'He moved the goalposts for everyone else' Southampton manager Mark Hughes believes it would be a "massive wrench" for Arsene Wenger to leave after so long in the post. "When you have had longevity in the game like Arsene has, and I have been in the Premier League for a long time, our paths have crossed on numerous occasions, we had a few run-ins but other times we were very civil and respectful of each other's efforts. "I had a good conversation with him two weeks ago, he looked very relaxed and chilled. "He came with different ideas, different views on how the game should be played, he moved the goalposts for everyone else, he came in and had success and everyone else had to catch up." 11:31AM 'Fans are celebrating like they've won the lottery' Former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman, Arsene Wenger's No 1 for the first seven years of his reign, is not happy with how some Gunners fans are reacting... "It's going to be good now, because there's going to be a chance he will get the send-off and the respect he deserves. The fans that are celebrating like they've won the lottery, it makes me a little bit angry if I'm honest. It's time to show respect and realise what he's done. "For me, he is Arsenal, and it's right that he's decided to leave on his own terms. "Now let's enjoy that. I hope all the fans that have stayed away now return because they've still got a chance of winning something this season. Get behind the team, get behind Arsenal, and show him the respect he deserves. "He's a gentleman. It's brilliant to be in his company. He's a really, really nice guy - and a lot of people don't see that. People say he's stubborn and this and that, but that's not true. It might have been true as a manager, but as a man he's a true gentleman. "When he came in he changed everything - the way we played, the diet... He revolutionised Arsenal. He was brilliant. For me, and especially for the back four - he added years to their careers." 11:05AM Wenger's Arsenal reign in numbers 1996 - the year when a then-unheralded Wenger, who had been in charge at Monaco and Japanese side Nagoya Grampus Eight, took over at Highbury. 1228 - games at the helm, ahead of Sunday's Premier League fixture against West Ham. 704 - wins to date as Arsenal boss. 3 - Premier League title wins, the last during an unbeaten Invincibles campaign of 2003/2004. 1549 - goals scored in Premier League matches by Wenger's teams. 10 - major trophies won. 473 - Premier League victories. 7 - FA Cup triumphs, with three of those having come the last four seasons. 151 - Premier League losses. 21 - full seasons in charge. 49 - games unbeaten in the Premier League from May 2003 to October 2004. 10:58AM Nearly 22 years in three minutes #MerciArsènepic.twitter.com/bjP0wLMgee— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 10:55AM How Twitter is reacting to Wenger leaving Unsurprisingly, frequent Arsene Wenger critic Piers Morgan has tweeted with a certain amount of relish... BREAKING: Wenger out. pic.twitter.com/HBuwQdY9aw— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 20, 2018 Fortunately, Gary Neville, the voice of reason, has said what many feel... Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 Arsenal legend David Seaman has called on Gunners fans to give Wenger the send-off he deserves... Sad day for @Arsenal with Arsene leaving, can we now give him the send off/respect he deserves?!! #rememberthetrophies— David Seaman (@thedavidseaman) April 20, 2018 Journalist and TV presenter Robert Peston is suffering from mixed emotions... Such mixed feelings about Wenger resignation. I wanted him to go, but I miss him already. He was magnificent for us over many years, but it was time #Arsenal— Robert Peston (@Peston) April 20, 2018 Radio 1 DJ Greg James sees the funny side... BUT WHO GETS THE COAT?! I WANT THE COAT. SHOTGUN THE COAT. pic.twitter.com/C4qJEbO8YG— Greg James (@gregjames) April 20, 2018 Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams posted on Instagram: "Thanks for everything Arsene. Move over Herbert, Arsene Wenger the greatest Arsenal Manager." 10:50AM How fickle football can be It was expected that many Arsenal fans would boycott the club's remaining home games as a way of voicing their unhappiness at Arsene Wenger. BUT... Arsenal sure to be packed out for remaining games now— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) April 20, 2018 10:36AM One word: longevity 823 - Arsene Wenger has managed more Premier League games than any other manager (823) and only Sir Alex Ferguson has won more games (528) than Wenger (473). Longevity. pic.twitter.com/ktdsaZPb1y— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 20, 2018 10:34AM Klopp hails Wenger Other Premier League manages are being asked for their thoughts on Arsene Wenger after today's momentous announcement. Here's what Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says: "He is an influence in football. A fantastic career, outstanding personality. A big player in the business." 10:32AM How has it come to this? Arsene Wenger has won three Premier League titles during his spell of over 21 years at the helm, the last of which came as a result of the unbeaten 'Invincibles' season in 2003-04. No-one has won more FA Cups than the former Monaco boss, who was a shock appointment back in 1996. Protests against his reign picked up last season as the Gunners finished outside of the top four for the first time in a full campaign under Wenger's control. But despite the growing negativity, Wenger signed a new two-year deal last summer with the mandate of sustaining a title challenge. That failed miserably and, at the time of the announcement, Arsenal sit sixth in the table and 33 points adrift of newly-crowned champions Manchester City. 10:26AM Set your alarms for 5pm! Arsenal are holding a media conference with chief executive Ivan Gazidis at 5pm at the Emirates Stadium. 10:24AM Winterburn says 'time is right' Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn believes the decision is the right one: "I think it's run its natural course. Arsene Wenger has been absolutely amazing for Arsenal Football Club. "It probably feels to me like it is the right time. When Arsene Wenger does step down, I think he will be remembered very, very fondly. We talk about the modern era, George Graham started it and Arsene Wenger's taken it to the next level. "When he leaves the football club, I think people will look back and really appreciate what Arsene Wenger has done." 10:05AM Who will replace him? Arsene Wenger will lead the team to the end of the season and the club say they will 'make an appointment as soon as possible'. Our Arsenal man - Jeremy Wilson - says these are the leading candidates: Leonardo Jardim, Mikel Arteta, Joachim Low, Brendan Rodgers, Max Allegri and Luis Enrique. 10:02AM 'Arsene has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful' Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has issued the following statement: "This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. "Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played. "We have high ambitions to build on Arsène's remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game. "We must now focus on making a strong finish to the season and ask our millions of fans around the world to join us in paying appropriate tribute to one of the greats of Arsenal's history and one of the greats of the game." 9:57AM BREAKING NEWS: Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal Arsene Wenger has announced he is to step down as manager of Arsenal at the end of the season. "After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season. "I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. "I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. "I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special. "I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. "To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. "My love and support for ever."
Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal at the end of the season Wenger's last match at Emirates on May 6 against Burnley Last Premier League match ever on May 13 against Huddersfield Arsenal to hold press conference with Ivan Gazidis at 5pm Mourinho speaks: "We'll show Mr Wenger respect he deserves" Why Wenger will enjoy great success in life after Arsenal Next Arsenal manager odds: Who will replace Wenger? How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Arsenal are promising to be “bold” and could again go left-field in replacing Arsene Wenger after the club’s most successful-ever manager decided to announce his departure amid the prospect of being sacked this summer. Wenger revealed on Friday morning that this would be his 22nd and last season as Arsenal manager and, while the timing of the public announcement was his, the wider backdrop was of the club already actively preparing for change. The clear expectation was that he would be asked to leave this summer and Wenger did not want to wait to be sacked. It was also felt that an early announcement would ensure that Wenger received a big unifying send-off and allow all sides to prepare for a future apart. It was noticeable that Gazidis would not answer on Friday whether he had wanted Wenger to stay or tried to persuade him to see out the remaining year on his contract. Wenger has shown no sign of wanting to retire from management and is expected to make a clear break and seek employment elsewhere. Gazidis has been assessing potential replacements for several years, but has now actively begun the search and wants to preserve many of Wenger’s values within a structure that gives the manager rather less power. End of an era | Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season A new backroom team has already been assembled and, while Gazidis called it “our biggest ever challenge", he said the club had never been better prepared. Leading candidates are Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim, former Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta, former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and Germany boss Joachim Low. A complication with Low will be his reluctance to do anything that could destabilise Germany’s defence of the World Cup. Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers would be interested and has admirers inside Arsenal, but there are concerns at how fans might respond to his appointment at a time when unity is desperately sought. Former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel is close to be appointed Paris St Germain, but Juventus manager Max Allegri is keen on eventually working in England and would be of interest if he is ready to move this summer. Gazidis noticeably highlighted how Arsenal appointed an unknown in Wenger way back in 1996. Guy Wenger “Replace Arsene? That’s not going to happen,” he said. “But we have to make sure we don’t lose his qualities and his values in the club and that we take them forward. So someone who will continue to play exciting, progressive football that gets people interested and excited in the games we play. How the candidate represents the club is important. “That value of giving youth a chance is also very important. I think we’ve got to be open-minded and brave in the decision. When Arsene was appointed, I don’t think he was on many people’s radar. We need to be bold in the appointment.” Wenger made the final decision to leave earlier this week and, after discussions with directors on Thursday, he personally informed his staff and the players on Friday morning. There were many tears both at the stadium and training ground, where club staff were said to be in a state of shock. Wenger has won three Premier League titles, an all-time record seven FA Cups, two doubles, reached the 2006 European Cup final and went the entire 2003-4 Premier League season undefeated. He also helped oversee the move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium. Tributes were paid to Wenger on Friday from across sport, with his old adversary Sir Alex Ferguson saying that he was “proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man." As ever, Wenger stressed the importance of maintaining the values he has embodied in his time in English football. Put simply, that is an entertaining playing style, opportunities for young players and a fiscal structure that safeguards the club’s long-term future. “After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season,” said Wenger. “I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever.” Arsenal fan's view | 'All the bad feeling has disappeared' Arsenal’s majority owner, Stan Kroenke, has always been a massive supporter of Wenger and regarded this as perhaps the hardest moment in his time in professional sport. “This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport,” he said. “One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. “Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played.” Gazidis added: “Arsene is going to feel the full force of this club behind him over the next couple of weeks. Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard. A new ambition. An ambition not just to win, but to win while achieving perfection. To make art out of football. He was always brave enough to be true to that extraordinary ambition and incredibly he achieved it with Arsenal’s Invincibles season.“ 5:26PM Gazidis on his abiding memories of Wenger's reign: “There are great moments - the trophies, the FA Cups, the victory against Barcelona. But the memories I have of Arsene are of speaking to him in quiet moments. He’s an incredibly self-critical man who always gives others the benefit of the doubt. There’s a reason there is so much affection for him. He’s a special person.” 5:23PM Gazidis on the players' reaction: “I think from the reaction at the training ground today, what I felt was an incredible amount of passion to give Arsene the send off that he deserves. “The decision had to come at some point. Now it’s time for us to look forward.” 5:21PM Gazidis on Wenger's future: “Will he retire? He’s somebody who is in great shape and has a competitive edge but that’s a question for him.” 5:19PM Gazidis on the next Arsenal manager: "We're going to have a process around that. The process begins today but I want to keep that process in-house. I don't want to be making public comments about it. We haven't had any discussions to date regarding that." 5:18PM Gazidis on where Arsenal go next: “Our first priority is to come together as a club and we are seeing that today. Our players. staff and fans are behind this great man and we will give him the send off he deserves. I don’t underestimate that challenge but I am confident in the people we have in place to take Arsene’s vision forward and build on it.” "We are not going to find a replacement for Arsene Wenger" 5:16PM Gazidis on Wenger's immediate legacy “Arsene often said his aim was to leave the club in a better place than when he found out. We are in a better place than we could have ever imagined.” 5:15PM Gazidis on Wenger's inspiration: “Beyond football, he has inspired the people around him. He is able to make people believe that they can achieve great things. He inspired George Weah to believe he could not only become the world’s best football player, but to become the president of a nation. He has taken every challenge with humour and grace and class.” 5:15PM Gazidis on the Wenger philosophy: “Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard. A new ambition. Not just to win, but to win while achieving perfection - to make art. Incredibly, he achieved it with the Invincibles. Arsene has been brave enough to live by his philosophy. He’s made Arsenal throughout the world for the kind of football we play.” 5:14PM Gazidis on today's news: “Obviously this has been an emotional day for everyone. Now I have the impossible job of communicating that feeling. Typically, Arsene is not here as he is taking training. I will leave it to others to talk about the facts and figures of his tenure. There is something more coming out today. There is an affection from Arsenal fans and right across the sphere of football. I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Arsene over the last 10 years.” 5:12PM Ivan Gazidis addresses the media... "Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard, a new ambition. Am ambition not just to win but to win while achieving perfection. To make art out of football." 4:42PM Jack Wilshere on the outgoing boss... "We need to send him off in the right way now" �� Turn your sound up and listen to this from @JackWilsherepic.twitter.com/aZ9UA5u0mo— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 "I'm sure when the dust settles, we have a few days to think about it, we'll start to reflect on it, but at the moment it's a bit raw, it's a bit sensitive." 4:08PM Thierry Henry on his former manager October 2002 and September's manager of the month congratulates the player of the month Credit: EDDIE KEOGH/PA I was a little mixed because it's a sad day for me to see the big man leave the club, although we all know he has matches left. I'm happy in a way that people can give him the farewell he deserves. His legacy is untouchable. Managers, fans from other teams - [they say] how Arsène changed Arsenal. I am happy that now we can all talk about his legacy. But we must not get carried away with celebrating the end of his time. The team must win the Europa League, it would be an incredible feat and Arsène has never won in Europe before, so it would be a good way to give him a nice goodbye. I remember when I was playing for Arsenal, people were talking about how we play, not what we won, but how we did it and how Arsène made Arsenal a club known in the whole world. If I could be the successor of Wenger? Look at me laughing. It's funny. One person to whom you can ask this question is Ivan Gazidis. He should answer the question. 3:57PM And a word from Germany From one he helped to make it (to Bayern Munich) 22 years @Arsenal - almost my whole lifetime. Impressive. Glad I could be a small part of it ���� #MerciArsène#Wengerpic.twitter.com/lzGJXJlOGC— Serge Gnabry (@SergeGnabry) April 20, 2018 3:51PM A tribute from an opponent Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 3:36PM A trawl through the picture archive ... Has inspired this, 22 years in 11 photographs: Wenger at Arsenal gallery 3:17PM Sir Alex Ferguson pays tribute "I am really happy for Arsène Wenger. I have great respect for him and for the job he has done at Arsenal. It is great testament to his talent, professionalism and determination that has been able to dedicate 22 years of his life to a job that he loves. "In an era where football managers sometimes only last one or two seasons, it shows what an achievement it is to serve that length of time at a club the size of Arsenal. "I am pleased that he has announced he is leaving at this stage of the season, as he can now have the send-off that he truly deserves. "He is, without doubt, one the greatest Premier League managers and I am proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man." 2:47PM Pep Guardiola tips his hat Luke Edwards reports from the Manchester City manager's press conference: “He has all my respect for what he has done. The Premier League is about huge personalities like Arsène, it is because of what he has done, his vision. “I wish him all the best in the future, I hope he can be involved in world football in a different way with his experience. Whether it is with Arsenal, Uefa, Fifa, or somewhere else, I don't know. It was a pleasure to compete against him here, with City, as well as Barcelona and Bayern. Pep Guardiola takes Manchester City training on Friday Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images “It will be difficult for anyone to do what he has done at a top European club again. Sir Alex Ferguson did it at Manchester United, but it is so, so complicated. With the way social media is now, everybody has an opinion and can express it, you feel the pressure as a manager. “You can also feel pressure because staying in the Premier League is so important, then you have the sporting directors, who do not have a lot of patience. It will be so difficult to find a person who will be able to stay at a club for so long and do what Arsène has done.” 2:32PM 'Arsenal will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz, from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, speaks to Telegraph Sport 2:06PM 'I have been talking well about him for a while' Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, who has locked horns with Arsene Wenger plenty of times down the years in his time at Liverpool, Chelsea and on Tyneside, said this at today's press conference: "I have been talking well about him for a while. "To do things in the way that he has done and win the way he was winning, for so many years... we are talking about one of the best managers in football history." 2:01PM 'Like a father through tough times in my career' Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere posted this on Facebook: "To the man who gave me my chance as a 16-year-old, and showed unbelievable faith and commitment towards me. Always a gentleman, like a father through tough times in my career. He always believed in me when most people didn't. Thank you for everything boss! It's down to us now to end your era right. #onearsenewenger" Big shoes for anyone to fill,playing for Arsenal under Arsene was one of the best period of my career, 2 premiership, 2 FA cups, The invincibles, playing with some of the best assembled players,influencing millions of fans in Africa to support this great club. pic.twitter.com/tILZo70jBE— Kanu Nwankwo (@papilokanu) April 20, 2018 Personally a very sad day. I am forever in debt to this man. The person who had faith in me and gave me a platform to progress. Thank you for all the memories and trophies bosspic.twitter.com/EP26M6TP3W— Héctor Bellerín (@HectorBellerin) April 20, 2018 1:56PM 'He deserves respect from the whole world of football' Our man Matt Law was at Stamford Bridge today and asked Antonio Conte for his thoughts on Arsene Wenger. Reaction to Wenger? "My reaction... I think we must pay a great tribute to Arsene Wenger for his career. For his career at Arsenal. He and Ferguson, we're talking about the last two managers to stay for such a long time in a club. Arsene Wenger worked 22 years for Arsenal. I think that's great, it's a fantastic story. He won a lot at this club and, for this reason, I think he deserves a great tribute for his career." What was his influence in a footballing sense? "I think Arsene is one of the managers who had a great influence on football because, in every moment in his idea of football, he tried to play good football, creative and offensive football. He deserves great tribute also for this." How important is it that he gains that great tribute? "He deserves great respect. Not only from Arsenal supporters, but from the whole world of football. He deserves great respect. We are talking about one of the best managers in the world with a great and important career with Arsenal. He deserves a great tribute for his career. It would be very difficult to see in the future another manager staying for such a long time at the same club. I think, maybe, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger were a really good story for football. Now it will be very difficult to see that again, another situation like this." 1:54PM 'A proper football man who lives and breathes it' David Moyes, whose West Ham side face Arsenal on Sunday, hailed Arsene Wenger's longevity. "He's been a great competitor, a terrific manager who has graced the Premier League for many years. "He's a proper football man who lives and breathes it. To do 22 years is an incredible achievement." 1:53PM 'There are not enough words for what he's done' Burnley boss Sean Dyche, who will be the second-longest serving current manager in the Premier League once Arsene Wenger stands down, has paid tribute to the Frenchman. "He is a legend of the game - the work that he's done will be remembered. "Some things that now seem normal and simple weren't at the time. Hydration in football sounds a simple thing but was not taken to a high level. Making sure the food they were eating was correct. Their health and well-being. "For youngish managers like myself there are not enough good words you can use for what he's done." 1:42PM 'It was a pleasure to compete against him' Pep Guardiola, manager of new Premier League champions Man City, has also spoken. "He is a huge personality. The Premier League is the Premier League because of what he has done and his vision. I wish him all the best for the future. "Hopefully he will be involved in a different way in world football. Of course it was a pleasure at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and here to compete against him." 1:39PM 'Arsenal fans will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, has told The Telegraph he believes the club will unite behind departing manager Arsene Wenger for the rest of the season as they focus on winning the Europa League. 1:37PM Mourinho asked about Wenger... wait for it Jose Mourinho has claimed that deep down he really respects Arsene Wenger and his various insults over the years did not reflect his true relationship with the Arsenal manager, who announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season. "If he's happy with the decision he makes and looks forward to the next chapter of his career and his life I'm really happy for him. If he's sad, I'm sad. I'm pretty sure as a club - and especially because Mr Wenger and Arsenal were for many, many years the biggest rivals of Sir Alex [Ferguson's] era - we will show Mr Wenger the respect he deserves." Asked whether he regretted many of his spats with Wenger, which were often characterised by the strength of Mourinho's response, he was dismissive. "It's not about regretting. I think your question is a typical question from somebody that was not a manager, not a player. Of course, you don't know the way we respect each other even when sometimes it doesn't look like we don't. "Players that get yellow cards and red cards by aggressive actions against each other, bad words during the career - the manager is the same thing. The ones that respect each other more are the ones with the problems. It's power against power; ambition against ambition; quality against quality. But in the end it's people from the same business who respect one another’s careers. "So it happened. What matters for me is the way I respect the person, the professional, the career. I always say that for some the memories are short, but for us football people - the real football people, the others live on us - don't have short memories. I know what it means, three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, what he did in Japan and France, what he brought to French football. "[Also] What he gave to Arsenal in the period without Premier Leagues, the transition from stadium to stadium, we know what he did. If he's happy with the decision, I'm really happy and I hope he doesn't retire from football." 1:23PM Where it all began for Wenger Where it all began for Arsene Wenger in the #PL... pic.twitter.com/gbhqBu9LTq— Premier League (@premierleague) April 20, 2018 1:19PM The Top 10 longest-serving managers in Premier League history Arsene Wenger, Arsenal, October 1996 to May 2018 (21 years, seven months) Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United, August 1992 to May 2013 (20 years, nine months) David Moyes, Everton, March 2002 to May 2013 (11 years, two months) Harry Redknapp, West Ham, August 1994 to May 2001 (six years, eight months) Rafael Benitez, Liverpool, August 2004 to June 2010 (five years, 10 months) Alan Curbishley, Charlton, August 2000 to May 2006 (five years, nine months) Sam Allardyce, Bolton, August 2001 to April 2007 (five years, eight months) Gerard Houllier, Liverpool, November 1998 to May 2004 (five years, six months) Jim Smith, Derby, August 1996 to October 2001 (five years, two months) Sir Bobby Robson, Newcastle, September 1999 to August 2004 (four years, 11 months) 12:58PM 'One of the best in English football history' Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore offered his own tribute to Arsene Wenger. "It is hard to encapsulate the enormity of Arsene Wenger's contribution to Arsenal Football Club, the Premier League and football generally over these past 22 seasons. "All of Arsene's teams have been a joy to watch and his 2003-04 'Invincibles' will go down as one of the best in English football history." 12:50PM 'One major reason why I'm here is because of him' Club captain Per Mertesacker admitted it was "emotional" to find out that Arsene Wenger was set to depart. "We have just been informed basically. It is quite emotional. Obviously he has been at the club for such a long time, he has been so supportive to me. One major reason why I'm here is because of him. "It's been emotional and there will be time to digest it but it is a sad feeling right now." 12:47PM Wenger told players of his exit beforehand Arsene Wenger asked Arsenal to hold off announcing his decision to leave the club so he could inform his players first-hand. The news was announced this morning, with Wenger set to depart 12 months into a two-year deal. It is understood Wenger was keen to tell the Arsenal players himself and did so ahead of training at their London Colney base and minutes before the news was made public. His coaching staff were also informed of the decision in advance, although club staff working at the Emirates Stadium rather than the training ground discovered the news at the same time as everyone else. Wenger's surprise announcement came a day after he evaded questions over his future at his usual pre-match press conference. 12:36PM How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Was your club one of the teams Arsene Wenger had the wood over? How many times did your team lose to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal? 12:35PM 'Today will mark the start of a new era for the club' Arsene Wenger's decision to leave Arsenal at the end of the season is good for all those involved, according to a leading supporters' group. Lois Langton, chair of the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, believes the timing is right and hailed Wenger as a "fantastic" manager in his day. "Without question, the announcement that Arsene Wenger will finally stand down at the end of this season is the right decision, both for the club and the manager, although, having been so long coming, it feels surreal that the day has finally arrived. "The problems associated with his tenure in recent years are well documented and now that the announcement has been made, there is nothing to be gained by going over old ground. "Arsene Wenger was, for a period of time, a fantastic manager for Arsenal. The Invincibles epitomise what he brought to the Club and, to that extent, his legacy will continue. "We have seen with Manchester City this season how difficult it is to go a league campaign undefeated. The 2003/2004 season in particular will forever be a source of pride and achievement. "It is now time to move on. We have a Europa League semi-final coming up against Atletico and a first success in Europe for Arsene Wenger would provide a fitting farewell. "Arsenal has a rich and wonderful heritage and today will mark the start of a new era for the club." 12:31PM Will Arsenal now raise their game against the Hammers? Arsenal play West Ham this Sunday. Here's our man Nick Callow's abbreviated preview: West Ham are not mathematically safe from relegation so Arsenal should fear a club they have lost to three times at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal can be pipped to sixth by Burnley, but Thursday's Europa Atletico Madrid semi-final will dictate Arsene Wenger's selection while David Moyes can go for broke. PREDICTION: 1-1 12:04PM VOTE: Who should Arsenal choose to replace Wenger? 11:55AM Where next for Wenger? Seeing as the man eats, drinks and sleeps football, it is highly unlikely he will walk off into the sunset and retire. The odds are now stacked in favour of him becoming the next Paris Saint-Germain manager, with Unai Emery expected to be shown the door by the Paris giants. Wenger would also be a a highly-popular choice given his profile in France and continuing analysis as a guest pundit for French TV. 11:48AM 'Name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium' Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has urged fans to get behind the Frenchman for the rest of the season, starting with Sunday's home match against West Ham. "I think everybody can pay their respect to him now about how great he was as a manager. It's perfect timing. "I think it gives the fans (the chance) to pack the Emirates for the last few games of the season and have a right go. "If fans do not turn up against West Ham and pack that place out, they need serious questions asked about them and are they real Arsenal fans or are they glory-hunters?" Merson has also called for the Emirates Stadium to be renamed in Wenger's honour. "They should drop the Emirates bit - they don't need the money - and name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium. "That's his stadium. He built that. He made that stadium. Even if they called it the Emirates Arsene Wenger Stadium. He deserves to be on that." 11:44AM 'It shows the great dignity and class of the man' Spain and Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas, who burst in to the Arsenal starting line-up under Arsene Wenger, posted on Instagram... "Wow. I never expected that but it shows the great dignity and class of the man. I will never forget his guidance and support, his tutelage and mentorship. "He had faith in me from day one and I owe him a lot, he was like a father figure to me who always pushed me to be the best. Arsene, you deserve all the respect and happiness in the world. #classact" 11:43AM Inside information Ian Wright appeared to have been aware of the news before it was announced, tweeting a shocked face emoji around half an hour before the club's statement. — Ian Wright (@IanWright0) April 20, 2018 11:41AM Will it be Rodgers who replaces Wenger? Celtic majority shareholder Dermot Desmond has admitted he would let manager Brendan Rodgers speak to Arsenal if the Premier League club approached the Northern Irishman... "Absolutely. I don't think you can put handcuffs on anybody if they want to go to a club as good as Arsenal. "It will be Brendan's decision and Brendan's decision only." 11:33AM 'He moved the goalposts for everyone else' Southampton manager Mark Hughes believes it would be a "massive wrench" for Arsene Wenger to leave after so long in the post. "When you have had longevity in the game like Arsene has, and I have been in the Premier League for a long time, our paths have crossed on numerous occasions, we had a few run-ins but other times we were very civil and respectful of each other's efforts. "I had a good conversation with him two weeks ago, he looked very relaxed and chilled. "He came with different ideas, different views on how the game should be played, he moved the goalposts for everyone else, he came in and had success and everyone else had to catch up." 11:31AM 'Fans are celebrating like they've won the lottery' Former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman, Arsene Wenger's No 1 for the first seven years of his reign, is not happy with how some Gunners fans are reacting... "It's going to be good now, because there's going to be a chance he will get the send-off and the respect he deserves. The fans that are celebrating like they've won the lottery, it makes me a little bit angry if I'm honest. It's time to show respect and realise what he's done. "For me, he is Arsenal, and it's right that he's decided to leave on his own terms. "Now let's enjoy that. I hope all the fans that have stayed away now return because they've still got a chance of winning something this season. Get behind the team, get behind Arsenal, and show him the respect he deserves. "He's a gentleman. It's brilliant to be in his company. He's a really, really nice guy - and a lot of people don't see that. People say he's stubborn and this and that, but that's not true. It might have been true as a manager, but as a man he's a true gentleman. "When he came in he changed everything - the way we played, the diet... He revolutionised Arsenal. He was brilliant. For me, and especially for the back four - he added years to their careers." 11:05AM Wenger's Arsenal reign in numbers 1996 - the year when a then-unheralded Wenger, who had been in charge at Monaco and Japanese side Nagoya Grampus Eight, took over at Highbury. 1228 - games at the helm, ahead of Sunday's Premier League fixture against West Ham. 704 - wins to date as Arsenal boss. 3 - Premier League title wins, the last during an unbeaten Invincibles campaign of 2003/2004. 1549 - goals scored in Premier League matches by Wenger's teams. 10 - major trophies won. 473 - Premier League victories. 7 - FA Cup triumphs, with three of those having come the last four seasons. 151 - Premier League losses. 21 - full seasons in charge. 49 - games unbeaten in the Premier League from May 2003 to October 2004. 10:58AM Nearly 22 years in three minutes #MerciArsènepic.twitter.com/bjP0wLMgee— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 10:55AM How Twitter is reacting to Wenger leaving Unsurprisingly, frequent Arsene Wenger critic Piers Morgan has tweeted with a certain amount of relish... BREAKING: Wenger out. pic.twitter.com/HBuwQdY9aw— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 20, 2018 Fortunately, Gary Neville, the voice of reason, has said what many feel... Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 Arsenal legend David Seaman has called on Gunners fans to give Wenger the send-off he deserves... Sad day for @Arsenal with Arsene leaving, can we now give him the send off/respect he deserves?!! #rememberthetrophies— David Seaman (@thedavidseaman) April 20, 2018 Journalist and TV presenter Robert Peston is suffering from mixed emotions... Such mixed feelings about Wenger resignation. I wanted him to go, but I miss him already. He was magnificent for us over many years, but it was time #Arsenal— Robert Peston (@Peston) April 20, 2018 Radio 1 DJ Greg James sees the funny side... BUT WHO GETS THE COAT?! I WANT THE COAT. SHOTGUN THE COAT. pic.twitter.com/C4qJEbO8YG— Greg James (@gregjames) April 20, 2018 Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams posted on Instagram: "Thanks for everything Arsene. Move over Herbert, Arsene Wenger the greatest Arsenal Manager." 10:50AM How fickle football can be It was expected that many Arsenal fans would boycott the club's remaining home games as a way of voicing their unhappiness at Arsene Wenger. BUT... Arsenal sure to be packed out for remaining games now— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) April 20, 2018 10:36AM One word: longevity 823 - Arsene Wenger has managed more Premier League games than any other manager (823) and only Sir Alex Ferguson has won more games (528) than Wenger (473). Longevity. pic.twitter.com/ktdsaZPb1y— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 20, 2018 10:34AM Klopp hails Wenger Other Premier League manages are being asked for their thoughts on Arsene Wenger after today's momentous announcement. Here's what Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says: "He is an influence in football. A fantastic career, outstanding personality. A big player in the business." 10:32AM How has it come to this? Arsene Wenger has won three Premier League titles during his spell of over 21 years at the helm, the last of which came as a result of the unbeaten 'Invincibles' season in 2003-04. No-one has won more FA Cups than the former Monaco boss, who was a shock appointment back in 1996. Protests against his reign picked up last season as the Gunners finished outside of the top four for the first time in a full campaign under Wenger's control. But despite the growing negativity, Wenger signed a new two-year deal last summer with the mandate of sustaining a title challenge. That failed miserably and, at the time of the announcement, Arsenal sit sixth in the table and 33 points adrift of newly-crowned champions Manchester City. 10:26AM Set your alarms for 5pm! Arsenal are holding a media conference with chief executive Ivan Gazidis at 5pm at the Emirates Stadium. 10:24AM Winterburn says 'time is right' Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn believes the decision is the right one: "I think it's run its natural course. Arsene Wenger has been absolutely amazing for Arsenal Football Club. "It probably feels to me like it is the right time. When Arsene Wenger does step down, I think he will be remembered very, very fondly. We talk about the modern era, George Graham started it and Arsene Wenger's taken it to the next level. "When he leaves the football club, I think people will look back and really appreciate what Arsene Wenger has done." 10:05AM Who will replace him? Arsene Wenger will lead the team to the end of the season and the club say they will 'make an appointment as soon as possible'. Our Arsenal man - Jeremy Wilson - says these are the leading candidates: Leonardo Jardim, Mikel Arteta, Joachim Low, Brendan Rodgers, Max Allegri and Luis Enrique. 10:02AM 'Arsene has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful' Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has issued the following statement: "This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. "Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played. "We have high ambitions to build on Arsène's remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game. "We must now focus on making a strong finish to the season and ask our millions of fans around the world to join us in paying appropriate tribute to one of the greats of Arsenal's history and one of the greats of the game." 9:57AM BREAKING NEWS: Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal Arsene Wenger has announced he is to step down as manager of Arsenal at the end of the season. "After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season. "I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. "I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. "I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special. "I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. "To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. "My love and support for ever."
Arsenal prepare for 'biggest ever challenge' to replace outgoing Arsene Wenger after 22 years in charge
Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal at the end of the season Wenger's last match at Emirates on May 6 against Burnley Last Premier League match ever on May 13 against Huddersfield Arsenal to hold press conference with Ivan Gazidis at 5pm Mourinho speaks: "We'll show Mr Wenger respect he deserves" Why Wenger will enjoy great success in life after Arsenal Next Arsenal manager odds: Who will replace Wenger? How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Arsenal are promising to be “bold” and could again go left-field in replacing Arsene Wenger after the club’s most successful-ever manager decided to announce his departure amid the prospect of being sacked this summer. Wenger revealed on Friday morning that this would be his 22nd and last season as Arsenal manager and, while the timing of the public announcement was his, the wider backdrop was of the club already actively preparing for change. The clear expectation was that he would be asked to leave this summer and Wenger did not want to wait to be sacked. It was also felt that an early announcement would ensure that Wenger received a big unifying send-off and allow all sides to prepare for a future apart. It was noticeable that Gazidis would not answer on Friday whether he had wanted Wenger to stay or tried to persuade him to see out the remaining year on his contract. Wenger has shown no sign of wanting to retire from management and is expected to make a clear break and seek employment elsewhere. Gazidis has been assessing potential replacements for several years, but has now actively begun the search and wants to preserve many of Wenger’s values within a structure that gives the manager rather less power. End of an era | Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season A new backroom team has already been assembled and, while Gazidis called it “our biggest ever challenge", he said the club had never been better prepared. Leading candidates are Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim, former Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta, former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and Germany boss Joachim Low. A complication with Low will be his reluctance to do anything that could destabilise Germany’s defence of the World Cup. Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers would be interested and has admirers inside Arsenal, but there are concerns at how fans might respond to his appointment at a time when unity is desperately sought. Former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel is close to be appointed Paris St Germain, but Juventus manager Max Allegri is keen on eventually working in England and would be of interest if he is ready to move this summer. Gazidis noticeably highlighted how Arsenal appointed an unknown in Wenger way back in 1996. Guy Wenger “Replace Arsene? That’s not going to happen,” he said. “But we have to make sure we don’t lose his qualities and his values in the club and that we take them forward. So someone who will continue to play exciting, progressive football that gets people interested and excited in the games we play. How the candidate represents the club is important. “That value of giving youth a chance is also very important. I think we’ve got to be open-minded and brave in the decision. When Arsene was appointed, I don’t think he was on many people’s radar. We need to be bold in the appointment.” Wenger made the final decision to leave earlier this week and, after discussions with directors on Thursday, he personally informed his staff and the players on Friday morning. There were many tears both at the stadium and training ground, where club staff were said to be in a state of shock. Wenger has won three Premier League titles, an all-time record seven FA Cups, two doubles, reached the 2006 European Cup final and went the entire 2003-4 Premier League season undefeated. He also helped oversee the move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium. Tributes were paid to Wenger on Friday from across sport, with his old adversary Sir Alex Ferguson saying that he was “proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man." As ever, Wenger stressed the importance of maintaining the values he has embodied in his time in English football. Put simply, that is an entertaining playing style, opportunities for young players and a fiscal structure that safeguards the club’s long-term future. “After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season,” said Wenger. “I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever.” Arsenal fan's view | 'All the bad feeling has disappeared' Arsenal’s majority owner, Stan Kroenke, has always been a massive supporter of Wenger and regarded this as perhaps the hardest moment in his time in professional sport. “This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport,” he said. “One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. “Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played.” Gazidis added: “Arsene is going to feel the full force of this club behind him over the next couple of weeks. Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard. A new ambition. An ambition not just to win, but to win while achieving perfection. To make art out of football. He was always brave enough to be true to that extraordinary ambition and incredibly he achieved it with Arsenal’s Invincibles season.“ 5:26PM Gazidis on his abiding memories of Wenger's reign: “There are great moments - the trophies, the FA Cups, the victory against Barcelona. But the memories I have of Arsene are of speaking to him in quiet moments. He’s an incredibly self-critical man who always gives others the benefit of the doubt. There’s a reason there is so much affection for him. He’s a special person.” 5:23PM Gazidis on the players' reaction: “I think from the reaction at the training ground today, what I felt was an incredible amount of passion to give Arsene the send off that he deserves. “The decision had to come at some point. Now it’s time for us to look forward.” 5:21PM Gazidis on Wenger's future: “Will he retire? He’s somebody who is in great shape and has a competitive edge but that’s a question for him.” 5:19PM Gazidis on the next Arsenal manager: "We're going to have a process around that. The process begins today but I want to keep that process in-house. I don't want to be making public comments about it. We haven't had any discussions to date regarding that." 5:18PM Gazidis on where Arsenal go next: “Our first priority is to come together as a club and we are seeing that today. Our players. staff and fans are behind this great man and we will give him the send off he deserves. I don’t underestimate that challenge but I am confident in the people we have in place to take Arsene’s vision forward and build on it.” "We are not going to find a replacement for Arsene Wenger" 5:16PM Gazidis on Wenger's immediate legacy “Arsene often said his aim was to leave the club in a better place than when he found out. We are in a better place than we could have ever imagined.” 5:15PM Gazidis on Wenger's inspiration: “Beyond football, he has inspired the people around him. He is able to make people believe that they can achieve great things. He inspired George Weah to believe he could not only become the world’s best football player, but to become the president of a nation. He has taken every challenge with humour and grace and class.” 5:15PM Gazidis on the Wenger philosophy: “Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard. A new ambition. Not just to win, but to win while achieving perfection - to make art. Incredibly, he achieved it with the Invincibles. Arsene has been brave enough to live by his philosophy. He’s made Arsenal throughout the world for the kind of football we play.” 5:14PM Gazidis on today's news: “Obviously this has been an emotional day for everyone. Now I have the impossible job of communicating that feeling. Typically, Arsene is not here as he is taking training. I will leave it to others to talk about the facts and figures of his tenure. There is something more coming out today. There is an affection from Arsenal fans and right across the sphere of football. I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Arsene over the last 10 years.” 5:12PM Ivan Gazidis addresses the media... "Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard, a new ambition. Am ambition not just to win but to win while achieving perfection. To make art out of football." 4:42PM Jack Wilshere on the outgoing boss... "We need to send him off in the right way now" �� Turn your sound up and listen to this from @JackWilsherepic.twitter.com/aZ9UA5u0mo— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 "I'm sure when the dust settles, we have a few days to think about it, we'll start to reflect on it, but at the moment it's a bit raw, it's a bit sensitive." 4:08PM Thierry Henry on his former manager October 2002 and September's manager of the month congratulates the player of the month Credit: EDDIE KEOGH/PA I was a little mixed because it's a sad day for me to see the big man leave the club, although we all know he has matches left. I'm happy in a way that people can give him the farewell he deserves. His legacy is untouchable. Managers, fans from other teams - [they say] how Arsène changed Arsenal. I am happy that now we can all talk about his legacy. But we must not get carried away with celebrating the end of his time. The team must win the Europa League, it would be an incredible feat and Arsène has never won in Europe before, so it would be a good way to give him a nice goodbye. I remember when I was playing for Arsenal, people were talking about how we play, not what we won, but how we did it and how Arsène made Arsenal a club known in the whole world. If I could be the successor of Wenger? Look at me laughing. It's funny. One person to whom you can ask this question is Ivan Gazidis. He should answer the question. 3:57PM And a word from Germany From one he helped to make it (to Bayern Munich) 22 years @Arsenal - almost my whole lifetime. Impressive. Glad I could be a small part of it ���� #MerciArsène#Wengerpic.twitter.com/lzGJXJlOGC— Serge Gnabry (@SergeGnabry) April 20, 2018 3:51PM A tribute from an opponent Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 3:36PM A trawl through the picture archive ... Has inspired this, 22 years in 11 photographs: Wenger at Arsenal gallery 3:17PM Sir Alex Ferguson pays tribute "I am really happy for Arsène Wenger. I have great respect for him and for the job he has done at Arsenal. It is great testament to his talent, professionalism and determination that has been able to dedicate 22 years of his life to a job that he loves. "In an era where football managers sometimes only last one or two seasons, it shows what an achievement it is to serve that length of time at a club the size of Arsenal. "I am pleased that he has announced he is leaving at this stage of the season, as he can now have the send-off that he truly deserves. "He is, without doubt, one the greatest Premier League managers and I am proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man." 2:47PM Pep Guardiola tips his hat Luke Edwards reports from the Manchester City manager's press conference: “He has all my respect for what he has done. The Premier League is about huge personalities like Arsène, it is because of what he has done, his vision. “I wish him all the best in the future, I hope he can be involved in world football in a different way with his experience. Whether it is with Arsenal, Uefa, Fifa, or somewhere else, I don't know. It was a pleasure to compete against him here, with City, as well as Barcelona and Bayern. Pep Guardiola takes Manchester City training on Friday Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images “It will be difficult for anyone to do what he has done at a top European club again. Sir Alex Ferguson did it at Manchester United, but it is so, so complicated. With the way social media is now, everybody has an opinion and can express it, you feel the pressure as a manager. “You can also feel pressure because staying in the Premier League is so important, then you have the sporting directors, who do not have a lot of patience. It will be so difficult to find a person who will be able to stay at a club for so long and do what Arsène has done.” 2:32PM 'Arsenal will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz, from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, speaks to Telegraph Sport 2:06PM 'I have been talking well about him for a while' Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, who has locked horns with Arsene Wenger plenty of times down the years in his time at Liverpool, Chelsea and on Tyneside, said this at today's press conference: "I have been talking well about him for a while. "To do things in the way that he has done and win the way he was winning, for so many years... we are talking about one of the best managers in football history." 2:01PM 'Like a father through tough times in my career' Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere posted this on Facebook: "To the man who gave me my chance as a 16-year-old, and showed unbelievable faith and commitment towards me. Always a gentleman, like a father through tough times in my career. He always believed in me when most people didn't. Thank you for everything boss! It's down to us now to end your era right. #onearsenewenger" Big shoes for anyone to fill,playing for Arsenal under Arsene was one of the best period of my career, 2 premiership, 2 FA cups, The invincibles, playing with some of the best assembled players,influencing millions of fans in Africa to support this great club. pic.twitter.com/tILZo70jBE— Kanu Nwankwo (@papilokanu) April 20, 2018 Personally a very sad day. I am forever in debt to this man. The person who had faith in me and gave me a platform to progress. Thank you for all the memories and trophies bosspic.twitter.com/EP26M6TP3W— Héctor Bellerín (@HectorBellerin) April 20, 2018 1:56PM 'He deserves respect from the whole world of football' Our man Matt Law was at Stamford Bridge today and asked Antonio Conte for his thoughts on Arsene Wenger. Reaction to Wenger? "My reaction... I think we must pay a great tribute to Arsene Wenger for his career. For his career at Arsenal. He and Ferguson, we're talking about the last two managers to stay for such a long time in a club. Arsene Wenger worked 22 years for Arsenal. I think that's great, it's a fantastic story. He won a lot at this club and, for this reason, I think he deserves a great tribute for his career." What was his influence in a footballing sense? "I think Arsene is one of the managers who had a great influence on football because, in every moment in his idea of football, he tried to play good football, creative and offensive football. He deserves great tribute also for this." How important is it that he gains that great tribute? "He deserves great respect. Not only from Arsenal supporters, but from the whole world of football. He deserves great respect. We are talking about one of the best managers in the world with a great and important career with Arsenal. He deserves a great tribute for his career. It would be very difficult to see in the future another manager staying for such a long time at the same club. I think, maybe, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger were a really good story for football. Now it will be very difficult to see that again, another situation like this." 1:54PM 'A proper football man who lives and breathes it' David Moyes, whose West Ham side face Arsenal on Sunday, hailed Arsene Wenger's longevity. "He's been a great competitor, a terrific manager who has graced the Premier League for many years. "He's a proper football man who lives and breathes it. To do 22 years is an incredible achievement." 1:53PM 'There are not enough words for what he's done' Burnley boss Sean Dyche, who will be the second-longest serving current manager in the Premier League once Arsene Wenger stands down, has paid tribute to the Frenchman. "He is a legend of the game - the work that he's done will be remembered. "Some things that now seem normal and simple weren't at the time. Hydration in football sounds a simple thing but was not taken to a high level. Making sure the food they were eating was correct. Their health and well-being. "For youngish managers like myself there are not enough good words you can use for what he's done." 1:42PM 'It was a pleasure to compete against him' Pep Guardiola, manager of new Premier League champions Man City, has also spoken. "He is a huge personality. The Premier League is the Premier League because of what he has done and his vision. I wish him all the best for the future. "Hopefully he will be involved in a different way in world football. Of course it was a pleasure at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and here to compete against him." 1:39PM 'Arsenal fans will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, has told The Telegraph he believes the club will unite behind departing manager Arsene Wenger for the rest of the season as they focus on winning the Europa League. 1:37PM Mourinho asked about Wenger... wait for it Jose Mourinho has claimed that deep down he really respects Arsene Wenger and his various insults over the years did not reflect his true relationship with the Arsenal manager, who announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season. "If he's happy with the decision he makes and looks forward to the next chapter of his career and his life I'm really happy for him. If he's sad, I'm sad. I'm pretty sure as a club - and especially because Mr Wenger and Arsenal were for many, many years the biggest rivals of Sir Alex [Ferguson's] era - we will show Mr Wenger the respect he deserves." Asked whether he regretted many of his spats with Wenger, which were often characterised by the strength of Mourinho's response, he was dismissive. "It's not about regretting. I think your question is a typical question from somebody that was not a manager, not a player. Of course, you don't know the way we respect each other even when sometimes it doesn't look like we don't. "Players that get yellow cards and red cards by aggressive actions against each other, bad words during the career - the manager is the same thing. The ones that respect each other more are the ones with the problems. It's power against power; ambition against ambition; quality against quality. But in the end it's people from the same business who respect one another’s careers. "So it happened. What matters for me is the way I respect the person, the professional, the career. I always say that for some the memories are short, but for us football people - the real football people, the others live on us - don't have short memories. I know what it means, three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, what he did in Japan and France, what he brought to French football. "[Also] What he gave to Arsenal in the period without Premier Leagues, the transition from stadium to stadium, we know what he did. If he's happy with the decision, I'm really happy and I hope he doesn't retire from football." 1:23PM Where it all began for Wenger Where it all began for Arsene Wenger in the #PL... pic.twitter.com/gbhqBu9LTq— Premier League (@premierleague) April 20, 2018 1:19PM The Top 10 longest-serving managers in Premier League history Arsene Wenger, Arsenal, October 1996 to May 2018 (21 years, seven months) Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United, August 1992 to May 2013 (20 years, nine months) David Moyes, Everton, March 2002 to May 2013 (11 years, two months) Harry Redknapp, West Ham, August 1994 to May 2001 (six years, eight months) Rafael Benitez, Liverpool, August 2004 to June 2010 (five years, 10 months) Alan Curbishley, Charlton, August 2000 to May 2006 (five years, nine months) Sam Allardyce, Bolton, August 2001 to April 2007 (five years, eight months) Gerard Houllier, Liverpool, November 1998 to May 2004 (five years, six months) Jim Smith, Derby, August 1996 to October 2001 (five years, two months) Sir Bobby Robson, Newcastle, September 1999 to August 2004 (four years, 11 months) 12:58PM 'One of the best in English football history' Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore offered his own tribute to Arsene Wenger. "It is hard to encapsulate the enormity of Arsene Wenger's contribution to Arsenal Football Club, the Premier League and football generally over these past 22 seasons. "All of Arsene's teams have been a joy to watch and his 2003-04 'Invincibles' will go down as one of the best in English football history." 12:50PM 'One major reason why I'm here is because of him' Club captain Per Mertesacker admitted it was "emotional" to find out that Arsene Wenger was set to depart. "We have just been informed basically. It is quite emotional. Obviously he has been at the club for such a long time, he has been so supportive to me. One major reason why I'm here is because of him. "It's been emotional and there will be time to digest it but it is a sad feeling right now." 12:47PM Wenger told players of his exit beforehand Arsene Wenger asked Arsenal to hold off announcing his decision to leave the club so he could inform his players first-hand. The news was announced this morning, with Wenger set to depart 12 months into a two-year deal. It is understood Wenger was keen to tell the Arsenal players himself and did so ahead of training at their London Colney base and minutes before the news was made public. His coaching staff were also informed of the decision in advance, although club staff working at the Emirates Stadium rather than the training ground discovered the news at the same time as everyone else. Wenger's surprise announcement came a day after he evaded questions over his future at his usual pre-match press conference. 12:36PM How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Was your club one of the teams Arsene Wenger had the wood over? How many times did your team lose to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal? 12:35PM 'Today will mark the start of a new era for the club' Arsene Wenger's decision to leave Arsenal at the end of the season is good for all those involved, according to a leading supporters' group. Lois Langton, chair of the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, believes the timing is right and hailed Wenger as a "fantastic" manager in his day. "Without question, the announcement that Arsene Wenger will finally stand down at the end of this season is the right decision, both for the club and the manager, although, having been so long coming, it feels surreal that the day has finally arrived. "The problems associated with his tenure in recent years are well documented and now that the announcement has been made, there is nothing to be gained by going over old ground. "Arsene Wenger was, for a period of time, a fantastic manager for Arsenal. The Invincibles epitomise what he brought to the Club and, to that extent, his legacy will continue. "We have seen with Manchester City this season how difficult it is to go a league campaign undefeated. The 2003/2004 season in particular will forever be a source of pride and achievement. "It is now time to move on. We have a Europa League semi-final coming up against Atletico and a first success in Europe for Arsene Wenger would provide a fitting farewell. "Arsenal has a rich and wonderful heritage and today will mark the start of a new era for the club." 12:31PM Will Arsenal now raise their game against the Hammers? Arsenal play West Ham this Sunday. Here's our man Nick Callow's abbreviated preview: West Ham are not mathematically safe from relegation so Arsenal should fear a club they have lost to three times at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal can be pipped to sixth by Burnley, but Thursday's Europa Atletico Madrid semi-final will dictate Arsene Wenger's selection while David Moyes can go for broke. PREDICTION: 1-1 12:04PM VOTE: Who should Arsenal choose to replace Wenger? 11:55AM Where next for Wenger? Seeing as the man eats, drinks and sleeps football, it is highly unlikely he will walk off into the sunset and retire. The odds are now stacked in favour of him becoming the next Paris Saint-Germain manager, with Unai Emery expected to be shown the door by the Paris giants. Wenger would also be a a highly-popular choice given his profile in France and continuing analysis as a guest pundit for French TV. 11:48AM 'Name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium' Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has urged fans to get behind the Frenchman for the rest of the season, starting with Sunday's home match against West Ham. "I think everybody can pay their respect to him now about how great he was as a manager. It's perfect timing. "I think it gives the fans (the chance) to pack the Emirates for the last few games of the season and have a right go. "If fans do not turn up against West Ham and pack that place out, they need serious questions asked about them and are they real Arsenal fans or are they glory-hunters?" Merson has also called for the Emirates Stadium to be renamed in Wenger's honour. "They should drop the Emirates bit - they don't need the money - and name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium. "That's his stadium. He built that. He made that stadium. Even if they called it the Emirates Arsene Wenger Stadium. He deserves to be on that." 11:44AM 'It shows the great dignity and class of the man' Spain and Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas, who burst in to the Arsenal starting line-up under Arsene Wenger, posted on Instagram... "Wow. I never expected that but it shows the great dignity and class of the man. I will never forget his guidance and support, his tutelage and mentorship. "He had faith in me from day one and I owe him a lot, he was like a father figure to me who always pushed me to be the best. Arsene, you deserve all the respect and happiness in the world. #classact" 11:43AM Inside information Ian Wright appeared to have been aware of the news before it was announced, tweeting a shocked face emoji around half an hour before the club's statement. — Ian Wright (@IanWright0) April 20, 2018 11:41AM Will it be Rodgers who replaces Wenger? Celtic majority shareholder Dermot Desmond has admitted he would let manager Brendan Rodgers speak to Arsenal if the Premier League club approached the Northern Irishman... "Absolutely. I don't think you can put handcuffs on anybody if they want to go to a club as good as Arsenal. "It will be Brendan's decision and Brendan's decision only." 11:33AM 'He moved the goalposts for everyone else' Southampton manager Mark Hughes believes it would be a "massive wrench" for Arsene Wenger to leave after so long in the post. "When you have had longevity in the game like Arsene has, and I have been in the Premier League for a long time, our paths have crossed on numerous occasions, we had a few run-ins but other times we were very civil and respectful of each other's efforts. "I had a good conversation with him two weeks ago, he looked very relaxed and chilled. "He came with different ideas, different views on how the game should be played, he moved the goalposts for everyone else, he came in and had success and everyone else had to catch up." 11:31AM 'Fans are celebrating like they've won the lottery' Former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman, Arsene Wenger's No 1 for the first seven years of his reign, is not happy with how some Gunners fans are reacting... "It's going to be good now, because there's going to be a chance he will get the send-off and the respect he deserves. The fans that are celebrating like they've won the lottery, it makes me a little bit angry if I'm honest. It's time to show respect and realise what he's done. "For me, he is Arsenal, and it's right that he's decided to leave on his own terms. "Now let's enjoy that. I hope all the fans that have stayed away now return because they've still got a chance of winning something this season. Get behind the team, get behind Arsenal, and show him the respect he deserves. "He's a gentleman. It's brilliant to be in his company. He's a really, really nice guy - and a lot of people don't see that. People say he's stubborn and this and that, but that's not true. It might have been true as a manager, but as a man he's a true gentleman. "When he came in he changed everything - the way we played, the diet... He revolutionised Arsenal. He was brilliant. For me, and especially for the back four - he added years to their careers." 11:05AM Wenger's Arsenal reign in numbers 1996 - the year when a then-unheralded Wenger, who had been in charge at Monaco and Japanese side Nagoya Grampus Eight, took over at Highbury. 1228 - games at the helm, ahead of Sunday's Premier League fixture against West Ham. 704 - wins to date as Arsenal boss. 3 - Premier League title wins, the last during an unbeaten Invincibles campaign of 2003/2004. 1549 - goals scored in Premier League matches by Wenger's teams. 10 - major trophies won. 473 - Premier League victories. 7 - FA Cup triumphs, with three of those having come the last four seasons. 151 - Premier League losses. 21 - full seasons in charge. 49 - games unbeaten in the Premier League from May 2003 to October 2004. 10:58AM Nearly 22 years in three minutes #MerciArsènepic.twitter.com/bjP0wLMgee— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 10:55AM How Twitter is reacting to Wenger leaving Unsurprisingly, frequent Arsene Wenger critic Piers Morgan has tweeted with a certain amount of relish... BREAKING: Wenger out. pic.twitter.com/HBuwQdY9aw— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 20, 2018 Fortunately, Gary Neville, the voice of reason, has said what many feel... Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 Arsenal legend David Seaman has called on Gunners fans to give Wenger the send-off he deserves... Sad day for @Arsenal with Arsene leaving, can we now give him the send off/respect he deserves?!! #rememberthetrophies— David Seaman (@thedavidseaman) April 20, 2018 Journalist and TV presenter Robert Peston is suffering from mixed emotions... Such mixed feelings about Wenger resignation. I wanted him to go, but I miss him already. He was magnificent for us over many years, but it was time #Arsenal— Robert Peston (@Peston) April 20, 2018 Radio 1 DJ Greg James sees the funny side... BUT WHO GETS THE COAT?! I WANT THE COAT. SHOTGUN THE COAT. pic.twitter.com/C4qJEbO8YG— Greg James (@gregjames) April 20, 2018 Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams posted on Instagram: "Thanks for everything Arsene. Move over Herbert, Arsene Wenger the greatest Arsenal Manager." 10:50AM How fickle football can be It was expected that many Arsenal fans would boycott the club's remaining home games as a way of voicing their unhappiness at Arsene Wenger. BUT... Arsenal sure to be packed out for remaining games now— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) April 20, 2018 10:36AM One word: longevity 823 - Arsene Wenger has managed more Premier League games than any other manager (823) and only Sir Alex Ferguson has won more games (528) than Wenger (473). Longevity. pic.twitter.com/ktdsaZPb1y— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 20, 2018 10:34AM Klopp hails Wenger Other Premier League manages are being asked for their thoughts on Arsene Wenger after today's momentous announcement. Here's what Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says: "He is an influence in football. A fantastic career, outstanding personality. A big player in the business." 10:32AM How has it come to this? Arsene Wenger has won three Premier League titles during his spell of over 21 years at the helm, the last of which came as a result of the unbeaten 'Invincibles' season in 2003-04. No-one has won more FA Cups than the former Monaco boss, who was a shock appointment back in 1996. Protests against his reign picked up last season as the Gunners finished outside of the top four for the first time in a full campaign under Wenger's control. But despite the growing negativity, Wenger signed a new two-year deal last summer with the mandate of sustaining a title challenge. That failed miserably and, at the time of the announcement, Arsenal sit sixth in the table and 33 points adrift of newly-crowned champions Manchester City. 10:26AM Set your alarms for 5pm! Arsenal are holding a media conference with chief executive Ivan Gazidis at 5pm at the Emirates Stadium. 10:24AM Winterburn says 'time is right' Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn believes the decision is the right one: "I think it's run its natural course. Arsene Wenger has been absolutely amazing for Arsenal Football Club. "It probably feels to me like it is the right time. When Arsene Wenger does step down, I think he will be remembered very, very fondly. We talk about the modern era, George Graham started it and Arsene Wenger's taken it to the next level. "When he leaves the football club, I think people will look back and really appreciate what Arsene Wenger has done." 10:05AM Who will replace him? Arsene Wenger will lead the team to the end of the season and the club say they will 'make an appointment as soon as possible'. Our Arsenal man - Jeremy Wilson - says these are the leading candidates: Leonardo Jardim, Mikel Arteta, Joachim Low, Brendan Rodgers, Max Allegri and Luis Enrique. 10:02AM 'Arsene has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful' Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has issued the following statement: "This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. "Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played. "We have high ambitions to build on Arsène's remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game. "We must now focus on making a strong finish to the season and ask our millions of fans around the world to join us in paying appropriate tribute to one of the greats of Arsenal's history and one of the greats of the game." 9:57AM BREAKING NEWS: Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal Arsene Wenger has announced he is to step down as manager of Arsenal at the end of the season. "After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season. "I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. "I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. "I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special. "I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. "To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. "My love and support for ever."
Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal at the end of the season Wenger's last match at Emirates on May 6 against Burnley Last Premier League match ever on May 13 against Huddersfield Arsenal to hold press conference with Ivan Gazidis at 5pm Mourinho speaks: "We'll show Mr Wenger respect he deserves" Why Wenger will enjoy great success in life after Arsenal Next Arsenal manager odds: Who will replace Wenger? How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Arsenal are promising to be “bold” and could again go left-field in replacing Arsene Wenger after the club’s most successful-ever manager decided to announce his departure amid the prospect of being sacked this summer. Wenger revealed on Friday morning that this would be his 22nd and last season as Arsenal manager and, while the timing of the public announcement was his, the wider backdrop was of the club already actively preparing for change. The clear expectation was that he would be asked to leave this summer and Wenger did not want to wait to be sacked. It was also felt that an early announcement would ensure that Wenger received a big unifying send-off and allow all sides to prepare for a future apart. It was noticeable that Gazidis would not answer on Friday whether he had wanted Wenger to stay or tried to persuade him to see out the remaining year on his contract. Wenger has shown no sign of wanting to retire from management and is expected to make a clear break and seek employment elsewhere. Gazidis has been assessing potential replacements for several years, but has now actively begun the search and wants to preserve many of Wenger’s values within a structure that gives the manager rather less power. End of an era | Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season A new backroom team has already been assembled and, while Gazidis called it “our biggest ever challenge", he said the club had never been better prepared. Leading candidates are Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim, former Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta, former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and Germany boss Joachim Low. A complication with Low will be his reluctance to do anything that could destabilise Germany’s defence of the World Cup. Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers would be interested and has admirers inside Arsenal, but there are concerns at how fans might respond to his appointment at a time when unity is desperately sought. Former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel is close to be appointed Paris St Germain, but Juventus manager Max Allegri is keen on eventually working in England and would be of interest if he is ready to move this summer. Gazidis noticeably highlighted how Arsenal appointed an unknown in Wenger way back in 1996. Guy Wenger “Replace Arsene? That’s not going to happen,” he said. “But we have to make sure we don’t lose his qualities and his values in the club and that we take them forward. So someone who will continue to play exciting, progressive football that gets people interested and excited in the games we play. How the candidate represents the club is important. “That value of giving youth a chance is also very important. I think we’ve got to be open-minded and brave in the decision. When Arsene was appointed, I don’t think he was on many people’s radar. We need to be bold in the appointment.” Wenger made the final decision to leave earlier this week and, after discussions with directors on Thursday, he personally informed his staff and the players on Friday morning. There were many tears both at the stadium and training ground, where club staff were said to be in a state of shock. Wenger has won three Premier League titles, an all-time record seven FA Cups, two doubles, reached the 2006 European Cup final and went the entire 2003-4 Premier League season undefeated. He also helped oversee the move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium. Tributes were paid to Wenger on Friday from across sport, with his old adversary Sir Alex Ferguson saying that he was “proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man." As ever, Wenger stressed the importance of maintaining the values he has embodied in his time in English football. Put simply, that is an entertaining playing style, opportunities for young players and a fiscal structure that safeguards the club’s long-term future. “After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season,” said Wenger. “I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever.” Arsenal fan's view | 'All the bad feeling has disappeared' Arsenal’s majority owner, Stan Kroenke, has always been a massive supporter of Wenger and regarded this as perhaps the hardest moment in his time in professional sport. “This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport,” he said. “One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. “Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played.” Gazidis added: “Arsene is going to feel the full force of this club behind him over the next couple of weeks. Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard. A new ambition. An ambition not just to win, but to win while achieving perfection. To make art out of football. He was always brave enough to be true to that extraordinary ambition and incredibly he achieved it with Arsenal’s Invincibles season.“ 5:26PM Gazidis on his abiding memories of Wenger's reign: “There are great moments - the trophies, the FA Cups, the victory against Barcelona. But the memories I have of Arsene are of speaking to him in quiet moments. He’s an incredibly self-critical man who always gives others the benefit of the doubt. There’s a reason there is so much affection for him. He’s a special person.” 5:23PM Gazidis on the players' reaction: “I think from the reaction at the training ground today, what I felt was an incredible amount of passion to give Arsene the send off that he deserves. “The decision had to come at some point. Now it’s time for us to look forward.” 5:21PM Gazidis on Wenger's future: “Will he retire? He’s somebody who is in great shape and has a competitive edge but that’s a question for him.” 5:19PM Gazidis on the next Arsenal manager: "We're going to have a process around that. The process begins today but I want to keep that process in-house. I don't want to be making public comments about it. We haven't had any discussions to date regarding that." 5:18PM Gazidis on where Arsenal go next: “Our first priority is to come together as a club and we are seeing that today. Our players. staff and fans are behind this great man and we will give him the send off he deserves. I don’t underestimate that challenge but I am confident in the people we have in place to take Arsene’s vision forward and build on it.” "We are not going to find a replacement for Arsene Wenger" 5:16PM Gazidis on Wenger's immediate legacy “Arsene often said his aim was to leave the club in a better place than when he found out. We are in a better place than we could have ever imagined.” 5:15PM Gazidis on Wenger's inspiration: “Beyond football, he has inspired the people around him. He is able to make people believe that they can achieve great things. He inspired George Weah to believe he could not only become the world’s best football player, but to become the president of a nation. He has taken every challenge with humour and grace and class.” 5:15PM Gazidis on the Wenger philosophy: “Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard. A new ambition. Not just to win, but to win while achieving perfection - to make art. Incredibly, he achieved it with the Invincibles. Arsene has been brave enough to live by his philosophy. He’s made Arsenal throughout the world for the kind of football we play.” 5:14PM Gazidis on today's news: “Obviously this has been an emotional day for everyone. Now I have the impossible job of communicating that feeling. Typically, Arsene is not here as he is taking training. I will leave it to others to talk about the facts and figures of his tenure. There is something more coming out today. There is an affection from Arsenal fans and right across the sphere of football. I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Arsene over the last 10 years.” 5:12PM Ivan Gazidis addresses the media... "Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard, a new ambition. Am ambition not just to win but to win while achieving perfection. To make art out of football." 4:42PM Jack Wilshere on the outgoing boss... "We need to send him off in the right way now" �� Turn your sound up and listen to this from @JackWilsherepic.twitter.com/aZ9UA5u0mo— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 "I'm sure when the dust settles, we have a few days to think about it, we'll start to reflect on it, but at the moment it's a bit raw, it's a bit sensitive." 4:08PM Thierry Henry on his former manager October 2002 and September's manager of the month congratulates the player of the month Credit: EDDIE KEOGH/PA I was a little mixed because it's a sad day for me to see the big man leave the club, although we all know he has matches left. I'm happy in a way that people can give him the farewell he deserves. His legacy is untouchable. Managers, fans from other teams - [they say] how Arsène changed Arsenal. I am happy that now we can all talk about his legacy. But we must not get carried away with celebrating the end of his time. The team must win the Europa League, it would be an incredible feat and Arsène has never won in Europe before, so it would be a good way to give him a nice goodbye. I remember when I was playing for Arsenal, people were talking about how we play, not what we won, but how we did it and how Arsène made Arsenal a club known in the whole world. If I could be the successor of Wenger? Look at me laughing. It's funny. One person to whom you can ask this question is Ivan Gazidis. He should answer the question. 3:57PM And a word from Germany From one he helped to make it (to Bayern Munich) 22 years @Arsenal - almost my whole lifetime. Impressive. Glad I could be a small part of it ���� #MerciArsène#Wengerpic.twitter.com/lzGJXJlOGC— Serge Gnabry (@SergeGnabry) April 20, 2018 3:51PM A tribute from an opponent Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 3:36PM A trawl through the picture archive ... Has inspired this, 22 years in 11 photographs: Wenger at Arsenal gallery 3:17PM Sir Alex Ferguson pays tribute "I am really happy for Arsène Wenger. I have great respect for him and for the job he has done at Arsenal. It is great testament to his talent, professionalism and determination that has been able to dedicate 22 years of his life to a job that he loves. "In an era where football managers sometimes only last one or two seasons, it shows what an achievement it is to serve that length of time at a club the size of Arsenal. "I am pleased that he has announced he is leaving at this stage of the season, as he can now have the send-off that he truly deserves. "He is, without doubt, one the greatest Premier League managers and I am proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man." 2:47PM Pep Guardiola tips his hat Luke Edwards reports from the Manchester City manager's press conference: “He has all my respect for what he has done. The Premier League is about huge personalities like Arsène, it is because of what he has done, his vision. “I wish him all the best in the future, I hope he can be involved in world football in a different way with his experience. Whether it is with Arsenal, Uefa, Fifa, or somewhere else, I don't know. It was a pleasure to compete against him here, with City, as well as Barcelona and Bayern. Pep Guardiola takes Manchester City training on Friday Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images “It will be difficult for anyone to do what he has done at a top European club again. Sir Alex Ferguson did it at Manchester United, but it is so, so complicated. With the way social media is now, everybody has an opinion and can express it, you feel the pressure as a manager. “You can also feel pressure because staying in the Premier League is so important, then you have the sporting directors, who do not have a lot of patience. It will be so difficult to find a person who will be able to stay at a club for so long and do what Arsène has done.” 2:32PM 'Arsenal will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz, from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, speaks to Telegraph Sport 2:06PM 'I have been talking well about him for a while' Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, who has locked horns with Arsene Wenger plenty of times down the years in his time at Liverpool, Chelsea and on Tyneside, said this at today's press conference: "I have been talking well about him for a while. "To do things in the way that he has done and win the way he was winning, for so many years... we are talking about one of the best managers in football history." 2:01PM 'Like a father through tough times in my career' Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere posted this on Facebook: "To the man who gave me my chance as a 16-year-old, and showed unbelievable faith and commitment towards me. Always a gentleman, like a father through tough times in my career. He always believed in me when most people didn't. Thank you for everything boss! It's down to us now to end your era right. #onearsenewenger" Big shoes for anyone to fill,playing for Arsenal under Arsene was one of the best period of my career, 2 premiership, 2 FA cups, The invincibles, playing with some of the best assembled players,influencing millions of fans in Africa to support this great club. pic.twitter.com/tILZo70jBE— Kanu Nwankwo (@papilokanu) April 20, 2018 Personally a very sad day. I am forever in debt to this man. The person who had faith in me and gave me a platform to progress. Thank you for all the memories and trophies bosspic.twitter.com/EP26M6TP3W— Héctor Bellerín (@HectorBellerin) April 20, 2018 1:56PM 'He deserves respect from the whole world of football' Our man Matt Law was at Stamford Bridge today and asked Antonio Conte for his thoughts on Arsene Wenger. Reaction to Wenger? "My reaction... I think we must pay a great tribute to Arsene Wenger for his career. For his career at Arsenal. He and Ferguson, we're talking about the last two managers to stay for such a long time in a club. Arsene Wenger worked 22 years for Arsenal. I think that's great, it's a fantastic story. He won a lot at this club and, for this reason, I think he deserves a great tribute for his career." What was his influence in a footballing sense? "I think Arsene is one of the managers who had a great influence on football because, in every moment in his idea of football, he tried to play good football, creative and offensive football. He deserves great tribute also for this." How important is it that he gains that great tribute? "He deserves great respect. Not only from Arsenal supporters, but from the whole world of football. He deserves great respect. We are talking about one of the best managers in the world with a great and important career with Arsenal. He deserves a great tribute for his career. It would be very difficult to see in the future another manager staying for such a long time at the same club. I think, maybe, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger were a really good story for football. Now it will be very difficult to see that again, another situation like this." 1:54PM 'A proper football man who lives and breathes it' David Moyes, whose West Ham side face Arsenal on Sunday, hailed Arsene Wenger's longevity. "He's been a great competitor, a terrific manager who has graced the Premier League for many years. "He's a proper football man who lives and breathes it. To do 22 years is an incredible achievement." 1:53PM 'There are not enough words for what he's done' Burnley boss Sean Dyche, who will be the second-longest serving current manager in the Premier League once Arsene Wenger stands down, has paid tribute to the Frenchman. "He is a legend of the game - the work that he's done will be remembered. "Some things that now seem normal and simple weren't at the time. Hydration in football sounds a simple thing but was not taken to a high level. Making sure the food they were eating was correct. Their health and well-being. "For youngish managers like myself there are not enough good words you can use for what he's done." 1:42PM 'It was a pleasure to compete against him' Pep Guardiola, manager of new Premier League champions Man City, has also spoken. "He is a huge personality. The Premier League is the Premier League because of what he has done and his vision. I wish him all the best for the future. "Hopefully he will be involved in a different way in world football. Of course it was a pleasure at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and here to compete against him." 1:39PM 'Arsenal fans will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, has told The Telegraph he believes the club will unite behind departing manager Arsene Wenger for the rest of the season as they focus on winning the Europa League. 1:37PM Mourinho asked about Wenger... wait for it Jose Mourinho has claimed that deep down he really respects Arsene Wenger and his various insults over the years did not reflect his true relationship with the Arsenal manager, who announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season. "If he's happy with the decision he makes and looks forward to the next chapter of his career and his life I'm really happy for him. If he's sad, I'm sad. I'm pretty sure as a club - and especially because Mr Wenger and Arsenal were for many, many years the biggest rivals of Sir Alex [Ferguson's] era - we will show Mr Wenger the respect he deserves." Asked whether he regretted many of his spats with Wenger, which were often characterised by the strength of Mourinho's response, he was dismissive. "It's not about regretting. I think your question is a typical question from somebody that was not a manager, not a player. Of course, you don't know the way we respect each other even when sometimes it doesn't look like we don't. "Players that get yellow cards and red cards by aggressive actions against each other, bad words during the career - the manager is the same thing. The ones that respect each other more are the ones with the problems. It's power against power; ambition against ambition; quality against quality. But in the end it's people from the same business who respect one another’s careers. "So it happened. What matters for me is the way I respect the person, the professional, the career. I always say that for some the memories are short, but for us football people - the real football people, the others live on us - don't have short memories. I know what it means, three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, what he did in Japan and France, what he brought to French football. "[Also] What he gave to Arsenal in the period without Premier Leagues, the transition from stadium to stadium, we know what he did. If he's happy with the decision, I'm really happy and I hope he doesn't retire from football." 1:23PM Where it all began for Wenger Where it all began for Arsene Wenger in the #PL... pic.twitter.com/gbhqBu9LTq— Premier League (@premierleague) April 20, 2018 1:19PM The Top 10 longest-serving managers in Premier League history Arsene Wenger, Arsenal, October 1996 to May 2018 (21 years, seven months) Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United, August 1992 to May 2013 (20 years, nine months) David Moyes, Everton, March 2002 to May 2013 (11 years, two months) Harry Redknapp, West Ham, August 1994 to May 2001 (six years, eight months) Rafael Benitez, Liverpool, August 2004 to June 2010 (five years, 10 months) Alan Curbishley, Charlton, August 2000 to May 2006 (five years, nine months) Sam Allardyce, Bolton, August 2001 to April 2007 (five years, eight months) Gerard Houllier, Liverpool, November 1998 to May 2004 (five years, six months) Jim Smith, Derby, August 1996 to October 2001 (five years, two months) Sir Bobby Robson, Newcastle, September 1999 to August 2004 (four years, 11 months) 12:58PM 'One of the best in English football history' Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore offered his own tribute to Arsene Wenger. "It is hard to encapsulate the enormity of Arsene Wenger's contribution to Arsenal Football Club, the Premier League and football generally over these past 22 seasons. "All of Arsene's teams have been a joy to watch and his 2003-04 'Invincibles' will go down as one of the best in English football history." 12:50PM 'One major reason why I'm here is because of him' Club captain Per Mertesacker admitted it was "emotional" to find out that Arsene Wenger was set to depart. "We have just been informed basically. It is quite emotional. Obviously he has been at the club for such a long time, he has been so supportive to me. One major reason why I'm here is because of him. "It's been emotional and there will be time to digest it but it is a sad feeling right now." 12:47PM Wenger told players of his exit beforehand Arsene Wenger asked Arsenal to hold off announcing his decision to leave the club so he could inform his players first-hand. The news was announced this morning, with Wenger set to depart 12 months into a two-year deal. It is understood Wenger was keen to tell the Arsenal players himself and did so ahead of training at their London Colney base and minutes before the news was made public. His coaching staff were also informed of the decision in advance, although club staff working at the Emirates Stadium rather than the training ground discovered the news at the same time as everyone else. Wenger's surprise announcement came a day after he evaded questions over his future at his usual pre-match press conference. 12:36PM How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Was your club one of the teams Arsene Wenger had the wood over? How many times did your team lose to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal? 12:35PM 'Today will mark the start of a new era for the club' Arsene Wenger's decision to leave Arsenal at the end of the season is good for all those involved, according to a leading supporters' group. Lois Langton, chair of the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, believes the timing is right and hailed Wenger as a "fantastic" manager in his day. "Without question, the announcement that Arsene Wenger will finally stand down at the end of this season is the right decision, both for the club and the manager, although, having been so long coming, it feels surreal that the day has finally arrived. "The problems associated with his tenure in recent years are well documented and now that the announcement has been made, there is nothing to be gained by going over old ground. "Arsene Wenger was, for a period of time, a fantastic manager for Arsenal. The Invincibles epitomise what he brought to the Club and, to that extent, his legacy will continue. "We have seen with Manchester City this season how difficult it is to go a league campaign undefeated. The 2003/2004 season in particular will forever be a source of pride and achievement. "It is now time to move on. We have a Europa League semi-final coming up against Atletico and a first success in Europe for Arsene Wenger would provide a fitting farewell. "Arsenal has a rich and wonderful heritage and today will mark the start of a new era for the club." 12:31PM Will Arsenal now raise their game against the Hammers? Arsenal play West Ham this Sunday. Here's our man Nick Callow's abbreviated preview: West Ham are not mathematically safe from relegation so Arsenal should fear a club they have lost to three times at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal can be pipped to sixth by Burnley, but Thursday's Europa Atletico Madrid semi-final will dictate Arsene Wenger's selection while David Moyes can go for broke. PREDICTION: 1-1 12:04PM VOTE: Who should Arsenal choose to replace Wenger? 11:55AM Where next for Wenger? Seeing as the man eats, drinks and sleeps football, it is highly unlikely he will walk off into the sunset and retire. The odds are now stacked in favour of him becoming the next Paris Saint-Germain manager, with Unai Emery expected to be shown the door by the Paris giants. Wenger would also be a a highly-popular choice given his profile in France and continuing analysis as a guest pundit for French TV. 11:48AM 'Name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium' Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has urged fans to get behind the Frenchman for the rest of the season, starting with Sunday's home match against West Ham. "I think everybody can pay their respect to him now about how great he was as a manager. It's perfect timing. "I think it gives the fans (the chance) to pack the Emirates for the last few games of the season and have a right go. "If fans do not turn up against West Ham and pack that place out, they need serious questions asked about them and are they real Arsenal fans or are they glory-hunters?" Merson has also called for the Emirates Stadium to be renamed in Wenger's honour. "They should drop the Emirates bit - they don't need the money - and name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium. "That's his stadium. He built that. He made that stadium. Even if they called it the Emirates Arsene Wenger Stadium. He deserves to be on that." 11:44AM 'It shows the great dignity and class of the man' Spain and Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas, who burst in to the Arsenal starting line-up under Arsene Wenger, posted on Instagram... "Wow. I never expected that but it shows the great dignity and class of the man. I will never forget his guidance and support, his tutelage and mentorship. "He had faith in me from day one and I owe him a lot, he was like a father figure to me who always pushed me to be the best. Arsene, you deserve all the respect and happiness in the world. #classact" 11:43AM Inside information Ian Wright appeared to have been aware of the news before it was announced, tweeting a shocked face emoji around half an hour before the club's statement. — Ian Wright (@IanWright0) April 20, 2018 11:41AM Will it be Rodgers who replaces Wenger? Celtic majority shareholder Dermot Desmond has admitted he would let manager Brendan Rodgers speak to Arsenal if the Premier League club approached the Northern Irishman... "Absolutely. I don't think you can put handcuffs on anybody if they want to go to a club as good as Arsenal. "It will be Brendan's decision and Brendan's decision only." 11:33AM 'He moved the goalposts for everyone else' Southampton manager Mark Hughes believes it would be a "massive wrench" for Arsene Wenger to leave after so long in the post. "When you have had longevity in the game like Arsene has, and I have been in the Premier League for a long time, our paths have crossed on numerous occasions, we had a few run-ins but other times we were very civil and respectful of each other's efforts. "I had a good conversation with him two weeks ago, he looked very relaxed and chilled. "He came with different ideas, different views on how the game should be played, he moved the goalposts for everyone else, he came in and had success and everyone else had to catch up." 11:31AM 'Fans are celebrating like they've won the lottery' Former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman, Arsene Wenger's No 1 for the first seven years of his reign, is not happy with how some Gunners fans are reacting... "It's going to be good now, because there's going to be a chance he will get the send-off and the respect he deserves. The fans that are celebrating like they've won the lottery, it makes me a little bit angry if I'm honest. It's time to show respect and realise what he's done. "For me, he is Arsenal, and it's right that he's decided to leave on his own terms. "Now let's enjoy that. I hope all the fans that have stayed away now return because they've still got a chance of winning something this season. Get behind the team, get behind Arsenal, and show him the respect he deserves. "He's a gentleman. It's brilliant to be in his company. He's a really, really nice guy - and a lot of people don't see that. People say he's stubborn and this and that, but that's not true. It might have been true as a manager, but as a man he's a true gentleman. "When he came in he changed everything - the way we played, the diet... He revolutionised Arsenal. He was brilliant. For me, and especially for the back four - he added years to their careers." 11:05AM Wenger's Arsenal reign in numbers 1996 - the year when a then-unheralded Wenger, who had been in charge at Monaco and Japanese side Nagoya Grampus Eight, took over at Highbury. 1228 - games at the helm, ahead of Sunday's Premier League fixture against West Ham. 704 - wins to date as Arsenal boss. 3 - Premier League title wins, the last during an unbeaten Invincibles campaign of 2003/2004. 1549 - goals scored in Premier League matches by Wenger's teams. 10 - major trophies won. 473 - Premier League victories. 7 - FA Cup triumphs, with three of those having come the last four seasons. 151 - Premier League losses. 21 - full seasons in charge. 49 - games unbeaten in the Premier League from May 2003 to October 2004. 10:58AM Nearly 22 years in three minutes #MerciArsènepic.twitter.com/bjP0wLMgee— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 10:55AM How Twitter is reacting to Wenger leaving Unsurprisingly, frequent Arsene Wenger critic Piers Morgan has tweeted with a certain amount of relish... BREAKING: Wenger out. pic.twitter.com/HBuwQdY9aw— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 20, 2018 Fortunately, Gary Neville, the voice of reason, has said what many feel... Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 Arsenal legend David Seaman has called on Gunners fans to give Wenger the send-off he deserves... Sad day for @Arsenal with Arsene leaving, can we now give him the send off/respect he deserves?!! #rememberthetrophies— David Seaman (@thedavidseaman) April 20, 2018 Journalist and TV presenter Robert Peston is suffering from mixed emotions... Such mixed feelings about Wenger resignation. I wanted him to go, but I miss him already. He was magnificent for us over many years, but it was time #Arsenal— Robert Peston (@Peston) April 20, 2018 Radio 1 DJ Greg James sees the funny side... BUT WHO GETS THE COAT?! I WANT THE COAT. SHOTGUN THE COAT. pic.twitter.com/C4qJEbO8YG— Greg James (@gregjames) April 20, 2018 Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams posted on Instagram: "Thanks for everything Arsene. Move over Herbert, Arsene Wenger the greatest Arsenal Manager." 10:50AM How fickle football can be It was expected that many Arsenal fans would boycott the club's remaining home games as a way of voicing their unhappiness at Arsene Wenger. BUT... Arsenal sure to be packed out for remaining games now— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) April 20, 2018 10:36AM One word: longevity 823 - Arsene Wenger has managed more Premier League games than any other manager (823) and only Sir Alex Ferguson has won more games (528) than Wenger (473). Longevity. pic.twitter.com/ktdsaZPb1y— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 20, 2018 10:34AM Klopp hails Wenger Other Premier League manages are being asked for their thoughts on Arsene Wenger after today's momentous announcement. Here's what Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says: "He is an influence in football. A fantastic career, outstanding personality. A big player in the business." 10:32AM How has it come to this? Arsene Wenger has won three Premier League titles during his spell of over 21 years at the helm, the last of which came as a result of the unbeaten 'Invincibles' season in 2003-04. No-one has won more FA Cups than the former Monaco boss, who was a shock appointment back in 1996. Protests against his reign picked up last season as the Gunners finished outside of the top four for the first time in a full campaign under Wenger's control. But despite the growing negativity, Wenger signed a new two-year deal last summer with the mandate of sustaining a title challenge. That failed miserably and, at the time of the announcement, Arsenal sit sixth in the table and 33 points adrift of newly-crowned champions Manchester City. 10:26AM Set your alarms for 5pm! Arsenal are holding a media conference with chief executive Ivan Gazidis at 5pm at the Emirates Stadium. 10:24AM Winterburn says 'time is right' Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn believes the decision is the right one: "I think it's run its natural course. Arsene Wenger has been absolutely amazing for Arsenal Football Club. "It probably feels to me like it is the right time. When Arsene Wenger does step down, I think he will be remembered very, very fondly. We talk about the modern era, George Graham started it and Arsene Wenger's taken it to the next level. "When he leaves the football club, I think people will look back and really appreciate what Arsene Wenger has done." 10:05AM Who will replace him? Arsene Wenger will lead the team to the end of the season and the club say they will 'make an appointment as soon as possible'. Our Arsenal man - Jeremy Wilson - says these are the leading candidates: Leonardo Jardim, Mikel Arteta, Joachim Low, Brendan Rodgers, Max Allegri and Luis Enrique. 10:02AM 'Arsene has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful' Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has issued the following statement: "This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. "Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played. "We have high ambitions to build on Arsène's remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game. "We must now focus on making a strong finish to the season and ask our millions of fans around the world to join us in paying appropriate tribute to one of the greats of Arsenal's history and one of the greats of the game." 9:57AM BREAKING NEWS: Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal Arsene Wenger has announced he is to step down as manager of Arsenal at the end of the season. "After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season. "I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. "I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. "I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special. "I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. "To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. "My love and support for ever."
Arsenal prepare for 'biggest ever challenge' to replace outgoing Arsene Wenger after 22 years in charge
Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal at the end of the season Wenger's last match at Emirates on May 6 against Burnley Last Premier League match ever on May 13 against Huddersfield Arsenal to hold press conference with Ivan Gazidis at 5pm Mourinho speaks: "We'll show Mr Wenger respect he deserves" Why Wenger will enjoy great success in life after Arsenal Next Arsenal manager odds: Who will replace Wenger? How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Arsenal are promising to be “bold” and could again go left-field in replacing Arsene Wenger after the club’s most successful-ever manager decided to announce his departure amid the prospect of being sacked this summer. Wenger revealed on Friday morning that this would be his 22nd and last season as Arsenal manager and, while the timing of the public announcement was his, the wider backdrop was of the club already actively preparing for change. The clear expectation was that he would be asked to leave this summer and Wenger did not want to wait to be sacked. It was also felt that an early announcement would ensure that Wenger received a big unifying send-off and allow all sides to prepare for a future apart. It was noticeable that Gazidis would not answer on Friday whether he had wanted Wenger to stay or tried to persuade him to see out the remaining year on his contract. Wenger has shown no sign of wanting to retire from management and is expected to make a clear break and seek employment elsewhere. Gazidis has been assessing potential replacements for several years, but has now actively begun the search and wants to preserve many of Wenger’s values within a structure that gives the manager rather less power. End of an era | Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season A new backroom team has already been assembled and, while Gazidis called it “our biggest ever challenge", he said the club had never been better prepared. Leading candidates are Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim, former Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta, former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and Germany boss Joachim Low. A complication with Low will be his reluctance to do anything that could destabilise Germany’s defence of the World Cup. Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers would be interested and has admirers inside Arsenal, but there are concerns at how fans might respond to his appointment at a time when unity is desperately sought. Former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel is close to be appointed Paris St Germain, but Juventus manager Max Allegri is keen on eventually working in England and would be of interest if he is ready to move this summer. Gazidis noticeably highlighted how Arsenal appointed an unknown in Wenger way back in 1996. Guy Wenger “Replace Arsene? That’s not going to happen,” he said. “But we have to make sure we don’t lose his qualities and his values in the club and that we take them forward. So someone who will continue to play exciting, progressive football that gets people interested and excited in the games we play. How the candidate represents the club is important. “That value of giving youth a chance is also very important. I think we’ve got to be open-minded and brave in the decision. When Arsene was appointed, I don’t think he was on many people’s radar. We need to be bold in the appointment.” Wenger made the final decision to leave earlier this week and, after discussions with directors on Thursday, he personally informed his staff and the players on Friday morning. There were many tears both at the stadium and training ground, where club staff were said to be in a state of shock. Wenger has won three Premier League titles, an all-time record seven FA Cups, two doubles, reached the 2006 European Cup final and went the entire 2003-4 Premier League season undefeated. He also helped oversee the move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium. Tributes were paid to Wenger on Friday from across sport, with his old adversary Sir Alex Ferguson saying that he was “proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man." As ever, Wenger stressed the importance of maintaining the values he has embodied in his time in English football. Put simply, that is an entertaining playing style, opportunities for young players and a fiscal structure that safeguards the club’s long-term future. “After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season,” said Wenger. “I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever.” Arsenal fan's view | 'All the bad feeling has disappeared' Arsenal’s majority owner, Stan Kroenke, has always been a massive supporter of Wenger and regarded this as perhaps the hardest moment in his time in professional sport. “This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport,” he said. “One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. “Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played.” Gazidis added: “Arsene is going to feel the full force of this club behind him over the next couple of weeks. Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard. A new ambition. An ambition not just to win, but to win while achieving perfection. To make art out of football. He was always brave enough to be true to that extraordinary ambition and incredibly he achieved it with Arsenal’s Invincibles season.“ 5:26PM Gazidis on his abiding memories of Wenger's reign: “There are great moments - the trophies, the FA Cups, the victory against Barcelona. But the memories I have of Arsene are of speaking to him in quiet moments. He’s an incredibly self-critical man who always gives others the benefit of the doubt. There’s a reason there is so much affection for him. He’s a special person.” 5:23PM Gazidis on the players' reaction: “I think from the reaction at the training ground today, what I felt was an incredible amount of passion to give Arsene the send off that he deserves. “The decision had to come at some point. Now it’s time for us to look forward.” 5:21PM Gazidis on Wenger's future: “Will he retire? He’s somebody who is in great shape and has a competitive edge but that’s a question for him.” 5:19PM Gazidis on the next Arsenal manager: "We're going to have a process around that. The process begins today but I want to keep that process in-house. I don't want to be making public comments about it. We haven't had any discussions to date regarding that." 5:18PM Gazidis on where Arsenal go next: “Our first priority is to come together as a club and we are seeing that today. Our players. staff and fans are behind this great man and we will give him the send off he deserves. I don’t underestimate that challenge but I am confident in the people we have in place to take Arsene’s vision forward and build on it.” "We are not going to find a replacement for Arsene Wenger" 5:16PM Gazidis on Wenger's immediate legacy “Arsene often said his aim was to leave the club in a better place than when he found out. We are in a better place than we could have ever imagined.” 5:15PM Gazidis on Wenger's inspiration: “Beyond football, he has inspired the people around him. He is able to make people believe that they can achieve great things. He inspired George Weah to believe he could not only become the world’s best football player, but to become the president of a nation. He has taken every challenge with humour and grace and class.” 5:15PM Gazidis on the Wenger philosophy: “Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard. A new ambition. Not just to win, but to win while achieving perfection - to make art. Incredibly, he achieved it with the Invincibles. Arsene has been brave enough to live by his philosophy. He’s made Arsenal throughout the world for the kind of football we play.” 5:14PM Gazidis on today's news: “Obviously this has been an emotional day for everyone. Now I have the impossible job of communicating that feeling. Typically, Arsene is not here as he is taking training. I will leave it to others to talk about the facts and figures of his tenure. There is something more coming out today. There is an affection from Arsenal fans and right across the sphere of football. I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Arsene over the last 10 years.” 5:12PM Ivan Gazidis addresses the media... "Arsene changed the game. He set a totally new standard, a new ambition. Am ambition not just to win but to win while achieving perfection. To make art out of football." 4:42PM Jack Wilshere on the outgoing boss... "We need to send him off in the right way now" �� Turn your sound up and listen to this from @JackWilsherepic.twitter.com/aZ9UA5u0mo— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 "I'm sure when the dust settles, we have a few days to think about it, we'll start to reflect on it, but at the moment it's a bit raw, it's a bit sensitive." 4:08PM Thierry Henry on his former manager October 2002 and September's manager of the month congratulates the player of the month Credit: EDDIE KEOGH/PA I was a little mixed because it's a sad day for me to see the big man leave the club, although we all know he has matches left. I'm happy in a way that people can give him the farewell he deserves. His legacy is untouchable. Managers, fans from other teams - [they say] how Arsène changed Arsenal. I am happy that now we can all talk about his legacy. But we must not get carried away with celebrating the end of his time. The team must win the Europa League, it would be an incredible feat and Arsène has never won in Europe before, so it would be a good way to give him a nice goodbye. I remember when I was playing for Arsenal, people were talking about how we play, not what we won, but how we did it and how Arsène made Arsenal a club known in the whole world. If I could be the successor of Wenger? Look at me laughing. It's funny. One person to whom you can ask this question is Ivan Gazidis. He should answer the question. 3:57PM And a word from Germany From one he helped to make it (to Bayern Munich) 22 years @Arsenal - almost my whole lifetime. Impressive. Glad I could be a small part of it ���� #MerciArsène#Wengerpic.twitter.com/lzGJXJlOGC— Serge Gnabry (@SergeGnabry) April 20, 2018 3:51PM A tribute from an opponent Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 3:36PM A trawl through the picture archive ... Has inspired this, 22 years in 11 photographs: Wenger at Arsenal gallery 3:17PM Sir Alex Ferguson pays tribute "I am really happy for Arsène Wenger. I have great respect for him and for the job he has done at Arsenal. It is great testament to his talent, professionalism and determination that has been able to dedicate 22 years of his life to a job that he loves. "In an era where football managers sometimes only last one or two seasons, it shows what an achievement it is to serve that length of time at a club the size of Arsenal. "I am pleased that he has announced he is leaving at this stage of the season, as he can now have the send-off that he truly deserves. "He is, without doubt, one the greatest Premier League managers and I am proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man." 2:47PM Pep Guardiola tips his hat Luke Edwards reports from the Manchester City manager's press conference: “He has all my respect for what he has done. The Premier League is about huge personalities like Arsène, it is because of what he has done, his vision. “I wish him all the best in the future, I hope he can be involved in world football in a different way with his experience. Whether it is with Arsenal, Uefa, Fifa, or somewhere else, I don't know. It was a pleasure to compete against him here, with City, as well as Barcelona and Bayern. Pep Guardiola takes Manchester City training on Friday Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images “It will be difficult for anyone to do what he has done at a top European club again. Sir Alex Ferguson did it at Manchester United, but it is so, so complicated. With the way social media is now, everybody has an opinion and can express it, you feel the pressure as a manager. “You can also feel pressure because staying in the Premier League is so important, then you have the sporting directors, who do not have a lot of patience. It will be so difficult to find a person who will be able to stay at a club for so long and do what Arsène has done.” 2:32PM 'Arsenal will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz, from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, speaks to Telegraph Sport 2:06PM 'I have been talking well about him for a while' Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, who has locked horns with Arsene Wenger plenty of times down the years in his time at Liverpool, Chelsea and on Tyneside, said this at today's press conference: "I have been talking well about him for a while. "To do things in the way that he has done and win the way he was winning, for so many years... we are talking about one of the best managers in football history." 2:01PM 'Like a father through tough times in my career' Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere posted this on Facebook: "To the man who gave me my chance as a 16-year-old, and showed unbelievable faith and commitment towards me. Always a gentleman, like a father through tough times in my career. He always believed in me when most people didn't. Thank you for everything boss! It's down to us now to end your era right. #onearsenewenger" Big shoes for anyone to fill,playing for Arsenal under Arsene was one of the best period of my career, 2 premiership, 2 FA cups, The invincibles, playing with some of the best assembled players,influencing millions of fans in Africa to support this great club. pic.twitter.com/tILZo70jBE— Kanu Nwankwo (@papilokanu) April 20, 2018 Personally a very sad day. I am forever in debt to this man. The person who had faith in me and gave me a platform to progress. Thank you for all the memories and trophies bosspic.twitter.com/EP26M6TP3W— Héctor Bellerín (@HectorBellerin) April 20, 2018 1:56PM 'He deserves respect from the whole world of football' Our man Matt Law was at Stamford Bridge today and asked Antonio Conte for his thoughts on Arsene Wenger. Reaction to Wenger? "My reaction... I think we must pay a great tribute to Arsene Wenger for his career. For his career at Arsenal. He and Ferguson, we're talking about the last two managers to stay for such a long time in a club. Arsene Wenger worked 22 years for Arsenal. I think that's great, it's a fantastic story. He won a lot at this club and, for this reason, I think he deserves a great tribute for his career." What was his influence in a footballing sense? "I think Arsene is one of the managers who had a great influence on football because, in every moment in his idea of football, he tried to play good football, creative and offensive football. He deserves great tribute also for this." How important is it that he gains that great tribute? "He deserves great respect. Not only from Arsenal supporters, but from the whole world of football. He deserves great respect. We are talking about one of the best managers in the world with a great and important career with Arsenal. He deserves a great tribute for his career. It would be very difficult to see in the future another manager staying for such a long time at the same club. I think, maybe, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger were a really good story for football. Now it will be very difficult to see that again, another situation like this." 1:54PM 'A proper football man who lives and breathes it' David Moyes, whose West Ham side face Arsenal on Sunday, hailed Arsene Wenger's longevity. "He's been a great competitor, a terrific manager who has graced the Premier League for many years. "He's a proper football man who lives and breathes it. To do 22 years is an incredible achievement." 1:53PM 'There are not enough words for what he's done' Burnley boss Sean Dyche, who will be the second-longest serving current manager in the Premier League once Arsene Wenger stands down, has paid tribute to the Frenchman. "He is a legend of the game - the work that he's done will be remembered. "Some things that now seem normal and simple weren't at the time. Hydration in football sounds a simple thing but was not taken to a high level. Making sure the food they were eating was correct. Their health and well-being. "For youngish managers like myself there are not enough good words you can use for what he's done." 1:42PM 'It was a pleasure to compete against him' Pep Guardiola, manager of new Premier League champions Man City, has also spoken. "He is a huge personality. The Premier League is the Premier League because of what he has done and his vision. I wish him all the best for the future. "Hopefully he will be involved in a different way in world football. Of course it was a pleasure at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and here to compete against him." 1:39PM 'Arsenal fans will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, has told The Telegraph he believes the club will unite behind departing manager Arsene Wenger for the rest of the season as they focus on winning the Europa League. 1:37PM Mourinho asked about Wenger... wait for it Jose Mourinho has claimed that deep down he really respects Arsene Wenger and his various insults over the years did not reflect his true relationship with the Arsenal manager, who announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season. "If he's happy with the decision he makes and looks forward to the next chapter of his career and his life I'm really happy for him. If he's sad, I'm sad. I'm pretty sure as a club - and especially because Mr Wenger and Arsenal were for many, many years the biggest rivals of Sir Alex [Ferguson's] era - we will show Mr Wenger the respect he deserves." Asked whether he regretted many of his spats with Wenger, which were often characterised by the strength of Mourinho's response, he was dismissive. "It's not about regretting. I think your question is a typical question from somebody that was not a manager, not a player. Of course, you don't know the way we respect each other even when sometimes it doesn't look like we don't. "Players that get yellow cards and red cards by aggressive actions against each other, bad words during the career - the manager is the same thing. The ones that respect each other more are the ones with the problems. It's power against power; ambition against ambition; quality against quality. But in the end it's people from the same business who respect one another’s careers. "So it happened. What matters for me is the way I respect the person, the professional, the career. I always say that for some the memories are short, but for us football people - the real football people, the others live on us - don't have short memories. I know what it means, three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, what he did in Japan and France, what he brought to French football. "[Also] What he gave to Arsenal in the period without Premier Leagues, the transition from stadium to stadium, we know what he did. If he's happy with the decision, I'm really happy and I hope he doesn't retire from football." 1:23PM Where it all began for Wenger Where it all began for Arsene Wenger in the #PL... pic.twitter.com/gbhqBu9LTq— Premier League (@premierleague) April 20, 2018 1:19PM The Top 10 longest-serving managers in Premier League history Arsene Wenger, Arsenal, October 1996 to May 2018 (21 years, seven months) Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United, August 1992 to May 2013 (20 years, nine months) David Moyes, Everton, March 2002 to May 2013 (11 years, two months) Harry Redknapp, West Ham, August 1994 to May 2001 (six years, eight months) Rafael Benitez, Liverpool, August 2004 to June 2010 (five years, 10 months) Alan Curbishley, Charlton, August 2000 to May 2006 (five years, nine months) Sam Allardyce, Bolton, August 2001 to April 2007 (five years, eight months) Gerard Houllier, Liverpool, November 1998 to May 2004 (five years, six months) Jim Smith, Derby, August 1996 to October 2001 (five years, two months) Sir Bobby Robson, Newcastle, September 1999 to August 2004 (four years, 11 months) 12:58PM 'One of the best in English football history' Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore offered his own tribute to Arsene Wenger. "It is hard to encapsulate the enormity of Arsene Wenger's contribution to Arsenal Football Club, the Premier League and football generally over these past 22 seasons. "All of Arsene's teams have been a joy to watch and his 2003-04 'Invincibles' will go down as one of the best in English football history." 12:50PM 'One major reason why I'm here is because of him' Club captain Per Mertesacker admitted it was "emotional" to find out that Arsene Wenger was set to depart. "We have just been informed basically. It is quite emotional. Obviously he has been at the club for such a long time, he has been so supportive to me. One major reason why I'm here is because of him. "It's been emotional and there will be time to digest it but it is a sad feeling right now." 12:47PM Wenger told players of his exit beforehand Arsene Wenger asked Arsenal to hold off announcing his decision to leave the club so he could inform his players first-hand. The news was announced this morning, with Wenger set to depart 12 months into a two-year deal. It is understood Wenger was keen to tell the Arsenal players himself and did so ahead of training at their London Colney base and minutes before the news was made public. His coaching staff were also informed of the decision in advance, although club staff working at the Emirates Stadium rather than the training ground discovered the news at the same time as everyone else. Wenger's surprise announcement came a day after he evaded questions over his future at his usual pre-match press conference. 12:36PM How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Was your club one of the teams Arsene Wenger had the wood over? How many times did your team lose to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal? 12:35PM 'Today will mark the start of a new era for the club' Arsene Wenger's decision to leave Arsenal at the end of the season is good for all those involved, according to a leading supporters' group. Lois Langton, chair of the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, believes the timing is right and hailed Wenger as a "fantastic" manager in his day. "Without question, the announcement that Arsene Wenger will finally stand down at the end of this season is the right decision, both for the club and the manager, although, having been so long coming, it feels surreal that the day has finally arrived. "The problems associated with his tenure in recent years are well documented and now that the announcement has been made, there is nothing to be gained by going over old ground. "Arsene Wenger was, for a period of time, a fantastic manager for Arsenal. The Invincibles epitomise what he brought to the Club and, to that extent, his legacy will continue. "We have seen with Manchester City this season how difficult it is to go a league campaign undefeated. The 2003/2004 season in particular will forever be a source of pride and achievement. "It is now time to move on. We have a Europa League semi-final coming up against Atletico and a first success in Europe for Arsene Wenger would provide a fitting farewell. "Arsenal has a rich and wonderful heritage and today will mark the start of a new era for the club." 12:31PM Will Arsenal now raise their game against the Hammers? Arsenal play West Ham this Sunday. Here's our man Nick Callow's abbreviated preview: West Ham are not mathematically safe from relegation so Arsenal should fear a club they have lost to three times at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal can be pipped to sixth by Burnley, but Thursday's Europa Atletico Madrid semi-final will dictate Arsene Wenger's selection while David Moyes can go for broke. PREDICTION: 1-1 12:04PM VOTE: Who should Arsenal choose to replace Wenger? 11:55AM Where next for Wenger? Seeing as the man eats, drinks and sleeps football, it is highly unlikely he will walk off into the sunset and retire. The odds are now stacked in favour of him becoming the next Paris Saint-Germain manager, with Unai Emery expected to be shown the door by the Paris giants. Wenger would also be a a highly-popular choice given his profile in France and continuing analysis as a guest pundit for French TV. 11:48AM 'Name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium' Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has urged fans to get behind the Frenchman for the rest of the season, starting with Sunday's home match against West Ham. "I think everybody can pay their respect to him now about how great he was as a manager. It's perfect timing. "I think it gives the fans (the chance) to pack the Emirates for the last few games of the season and have a right go. "If fans do not turn up against West Ham and pack that place out, they need serious questions asked about them and are they real Arsenal fans or are they glory-hunters?" Merson has also called for the Emirates Stadium to be renamed in Wenger's honour. "They should drop the Emirates bit - they don't need the money - and name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium. "That's his stadium. He built that. He made that stadium. Even if they called it the Emirates Arsene Wenger Stadium. He deserves to be on that." 11:44AM 'It shows the great dignity and class of the man' Spain and Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas, who burst in to the Arsenal starting line-up under Arsene Wenger, posted on Instagram... "Wow. I never expected that but it shows the great dignity and class of the man. I will never forget his guidance and support, his tutelage and mentorship. "He had faith in me from day one and I owe him a lot, he was like a father figure to me who always pushed me to be the best. Arsene, you deserve all the respect and happiness in the world. #classact" 11:43AM Inside information Ian Wright appeared to have been aware of the news before it was announced, tweeting a shocked face emoji around half an hour before the club's statement. — Ian Wright (@IanWright0) April 20, 2018 11:41AM Will it be Rodgers who replaces Wenger? Celtic majority shareholder Dermot Desmond has admitted he would let manager Brendan Rodgers speak to Arsenal if the Premier League club approached the Northern Irishman... "Absolutely. I don't think you can put handcuffs on anybody if they want to go to a club as good as Arsenal. "It will be Brendan's decision and Brendan's decision only." 11:33AM 'He moved the goalposts for everyone else' Southampton manager Mark Hughes believes it would be a "massive wrench" for Arsene Wenger to leave after so long in the post. "When you have had longevity in the game like Arsene has, and I have been in the Premier League for a long time, our paths have crossed on numerous occasions, we had a few run-ins but other times we were very civil and respectful of each other's efforts. "I had a good conversation with him two weeks ago, he looked very relaxed and chilled. "He came with different ideas, different views on how the game should be played, he moved the goalposts for everyone else, he came in and had success and everyone else had to catch up." 11:31AM 'Fans are celebrating like they've won the lottery' Former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman, Arsene Wenger's No 1 for the first seven years of his reign, is not happy with how some Gunners fans are reacting... "It's going to be good now, because there's going to be a chance he will get the send-off and the respect he deserves. The fans that are celebrating like they've won the lottery, it makes me a little bit angry if I'm honest. It's time to show respect and realise what he's done. "For me, he is Arsenal, and it's right that he's decided to leave on his own terms. "Now let's enjoy that. I hope all the fans that have stayed away now return because they've still got a chance of winning something this season. Get behind the team, get behind Arsenal, and show him the respect he deserves. "He's a gentleman. It's brilliant to be in his company. He's a really, really nice guy - and a lot of people don't see that. People say he's stubborn and this and that, but that's not true. It might have been true as a manager, but as a man he's a true gentleman. "When he came in he changed everything - the way we played, the diet... He revolutionised Arsenal. He was brilliant. For me, and especially for the back four - he added years to their careers." 11:05AM Wenger's Arsenal reign in numbers 1996 - the year when a then-unheralded Wenger, who had been in charge at Monaco and Japanese side Nagoya Grampus Eight, took over at Highbury. 1228 - games at the helm, ahead of Sunday's Premier League fixture against West Ham. 704 - wins to date as Arsenal boss. 3 - Premier League title wins, the last during an unbeaten Invincibles campaign of 2003/2004. 1549 - goals scored in Premier League matches by Wenger's teams. 10 - major trophies won. 473 - Premier League victories. 7 - FA Cup triumphs, with three of those having come the last four seasons. 151 - Premier League losses. 21 - full seasons in charge. 49 - games unbeaten in the Premier League from May 2003 to October 2004. 10:58AM Nearly 22 years in three minutes #MerciArsènepic.twitter.com/bjP0wLMgee— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 10:55AM How Twitter is reacting to Wenger leaving Unsurprisingly, frequent Arsene Wenger critic Piers Morgan has tweeted with a certain amount of relish... BREAKING: Wenger out. pic.twitter.com/HBuwQdY9aw— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 20, 2018 Fortunately, Gary Neville, the voice of reason, has said what many feel... Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 Arsenal legend David Seaman has called on Gunners fans to give Wenger the send-off he deserves... Sad day for @Arsenal with Arsene leaving, can we now give him the send off/respect he deserves?!! #rememberthetrophies— David Seaman (@thedavidseaman) April 20, 2018 Journalist and TV presenter Robert Peston is suffering from mixed emotions... Such mixed feelings about Wenger resignation. I wanted him to go, but I miss him already. He was magnificent for us over many years, but it was time #Arsenal— Robert Peston (@Peston) April 20, 2018 Radio 1 DJ Greg James sees the funny side... BUT WHO GETS THE COAT?! I WANT THE COAT. SHOTGUN THE COAT. pic.twitter.com/C4qJEbO8YG— Greg James (@gregjames) April 20, 2018 Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams posted on Instagram: "Thanks for everything Arsene. Move over Herbert, Arsene Wenger the greatest Arsenal Manager." 10:50AM How fickle football can be It was expected that many Arsenal fans would boycott the club's remaining home games as a way of voicing their unhappiness at Arsene Wenger. BUT... Arsenal sure to be packed out for remaining games now— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) April 20, 2018 10:36AM One word: longevity 823 - Arsene Wenger has managed more Premier League games than any other manager (823) and only Sir Alex Ferguson has won more games (528) than Wenger (473). Longevity. pic.twitter.com/ktdsaZPb1y— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 20, 2018 10:34AM Klopp hails Wenger Other Premier League manages are being asked for their thoughts on Arsene Wenger after today's momentous announcement. Here's what Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says: "He is an influence in football. A fantastic career, outstanding personality. A big player in the business." 10:32AM How has it come to this? Arsene Wenger has won three Premier League titles during his spell of over 21 years at the helm, the last of which came as a result of the unbeaten 'Invincibles' season in 2003-04. No-one has won more FA Cups than the former Monaco boss, who was a shock appointment back in 1996. Protests against his reign picked up last season as the Gunners finished outside of the top four for the first time in a full campaign under Wenger's control. But despite the growing negativity, Wenger signed a new two-year deal last summer with the mandate of sustaining a title challenge. That failed miserably and, at the time of the announcement, Arsenal sit sixth in the table and 33 points adrift of newly-crowned champions Manchester City. 10:26AM Set your alarms for 5pm! Arsenal are holding a media conference with chief executive Ivan Gazidis at 5pm at the Emirates Stadium. 10:24AM Winterburn says 'time is right' Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn believes the decision is the right one: "I think it's run its natural course. Arsene Wenger has been absolutely amazing for Arsenal Football Club. "It probably feels to me like it is the right time. When Arsene Wenger does step down, I think he will be remembered very, very fondly. We talk about the modern era, George Graham started it and Arsene Wenger's taken it to the next level. "When he leaves the football club, I think people will look back and really appreciate what Arsene Wenger has done." 10:05AM Who will replace him? Arsene Wenger will lead the team to the end of the season and the club say they will 'make an appointment as soon as possible'. Our Arsenal man - Jeremy Wilson - says these are the leading candidates: Leonardo Jardim, Mikel Arteta, Joachim Low, Brendan Rodgers, Max Allegri and Luis Enrique. 10:02AM 'Arsene has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful' Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has issued the following statement: "This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. "Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played. "We have high ambitions to build on Arsène's remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game. "We must now focus on making a strong finish to the season and ask our millions of fans around the world to join us in paying appropriate tribute to one of the greats of Arsenal's history and one of the greats of the game." 9:57AM BREAKING NEWS: Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal Arsene Wenger has announced he is to step down as manager of Arsenal at the end of the season. "After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season. "I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. "I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. "I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special. "I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. "To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. "My love and support for ever."
Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal at the end of the season Wenger's last match at Emirates on May 6 against Burnley Last Premier League match ever on May 13 against Huddersfield Arsenal to hold press conference with Ivan Gazidis at 5pm Mourinho speaks: "We'll show Mr Wenger respect he deserves" Why Wenger will enjoy great success in life after Arsenal Next Arsenal manager odds: Who will replace Wenger? How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Arsène Wenger, Arsenal’s longest-serving and most successful-ever manager, is to step down from his job at the end of the season after 22 years at the helm. Wenger has won three Premier League titles, an all-time record seven FA Cups, two doubles, reached the 2006 European Cup final and went the entire 2003-04 Premier League season undefeated, but has faced opposition over recent seasons at the repeated failure to challenge for either the Premier League or Champions League. Arsenal are still in the semi-finals of the Europa League but, even with the possibility of returning to the Champions League through that competition, a decision has been made to end the uncertainty that has hung over the club in recent months. A new backroom structure was already in place and candidates are being assessed as Arsenal now attempt to deal with one of the most seismic moments in their history. Wenger confirmed the decision this morning and, as ever, he stressed the importance of maintaining the values he has embodied in his time in English football. Put simply, that is an entertaining style of football, opportunities for young players and a fiscal structure that safeguards the club’s long-term future. Wenger replacements “After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season,” said Wenger. “I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. “I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special. I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever.” Guy Wenger Arsenal’s majority owner, Stan Kroenke, has always been a massive supporter of Wenger and regarded this as perhaps the toughest decision in his time in sport. “This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport,” he said. “One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. “Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played. Arsenal fan's view | 'All the bad feeling has disappeared' “We have high ambitions to build on Arsène’s remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game. “We must now focus on making a strong finish to the season and ask our millions of fans around the world to join us in paying appropriate tribute to one of the greats of Arsenal’s history and one of the greats of the game.” Arsenal have said that they will make an appointment as soon as possible. 4:42PM Jack Wilshere on the outgoing boss... "We need to send him off in the right way now" �� Turn your sound up and listen to this from @JackWilsherepic.twitter.com/aZ9UA5u0mo— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 "I'm sure when the dust settles, we have a few days to think about it, we'll start to reflect on it, but at the moment it's a bit raw, it's a bit sensitive." 4:08PM Thierry Henry on his former manager October 2002 and September's manager of the month congratulates the player of the month Credit: EDDIE KEOGH/PA I was a little mixed because it's a sad day for me to see the big man leave the club, although we all know he has matches left. I'm happy in a way that people can give him the farewell he deserves. His legacy is untouchable. Managers, fans from other teams - [they say] how Arsène changed Arsenal. I am happy that now we can all talk about his legacy. But we must not get carried away with celebrating the end of his time. The team must win the Europa League, it would be an incredible feat and Arsène has never won in Europe before, so it would be a good way to give him a nice goodbye. I remember when I was playing for Arsenal, people were talking about how we play, not what we won, but how we did it and how Arsène made Arsenal a club known in the whole world. If I could be the successor of Wenger? Look at me laughing. It's funny. One person to whom you can ask this question is Ivan Gazidis. He should answer the question. 3:57PM And a word from Germany From one he helped to make it (to Bayern Munich) 22 years @Arsenal - almost my whole lifetime. Impressive. Glad I could be a small part of it ���� #MerciArsène#Wengerpic.twitter.com/lzGJXJlOGC— Serge Gnabry (@SergeGnabry) April 20, 2018 3:51PM A tribute from an opponent Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 3:36PM A trawl through the picture archive ... Has inspired this, 22 years in 11 photographs: Wenger at Arsenal gallery 3:17PM Sir Alex Ferguson pays tribute "I am really happy for Arsène Wenger. I have great respect for him and for the job he has done at Arsenal. It is great testament to his talent, professionalism and determination that has been able to dedicate 22 years of his life to a job that he loves. "In an era where football managers sometimes only last one or two seasons, it shows what an achievement it is to serve that length of time at a club the size of Arsenal. "I am pleased that he has announced he is leaving at this stage of the season, as he can now have the send-off that he truly deserves. "He is, without doubt, one the greatest Premier League managers and I am proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man." 2:47PM Pep Guardiola tips his hat Luke Edwards reports from the Manchester City manager's press conference: “He has all my respect for what he has done. The Premier League is about huge personalities like Arsène, it is because of what he has done, his vision. “I wish him all the best in the future, I hope he can be involved in world football in a different way with his experience. Whether it is with Arsenal, Uefa, Fifa, or somewhere else, I don't know. It was a pleasure to compete against him here, with City, as well as Barcelona and Bayern. Pep Guardiola takes Manchester City training on Friday Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images “It will be difficult for anyone to do what he has done at a top European club again. Sir Alex Ferguson did it at Manchester United, but it is so, so complicated. With the way social media is now, everybody has an opinion and can express it, you feel the pressure as a manager. “You can also feel pressure because staying in the Premier League is so important, then you have the sporting directors, who do not have a lot of patience. It will be so difficult to find a person who will be able to stay at a club for so long and do what Arsène has done.” 2:32PM 'Arsenal will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz, from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, speaks to Telegraph Sport 2:06PM 'I have been talking well about him for a while' Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, who has locked horns with Arsene Wenger plenty of times down the years in his time at Liverpool, Chelsea and on Tyneside, said this at today's press conference: "I have been talking well about him for a while. "To do things in the way that he has done and win the way he was winning, for so many years... we are talking about one of the best managers in football history." 2:01PM 'Like a father through tough times in my career' Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere posted this on Facebook: "To the man who gave me my chance as a 16-year-old, and showed unbelievable faith and commitment towards me. Always a gentleman, like a father through tough times in my career. He always believed in me when most people didn't. Thank you for everything boss! It's down to us now to end your era right. #onearsenewenger" Big shoes for anyone to fill,playing for Arsenal under Arsene was one of the best period of my career, 2 premiership, 2 FA cups, The invincibles, playing with some of the best assembled players,influencing millions of fans in Africa to support this great club. pic.twitter.com/tILZo70jBE— Kanu Nwankwo (@papilokanu) April 20, 2018 Personally a very sad day. I am forever in debt to this man. The person who had faith in me and gave me a platform to progress. Thank you for all the memories and trophies bosspic.twitter.com/EP26M6TP3W— Héctor Bellerín (@HectorBellerin) April 20, 2018 1:56PM 'He deserves respect from the whole world of football' Our man Matt Law was at Stamford Bridge today and asked Antonio Conte for his thoughts on Arsene Wenger. Reaction to Wenger? "My reaction... I think we must pay a great tribute to Arsene Wenger for his career. For his career at Arsenal. He and Ferguson, we're talking about the last two managers to stay for such a long time in a club. Arsene Wenger worked 22 years for Arsenal. I think that's great, it's a fantastic story. He won a lot at this club and, for this reason, I think he deserves a great tribute for his career." What was his influence in a footballing sense? "I think Arsene is one of the managers who had a great influence on football because, in every moment in his idea of football, he tried to play good football, creative and offensive football. He deserves great tribute also for this." How important is it that he gains that great tribute? "He deserves great respect. Not only from Arsenal supporters, but from the whole world of football. He deserves great respect. We are talking about one of the best managers in the world with a great and important career with Arsenal. He deserves a great tribute for his career. It would be very difficult to see in the future another manager staying for such a long time at the same club. I think, maybe, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger were a really good story for football. Now it will be very difficult to see that again, another situation like this." 1:54PM 'A proper football man who lives and breathes it' David Moyes, whose West Ham side face Arsenal on Sunday, hailed Arsene Wenger's longevity. "He's been a great competitor, a terrific manager who has graced the Premier League for many years. "He's a proper football man who lives and breathes it. To do 22 years is an incredible achievement." 1:53PM 'There are not enough words for what he's done' Burnley boss Sean Dyche, who will be the second-longest serving current manager in the Premier League once Arsene Wenger stands down, has paid tribute to the Frenchman. "He is a legend of the game - the work that he's done will be remembered. "Some things that now seem normal and simple weren't at the time. Hydration in football sounds a simple thing but was not taken to a high level. Making sure the food they were eating was correct. Their health and well-being. "For youngish managers like myself there are not enough good words you can use for what he's done." 1:42PM 'It was a pleasure to compete against him' Pep Guardiola, manager of new Premier League champions Man City, has also spoken. "He is a huge personality. The Premier League is the Premier League because of what he has done and his vision. I wish him all the best for the future. "Hopefully he will be involved in a different way in world football. Of course it was a pleasure at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and here to compete against him." 1:39PM 'Arsenal fans will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, has told The Telegraph he believes the club will unite behind departing manager Arsene Wenger for the rest of the season as they focus on winning the Europa League. 1:37PM Mourinho asked about Wenger... wait for it Jose Mourinho has claimed that deep down he really respects Arsene Wenger and his various insults over the years did not reflect his true relationship with the Arsenal manager, who announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season. "If he's happy with the decision he makes and looks forward to the next chapter of his career and his life I'm really happy for him. If he's sad, I'm sad. I'm pretty sure as a club - and especially because Mr Wenger and Arsenal were for many, many years the biggest rivals of Sir Alex [Ferguson's] era - we will show Mr Wenger the respect he deserves." Asked whether he regretted many of his spats with Wenger, which were often characterised by the strength of Mourinho's response, he was dismissive. "It's not about regretting. I think your question is a typical question from somebody that was not a manager, not a player. Of course, you don't know the way we respect each other even when sometimes it doesn't look like we don't. "Players that get yellow cards and red cards by aggressive actions against each other, bad words during the career - the manager is the same thing. The ones that respect each other more are the ones with the problems. It's power against power; ambition against ambition; quality against quality. But in the end it's people from the same business who respect one another’s careers. "So it happened. What matters for me is the way I respect the person, the professional, the career. I always say that for some the memories are short, but for us football people - the real football people, the others live on us - don't have short memories. I know what it means, three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, what he did in Japan and France, what he brought to French football. "[Also] What he gave to Arsenal in the period without Premier Leagues, the transition from stadium to stadium, we know what he did. If he's happy with the decision, I'm really happy and I hope he doesn't retire from football." 1:23PM Where it all began for Wenger Where it all began for Arsene Wenger in the #PL... pic.twitter.com/gbhqBu9LTq— Premier League (@premierleague) April 20, 2018 1:19PM The Top 10 longest-serving managers in Premier League history Arsene Wenger, Arsenal, October 1996 to May 2018 (21 years, seven months) Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United, August 1992 to May 2013 (20 years, nine months) David Moyes, Everton, March 2002 to May 2013 (11 years, two months) Harry Redknapp, West Ham, August 1994 to May 2001 (six years, eight months) Rafael Benitez, Liverpool, August 2004 to June 2010 (five years, 10 months) Alan Curbishley, Charlton, August 2000 to May 2006 (five years, nine months) Sam Allardyce, Bolton, August 2001 to April 2007 (five years, eight months) Gerard Houllier, Liverpool, November 1998 to May 2004 (five years, six months) Jim Smith, Derby, August 1996 to October 2001 (five years, two months) Sir Bobby Robson, Newcastle, September 1999 to August 2004 (four years, 11 months) 12:58PM 'One of the best in English football history' Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore offered his own tribute to Arsene Wenger. "It is hard to encapsulate the enormity of Arsene Wenger's contribution to Arsenal Football Club, the Premier League and football generally over these past 22 seasons. "All of Arsene's teams have been a joy to watch and his 2003-04 'Invincibles' will go down as one of the best in English football history." 12:50PM 'One major reason why I'm here is because of him' Club captain Per Mertesacker admitted it was "emotional" to find out that Arsene Wenger was set to depart. "We have just been informed basically. It is quite emotional. Obviously he has been at the club for such a long time, he has been so supportive to me. One major reason why I'm here is because of him. "It's been emotional and there will be time to digest it but it is a sad feeling right now." 12:47PM Wenger told players of his exit beforehand Arsene Wenger asked Arsenal to hold off announcing his decision to leave the club so he could inform his players first-hand. The news was announced this morning, with Wenger set to depart 12 months into a two-year deal. It is understood Wenger was keen to tell the Arsenal players himself and did so ahead of training at their London Colney base and minutes before the news was made public. His coaching staff were also informed of the decision in advance, although club staff working at the Emirates Stadium rather than the training ground discovered the news at the same time as everyone else. Wenger's surprise announcement came a day after he evaded questions over his future at his usual pre-match press conference. 12:36PM How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Was your club one of the teams Arsene Wenger had the wood over? How many times did your team lose to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal? 12:35PM 'Today will mark the start of a new era for the club' Arsene Wenger's decision to leave Arsenal at the end of the season is good for all those involved, according to a leading supporters' group. Lois Langton, chair of the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, believes the timing is right and hailed Wenger as a "fantastic" manager in his day. "Without question, the announcement that Arsene Wenger will finally stand down at the end of this season is the right decision, both for the club and the manager, although, having been so long coming, it feels surreal that the day has finally arrived. "The problems associated with his tenure in recent years are well documented and now that the announcement has been made, there is nothing to be gained by going over old ground. "Arsene Wenger was, for a period of time, a fantastic manager for Arsenal. The Invincibles epitomise what he brought to the Club and, to that extent, his legacy will continue. "We have seen with Manchester City this season how difficult it is to go a league campaign undefeated. The 2003/2004 season in particular will forever be a source of pride and achievement. "It is now time to move on. We have a Europa League semi-final coming up against Atletico and a first success in Europe for Arsene Wenger would provide a fitting farewell. "Arsenal has a rich and wonderful heritage and today will mark the start of a new era for the club." 12:31PM Will Arsenal now raise their game against the Hammers? Arsenal play West Ham this Sunday. Here's our man Nick Callow's abbreviated preview: West Ham are not mathematically safe from relegation so Arsenal should fear a club they have lost to three times at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal can be pipped to sixth by Burnley, but Thursday's Europa Atletico Madrid semi-final will dictate Arsene Wenger's selection while David Moyes can go for broke. PREDICTION: 1-1 12:04PM VOTE: Who should Arsenal choose to replace Wenger? 11:55AM Where next for Wenger? Seeing as the man eats, drinks and sleeps football, it is highly unlikely he will walk off into the sunset and retire. The odds are now stacked in favour of him becoming the next Paris Saint-Germain manager, with Unai Emery expected to be shown the door by the Paris giants. Wenger would also be a a highly-popular choice given his profile in France and continuing analysis as a guest pundit for French TV. 11:48AM 'Name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium' Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has urged fans to get behind the Frenchman for the rest of the season, starting with Sunday's home match against West Ham. "I think everybody can pay their respect to him now about how great he was as a manager. It's perfect timing. "I think it gives the fans (the chance) to pack the Emirates for the last few games of the season and have a right go. "If fans do not turn up against West Ham and pack that place out, they need serious questions asked about them and are they real Arsenal fans or are they glory-hunters?" Merson has also called for the Emirates Stadium to be renamed in Wenger's honour. "They should drop the Emirates bit - they don't need the money - and name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium. "That's his stadium. He built that. He made that stadium. Even if they called it the Emirates Arsene Wenger Stadium. He deserves to be on that." 11:44AM 'It shows the great dignity and class of the man' Spain and Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas, who burst in to the Arsenal starting line-up under Arsene Wenger, posted on Instagram... "Wow. I never expected that but it shows the great dignity and class of the man. I will never forget his guidance and support, his tutelage and mentorship. "He had faith in me from day one and I owe him a lot, he was like a father figure to me who always pushed me to be the best. Arsene, you deserve all the respect and happiness in the world. #classact" 11:43AM Inside information Ian Wright appeared to have been aware of the news before it was announced, tweeting a shocked face emoji around half an hour before the club's statement. — Ian Wright (@IanWright0) April 20, 2018 11:41AM Will it be Rodgers who replaces Wenger? Celtic majority shareholder Dermot Desmond has admitted he would let manager Brendan Rodgers speak to Arsenal if the Premier League club approached the Northern Irishman... "Absolutely. I don't think you can put handcuffs on anybody if they want to go to a club as good as Arsenal. "It will be Brendan's decision and Brendan's decision only." 11:33AM 'He moved the goalposts for everyone else' Southampton manager Mark Hughes believes it would be a "massive wrench" for Arsene Wenger to leave after so long in the post. "When you have had longevity in the game like Arsene has, and I have been in the Premier League for a long time, our paths have crossed on numerous occasions, we had a few run-ins but other times we were very civil and respectful of each other's efforts. "I had a good conversation with him two weeks ago, he looked very relaxed and chilled. "He came with different ideas, different views on how the game should be played, he moved the goalposts for everyone else, he came in and had success and everyone else had to catch up." 11:31AM 'Fans are celebrating like they've won the lottery' Former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman, Arsene Wenger's No 1 for the first seven years of his reign, is not happy with how some Gunners fans are reacting... "It's going to be good now, because there's going to be a chance he will get the send-off and the respect he deserves. The fans that are celebrating like they've won the lottery, it makes me a little bit angry if I'm honest. It's time to show respect and realise what he's done. "For me, he is Arsenal, and it's right that he's decided to leave on his own terms. "Now let's enjoy that. I hope all the fans that have stayed away now return because they've still got a chance of winning something this season. Get behind the team, get behind Arsenal, and show him the respect he deserves. "He's a gentleman. It's brilliant to be in his company. He's a really, really nice guy - and a lot of people don't see that. People say he's stubborn and this and that, but that's not true. It might have been true as a manager, but as a man he's a true gentleman. "When he came in he changed everything - the way we played, the diet... He revolutionised Arsenal. He was brilliant. For me, and especially for the back four - he added years to their careers." 11:05AM Wenger's Arsenal reign in numbers 1996 - the year when a then-unheralded Wenger, who had been in charge at Monaco and Japanese side Nagoya Grampus Eight, took over at Highbury. 1228 - games at the helm, ahead of Sunday's Premier League fixture against West Ham. 704 - wins to date as Arsenal boss. 3 - Premier League title wins, the last during an unbeaten Invincibles campaign of 2003/2004. 1549 - goals scored in Premier League matches by Wenger's teams. 10 - major trophies won. 473 - Premier League victories. 7 - FA Cup triumphs, with three of those having come the last four seasons. 151 - Premier League losses. 21 - full seasons in charge. 49 - games unbeaten in the Premier League from May 2003 to October 2004. 10:58AM Nearly 22 years in three minutes #MerciArsènepic.twitter.com/bjP0wLMgee— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 10:55AM How Twitter is reacting to Wenger leaving Unsurprisingly, frequent Arsene Wenger critic Piers Morgan has tweeted with a certain amount of relish... BREAKING: Wenger out. pic.twitter.com/HBuwQdY9aw— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 20, 2018 Fortunately, Gary Neville, the voice of reason, has said what many feel... Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 Arsenal legend David Seaman has called on Gunners fans to give Wenger the send-off he deserves... Sad day for @Arsenal with Arsene leaving, can we now give him the send off/respect he deserves?!! #rememberthetrophies— David Seaman (@thedavidseaman) April 20, 2018 Journalist and TV presenter Robert Peston is suffering from mixed emotions... Such mixed feelings about Wenger resignation. I wanted him to go, but I miss him already. He was magnificent for us over many years, but it was time #Arsenal— Robert Peston (@Peston) April 20, 2018 Radio 1 DJ Greg James sees the funny side... BUT WHO GETS THE COAT?! I WANT THE COAT. SHOTGUN THE COAT. pic.twitter.com/C4qJEbO8YG— Greg James (@gregjames) April 20, 2018 Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams posted on Instagram: "Thanks for everything Arsene. Move over Herbert, Arsene Wenger the greatest Arsenal Manager." 10:50AM How fickle football can be It was expected that many Arsenal fans would boycott the club's remaining home games as a way of voicing their unhappiness at Arsene Wenger. BUT... Arsenal sure to be packed out for remaining games now— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) April 20, 2018 10:36AM One word: longevity 823 - Arsene Wenger has managed more Premier League games than any other manager (823) and only Sir Alex Ferguson has won more games (528) than Wenger (473). Longevity. pic.twitter.com/ktdsaZPb1y— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 20, 2018 10:34AM Klopp hails Wenger Other Premier League manages are being asked for their thoughts on Arsene Wenger after today's momentous announcement. Here's what Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says: "He is an influence in football. A fantastic career, outstanding personality. A big player in the business." 10:32AM How has it come to this? Arsene Wenger has won three Premier League titles during his spell of over 21 years at the helm, the last of which came as a result of the unbeaten 'Invincibles' season in 2003-04. No-one has won more FA Cups than the former Monaco boss, who was a shock appointment back in 1996. Protests against his reign picked up last season as the Gunners finished outside of the top four for the first time in a full campaign under Wenger's control. But despite the growing negativity, Wenger signed a new two-year deal last summer with the mandate of sustaining a title challenge. That failed miserably and, at the time of the announcement, Arsenal sit sixth in the table and 33 points adrift of newly-crowned champions Manchester City. 10:26AM Set your alarms for 5pm! Arsenal are holding a media conference with chief executive Ivan Gazidis at 5pm at the Emirates Stadium. 10:24AM Winterburn says 'time is right' Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn believes the decision is the right one: "I think it's run its natural course. Arsene Wenger has been absolutely amazing for Arsenal Football Club. "It probably feels to me like it is the right time. When Arsene Wenger does step down, I think he will be remembered very, very fondly. We talk about the modern era, George Graham started it and Arsene Wenger's taken it to the next level. "When he leaves the football club, I think people will look back and really appreciate what Arsene Wenger has done." 10:05AM Who will replace him? Arsene Wenger will lead the team to the end of the season and the club say they will 'make an appointment as soon as possible'. Our Arsenal man - Jeremy Wilson - says these are the leading candidates: Leonardo Jardim, Mikel Arteta, Joachim Low, Brendan Rodgers, Max Allegri and Luis Enrique. 10:02AM 'Arsene has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful' Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has issued the following statement: "This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. "Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played. "We have high ambitions to build on Arsène's remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game. "We must now focus on making a strong finish to the season and ask our millions of fans around the world to join us in paying appropriate tribute to one of the greats of Arsenal's history and one of the greats of the game." 9:57AM BREAKING NEWS: Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal Arsene Wenger has announced he is to step down as manager of Arsenal at the end of the season. "After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season. "I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. "I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. "I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special. "I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. "To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. "My love and support for ever."
Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal at end of season: live updates
Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal at the end of the season Wenger's last match at Emirates on May 6 against Burnley Last Premier League match ever on May 13 against Huddersfield Arsenal to hold press conference with Ivan Gazidis at 5pm Mourinho speaks: "We'll show Mr Wenger respect he deserves" Why Wenger will enjoy great success in life after Arsenal Next Arsenal manager odds: Who will replace Wenger? How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Arsène Wenger, Arsenal’s longest-serving and most successful-ever manager, is to step down from his job at the end of the season after 22 years at the helm. Wenger has won three Premier League titles, an all-time record seven FA Cups, two doubles, reached the 2006 European Cup final and went the entire 2003-04 Premier League season undefeated, but has faced opposition over recent seasons at the repeated failure to challenge for either the Premier League or Champions League. Arsenal are still in the semi-finals of the Europa League but, even with the possibility of returning to the Champions League through that competition, a decision has been made to end the uncertainty that has hung over the club in recent months. A new backroom structure was already in place and candidates are being assessed as Arsenal now attempt to deal with one of the most seismic moments in their history. Wenger confirmed the decision this morning and, as ever, he stressed the importance of maintaining the values he has embodied in his time in English football. Put simply, that is an entertaining style of football, opportunities for young players and a fiscal structure that safeguards the club’s long-term future. Wenger replacements “After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season,” said Wenger. “I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. “I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special. I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever.” Guy Wenger Arsenal’s majority owner, Stan Kroenke, has always been a massive supporter of Wenger and regarded this as perhaps the toughest decision in his time in sport. “This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport,” he said. “One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. “Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played. Arsenal fan's view | 'All the bad feeling has disappeared' “We have high ambitions to build on Arsène’s remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game. “We must now focus on making a strong finish to the season and ask our millions of fans around the world to join us in paying appropriate tribute to one of the greats of Arsenal’s history and one of the greats of the game.” Arsenal have said that they will make an appointment as soon as possible. 4:42PM Jack Wilshere on the outgoing boss... "We need to send him off in the right way now" �� Turn your sound up and listen to this from @JackWilsherepic.twitter.com/aZ9UA5u0mo— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 "I'm sure when the dust settles, we have a few days to think about it, we'll start to reflect on it, but at the moment it's a bit raw, it's a bit sensitive." 4:08PM Thierry Henry on his former manager October 2002 and September's manager of the month congratulates the player of the month Credit: EDDIE KEOGH/PA I was a little mixed because it's a sad day for me to see the big man leave the club, although we all know he has matches left. I'm happy in a way that people can give him the farewell he deserves. His legacy is untouchable. Managers, fans from other teams - [they say] how Arsène changed Arsenal. I am happy that now we can all talk about his legacy. But we must not get carried away with celebrating the end of his time. The team must win the Europa League, it would be an incredible feat and Arsène has never won in Europe before, so it would be a good way to give him a nice goodbye. I remember when I was playing for Arsenal, people were talking about how we play, not what we won, but how we did it and how Arsène made Arsenal a club known in the whole world. If I could be the successor of Wenger? Look at me laughing. It's funny. One person to whom you can ask this question is Ivan Gazidis. He should answer the question. 3:57PM And a word from Germany From one he helped to make it (to Bayern Munich) 22 years @Arsenal - almost my whole lifetime. Impressive. Glad I could be a small part of it ���� #MerciArsène#Wengerpic.twitter.com/lzGJXJlOGC— Serge Gnabry (@SergeGnabry) April 20, 2018 3:51PM A tribute from an opponent Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 3:36PM A trawl through the picture archive ... Has inspired this, 22 years in 11 photographs: Wenger at Arsenal gallery 3:17PM Sir Alex Ferguson pays tribute "I am really happy for Arsène Wenger. I have great respect for him and for the job he has done at Arsenal. It is great testament to his talent, professionalism and determination that has been able to dedicate 22 years of his life to a job that he loves. "In an era where football managers sometimes only last one or two seasons, it shows what an achievement it is to serve that length of time at a club the size of Arsenal. "I am pleased that he has announced he is leaving at this stage of the season, as he can now have the send-off that he truly deserves. "He is, without doubt, one the greatest Premier League managers and I am proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man." 2:47PM Pep Guardiola tips his hat Luke Edwards reports from the Manchester City manager's press conference: “He has all my respect for what he has done. The Premier League is about huge personalities like Arsène, it is because of what he has done, his vision. “I wish him all the best in the future, I hope he can be involved in world football in a different way with his experience. Whether it is with Arsenal, Uefa, Fifa, or somewhere else, I don't know. It was a pleasure to compete against him here, with City, as well as Barcelona and Bayern. Pep Guardiola takes Manchester City training on Friday Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images “It will be difficult for anyone to do what he has done at a top European club again. Sir Alex Ferguson did it at Manchester United, but it is so, so complicated. With the way social media is now, everybody has an opinion and can express it, you feel the pressure as a manager. “You can also feel pressure because staying in the Premier League is so important, then you have the sporting directors, who do not have a lot of patience. It will be so difficult to find a person who will be able to stay at a club for so long and do what Arsène has done.” 2:32PM 'Arsenal will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz, from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, speaks to Telegraph Sport 2:06PM 'I have been talking well about him for a while' Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, who has locked horns with Arsene Wenger plenty of times down the years in his time at Liverpool, Chelsea and on Tyneside, said this at today's press conference: "I have been talking well about him for a while. "To do things in the way that he has done and win the way he was winning, for so many years... we are talking about one of the best managers in football history." 2:01PM 'Like a father through tough times in my career' Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere posted this on Facebook: "To the man who gave me my chance as a 16-year-old, and showed unbelievable faith and commitment towards me. Always a gentleman, like a father through tough times in my career. He always believed in me when most people didn't. Thank you for everything boss! It's down to us now to end your era right. #onearsenewenger" Big shoes for anyone to fill,playing for Arsenal under Arsene was one of the best period of my career, 2 premiership, 2 FA cups, The invincibles, playing with some of the best assembled players,influencing millions of fans in Africa to support this great club. pic.twitter.com/tILZo70jBE— Kanu Nwankwo (@papilokanu) April 20, 2018 Personally a very sad day. I am forever in debt to this man. The person who had faith in me and gave me a platform to progress. Thank you for all the memories and trophies bosspic.twitter.com/EP26M6TP3W— Héctor Bellerín (@HectorBellerin) April 20, 2018 1:56PM 'He deserves respect from the whole world of football' Our man Matt Law was at Stamford Bridge today and asked Antonio Conte for his thoughts on Arsene Wenger. Reaction to Wenger? "My reaction... I think we must pay a great tribute to Arsene Wenger for his career. For his career at Arsenal. He and Ferguson, we're talking about the last two managers to stay for such a long time in a club. Arsene Wenger worked 22 years for Arsenal. I think that's great, it's a fantastic story. He won a lot at this club and, for this reason, I think he deserves a great tribute for his career." What was his influence in a footballing sense? "I think Arsene is one of the managers who had a great influence on football because, in every moment in his idea of football, he tried to play good football, creative and offensive football. He deserves great tribute also for this." How important is it that he gains that great tribute? "He deserves great respect. Not only from Arsenal supporters, but from the whole world of football. He deserves great respect. We are talking about one of the best managers in the world with a great and important career with Arsenal. He deserves a great tribute for his career. It would be very difficult to see in the future another manager staying for such a long time at the same club. I think, maybe, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger were a really good story for football. Now it will be very difficult to see that again, another situation like this." 1:54PM 'A proper football man who lives and breathes it' David Moyes, whose West Ham side face Arsenal on Sunday, hailed Arsene Wenger's longevity. "He's been a great competitor, a terrific manager who has graced the Premier League for many years. "He's a proper football man who lives and breathes it. To do 22 years is an incredible achievement." 1:53PM 'There are not enough words for what he's done' Burnley boss Sean Dyche, who will be the second-longest serving current manager in the Premier League once Arsene Wenger stands down, has paid tribute to the Frenchman. "He is a legend of the game - the work that he's done will be remembered. "Some things that now seem normal and simple weren't at the time. Hydration in football sounds a simple thing but was not taken to a high level. Making sure the food they were eating was correct. Their health and well-being. "For youngish managers like myself there are not enough good words you can use for what he's done." 1:42PM 'It was a pleasure to compete against him' Pep Guardiola, manager of new Premier League champions Man City, has also spoken. "He is a huge personality. The Premier League is the Premier League because of what he has done and his vision. I wish him all the best for the future. "Hopefully he will be involved in a different way in world football. Of course it was a pleasure at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and here to compete against him." 1:39PM 'Arsenal fans will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, has told The Telegraph he believes the club will unite behind departing manager Arsene Wenger for the rest of the season as they focus on winning the Europa League. 1:37PM Mourinho asked about Wenger... wait for it Jose Mourinho has claimed that deep down he really respects Arsene Wenger and his various insults over the years did not reflect his true relationship with the Arsenal manager, who announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season. "If he's happy with the decision he makes and looks forward to the next chapter of his career and his life I'm really happy for him. If he's sad, I'm sad. I'm pretty sure as a club - and especially because Mr Wenger and Arsenal were for many, many years the biggest rivals of Sir Alex [Ferguson's] era - we will show Mr Wenger the respect he deserves." Asked whether he regretted many of his spats with Wenger, which were often characterised by the strength of Mourinho's response, he was dismissive. "It's not about regretting. I think your question is a typical question from somebody that was not a manager, not a player. Of course, you don't know the way we respect each other even when sometimes it doesn't look like we don't. "Players that get yellow cards and red cards by aggressive actions against each other, bad words during the career - the manager is the same thing. The ones that respect each other more are the ones with the problems. It's power against power; ambition against ambition; quality against quality. But in the end it's people from the same business who respect one another’s careers. "So it happened. What matters for me is the way I respect the person, the professional, the career. I always say that for some the memories are short, but for us football people - the real football people, the others live on us - don't have short memories. I know what it means, three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, what he did in Japan and France, what he brought to French football. "[Also] What he gave to Arsenal in the period without Premier Leagues, the transition from stadium to stadium, we know what he did. If he's happy with the decision, I'm really happy and I hope he doesn't retire from football." 1:23PM Where it all began for Wenger Where it all began for Arsene Wenger in the #PL... pic.twitter.com/gbhqBu9LTq— Premier League (@premierleague) April 20, 2018 1:19PM The Top 10 longest-serving managers in Premier League history Arsene Wenger, Arsenal, October 1996 to May 2018 (21 years, seven months) Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United, August 1992 to May 2013 (20 years, nine months) David Moyes, Everton, March 2002 to May 2013 (11 years, two months) Harry Redknapp, West Ham, August 1994 to May 2001 (six years, eight months) Rafael Benitez, Liverpool, August 2004 to June 2010 (five years, 10 months) Alan Curbishley, Charlton, August 2000 to May 2006 (five years, nine months) Sam Allardyce, Bolton, August 2001 to April 2007 (five years, eight months) Gerard Houllier, Liverpool, November 1998 to May 2004 (five years, six months) Jim Smith, Derby, August 1996 to October 2001 (five years, two months) Sir Bobby Robson, Newcastle, September 1999 to August 2004 (four years, 11 months) 12:58PM 'One of the best in English football history' Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore offered his own tribute to Arsene Wenger. "It is hard to encapsulate the enormity of Arsene Wenger's contribution to Arsenal Football Club, the Premier League and football generally over these past 22 seasons. "All of Arsene's teams have been a joy to watch and his 2003-04 'Invincibles' will go down as one of the best in English football history." 12:50PM 'One major reason why I'm here is because of him' Club captain Per Mertesacker admitted it was "emotional" to find out that Arsene Wenger was set to depart. "We have just been informed basically. It is quite emotional. Obviously he has been at the club for such a long time, he has been so supportive to me. One major reason why I'm here is because of him. "It's been emotional and there will be time to digest it but it is a sad feeling right now." 12:47PM Wenger told players of his exit beforehand Arsene Wenger asked Arsenal to hold off announcing his decision to leave the club so he could inform his players first-hand. The news was announced this morning, with Wenger set to depart 12 months into a two-year deal. It is understood Wenger was keen to tell the Arsenal players himself and did so ahead of training at their London Colney base and minutes before the news was made public. His coaching staff were also informed of the decision in advance, although club staff working at the Emirates Stadium rather than the training ground discovered the news at the same time as everyone else. Wenger's surprise announcement came a day after he evaded questions over his future at his usual pre-match press conference. 12:36PM How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Was your club one of the teams Arsene Wenger had the wood over? How many times did your team lose to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal? 12:35PM 'Today will mark the start of a new era for the club' Arsene Wenger's decision to leave Arsenal at the end of the season is good for all those involved, according to a leading supporters' group. Lois Langton, chair of the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, believes the timing is right and hailed Wenger as a "fantastic" manager in his day. "Without question, the announcement that Arsene Wenger will finally stand down at the end of this season is the right decision, both for the club and the manager, although, having been so long coming, it feels surreal that the day has finally arrived. "The problems associated with his tenure in recent years are well documented and now that the announcement has been made, there is nothing to be gained by going over old ground. "Arsene Wenger was, for a period of time, a fantastic manager for Arsenal. The Invincibles epitomise what he brought to the Club and, to that extent, his legacy will continue. "We have seen with Manchester City this season how difficult it is to go a league campaign undefeated. The 2003/2004 season in particular will forever be a source of pride and achievement. "It is now time to move on. We have a Europa League semi-final coming up against Atletico and a first success in Europe for Arsene Wenger would provide a fitting farewell. "Arsenal has a rich and wonderful heritage and today will mark the start of a new era for the club." 12:31PM Will Arsenal now raise their game against the Hammers? Arsenal play West Ham this Sunday. Here's our man Nick Callow's abbreviated preview: West Ham are not mathematically safe from relegation so Arsenal should fear a club they have lost to three times at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal can be pipped to sixth by Burnley, but Thursday's Europa Atletico Madrid semi-final will dictate Arsene Wenger's selection while David Moyes can go for broke. PREDICTION: 1-1 12:04PM VOTE: Who should Arsenal choose to replace Wenger? 11:55AM Where next for Wenger? Seeing as the man eats, drinks and sleeps football, it is highly unlikely he will walk off into the sunset and retire. The odds are now stacked in favour of him becoming the next Paris Saint-Germain manager, with Unai Emery expected to be shown the door by the Paris giants. Wenger would also be a a highly-popular choice given his profile in France and continuing analysis as a guest pundit for French TV. 11:48AM 'Name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium' Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has urged fans to get behind the Frenchman for the rest of the season, starting with Sunday's home match against West Ham. "I think everybody can pay their respect to him now about how great he was as a manager. It's perfect timing. "I think it gives the fans (the chance) to pack the Emirates for the last few games of the season and have a right go. "If fans do not turn up against West Ham and pack that place out, they need serious questions asked about them and are they real Arsenal fans or are they glory-hunters?" Merson has also called for the Emirates Stadium to be renamed in Wenger's honour. "They should drop the Emirates bit - they don't need the money - and name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium. "That's his stadium. He built that. He made that stadium. Even if they called it the Emirates Arsene Wenger Stadium. He deserves to be on that." 11:44AM 'It shows the great dignity and class of the man' Spain and Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas, who burst in to the Arsenal starting line-up under Arsene Wenger, posted on Instagram... "Wow. I never expected that but it shows the great dignity and class of the man. I will never forget his guidance and support, his tutelage and mentorship. "He had faith in me from day one and I owe him a lot, he was like a father figure to me who always pushed me to be the best. Arsene, you deserve all the respect and happiness in the world. #classact" 11:43AM Inside information Ian Wright appeared to have been aware of the news before it was announced, tweeting a shocked face emoji around half an hour before the club's statement. — Ian Wright (@IanWright0) April 20, 2018 11:41AM Will it be Rodgers who replaces Wenger? Celtic majority shareholder Dermot Desmond has admitted he would let manager Brendan Rodgers speak to Arsenal if the Premier League club approached the Northern Irishman... "Absolutely. I don't think you can put handcuffs on anybody if they want to go to a club as good as Arsenal. "It will be Brendan's decision and Brendan's decision only." 11:33AM 'He moved the goalposts for everyone else' Southampton manager Mark Hughes believes it would be a "massive wrench" for Arsene Wenger to leave after so long in the post. "When you have had longevity in the game like Arsene has, and I have been in the Premier League for a long time, our paths have crossed on numerous occasions, we had a few run-ins but other times we were very civil and respectful of each other's efforts. "I had a good conversation with him two weeks ago, he looked very relaxed and chilled. "He came with different ideas, different views on how the game should be played, he moved the goalposts for everyone else, he came in and had success and everyone else had to catch up." 11:31AM 'Fans are celebrating like they've won the lottery' Former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman, Arsene Wenger's No 1 for the first seven years of his reign, is not happy with how some Gunners fans are reacting... "It's going to be good now, because there's going to be a chance he will get the send-off and the respect he deserves. The fans that are celebrating like they've won the lottery, it makes me a little bit angry if I'm honest. It's time to show respect and realise what he's done. "For me, he is Arsenal, and it's right that he's decided to leave on his own terms. "Now let's enjoy that. I hope all the fans that have stayed away now return because they've still got a chance of winning something this season. Get behind the team, get behind Arsenal, and show him the respect he deserves. "He's a gentleman. It's brilliant to be in his company. He's a really, really nice guy - and a lot of people don't see that. People say he's stubborn and this and that, but that's not true. It might have been true as a manager, but as a man he's a true gentleman. "When he came in he changed everything - the way we played, the diet... He revolutionised Arsenal. He was brilliant. For me, and especially for the back four - he added years to their careers." 11:05AM Wenger's Arsenal reign in numbers 1996 - the year when a then-unheralded Wenger, who had been in charge at Monaco and Japanese side Nagoya Grampus Eight, took over at Highbury. 1228 - games at the helm, ahead of Sunday's Premier League fixture against West Ham. 704 - wins to date as Arsenal boss. 3 - Premier League title wins, the last during an unbeaten Invincibles campaign of 2003/2004. 1549 - goals scored in Premier League matches by Wenger's teams. 10 - major trophies won. 473 - Premier League victories. 7 - FA Cup triumphs, with three of those having come the last four seasons. 151 - Premier League losses. 21 - full seasons in charge. 49 - games unbeaten in the Premier League from May 2003 to October 2004. 10:58AM Nearly 22 years in three minutes #MerciArsènepic.twitter.com/bjP0wLMgee— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 10:55AM How Twitter is reacting to Wenger leaving Unsurprisingly, frequent Arsene Wenger critic Piers Morgan has tweeted with a certain amount of relish... BREAKING: Wenger out. pic.twitter.com/HBuwQdY9aw— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 20, 2018 Fortunately, Gary Neville, the voice of reason, has said what many feel... Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 Arsenal legend David Seaman has called on Gunners fans to give Wenger the send-off he deserves... Sad day for @Arsenal with Arsene leaving, can we now give him the send off/respect he deserves?!! #rememberthetrophies— David Seaman (@thedavidseaman) April 20, 2018 Journalist and TV presenter Robert Peston is suffering from mixed emotions... Such mixed feelings about Wenger resignation. I wanted him to go, but I miss him already. He was magnificent for us over many years, but it was time #Arsenal— Robert Peston (@Peston) April 20, 2018 Radio 1 DJ Greg James sees the funny side... BUT WHO GETS THE COAT?! I WANT THE COAT. SHOTGUN THE COAT. pic.twitter.com/C4qJEbO8YG— Greg James (@gregjames) April 20, 2018 Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams posted on Instagram: "Thanks for everything Arsene. Move over Herbert, Arsene Wenger the greatest Arsenal Manager." 10:50AM How fickle football can be It was expected that many Arsenal fans would boycott the club's remaining home games as a way of voicing their unhappiness at Arsene Wenger. BUT... Arsenal sure to be packed out for remaining games now— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) April 20, 2018 10:36AM One word: longevity 823 - Arsene Wenger has managed more Premier League games than any other manager (823) and only Sir Alex Ferguson has won more games (528) than Wenger (473). Longevity. pic.twitter.com/ktdsaZPb1y— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 20, 2018 10:34AM Klopp hails Wenger Other Premier League manages are being asked for their thoughts on Arsene Wenger after today's momentous announcement. Here's what Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says: "He is an influence in football. A fantastic career, outstanding personality. A big player in the business." 10:32AM How has it come to this? Arsene Wenger has won three Premier League titles during his spell of over 21 years at the helm, the last of which came as a result of the unbeaten 'Invincibles' season in 2003-04. No-one has won more FA Cups than the former Monaco boss, who was a shock appointment back in 1996. Protests against his reign picked up last season as the Gunners finished outside of the top four for the first time in a full campaign under Wenger's control. But despite the growing negativity, Wenger signed a new two-year deal last summer with the mandate of sustaining a title challenge. That failed miserably and, at the time of the announcement, Arsenal sit sixth in the table and 33 points adrift of newly-crowned champions Manchester City. 10:26AM Set your alarms for 5pm! Arsenal are holding a media conference with chief executive Ivan Gazidis at 5pm at the Emirates Stadium. 10:24AM Winterburn says 'time is right' Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn believes the decision is the right one: "I think it's run its natural course. Arsene Wenger has been absolutely amazing for Arsenal Football Club. "It probably feels to me like it is the right time. When Arsene Wenger does step down, I think he will be remembered very, very fondly. We talk about the modern era, George Graham started it and Arsene Wenger's taken it to the next level. "When he leaves the football club, I think people will look back and really appreciate what Arsene Wenger has done." 10:05AM Who will replace him? Arsene Wenger will lead the team to the end of the season and the club say they will 'make an appointment as soon as possible'. Our Arsenal man - Jeremy Wilson - says these are the leading candidates: Leonardo Jardim, Mikel Arteta, Joachim Low, Brendan Rodgers, Max Allegri and Luis Enrique. 10:02AM 'Arsene has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful' Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has issued the following statement: "This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. "Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played. "We have high ambitions to build on Arsène's remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game. "We must now focus on making a strong finish to the season and ask our millions of fans around the world to join us in paying appropriate tribute to one of the greats of Arsenal's history and one of the greats of the game." 9:57AM BREAKING NEWS: Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal Arsene Wenger has announced he is to step down as manager of Arsenal at the end of the season. "After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season. "I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. "I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. "I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special. "I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. "To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. "My love and support for ever."
Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal at the end of the season Wenger's last match at Emirates on May 6 against Burnley Last Premier League match ever on May 13 against Huddersfield Arsenal to hold press conference with Ivan Gazidis at 5pm Mourinho speaks: "We'll show Mr Wenger respect he deserves" Why Wenger will enjoy great success in life after Arsenal Next Arsenal manager odds: Who will replace Wenger? How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Arsène Wenger, Arsenal’s longest-serving and most successful-ever manager, is to step down from his job at the end of the season after 22 years at the helm. Wenger has won three Premier League titles, an all-time record seven FA Cups, two doubles, reached the 2006 European Cup final and went the entire 2003-04 Premier League season undefeated, but has faced opposition over recent seasons at the repeated failure to challenge for either the Premier League or Champions League. Arsenal are still in the semi-finals of the Europa League but, even with the possibility of returning to the Champions League through that competition, a decision has been made to end the uncertainty that has hung over the club in recent months. A new backroom structure was already in place and candidates are being assessed as Arsenal now attempt to deal with one of the most seismic moments in their history. Wenger confirmed the decision this morning and, as ever, he stressed the importance of maintaining the values he has embodied in his time in English football. Put simply, that is an entertaining style of football, opportunities for young players and a fiscal structure that safeguards the club’s long-term future. Wenger replacements “After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season,” said Wenger. “I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. “I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special. I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever.” Guy Wenger Arsenal’s majority owner, Stan Kroenke, has always been a massive supporter of Wenger and regarded this as perhaps the toughest decision in his time in sport. “This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport,” he said. “One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. “Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played. Arsenal fan's view | 'All the bad feeling has disappeared' “We have high ambitions to build on Arsène’s remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game. “We must now focus on making a strong finish to the season and ask our millions of fans around the world to join us in paying appropriate tribute to one of the greats of Arsenal’s history and one of the greats of the game.” Arsenal have said that they will make an appointment as soon as possible. 4:42PM Jack Wilshere on the outgoing boss... "We need to send him off in the right way now" �� Turn your sound up and listen to this from @JackWilsherepic.twitter.com/aZ9UA5u0mo— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 "I'm sure when the dust settles, we have a few days to think about it, we'll start to reflect on it, but at the moment it's a bit raw, it's a bit sensitive." 4:08PM Thierry Henry on his former manager October 2002 and September's manager of the month congratulates the player of the month Credit: EDDIE KEOGH/PA I was a little mixed because it's a sad day for me to see the big man leave the club, although we all know he has matches left. I'm happy in a way that people can give him the farewell he deserves. His legacy is untouchable. Managers, fans from other teams - [they say] how Arsène changed Arsenal. I am happy that now we can all talk about his legacy. But we must not get carried away with celebrating the end of his time. The team must win the Europa League, it would be an incredible feat and Arsène has never won in Europe before, so it would be a good way to give him a nice goodbye. I remember when I was playing for Arsenal, people were talking about how we play, not what we won, but how we did it and how Arsène made Arsenal a club known in the whole world. If I could be the successor of Wenger? Look at me laughing. It's funny. One person to whom you can ask this question is Ivan Gazidis. He should answer the question. 3:57PM And a word from Germany From one he helped to make it (to Bayern Munich) 22 years @Arsenal - almost my whole lifetime. Impressive. Glad I could be a small part of it ���� #MerciArsène#Wengerpic.twitter.com/lzGJXJlOGC— Serge Gnabry (@SergeGnabry) April 20, 2018 3:51PM A tribute from an opponent Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 3:36PM A trawl through the picture archive ... Has inspired this, 22 years in 11 photographs: Wenger at Arsenal gallery 3:17PM Sir Alex Ferguson pays tribute "I am really happy for Arsène Wenger. I have great respect for him and for the job he has done at Arsenal. It is great testament to his talent, professionalism and determination that has been able to dedicate 22 years of his life to a job that he loves. "In an era where football managers sometimes only last one or two seasons, it shows what an achievement it is to serve that length of time at a club the size of Arsenal. "I am pleased that he has announced he is leaving at this stage of the season, as he can now have the send-off that he truly deserves. "He is, without doubt, one the greatest Premier League managers and I am proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man." 2:47PM Pep Guardiola tips his hat Luke Edwards reports from the Manchester City manager's press conference: “He has all my respect for what he has done. The Premier League is about huge personalities like Arsène, it is because of what he has done, his vision. “I wish him all the best in the future, I hope he can be involved in world football in a different way with his experience. Whether it is with Arsenal, Uefa, Fifa, or somewhere else, I don't know. It was a pleasure to compete against him here, with City, as well as Barcelona and Bayern. Pep Guardiola takes Manchester City training on Friday Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images “It will be difficult for anyone to do what he has done at a top European club again. Sir Alex Ferguson did it at Manchester United, but it is so, so complicated. With the way social media is now, everybody has an opinion and can express it, you feel the pressure as a manager. “You can also feel pressure because staying in the Premier League is so important, then you have the sporting directors, who do not have a lot of patience. It will be so difficult to find a person who will be able to stay at a club for so long and do what Arsène has done.” 2:32PM 'Arsenal will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz, from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, speaks to Telegraph Sport 2:06PM 'I have been talking well about him for a while' Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, who has locked horns with Arsene Wenger plenty of times down the years in his time at Liverpool, Chelsea and on Tyneside, said this at today's press conference: "I have been talking well about him for a while. "To do things in the way that he has done and win the way he was winning, for so many years... we are talking about one of the best managers in football history." 2:01PM 'Like a father through tough times in my career' Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere posted this on Facebook: "To the man who gave me my chance as a 16-year-old, and showed unbelievable faith and commitment towards me. Always a gentleman, like a father through tough times in my career. He always believed in me when most people didn't. Thank you for everything boss! It's down to us now to end your era right. #onearsenewenger" Big shoes for anyone to fill,playing for Arsenal under Arsene was one of the best period of my career, 2 premiership, 2 FA cups, The invincibles, playing with some of the best assembled players,influencing millions of fans in Africa to support this great club. pic.twitter.com/tILZo70jBE— Kanu Nwankwo (@papilokanu) April 20, 2018 Personally a very sad day. I am forever in debt to this man. The person who had faith in me and gave me a platform to progress. Thank you for all the memories and trophies bosspic.twitter.com/EP26M6TP3W— Héctor Bellerín (@HectorBellerin) April 20, 2018 1:56PM 'He deserves respect from the whole world of football' Our man Matt Law was at Stamford Bridge today and asked Antonio Conte for his thoughts on Arsene Wenger. Reaction to Wenger? "My reaction... I think we must pay a great tribute to Arsene Wenger for his career. For his career at Arsenal. He and Ferguson, we're talking about the last two managers to stay for such a long time in a club. Arsene Wenger worked 22 years for Arsenal. I think that's great, it's a fantastic story. He won a lot at this club and, for this reason, I think he deserves a great tribute for his career." What was his influence in a footballing sense? "I think Arsene is one of the managers who had a great influence on football because, in every moment in his idea of football, he tried to play good football, creative and offensive football. He deserves great tribute also for this." How important is it that he gains that great tribute? "He deserves great respect. Not only from Arsenal supporters, but from the whole world of football. He deserves great respect. We are talking about one of the best managers in the world with a great and important career with Arsenal. He deserves a great tribute for his career. It would be very difficult to see in the future another manager staying for such a long time at the same club. I think, maybe, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger were a really good story for football. Now it will be very difficult to see that again, another situation like this." 1:54PM 'A proper football man who lives and breathes it' David Moyes, whose West Ham side face Arsenal on Sunday, hailed Arsene Wenger's longevity. "He's been a great competitor, a terrific manager who has graced the Premier League for many years. "He's a proper football man who lives and breathes it. To do 22 years is an incredible achievement." 1:53PM 'There are not enough words for what he's done' Burnley boss Sean Dyche, who will be the second-longest serving current manager in the Premier League once Arsene Wenger stands down, has paid tribute to the Frenchman. "He is a legend of the game - the work that he's done will be remembered. "Some things that now seem normal and simple weren't at the time. Hydration in football sounds a simple thing but was not taken to a high level. Making sure the food they were eating was correct. Their health and well-being. "For youngish managers like myself there are not enough good words you can use for what he's done." 1:42PM 'It was a pleasure to compete against him' Pep Guardiola, manager of new Premier League champions Man City, has also spoken. "He is a huge personality. The Premier League is the Premier League because of what he has done and his vision. I wish him all the best for the future. "Hopefully he will be involved in a different way in world football. Of course it was a pleasure at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and here to compete against him." 1:39PM 'Arsenal fans will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, has told The Telegraph he believes the club will unite behind departing manager Arsene Wenger for the rest of the season as they focus on winning the Europa League. 1:37PM Mourinho asked about Wenger... wait for it Jose Mourinho has claimed that deep down he really respects Arsene Wenger and his various insults over the years did not reflect his true relationship with the Arsenal manager, who announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season. "If he's happy with the decision he makes and looks forward to the next chapter of his career and his life I'm really happy for him. If he's sad, I'm sad. I'm pretty sure as a club - and especially because Mr Wenger and Arsenal were for many, many years the biggest rivals of Sir Alex [Ferguson's] era - we will show Mr Wenger the respect he deserves." Asked whether he regretted many of his spats with Wenger, which were often characterised by the strength of Mourinho's response, he was dismissive. "It's not about regretting. I think your question is a typical question from somebody that was not a manager, not a player. Of course, you don't know the way we respect each other even when sometimes it doesn't look like we don't. "Players that get yellow cards and red cards by aggressive actions against each other, bad words during the career - the manager is the same thing. The ones that respect each other more are the ones with the problems. It's power against power; ambition against ambition; quality against quality. But in the end it's people from the same business who respect one another’s careers. "So it happened. What matters for me is the way I respect the person, the professional, the career. I always say that for some the memories are short, but for us football people - the real football people, the others live on us - don't have short memories. I know what it means, three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, what he did in Japan and France, what he brought to French football. "[Also] What he gave to Arsenal in the period without Premier Leagues, the transition from stadium to stadium, we know what he did. If he's happy with the decision, I'm really happy and I hope he doesn't retire from football." 1:23PM Where it all began for Wenger Where it all began for Arsene Wenger in the #PL... pic.twitter.com/gbhqBu9LTq— Premier League (@premierleague) April 20, 2018 1:19PM The Top 10 longest-serving managers in Premier League history Arsene Wenger, Arsenal, October 1996 to May 2018 (21 years, seven months) Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United, August 1992 to May 2013 (20 years, nine months) David Moyes, Everton, March 2002 to May 2013 (11 years, two months) Harry Redknapp, West Ham, August 1994 to May 2001 (six years, eight months) Rafael Benitez, Liverpool, August 2004 to June 2010 (five years, 10 months) Alan Curbishley, Charlton, August 2000 to May 2006 (five years, nine months) Sam Allardyce, Bolton, August 2001 to April 2007 (five years, eight months) Gerard Houllier, Liverpool, November 1998 to May 2004 (five years, six months) Jim Smith, Derby, August 1996 to October 2001 (five years, two months) Sir Bobby Robson, Newcastle, September 1999 to August 2004 (four years, 11 months) 12:58PM 'One of the best in English football history' Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore offered his own tribute to Arsene Wenger. "It is hard to encapsulate the enormity of Arsene Wenger's contribution to Arsenal Football Club, the Premier League and football generally over these past 22 seasons. "All of Arsene's teams have been a joy to watch and his 2003-04 'Invincibles' will go down as one of the best in English football history." 12:50PM 'One major reason why I'm here is because of him' Club captain Per Mertesacker admitted it was "emotional" to find out that Arsene Wenger was set to depart. "We have just been informed basically. It is quite emotional. Obviously he has been at the club for such a long time, he has been so supportive to me. One major reason why I'm here is because of him. "It's been emotional and there will be time to digest it but it is a sad feeling right now." 12:47PM Wenger told players of his exit beforehand Arsene Wenger asked Arsenal to hold off announcing his decision to leave the club so he could inform his players first-hand. The news was announced this morning, with Wenger set to depart 12 months into a two-year deal. It is understood Wenger was keen to tell the Arsenal players himself and did so ahead of training at their London Colney base and minutes before the news was made public. His coaching staff were also informed of the decision in advance, although club staff working at the Emirates Stadium rather than the training ground discovered the news at the same time as everyone else. Wenger's surprise announcement came a day after he evaded questions over his future at his usual pre-match press conference. 12:36PM How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Was your club one of the teams Arsene Wenger had the wood over? How many times did your team lose to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal? 12:35PM 'Today will mark the start of a new era for the club' Arsene Wenger's decision to leave Arsenal at the end of the season is good for all those involved, according to a leading supporters' group. Lois Langton, chair of the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, believes the timing is right and hailed Wenger as a "fantastic" manager in his day. "Without question, the announcement that Arsene Wenger will finally stand down at the end of this season is the right decision, both for the club and the manager, although, having been so long coming, it feels surreal that the day has finally arrived. "The problems associated with his tenure in recent years are well documented and now that the announcement has been made, there is nothing to be gained by going over old ground. "Arsene Wenger was, for a period of time, a fantastic manager for Arsenal. The Invincibles epitomise what he brought to the Club and, to that extent, his legacy will continue. "We have seen with Manchester City this season how difficult it is to go a league campaign undefeated. The 2003/2004 season in particular will forever be a source of pride and achievement. "It is now time to move on. We have a Europa League semi-final coming up against Atletico and a first success in Europe for Arsene Wenger would provide a fitting farewell. "Arsenal has a rich and wonderful heritage and today will mark the start of a new era for the club." 12:31PM Will Arsenal now raise their game against the Hammers? Arsenal play West Ham this Sunday. Here's our man Nick Callow's abbreviated preview: West Ham are not mathematically safe from relegation so Arsenal should fear a club they have lost to three times at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal can be pipped to sixth by Burnley, but Thursday's Europa Atletico Madrid semi-final will dictate Arsene Wenger's selection while David Moyes can go for broke. PREDICTION: 1-1 12:04PM VOTE: Who should Arsenal choose to replace Wenger? 11:55AM Where next for Wenger? Seeing as the man eats, drinks and sleeps football, it is highly unlikely he will walk off into the sunset and retire. The odds are now stacked in favour of him becoming the next Paris Saint-Germain manager, with Unai Emery expected to be shown the door by the Paris giants. Wenger would also be a a highly-popular choice given his profile in France and continuing analysis as a guest pundit for French TV. 11:48AM 'Name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium' Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has urged fans to get behind the Frenchman for the rest of the season, starting with Sunday's home match against West Ham. "I think everybody can pay their respect to him now about how great he was as a manager. It's perfect timing. "I think it gives the fans (the chance) to pack the Emirates for the last few games of the season and have a right go. "If fans do not turn up against West Ham and pack that place out, they need serious questions asked about them and are they real Arsenal fans or are they glory-hunters?" Merson has also called for the Emirates Stadium to be renamed in Wenger's honour. "They should drop the Emirates bit - they don't need the money - and name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium. "That's his stadium. He built that. He made that stadium. Even if they called it the Emirates Arsene Wenger Stadium. He deserves to be on that." 11:44AM 'It shows the great dignity and class of the man' Spain and Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas, who burst in to the Arsenal starting line-up under Arsene Wenger, posted on Instagram... "Wow. I never expected that but it shows the great dignity and class of the man. I will never forget his guidance and support, his tutelage and mentorship. "He had faith in me from day one and I owe him a lot, he was like a father figure to me who always pushed me to be the best. Arsene, you deserve all the respect and happiness in the world. #classact" 11:43AM Inside information Ian Wright appeared to have been aware of the news before it was announced, tweeting a shocked face emoji around half an hour before the club's statement. — Ian Wright (@IanWright0) April 20, 2018 11:41AM Will it be Rodgers who replaces Wenger? Celtic majority shareholder Dermot Desmond has admitted he would let manager Brendan Rodgers speak to Arsenal if the Premier League club approached the Northern Irishman... "Absolutely. I don't think you can put handcuffs on anybody if they want to go to a club as good as Arsenal. "It will be Brendan's decision and Brendan's decision only." 11:33AM 'He moved the goalposts for everyone else' Southampton manager Mark Hughes believes it would be a "massive wrench" for Arsene Wenger to leave after so long in the post. "When you have had longevity in the game like Arsene has, and I have been in the Premier League for a long time, our paths have crossed on numerous occasions, we had a few run-ins but other times we were very civil and respectful of each other's efforts. "I had a good conversation with him two weeks ago, he looked very relaxed and chilled. "He came with different ideas, different views on how the game should be played, he moved the goalposts for everyone else, he came in and had success and everyone else had to catch up." 11:31AM 'Fans are celebrating like they've won the lottery' Former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman, Arsene Wenger's No 1 for the first seven years of his reign, is not happy with how some Gunners fans are reacting... "It's going to be good now, because there's going to be a chance he will get the send-off and the respect he deserves. The fans that are celebrating like they've won the lottery, it makes me a little bit angry if I'm honest. It's time to show respect and realise what he's done. "For me, he is Arsenal, and it's right that he's decided to leave on his own terms. "Now let's enjoy that. I hope all the fans that have stayed away now return because they've still got a chance of winning something this season. Get behind the team, get behind Arsenal, and show him the respect he deserves. "He's a gentleman. It's brilliant to be in his company. He's a really, really nice guy - and a lot of people don't see that. People say he's stubborn and this and that, but that's not true. It might have been true as a manager, but as a man he's a true gentleman. "When he came in he changed everything - the way we played, the diet... He revolutionised Arsenal. He was brilliant. For me, and especially for the back four - he added years to their careers." 11:05AM Wenger's Arsenal reign in numbers 1996 - the year when a then-unheralded Wenger, who had been in charge at Monaco and Japanese side Nagoya Grampus Eight, took over at Highbury. 1228 - games at the helm, ahead of Sunday's Premier League fixture against West Ham. 704 - wins to date as Arsenal boss. 3 - Premier League title wins, the last during an unbeaten Invincibles campaign of 2003/2004. 1549 - goals scored in Premier League matches by Wenger's teams. 10 - major trophies won. 473 - Premier League victories. 7 - FA Cup triumphs, with three of those having come the last four seasons. 151 - Premier League losses. 21 - full seasons in charge. 49 - games unbeaten in the Premier League from May 2003 to October 2004. 10:58AM Nearly 22 years in three minutes #MerciArsènepic.twitter.com/bjP0wLMgee— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 10:55AM How Twitter is reacting to Wenger leaving Unsurprisingly, frequent Arsene Wenger critic Piers Morgan has tweeted with a certain amount of relish... BREAKING: Wenger out. pic.twitter.com/HBuwQdY9aw— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 20, 2018 Fortunately, Gary Neville, the voice of reason, has said what many feel... Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 Arsenal legend David Seaman has called on Gunners fans to give Wenger the send-off he deserves... Sad day for @Arsenal with Arsene leaving, can we now give him the send off/respect he deserves?!! #rememberthetrophies— David Seaman (@thedavidseaman) April 20, 2018 Journalist and TV presenter Robert Peston is suffering from mixed emotions... Such mixed feelings about Wenger resignation. I wanted him to go, but I miss him already. He was magnificent for us over many years, but it was time #Arsenal— Robert Peston (@Peston) April 20, 2018 Radio 1 DJ Greg James sees the funny side... BUT WHO GETS THE COAT?! I WANT THE COAT. SHOTGUN THE COAT. pic.twitter.com/C4qJEbO8YG— Greg James (@gregjames) April 20, 2018 Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams posted on Instagram: "Thanks for everything Arsene. Move over Herbert, Arsene Wenger the greatest Arsenal Manager." 10:50AM How fickle football can be It was expected that many Arsenal fans would boycott the club's remaining home games as a way of voicing their unhappiness at Arsene Wenger. BUT... Arsenal sure to be packed out for remaining games now— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) April 20, 2018 10:36AM One word: longevity 823 - Arsene Wenger has managed more Premier League games than any other manager (823) and only Sir Alex Ferguson has won more games (528) than Wenger (473). Longevity. pic.twitter.com/ktdsaZPb1y— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 20, 2018 10:34AM Klopp hails Wenger Other Premier League manages are being asked for their thoughts on Arsene Wenger after today's momentous announcement. Here's what Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says: "He is an influence in football. A fantastic career, outstanding personality. A big player in the business." 10:32AM How has it come to this? Arsene Wenger has won three Premier League titles during his spell of over 21 years at the helm, the last of which came as a result of the unbeaten 'Invincibles' season in 2003-04. No-one has won more FA Cups than the former Monaco boss, who was a shock appointment back in 1996. Protests against his reign picked up last season as the Gunners finished outside of the top four for the first time in a full campaign under Wenger's control. But despite the growing negativity, Wenger signed a new two-year deal last summer with the mandate of sustaining a title challenge. That failed miserably and, at the time of the announcement, Arsenal sit sixth in the table and 33 points adrift of newly-crowned champions Manchester City. 10:26AM Set your alarms for 5pm! Arsenal are holding a media conference with chief executive Ivan Gazidis at 5pm at the Emirates Stadium. 10:24AM Winterburn says 'time is right' Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn believes the decision is the right one: "I think it's run its natural course. Arsene Wenger has been absolutely amazing for Arsenal Football Club. "It probably feels to me like it is the right time. When Arsene Wenger does step down, I think he will be remembered very, very fondly. We talk about the modern era, George Graham started it and Arsene Wenger's taken it to the next level. "When he leaves the football club, I think people will look back and really appreciate what Arsene Wenger has done." 10:05AM Who will replace him? Arsene Wenger will lead the team to the end of the season and the club say they will 'make an appointment as soon as possible'. Our Arsenal man - Jeremy Wilson - says these are the leading candidates: Leonardo Jardim, Mikel Arteta, Joachim Low, Brendan Rodgers, Max Allegri and Luis Enrique. 10:02AM 'Arsene has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful' Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has issued the following statement: "This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. "Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played. "We have high ambitions to build on Arsène's remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game. "We must now focus on making a strong finish to the season and ask our millions of fans around the world to join us in paying appropriate tribute to one of the greats of Arsenal's history and one of the greats of the game." 9:57AM BREAKING NEWS: Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal Arsene Wenger has announced he is to step down as manager of Arsenal at the end of the season. "After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season. "I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. "I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. "I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special. "I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. "To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. "My love and support for ever."
Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal at end of season: live updates
Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal at the end of the season Wenger's last match at Emirates on May 6 against Burnley Last Premier League match ever on May 13 against Huddersfield Arsenal to hold press conference with Ivan Gazidis at 5pm Mourinho speaks: "We'll show Mr Wenger respect he deserves" Why Wenger will enjoy great success in life after Arsenal Next Arsenal manager odds: Who will replace Wenger? How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Arsène Wenger, Arsenal’s longest-serving and most successful-ever manager, is to step down from his job at the end of the season after 22 years at the helm. Wenger has won three Premier League titles, an all-time record seven FA Cups, two doubles, reached the 2006 European Cup final and went the entire 2003-04 Premier League season undefeated, but has faced opposition over recent seasons at the repeated failure to challenge for either the Premier League or Champions League. Arsenal are still in the semi-finals of the Europa League but, even with the possibility of returning to the Champions League through that competition, a decision has been made to end the uncertainty that has hung over the club in recent months. A new backroom structure was already in place and candidates are being assessed as Arsenal now attempt to deal with one of the most seismic moments in their history. Wenger confirmed the decision this morning and, as ever, he stressed the importance of maintaining the values he has embodied in his time in English football. Put simply, that is an entertaining style of football, opportunities for young players and a fiscal structure that safeguards the club’s long-term future. Wenger replacements “After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season,” said Wenger. “I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. “I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special. I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever.” Guy Wenger Arsenal’s majority owner, Stan Kroenke, has always been a massive supporter of Wenger and regarded this as perhaps the toughest decision in his time in sport. “This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport,” he said. “One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. “Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played. Arsenal fan's view | 'All the bad feeling has disappeared' “We have high ambitions to build on Arsène’s remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game. “We must now focus on making a strong finish to the season and ask our millions of fans around the world to join us in paying appropriate tribute to one of the greats of Arsenal’s history and one of the greats of the game.” Arsenal have said that they will make an appointment as soon as possible. 4:42PM Jack Wilshere on the outgoing boss... "We need to send him off in the right way now" �� Turn your sound up and listen to this from @JackWilsherepic.twitter.com/aZ9UA5u0mo— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 "I'm sure when the dust settles, we have a few days to think about it, we'll start to reflect on it, but at the moment it's a bit raw, it's a bit sensitive." 4:08PM Thierry Henry on his former manager October 2002 and September's manager of the month congratulates the player of the month Credit: EDDIE KEOGH/PA I was a little mixed because it's a sad day for me to see the big man leave the club, although we all know he has matches left. I'm happy in a way that people can give him the farewell he deserves. His legacy is untouchable. Managers, fans from other teams - [they say] how Arsène changed Arsenal. I am happy that now we can all talk about his legacy. But we must not get carried away with celebrating the end of his time. The team must win the Europa League, it would be an incredible feat and Arsène has never won in Europe before, so it would be a good way to give him a nice goodbye. I remember when I was playing for Arsenal, people were talking about how we play, not what we won, but how we did it and how Arsène made Arsenal a club known in the whole world. If I could be the successor of Wenger? Look at me laughing. It's funny. One person to whom you can ask this question is Ivan Gazidis. He should answer the question. 3:57PM And a word from Germany From one he helped to make it (to Bayern Munich) 22 years @Arsenal - almost my whole lifetime. Impressive. Glad I could be a small part of it ���� #MerciArsène#Wengerpic.twitter.com/lzGJXJlOGC— Serge Gnabry (@SergeGnabry) April 20, 2018 3:51PM A tribute from an opponent Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 3:36PM A trawl through the picture archive ... Has inspired this, 22 years in 11 photographs: Wenger at Arsenal gallery 3:17PM Sir Alex Ferguson pays tribute "I am really happy for Arsène Wenger. I have great respect for him and for the job he has done at Arsenal. It is great testament to his talent, professionalism and determination that has been able to dedicate 22 years of his life to a job that he loves. "In an era where football managers sometimes only last one or two seasons, it shows what an achievement it is to serve that length of time at a club the size of Arsenal. "I am pleased that he has announced he is leaving at this stage of the season, as he can now have the send-off that he truly deserves. "He is, without doubt, one the greatest Premier League managers and I am proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man." 2:47PM Pep Guardiola tips his hat Luke Edwards reports from the Manchester City manager's press conference: “He has all my respect for what he has done. The Premier League is about huge personalities like Arsène, it is because of what he has done, his vision. “I wish him all the best in the future, I hope he can be involved in world football in a different way with his experience. Whether it is with Arsenal, Uefa, Fifa, or somewhere else, I don't know. It was a pleasure to compete against him here, with City, as well as Barcelona and Bayern. Pep Guardiola takes Manchester City training on Friday Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images “It will be difficult for anyone to do what he has done at a top European club again. Sir Alex Ferguson did it at Manchester United, but it is so, so complicated. With the way social media is now, everybody has an opinion and can express it, you feel the pressure as a manager. “You can also feel pressure because staying in the Premier League is so important, then you have the sporting directors, who do not have a lot of patience. It will be so difficult to find a person who will be able to stay at a club for so long and do what Arsène has done.” 2:32PM 'Arsenal will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz, from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, speaks to Telegraph Sport 2:06PM 'I have been talking well about him for a while' Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, who has locked horns with Arsene Wenger plenty of times down the years in his time at Liverpool, Chelsea and on Tyneside, said this at today's press conference: "I have been talking well about him for a while. "To do things in the way that he has done and win the way he was winning, for so many years... we are talking about one of the best managers in football history." 2:01PM 'Like a father through tough times in my career' Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere posted this on Facebook: "To the man who gave me my chance as a 16-year-old, and showed unbelievable faith and commitment towards me. Always a gentleman, like a father through tough times in my career. He always believed in me when most people didn't. Thank you for everything boss! It's down to us now to end your era right. #onearsenewenger" Big shoes for anyone to fill,playing for Arsenal under Arsene was one of the best period of my career, 2 premiership, 2 FA cups, The invincibles, playing with some of the best assembled players,influencing millions of fans in Africa to support this great club. pic.twitter.com/tILZo70jBE— Kanu Nwankwo (@papilokanu) April 20, 2018 Personally a very sad day. I am forever in debt to this man. The person who had faith in me and gave me a platform to progress. Thank you for all the memories and trophies bosspic.twitter.com/EP26M6TP3W— Héctor Bellerín (@HectorBellerin) April 20, 2018 1:56PM 'He deserves respect from the whole world of football' Our man Matt Law was at Stamford Bridge today and asked Antonio Conte for his thoughts on Arsene Wenger. Reaction to Wenger? "My reaction... I think we must pay a great tribute to Arsene Wenger for his career. For his career at Arsenal. He and Ferguson, we're talking about the last two managers to stay for such a long time in a club. Arsene Wenger worked 22 years for Arsenal. I think that's great, it's a fantastic story. He won a lot at this club and, for this reason, I think he deserves a great tribute for his career." What was his influence in a footballing sense? "I think Arsene is one of the managers who had a great influence on football because, in every moment in his idea of football, he tried to play good football, creative and offensive football. He deserves great tribute also for this." How important is it that he gains that great tribute? "He deserves great respect. Not only from Arsenal supporters, but from the whole world of football. He deserves great respect. We are talking about one of the best managers in the world with a great and important career with Arsenal. He deserves a great tribute for his career. It would be very difficult to see in the future another manager staying for such a long time at the same club. I think, maybe, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger were a really good story for football. Now it will be very difficult to see that again, another situation like this." 1:54PM 'A proper football man who lives and breathes it' David Moyes, whose West Ham side face Arsenal on Sunday, hailed Arsene Wenger's longevity. "He's been a great competitor, a terrific manager who has graced the Premier League for many years. "He's a proper football man who lives and breathes it. To do 22 years is an incredible achievement." 1:53PM 'There are not enough words for what he's done' Burnley boss Sean Dyche, who will be the second-longest serving current manager in the Premier League once Arsene Wenger stands down, has paid tribute to the Frenchman. "He is a legend of the game - the work that he's done will be remembered. "Some things that now seem normal and simple weren't at the time. Hydration in football sounds a simple thing but was not taken to a high level. Making sure the food they were eating was correct. Their health and well-being. "For youngish managers like myself there are not enough good words you can use for what he's done." 1:42PM 'It was a pleasure to compete against him' Pep Guardiola, manager of new Premier League champions Man City, has also spoken. "He is a huge personality. The Premier League is the Premier League because of what he has done and his vision. I wish him all the best for the future. "Hopefully he will be involved in a different way in world football. Of course it was a pleasure at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and here to compete against him." 1:39PM 'Arsenal fans will unite behind Wenger now' Paul Matz from the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, has told The Telegraph he believes the club will unite behind departing manager Arsene Wenger for the rest of the season as they focus on winning the Europa League. 1:37PM Mourinho asked about Wenger... wait for it Jose Mourinho has claimed that deep down he really respects Arsene Wenger and his various insults over the years did not reflect his true relationship with the Arsenal manager, who announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season. "If he's happy with the decision he makes and looks forward to the next chapter of his career and his life I'm really happy for him. If he's sad, I'm sad. I'm pretty sure as a club - and especially because Mr Wenger and Arsenal were for many, many years the biggest rivals of Sir Alex [Ferguson's] era - we will show Mr Wenger the respect he deserves." Asked whether he regretted many of his spats with Wenger, which were often characterised by the strength of Mourinho's response, he was dismissive. "It's not about regretting. I think your question is a typical question from somebody that was not a manager, not a player. Of course, you don't know the way we respect each other even when sometimes it doesn't look like we don't. "Players that get yellow cards and red cards by aggressive actions against each other, bad words during the career - the manager is the same thing. The ones that respect each other more are the ones with the problems. It's power against power; ambition against ambition; quality against quality. But in the end it's people from the same business who respect one another’s careers. "So it happened. What matters for me is the way I respect the person, the professional, the career. I always say that for some the memories are short, but for us football people - the real football people, the others live on us - don't have short memories. I know what it means, three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, what he did in Japan and France, what he brought to French football. "[Also] What he gave to Arsenal in the period without Premier Leagues, the transition from stadium to stadium, we know what he did. If he's happy with the decision, I'm really happy and I hope he doesn't retire from football." 1:23PM Where it all began for Wenger Where it all began for Arsene Wenger in the #PL... pic.twitter.com/gbhqBu9LTq— Premier League (@premierleague) April 20, 2018 1:19PM The Top 10 longest-serving managers in Premier League history Arsene Wenger, Arsenal, October 1996 to May 2018 (21 years, seven months) Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United, August 1992 to May 2013 (20 years, nine months) David Moyes, Everton, March 2002 to May 2013 (11 years, two months) Harry Redknapp, West Ham, August 1994 to May 2001 (six years, eight months) Rafael Benitez, Liverpool, August 2004 to June 2010 (five years, 10 months) Alan Curbishley, Charlton, August 2000 to May 2006 (five years, nine months) Sam Allardyce, Bolton, August 2001 to April 2007 (five years, eight months) Gerard Houllier, Liverpool, November 1998 to May 2004 (five years, six months) Jim Smith, Derby, August 1996 to October 2001 (five years, two months) Sir Bobby Robson, Newcastle, September 1999 to August 2004 (four years, 11 months) 12:58PM 'One of the best in English football history' Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore offered his own tribute to Arsene Wenger. "It is hard to encapsulate the enormity of Arsene Wenger's contribution to Arsenal Football Club, the Premier League and football generally over these past 22 seasons. "All of Arsene's teams have been a joy to watch and his 2003-04 'Invincibles' will go down as one of the best in English football history." 12:50PM 'One major reason why I'm here is because of him' Club captain Per Mertesacker admitted it was "emotional" to find out that Arsene Wenger was set to depart. "We have just been informed basically. It is quite emotional. Obviously he has been at the club for such a long time, he has been so supportive to me. One major reason why I'm here is because of him. "It's been emotional and there will be time to digest it but it is a sad feeling right now." 12:47PM Wenger told players of his exit beforehand Arsene Wenger asked Arsenal to hold off announcing his decision to leave the club so he could inform his players first-hand. The news was announced this morning, with Wenger set to depart 12 months into a two-year deal. It is understood Wenger was keen to tell the Arsenal players himself and did so ahead of training at their London Colney base and minutes before the news was made public. His coaching staff were also informed of the decision in advance, although club staff working at the Emirates Stadium rather than the training ground discovered the news at the same time as everyone else. Wenger's surprise announcement came a day after he evaded questions over his future at his usual pre-match press conference. 12:36PM How many times did your team lose to Wenger's Arsenal? Was your club one of the teams Arsene Wenger had the wood over? How many times did your team lose to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal? 12:35PM 'Today will mark the start of a new era for the club' Arsene Wenger's decision to leave Arsenal at the end of the season is good for all those involved, according to a leading supporters' group. Lois Langton, chair of the Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association, believes the timing is right and hailed Wenger as a "fantastic" manager in his day. "Without question, the announcement that Arsene Wenger will finally stand down at the end of this season is the right decision, both for the club and the manager, although, having been so long coming, it feels surreal that the day has finally arrived. "The problems associated with his tenure in recent years are well documented and now that the announcement has been made, there is nothing to be gained by going over old ground. "Arsene Wenger was, for a period of time, a fantastic manager for Arsenal. The Invincibles epitomise what he brought to the Club and, to that extent, his legacy will continue. "We have seen with Manchester City this season how difficult it is to go a league campaign undefeated. The 2003/2004 season in particular will forever be a source of pride and achievement. "It is now time to move on. We have a Europa League semi-final coming up against Atletico and a first success in Europe for Arsene Wenger would provide a fitting farewell. "Arsenal has a rich and wonderful heritage and today will mark the start of a new era for the club." 12:31PM Will Arsenal now raise their game against the Hammers? Arsenal play West Ham this Sunday. Here's our man Nick Callow's abbreviated preview: West Ham are not mathematically safe from relegation so Arsenal should fear a club they have lost to three times at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal can be pipped to sixth by Burnley, but Thursday's Europa Atletico Madrid semi-final will dictate Arsene Wenger's selection while David Moyes can go for broke. PREDICTION: 1-1 12:04PM VOTE: Who should Arsenal choose to replace Wenger? 11:55AM Where next for Wenger? Seeing as the man eats, drinks and sleeps football, it is highly unlikely he will walk off into the sunset and retire. The odds are now stacked in favour of him becoming the next Paris Saint-Germain manager, with Unai Emery expected to be shown the door by the Paris giants. Wenger would also be a a highly-popular choice given his profile in France and continuing analysis as a guest pundit for French TV. 11:48AM 'Name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium' Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has urged fans to get behind the Frenchman for the rest of the season, starting with Sunday's home match against West Ham. "I think everybody can pay their respect to him now about how great he was as a manager. It's perfect timing. "I think it gives the fans (the chance) to pack the Emirates for the last few games of the season and have a right go. "If fans do not turn up against West Ham and pack that place out, they need serious questions asked about them and are they real Arsenal fans or are they glory-hunters?" Merson has also called for the Emirates Stadium to be renamed in Wenger's honour. "They should drop the Emirates bit - they don't need the money - and name it the Arsene Wenger Stadium. "That's his stadium. He built that. He made that stadium. Even if they called it the Emirates Arsene Wenger Stadium. He deserves to be on that." 11:44AM 'It shows the great dignity and class of the man' Spain and Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas, who burst in to the Arsenal starting line-up under Arsene Wenger, posted on Instagram... "Wow. I never expected that but it shows the great dignity and class of the man. I will never forget his guidance and support, his tutelage and mentorship. "He had faith in me from day one and I owe him a lot, he was like a father figure to me who always pushed me to be the best. Arsene, you deserve all the respect and happiness in the world. #classact" 11:43AM Inside information Ian Wright appeared to have been aware of the news before it was announced, tweeting a shocked face emoji around half an hour before the club's statement. — Ian Wright (@IanWright0) April 20, 2018 11:41AM Will it be Rodgers who replaces Wenger? Celtic majority shareholder Dermot Desmond has admitted he would let manager Brendan Rodgers speak to Arsenal if the Premier League club approached the Northern Irishman... "Absolutely. I don't think you can put handcuffs on anybody if they want to go to a club as good as Arsenal. "It will be Brendan's decision and Brendan's decision only." 11:33AM 'He moved the goalposts for everyone else' Southampton manager Mark Hughes believes it would be a "massive wrench" for Arsene Wenger to leave after so long in the post. "When you have had longevity in the game like Arsene has, and I have been in the Premier League for a long time, our paths have crossed on numerous occasions, we had a few run-ins but other times we were very civil and respectful of each other's efforts. "I had a good conversation with him two weeks ago, he looked very relaxed and chilled. "He came with different ideas, different views on how the game should be played, he moved the goalposts for everyone else, he came in and had success and everyone else had to catch up." 11:31AM 'Fans are celebrating like they've won the lottery' Former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman, Arsene Wenger's No 1 for the first seven years of his reign, is not happy with how some Gunners fans are reacting... "It's going to be good now, because there's going to be a chance he will get the send-off and the respect he deserves. The fans that are celebrating like they've won the lottery, it makes me a little bit angry if I'm honest. It's time to show respect and realise what he's done. "For me, he is Arsenal, and it's right that he's decided to leave on his own terms. "Now let's enjoy that. I hope all the fans that have stayed away now return because they've still got a chance of winning something this season. Get behind the team, get behind Arsenal, and show him the respect he deserves. "He's a gentleman. It's brilliant to be in his company. He's a really, really nice guy - and a lot of people don't see that. People say he's stubborn and this and that, but that's not true. It might have been true as a manager, but as a man he's a true gentleman. "When he came in he changed everything - the way we played, the diet... He revolutionised Arsenal. He was brilliant. For me, and especially for the back four - he added years to their careers." 11:05AM Wenger's Arsenal reign in numbers 1996 - the year when a then-unheralded Wenger, who had been in charge at Monaco and Japanese side Nagoya Grampus Eight, took over at Highbury. 1228 - games at the helm, ahead of Sunday's Premier League fixture against West Ham. 704 - wins to date as Arsenal boss. 3 - Premier League title wins, the last during an unbeaten Invincibles campaign of 2003/2004. 1549 - goals scored in Premier League matches by Wenger's teams. 10 - major trophies won. 473 - Premier League victories. 7 - FA Cup triumphs, with three of those having come the last four seasons. 151 - Premier League losses. 21 - full seasons in charge. 49 - games unbeaten in the Premier League from May 2003 to October 2004. 10:58AM Nearly 22 years in three minutes #MerciArsènepic.twitter.com/bjP0wLMgee— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018 10:55AM How Twitter is reacting to Wenger leaving Unsurprisingly, frequent Arsene Wenger critic Piers Morgan has tweeted with a certain amount of relish... BREAKING: Wenger out. pic.twitter.com/HBuwQdY9aw— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 20, 2018 Fortunately, Gary Neville, the voice of reason, has said what many feel... Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2018 Arsenal legend David Seaman has called on Gunners fans to give Wenger the send-off he deserves... Sad day for @Arsenal with Arsene leaving, can we now give him the send off/respect he deserves?!! #rememberthetrophies— David Seaman (@thedavidseaman) April 20, 2018 Journalist and TV presenter Robert Peston is suffering from mixed emotions... Such mixed feelings about Wenger resignation. I wanted him to go, but I miss him already. He was magnificent for us over many years, but it was time #Arsenal— Robert Peston (@Peston) April 20, 2018 Radio 1 DJ Greg James sees the funny side... BUT WHO GETS THE COAT?! I WANT THE COAT. SHOTGUN THE COAT. pic.twitter.com/C4qJEbO8YG— Greg James (@gregjames) April 20, 2018 Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams posted on Instagram: "Thanks for everything Arsene. Move over Herbert, Arsene Wenger the greatest Arsenal Manager." 10:50AM How fickle football can be It was expected that many Arsenal fans would boycott the club's remaining home games as a way of voicing their unhappiness at Arsene Wenger. BUT... Arsenal sure to be packed out for remaining games now— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) April 20, 2018 10:36AM One word: longevity 823 - Arsene Wenger has managed more Premier League games than any other manager (823) and only Sir Alex Ferguson has won more games (528) than Wenger (473). Longevity. pic.twitter.com/ktdsaZPb1y— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 20, 2018 10:34AM Klopp hails Wenger Other Premier League manages are being asked for their thoughts on Arsene Wenger after today's momentous announcement. Here's what Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says: "He is an influence in football. A fantastic career, outstanding personality. A big player in the business." 10:32AM How has it come to this? Arsene Wenger has won three Premier League titles during his spell of over 21 years at the helm, the last of which came as a result of the unbeaten 'Invincibles' season in 2003-04. No-one has won more FA Cups than the former Monaco boss, who was a shock appointment back in 1996. Protests against his reign picked up last season as the Gunners finished outside of the top four for the first time in a full campaign under Wenger's control. But despite the growing negativity, Wenger signed a new two-year deal last summer with the mandate of sustaining a title challenge. That failed miserably and, at the time of the announcement, Arsenal sit sixth in the table and 33 points adrift of newly-crowned champions Manchester City. 10:26AM Set your alarms for 5pm! Arsenal are holding a media conference with chief executive Ivan Gazidis at 5pm at the Emirates Stadium. 10:24AM Winterburn says 'time is right' Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn believes the decision is the right one: "I think it's run its natural course. Arsene Wenger has been absolutely amazing for Arsenal Football Club. "It probably feels to me like it is the right time. When Arsene Wenger does step down, I think he will be remembered very, very fondly. We talk about the modern era, George Graham started it and Arsene Wenger's taken it to the next level. "When he leaves the football club, I think people will look back and really appreciate what Arsene Wenger has done." 10:05AM Who will replace him? Arsene Wenger will lead the team to the end of the season and the club say they will 'make an appointment as soon as possible'. Our Arsenal man - Jeremy Wilson - says these are the leading candidates: Leonardo Jardim, Mikel Arteta, Joachim Low, Brendan Rodgers, Max Allegri and Luis Enrique. 10:02AM 'Arsene has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful' Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has issued the following statement: "This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched. "Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played. "We have high ambitions to build on Arsène's remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game. "We must now focus on making a strong finish to the season and ask our millions of fans around the world to join us in paying appropriate tribute to one of the greats of Arsenal's history and one of the greats of the game." 9:57AM BREAKING NEWS: Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal Arsene Wenger has announced he is to step down as manager of Arsenal at the end of the season. "After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season. "I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. "I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. "I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special. "I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. "To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. "My love and support for ever."
National Security Advisor John Bolton arrives to attend a joint press conference held by U.S. President Donald Trump and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., April 18, 2018. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
National Security Advisor Bolton arrives for U.S. President Trump's joint press conference with Japan's Prime Minister Abe in Palm Beach
National Security Advisor John Bolton arrives to attend a joint press conference held by U.S. President Donald Trump and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., April 18, 2018. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
National Security Advisor Bolton arrives for U.S. President Trump's joint press conference with Japan's Prime Minister Abe in Palm Beach
U.S. tells Russia to address election concerns, chemical weapons
National Security Advisor Bolton arrives for U.S. President Trump's joint press conference with Japan's Prime Minister Abe in Palm Beach
National Security Advisor Bolton arrives for U.S. President Trump's joint press conference with Japan's Prime Minister Abe in Palm Beach
U.S. tells Russia to address election concerns, chemical weapons
National Security Advisor Bolton arrives for U.S. President Trump's joint press conference with Japan's Prime Minister Abe in Palm Beach
The UK, France and Germany are locked in "intense" talks with the US in an attempt to stop the Trump administration scuppering the Iran nuclear deal. President Donald Trump's threat to reintroduce sanctions against Iran on May 12 threatens to disrupt his budding partnership with French leader Emmanuel Macron, who heads to Washington for a state visit next week. The 2015 deal between Iran and the three European powers, the US, China, Russia gave Tehran relief from sanctions in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear programme. The UK and France are holding regular talks as they try to come up with a plan in the coming days to adapt the deal to satisfy Mr Trump's concerns. The deal is likely to be on the agenda during Mr Macron's visit, and a separate visit next week of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Mr Trump has spoken warmly of his relationship with Emmanuel Macron Credit: Reuters White House objections include the extent of the inspection programme, the 10-year "sunset" clauses for limits on Iran’s nuclear activity and the exclusion of Iran's ballistic missiles from the deal. Among the possible proposals is an extension of inspections to cover military sites, laboratories and universities, and increasing sanctions on the Iranian regime over their ballistic missile programme. An attempt to impose new sanctions on Iran earlier this week at a meeting between EU foreign ministers fell apart after Italy reportedly raised objections over the knock-on impact on Russian officials. Iran has ruled out any renegotiation of the deal and has threatened to pull out over what it sees as an unstable economic environment created by Mr Trump’s criticisms of the agreement. President Trump has railed against the deal, which was signed under US President Barack Obama Credit: Reuters UN nuclear inspectors have repeatedly verified Iranian compliance with the deal. Robert Wood, US disarmament ambassador, on Thursday said Washington hoped to reach an agreement with the three European powers, and were holding intense discussions. “These issues have to be dealt with. We are hopeful that an agreement can be reached that the president can feel comfortable with,” Mr Wood told reporters in Geneva. President Trump is understood to have not yet made a decision over whether to maintain the deal. Europe’s concerns have been further raised since the appointment last month of John Bolton, an ultra-hawk who has been vocal about his opposition to the Iran deal, as his national security adviser. Mr Bolton has previously advocated regime change via military intervention in Iran. In a joint statement published on Thursday by five newspapers in Europe and the US, more than 300 parliamentarians from France, Germany and the UK urged Congress not to let Mr Trump rip up the deal.
UK, France and Germany in ‘intense’ talks with US to address Iran deal concerns
The UK, France and Germany are locked in "intense" talks with the US in an attempt to stop the Trump administration scuppering the Iran nuclear deal. President Donald Trump's threat to reintroduce sanctions against Iran on May 12 threatens to disrupt his budding partnership with French leader Emmanuel Macron, who heads to Washington for a state visit next week. The 2015 deal between Iran and the three European powers, the US, China, Russia gave Tehran relief from sanctions in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear programme. The UK and France are holding regular talks as they try to come up with a plan in the coming days to adapt the deal to satisfy Mr Trump's concerns. The deal is likely to be on the agenda during Mr Macron's visit, and a separate visit next week of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Mr Trump has spoken warmly of his relationship with Emmanuel Macron Credit: Reuters White House objections include the extent of the inspection programme, the 10-year "sunset" clauses for limits on Iran’s nuclear activity and the exclusion of Iran's ballistic missiles from the deal. Among the possible proposals is an extension of inspections to cover military sites, laboratories and universities, and increasing sanctions on the Iranian regime over their ballistic missile programme. An attempt to impose new sanctions on Iran earlier this week at a meeting between EU foreign ministers fell apart after Italy reportedly raised objections over the knock-on impact on Russian officials. Iran has ruled out any renegotiation of the deal and has threatened to pull out over what it sees as an unstable economic environment created by Mr Trump’s criticisms of the agreement. President Trump has railed against the deal, which was signed under US President Barack Obama Credit: Reuters UN nuclear inspectors have repeatedly verified Iranian compliance with the deal. Robert Wood, US disarmament ambassador, on Thursday said Washington hoped to reach an agreement with the three European powers, and were holding intense discussions. “These issues have to be dealt with. We are hopeful that an agreement can be reached that the president can feel comfortable with,” Mr Wood told reporters in Geneva. President Trump is understood to have not yet made a decision over whether to maintain the deal. Europe’s concerns have been further raised since the appointment last month of John Bolton, an ultra-hawk who has been vocal about his opposition to the Iran deal, as his national security adviser. Mr Bolton has previously advocated regime change via military intervention in Iran. In a joint statement published on Thursday by five newspapers in Europe and the US, more than 300 parliamentarians from France, Germany and the UK urged Congress not to let Mr Trump rip up the deal.
The UK, France and Germany are locked in "intense" talks with the US in an attempt to stop the Trump administration scuppering the Iran nuclear deal. President Donald Trump's threat to reintroduce sanctions against Iran on May 12 threatens to disrupt his budding partnership with French leader Emmanuel Macron, who heads to Washington for a state visit next week. The 2015 deal between Iran and the three European powers, the US, China, Russia gave Tehran relief from sanctions in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear programme. The UK and France are holding regular talks as they try to come up with a plan in the coming days to adapt the deal to satisfy Mr Trump's concerns. The deal is likely to be on the agenda during Mr Macron's visit, and a separate visit next week of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Mr Trump has spoken warmly of his relationship with Emmanuel Macron Credit: Reuters White House objections include the extent of the inspection programme, the 10-year "sunset" clauses for limits on Iran’s nuclear activity and the exclusion of Iran's ballistic missiles from the deal. Among the possible proposals is an extension of inspections to cover military sites, laboratories and universities, and increasing sanctions on the Iranian regime over their ballistic missile programme. An attempt to impose new sanctions on Iran earlier this week at a meeting between EU foreign ministers fell apart after Italy reportedly raised objections over the knock-on impact on Russian officials. Iran has ruled out any renegotiation of the deal and has threatened to pull out over what it sees as an unstable economic environment created by Mr Trump’s criticisms of the agreement. President Trump has railed against the deal, which was signed under US President Barack Obama Credit: Reuters UN nuclear inspectors have repeatedly verified Iranian compliance with the deal. Robert Wood, US disarmament ambassador, on Thursday said Washington hoped to reach an agreement with the three European powers, and were holding intense discussions. “These issues have to be dealt with. We are hopeful that an agreement can be reached that the president can feel comfortable with,” Mr Wood told reporters in Geneva. President Trump is understood to have not yet made a decision over whether to maintain the deal. Europe’s concerns have been further raised since the appointment last month of John Bolton, an ultra-hawk who has been vocal about his opposition to the Iran deal, as his national security adviser. Mr Bolton has previously advocated regime change via military intervention in Iran. In a joint statement published on Thursday by five newspapers in Europe and the US, more than 300 parliamentarians from France, Germany and the UK urged Congress not to let Mr Trump rip up the deal.
UK, France and Germany in ‘intense’ talks with US to address Iran deal concerns
The UK, France and Germany are locked in "intense" talks with the US in an attempt to stop the Trump administration scuppering the Iran nuclear deal. President Donald Trump's threat to reintroduce sanctions against Iran on May 12 threatens to disrupt his budding partnership with French leader Emmanuel Macron, who heads to Washington for a state visit next week. The 2015 deal between Iran and the three European powers, the US, China, Russia gave Tehran relief from sanctions in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear programme. The UK and France are holding regular talks as they try to come up with a plan in the coming days to adapt the deal to satisfy Mr Trump's concerns. The deal is likely to be on the agenda during Mr Macron's visit, and a separate visit next week of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Mr Trump has spoken warmly of his relationship with Emmanuel Macron Credit: Reuters White House objections include the extent of the inspection programme, the 10-year "sunset" clauses for limits on Iran’s nuclear activity and the exclusion of Iran's ballistic missiles from the deal. Among the possible proposals is an extension of inspections to cover military sites, laboratories and universities, and increasing sanctions on the Iranian regime over their ballistic missile programme. An attempt to impose new sanctions on Iran earlier this week at a meeting between EU foreign ministers fell apart after Italy reportedly raised objections over the knock-on impact on Russian officials. Iran has ruled out any renegotiation of the deal and has threatened to pull out over what it sees as an unstable economic environment created by Mr Trump’s criticisms of the agreement. President Trump has railed against the deal, which was signed under US President Barack Obama Credit: Reuters UN nuclear inspectors have repeatedly verified Iranian compliance with the deal. Robert Wood, US disarmament ambassador, on Thursday said Washington hoped to reach an agreement with the three European powers, and were holding intense discussions. “These issues have to be dealt with. We are hopeful that an agreement can be reached that the president can feel comfortable with,” Mr Wood told reporters in Geneva. President Trump is understood to have not yet made a decision over whether to maintain the deal. Europe’s concerns have been further raised since the appointment last month of John Bolton, an ultra-hawk who has been vocal about his opposition to the Iran deal, as his national security adviser. Mr Bolton has previously advocated regime change via military intervention in Iran. In a joint statement published on Thursday by five newspapers in Europe and the US, more than 300 parliamentarians from France, Germany and the UK urged Congress not to let Mr Trump rip up the deal.
The UK, France and Germany are locked in "intense" talks with the US in an attempt to stop the Trump administration scuppering the Iran nuclear deal. President Donald Trump's threat to reintroduce sanctions against Iran on May 12 threatens to disrupt his budding partnership with French leader Emmanuel Macron, who heads to Washington for a state visit next week. The 2015 deal between Iran and the three European powers, the US, China, Russia gave Tehran relief from sanctions in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear programme. The UK and France are holding regular talks as they try to come up with a plan in the coming days to adapt the deal to satisfy Mr Trump's concerns. The deal is likely to be on the agenda during Mr Macron's visit, and a separate visit next week of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Mr Trump has spoken warmly of his relationship with Emmanuel Macron Credit: Reuters White House objections include the extent of the inspection programme, the 10-year "sunset" clauses for limits on Iran’s nuclear activity and the exclusion of Iran's ballistic missiles from the deal. Among the possible proposals is an extension of inspections to cover military sites, laboratories and universities, and increasing sanctions on the Iranian regime over their ballistic missile programme. An attempt to impose new sanctions on Iran earlier this week at a meeting between EU foreign ministers fell apart after Italy reportedly raised objections over the knock-on impact on Russian officials. Iran has ruled out any renegotiation of the deal and has threatened to pull out over what it sees as an unstable economic environment created by Mr Trump’s criticisms of the agreement. President Trump has railed against the deal, which was signed under US President Barack Obama Credit: Reuters UN nuclear inspectors have repeatedly verified Iranian compliance with the deal. Robert Wood, US disarmament ambassador, on Thursday said Washington hoped to reach an agreement with the three European powers, and were holding intense discussions. “These issues have to be dealt with. We are hopeful that an agreement can be reached that the president can feel comfortable with,” Mr Wood told reporters in Geneva. President Trump is understood to have not yet made a decision over whether to maintain the deal. Europe’s concerns have been further raised since the appointment last month of John Bolton, an ultra-hawk who has been vocal about his opposition to the Iran deal, as his national security adviser. Mr Bolton has previously advocated regime change via military intervention in Iran. In a joint statement published on Thursday by five newspapers in Europe and the US, more than 300 parliamentarians from France, Germany and the UK urged Congress not to let Mr Trump rip up the deal.
UK, France and Germany in ‘intense’ talks with US to address Iran deal concerns
The UK, France and Germany are locked in "intense" talks with the US in an attempt to stop the Trump administration scuppering the Iran nuclear deal. President Donald Trump's threat to reintroduce sanctions against Iran on May 12 threatens to disrupt his budding partnership with French leader Emmanuel Macron, who heads to Washington for a state visit next week. The 2015 deal between Iran and the three European powers, the US, China, Russia gave Tehran relief from sanctions in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear programme. The UK and France are holding regular talks as they try to come up with a plan in the coming days to adapt the deal to satisfy Mr Trump's concerns. The deal is likely to be on the agenda during Mr Macron's visit, and a separate visit next week of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Mr Trump has spoken warmly of his relationship with Emmanuel Macron Credit: Reuters White House objections include the extent of the inspection programme, the 10-year "sunset" clauses for limits on Iran’s nuclear activity and the exclusion of Iran's ballistic missiles from the deal. Among the possible proposals is an extension of inspections to cover military sites, laboratories and universities, and increasing sanctions on the Iranian regime over their ballistic missile programme. An attempt to impose new sanctions on Iran earlier this week at a meeting between EU foreign ministers fell apart after Italy reportedly raised objections over the knock-on impact on Russian officials. Iran has ruled out any renegotiation of the deal and has threatened to pull out over what it sees as an unstable economic environment created by Mr Trump’s criticisms of the agreement. President Trump has railed against the deal, which was signed under US President Barack Obama Credit: Reuters UN nuclear inspectors have repeatedly verified Iranian compliance with the deal. Robert Wood, US disarmament ambassador, on Thursday said Washington hoped to reach an agreement with the three European powers, and were holding intense discussions. “These issues have to be dealt with. We are hopeful that an agreement can be reached that the president can feel comfortable with,” Mr Wood told reporters in Geneva. President Trump is understood to have not yet made a decision over whether to maintain the deal. Europe’s concerns have been further raised since the appointment last month of John Bolton, an ultra-hawk who has been vocal about his opposition to the Iran deal, as his national security adviser. Mr Bolton has previously advocated regime change via military intervention in Iran. In a joint statement published on Thursday by five newspapers in Europe and the US, more than 300 parliamentarians from France, Germany and the UK urged Congress not to let Mr Trump rip up the deal.
National Security Adviser John Bolton (L) listens as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks while hosting a working luncheon with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida U.S., April 18, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Trump hosts working lunch with Japan’s Prime Minister Abe at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida
National Security Adviser John Bolton (L) listens as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks while hosting a working luncheon with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida U.S., April 18, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
We're into the final month of the season across England's top four tiers, and there is still plenty to play for. The Premier League title is wrapped up, and the bottom three clubs are looking increasingly to be relegated, but lower down the footballing pyramid there is plenty still at stake. Here, we round-up who can still finish where in the Premier League and Football League. Premier League Every team has either four or five games remaining, but it wouldn't be all that surprising if everyone finished in exactly the position they currently find themselves - or at least in the positions that truly matter. Manchester City are champions, while Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham are looking good to finish in the top four, barring a significant late collapse coupled with a Chelsea recovery. Arsenal and Burnley are battling it out for sixth place (though Arsenal can technically still finish in the top four), with the losers of that race to go into the Europa League at the second qualifying stage - which starts on July 26. Everyone from Leicester in eighth and below can - mathematically - still be relegated, but it would take something dramatic for any of the teams above West Ham to be pulled back in to the dogfight. Southampton, Stoke and West Brom, all at least five points adrift of safety, are in real trouble. Premier League | Who can still get what? Championship Wolves are all but secure of the Championship title, 12 points clear of Cardiff, who have four games left and a vastly inferior goal difference. Cardiff are battling it out with Fulham and Aston Villa for the second remaining automatic play-off spot, though the Welsh side are in the best position to secure promotion. Two of those sides will go into the play-offs, joined by two more of Middlesbrough, Millwall, Derby, Preston, Sheffield United, Brentford and Bristol City, though the final four of those sides face an uphill task to sneak in. At the other end of the table, Sunderland are on the brink of a second successive relegation and last position, rooted to the foot of the Championship. Burton and Barnsley currently make up the bottom three, though Barnsley have a game in hand on Birmingham and Bolton, two points above them, just outside the relegation zone. Every side up to Nottingham Forest can still technically go down, but everyone from Reading and up should survive. Championship | What can still happen? League One Wigan and Blackburn look like they have won the race for the two automatic promotion spots, though Shrewsbury could technically still catch either. Whichever of those teams does not get into the top two will go into the play-offs, and with many sides still having to play five more games, the race for the three remaining play-off places is very, very open. Every team between Rotherham in fourth and Southend in 15th (apart from Fleetwood, due to the combination of other teams' games) can still make it into the play-offs, though realistically, it is unlikely that anyone below ninth will. At the bottom, Bury are down, while everyone up to Bradford in 10th could feasibly get sucked into the relegation battle. Given only eight points separate Rochdale in 21st and Doncaster in 12th, there is an awful lot still to play for. League One | What can still happen? League Two Accrington Stanley have sealed promotion to League One, and Luton will join them with one more win. Wycombe are in pole position to secure the third and final automatic promotion slot, but every side currently in the play-off places is still in contention. The play-off berths will be filled by four teams from those currently between second and 14th (apart from Crawley, who have too few games remaining to make it into seventh). Relegation from the Football League is looking perilously likely for both Chesterfield and Barnet, though everyone up to Crewe in 17th could still be dragged into the drop zone, however unlikely that actually is. League Two | What can still happen?
Premier League and Football League relegation, promotion and play-offs: who can still finish where?
We're into the final month of the season across England's top four tiers, and there is still plenty to play for. The Premier League title is wrapped up, and the bottom three clubs are looking increasingly to be relegated, but lower down the footballing pyramid there is plenty still at stake. Here, we round-up who can still finish where in the Premier League and Football League. Premier League Every team has either four or five games remaining, but it wouldn't be all that surprising if everyone finished in exactly the position they currently find themselves - or at least in the positions that truly matter. Manchester City are champions, while Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham are looking good to finish in the top four, barring a significant late collapse coupled with a Chelsea recovery. Arsenal and Burnley are battling it out for sixth place (though Arsenal can technically still finish in the top four), with the losers of that race to go into the Europa League at the second qualifying stage - which starts on July 26. Everyone from Leicester in eighth and below can - mathematically - still be relegated, but it would take something dramatic for any of the teams above West Ham to be pulled back in to the dogfight. Southampton, Stoke and West Brom, all at least five points adrift of safety, are in real trouble. Premier League | Who can still get what? Championship Wolves are all but secure of the Championship title, 12 points clear of Cardiff, who have four games left and a vastly inferior goal difference. Cardiff are battling it out with Fulham and Aston Villa for the second remaining automatic play-off spot, though the Welsh side are in the best position to secure promotion. Two of those sides will go into the play-offs, joined by two more of Middlesbrough, Millwall, Derby, Preston, Sheffield United, Brentford and Bristol City, though the final four of those sides face an uphill task to sneak in. At the other end of the table, Sunderland are on the brink of a second successive relegation and last position, rooted to the foot of the Championship. Burton and Barnsley currently make up the bottom three, though Barnsley have a game in hand on Birmingham and Bolton, two points above them, just outside the relegation zone. Every side up to Nottingham Forest can still technically go down, but everyone from Reading and up should survive. Championship | What can still happen? League One Wigan and Blackburn look like they have won the race for the two automatic promotion spots, though Shrewsbury could technically still catch either. Whichever of those teams does not get into the top two will go into the play-offs, and with many sides still having to play five more games, the race for the three remaining play-off places is very, very open. Every team between Rotherham in fourth and Southend in 15th (apart from Fleetwood, due to the combination of other teams' games) can still make it into the play-offs, though realistically, it is unlikely that anyone below ninth will. At the bottom, Bury are down, while everyone up to Bradford in 10th could feasibly get sucked into the relegation battle. Given only eight points separate Rochdale in 21st and Doncaster in 12th, there is an awful lot still to play for. League One | What can still happen? League Two Accrington Stanley have sealed promotion to League One, and Luton will join them with one more win. Wycombe are in pole position to secure the third and final automatic promotion slot, but every side currently in the play-off places is still in contention. The play-off berths will be filled by four teams from those currently between second and 14th (apart from Crawley, who have too few games remaining to make it into seventh). Relegation from the Football League is looking perilously likely for both Chesterfield and Barnet, though everyone up to Crewe in 17th could still be dragged into the drop zone, however unlikely that actually is. League Two | What can still happen?
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Advisor John Bolton attend U.S. President Donald Trump's a bilateral meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida U.S., April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Kelly and Bolton attend Trump-Abe bilateral meeting at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Advisor John Bolton attend U.S. President Donald Trump's a bilateral meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida U.S., April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Wolverhampton Wanderers are ready to spend £20 million to sign loan players Benik Afobe and Willy Bolyafter sealing promotion to the Premier League. Bournemouth forward Afobe is poised to complete his return to Molineux this summer for a fee of about £10m, following an impressive spell on loan. The striker, who left Wolves for Bournemouth in January 2016, has scored five goals since joining his old club in the January transfer window. Wolves are also planning on triggering an option to sign Boly, one of their stars of the season, in a long-term £10m deal from Porto. The French central defender was signed in July by his former Porto manager Nuno Espirito Santo and has been outstanding during his season’s loan. Wolves also have other options to sign loan players Leo Bonatini and Alfred N’Diaye as they prepare for a return to the top-flight, for the first time since 2012. Afobe said: “Obviously I’m contracted to Bournemouth, I’ve had a great time there and I’m only on loan. Benik Afobe has scored five goals since his return to Molineux on loan in January Credit: James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images “I’ve got to show respect to Bournemouth so we’ll have to look and see what happens in the summer. It has been great here from day one and to be top of the league and promoted with three games is to go is unreal. “The manager and staff have been great and it’s been an unbelievable experience.” Wolves will clinch the Championship title if they take a point against Bolton on Saturday, while they could also top 100 points from their remaining games. And it has emerged that Wolves’ squad and coaching staff are heading to China for a post-season celebration when the campaign is finished. Fosun, the Chinese owners, are ready to roll out the red carpet after an excellent season for the club they purchased for just £30m in July 2016.
Wolves poised to spend £20m to sign Willy Boly and Benik Afobe on long-term deals
Wolverhampton Wanderers are ready to spend £20 million to sign loan players Benik Afobe and Willy Bolyafter sealing promotion to the Premier League. Bournemouth forward Afobe is poised to complete his return to Molineux this summer for a fee of about £10m, following an impressive spell on loan. The striker, who left Wolves for Bournemouth in January 2016, has scored five goals since joining his old club in the January transfer window. Wolves are also planning on triggering an option to sign Boly, one of their stars of the season, in a long-term £10m deal from Porto. The French central defender was signed in July by his former Porto manager Nuno Espirito Santo and has been outstanding during his season’s loan. Wolves also have other options to sign loan players Leo Bonatini and Alfred N’Diaye as they prepare for a return to the top-flight, for the first time since 2012. Afobe said: “Obviously I’m contracted to Bournemouth, I’ve had a great time there and I’m only on loan. Benik Afobe has scored five goals since his return to Molineux on loan in January Credit: James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images “I’ve got to show respect to Bournemouth so we’ll have to look and see what happens in the summer. It has been great here from day one and to be top of the league and promoted with three games is to go is unreal. “The manager and staff have been great and it’s been an unbelievable experience.” Wolves will clinch the Championship title if they take a point against Bolton on Saturday, while they could also top 100 points from their remaining games. And it has emerged that Wolves’ squad and coaching staff are heading to China for a post-season celebration when the campaign is finished. Fosun, the Chinese owners, are ready to roll out the red carpet after an excellent season for the club they purchased for just £30m in July 2016.
Wolverhampton Wanderers are ready to spend £20 million to sign loan players Benik Afobe and Willy Bolyafter sealing promotion to the Premier League. Bournemouth forward Afobe is poised to complete his return to Molineux this summer for a fee of about £10m, following an impressive spell on loan. The striker, who left Wolves for Bournemouth in January 2016, has scored five goals since joining his old club in the January transfer window. Wolves are also planning on triggering an option to sign Boly, one of their stars of the season, in a long-term £10m deal from Porto. The French central defender was signed in July by his former Porto manager Nuno Espirito Santo and has been outstanding during his season’s loan. Wolves also have other options to sign loan players Leo Bonatini and Alfred N’Diaye as they prepare for a return to the top-flight, for the first time since 2012. Afobe said: “Obviously I’m contracted to Bournemouth, I’ve had a great time there and I’m only on loan. Benik Afobe has scored five goals since his return to Molineux on loan in January Credit: James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images “I’ve got to show respect to Bournemouth so we’ll have to look and see what happens in the summer. It has been great here from day one and to be top of the league and promoted with three games is to go is unreal. “The manager and staff have been great and it’s been an unbelievable experience.” Wolves will clinch the Championship title if they take a point against Bolton on Saturday, while they could also top 100 points from their remaining games. And it has emerged that Wolves’ squad and coaching staff are heading to China for a post-season celebration when the campaign is finished. Fosun, the Chinese owners, are ready to roll out the red carpet after an excellent season for the club they purchased for just £30m in July 2016.
Wolves poised to spend £20m to sign Willy Boly and Benik Afobe on long-term deals
Wolverhampton Wanderers are ready to spend £20 million to sign loan players Benik Afobe and Willy Bolyafter sealing promotion to the Premier League. Bournemouth forward Afobe is poised to complete his return to Molineux this summer for a fee of about £10m, following an impressive spell on loan. The striker, who left Wolves for Bournemouth in January 2016, has scored five goals since joining his old club in the January transfer window. Wolves are also planning on triggering an option to sign Boly, one of their stars of the season, in a long-term £10m deal from Porto. The French central defender was signed in July by his former Porto manager Nuno Espirito Santo and has been outstanding during his season’s loan. Wolves also have other options to sign loan players Leo Bonatini and Alfred N’Diaye as they prepare for a return to the top-flight, for the first time since 2012. Afobe said: “Obviously I’m contracted to Bournemouth, I’ve had a great time there and I’m only on loan. Benik Afobe has scored five goals since his return to Molineux on loan in January Credit: James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images “I’ve got to show respect to Bournemouth so we’ll have to look and see what happens in the summer. It has been great here from day one and to be top of the league and promoted with three games is to go is unreal. “The manager and staff have been great and it’s been an unbelievable experience.” Wolves will clinch the Championship title if they take a point against Bolton on Saturday, while they could also top 100 points from their remaining games. And it has emerged that Wolves’ squad and coaching staff are heading to China for a post-season celebration when the campaign is finished. Fosun, the Chinese owners, are ready to roll out the red carpet after an excellent season for the club they purchased for just £30m in July 2016.
Donald Trump considered launching a strike three times as big on Syria, potentially including hitting Russian air defence systems, but was dissuaded by James Mattis, his defence secretary. The Pentagon presented Mr Trump with three options for how to respond to the chemical attack by the Syrian regime in Douma on April 7, the Wall Street Journal reported. A first, and most cautious, option consisted of a limited strike on Syrian chemical weapons facilities, while a second targeted those plus military command posts. The third option had the aim of devastating Bashar al-Assad's military forces and could have targeted Syrian-based Russian air defence capabilities as part of that. Such a strike would have been three times the size of the military action that was eventually launched by the US, UK and France in the early hours of Saturday. Syria - The targets In all, 105 missiles were launched at Syria. During several days of intense planning meetings with his top national security advisers last week Mr Trump was said to have asked about hitting both Russian and Iranian targets if that was required to hurt Assad militarily, the Wall Street Journal reported. He and Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, were said to have been pushing for a more robust strike. But having laid out the three options Mr Mattis, according to the report, urged caution and suggested the third one could lead to an escalation by Russia or Iran. James Mattis, the US defence secretary, urged caution Credit: Reuters The strike that ultimately happened reportedly drew from the first two options that he had presented. That decision was being seen in Washington as confirmation of the elevated standing of Mr Mattis within the administration. Asked whether Mr Trump had been pushing for proposals that included hitting Russian and Iranian targets in Syria, Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said "a number of options" had been, and remained, on the table. She said: "We're not going to get into any other options that were on the table. Syria strikes | Read latest "We're going to continue to keep a number of options on the table if Syria and Russia and Iran don't show to be better actors in this process. "So, I can't go any further than the targets that were part of the strike and successfully hit." Meanwhile, Mr Trump dismissed claims by Syria and Russia that some US missiles were shot down. He said: "We had well over 100 missiles. They didn't shoot one down. Their equipment didn't work too well...every one (of ours) hit its target, not one shot down." John Bolton, Mr Trump's new national security adviser, was said to have pushed for the toughest response possible, but not to have advocated the third option, believing it could draw the US further into a conflict in Syria. The three Syrian targets ultimately chosen were involved in the "research, development and deployment" of chemical weapons, the Pentagon said. One was a scientific facility near Damascus and the other two were chemical weapons storage sites near Homs, one of which had been used as a military command post. The strike involved more than double the number of missiles used in the US air strike on Syria in April 2017.
Donald Trump considered launching Syria strikes 'three times bigger'
Donald Trump considered launching a strike three times as big on Syria, potentially including hitting Russian air defence systems, but was dissuaded by James Mattis, his defence secretary. The Pentagon presented Mr Trump with three options for how to respond to the chemical attack by the Syrian regime in Douma on April 7, the Wall Street Journal reported. A first, and most cautious, option consisted of a limited strike on Syrian chemical weapons facilities, while a second targeted those plus military command posts. The third option had the aim of devastating Bashar al-Assad's military forces and could have targeted Syrian-based Russian air defence capabilities as part of that. Such a strike would have been three times the size of the military action that was eventually launched by the US, UK and France in the early hours of Saturday. Syria - The targets In all, 105 missiles were launched at Syria. During several days of intense planning meetings with his top national security advisers last week Mr Trump was said to have asked about hitting both Russian and Iranian targets if that was required to hurt Assad militarily, the Wall Street Journal reported. He and Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, were said to have been pushing for a more robust strike. But having laid out the three options Mr Mattis, according to the report, urged caution and suggested the third one could lead to an escalation by Russia or Iran. James Mattis, the US defence secretary, urged caution Credit: Reuters The strike that ultimately happened reportedly drew from the first two options that he had presented. That decision was being seen in Washington as confirmation of the elevated standing of Mr Mattis within the administration. Asked whether Mr Trump had been pushing for proposals that included hitting Russian and Iranian targets in Syria, Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said "a number of options" had been, and remained, on the table. She said: "We're not going to get into any other options that were on the table. Syria strikes | Read latest "We're going to continue to keep a number of options on the table if Syria and Russia and Iran don't show to be better actors in this process. "So, I can't go any further than the targets that were part of the strike and successfully hit." Meanwhile, Mr Trump dismissed claims by Syria and Russia that some US missiles were shot down. He said: "We had well over 100 missiles. They didn't shoot one down. Their equipment didn't work too well...every one (of ours) hit its target, not one shot down." John Bolton, Mr Trump's new national security adviser, was said to have pushed for the toughest response possible, but not to have advocated the third option, believing it could draw the US further into a conflict in Syria. The three Syrian targets ultimately chosen were involved in the "research, development and deployment" of chemical weapons, the Pentagon said. One was a scientific facility near Damascus and the other two were chemical weapons storage sites near Homs, one of which had been used as a military command post. The strike involved more than double the number of missiles used in the US air strike on Syria in April 2017.
Donald Trump considered launching a strike three times as big on Syria, potentially including hitting Russian air defence systems, but was dissuaded by James Mattis, his defence secretary. The Pentagon presented Mr Trump with three options for how to respond to the chemical attack by the Syrian regime in Douma on April 7, the Wall Street Journal reported. A first, and most cautious, option consisted of a limited strike on Syrian chemical weapons facilities, while a second targeted those plus military command posts. The third option had the aim of devastating Bashar al-Assad's military forces and could have targeted Syrian-based Russian air defence capabilities as part of that. Such a strike would have been three times the size of the military action that was eventually launched by the US, UK and France in the early hours of Saturday. Syria - The targets In all, 105 missiles were launched at Syria. During several days of intense planning meetings with his top national security advisers last week Mr Trump was said to have asked about hitting both Russian and Iranian targets if that was required to hurt Assad militarily, the Wall Street Journal reported. He and Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, were said to have been pushing for a more robust strike. But having laid out the three options Mr Mattis, according to the report, urged caution and suggested the third one could lead to an escalation by Russia or Iran. James Mattis, the US defence secretary, urged caution Credit: Reuters The strike that ultimately happened reportedly drew from the first two options that he had presented. That decision was being seen in Washington as confirmation of the elevated standing of Mr Mattis within the administration. Asked whether Mr Trump had been pushing for proposals that included hitting Russian and Iranian targets in Syria, Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said "a number of options" had been, and remained, on the table. She said: "We're not going to get into any other options that were on the table. Syria strikes | Read latest "We're going to continue to keep a number of options on the table if Syria and Russia and Iran don't show to be better actors in this process. "So, I can't go any further than the targets that were part of the strike and successfully hit." Meanwhile, Mr Trump dismissed claims by Syria and Russia that some US missiles were shot down. He said: "We had well over 100 missiles. They didn't shoot one down. Their equipment didn't work too well...every one (of ours) hit its target, not one shot down." John Bolton, Mr Trump's new national security adviser, was said to have pushed for the toughest response possible, but not to have advocated the third option, believing it could draw the US further into a conflict in Syria. The three Syrian targets ultimately chosen were involved in the "research, development and deployment" of chemical weapons, the Pentagon said. One was a scientific facility near Damascus and the other two were chemical weapons storage sites near Homs, one of which had been used as a military command post. The strike involved more than double the number of missiles used in the US air strike on Syria in April 2017.
Donald Trump considered launching Syria strikes 'three times bigger'
Donald Trump considered launching a strike three times as big on Syria, potentially including hitting Russian air defence systems, but was dissuaded by James Mattis, his defence secretary. The Pentagon presented Mr Trump with three options for how to respond to the chemical attack by the Syrian regime in Douma on April 7, the Wall Street Journal reported. A first, and most cautious, option consisted of a limited strike on Syrian chemical weapons facilities, while a second targeted those plus military command posts. The third option had the aim of devastating Bashar al-Assad's military forces and could have targeted Syrian-based Russian air defence capabilities as part of that. Such a strike would have been three times the size of the military action that was eventually launched by the US, UK and France in the early hours of Saturday. Syria - The targets In all, 105 missiles were launched at Syria. During several days of intense planning meetings with his top national security advisers last week Mr Trump was said to have asked about hitting both Russian and Iranian targets if that was required to hurt Assad militarily, the Wall Street Journal reported. He and Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, were said to have been pushing for a more robust strike. But having laid out the three options Mr Mattis, according to the report, urged caution and suggested the third one could lead to an escalation by Russia or Iran. James Mattis, the US defence secretary, urged caution Credit: Reuters The strike that ultimately happened reportedly drew from the first two options that he had presented. That decision was being seen in Washington as confirmation of the elevated standing of Mr Mattis within the administration. Asked whether Mr Trump had been pushing for proposals that included hitting Russian and Iranian targets in Syria, Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said "a number of options" had been, and remained, on the table. She said: "We're not going to get into any other options that were on the table. Syria strikes | Read latest "We're going to continue to keep a number of options on the table if Syria and Russia and Iran don't show to be better actors in this process. "So, I can't go any further than the targets that were part of the strike and successfully hit." Meanwhile, Mr Trump dismissed claims by Syria and Russia that some US missiles were shot down. He said: "We had well over 100 missiles. They didn't shoot one down. Their equipment didn't work too well...every one (of ours) hit its target, not one shot down." John Bolton, Mr Trump's new national security adviser, was said to have pushed for the toughest response possible, but not to have advocated the third option, believing it could draw the US further into a conflict in Syria. The three Syrian targets ultimately chosen were involved in the "research, development and deployment" of chemical weapons, the Pentagon said. One was a scientific facility near Damascus and the other two were chemical weapons storage sites near Homs, one of which had been used as a military command post. The strike involved more than double the number of missiles used in the US air strike on Syria in April 2017.
Wolves secured a return to the Premier League without kicking a ball on Saturday after Brentford stole a dramatic 1-1 draw at promotion-chasing Fulham. The Cottagers needed a win in the late kick-off to regain second place from Cardiff in the Sky Bet Championship and to deny Wolves a top-flight spot for the first time since 2012. Aleksandar Mitrovic's 70th-minute goal had looked like putting Wolves' party on hold but Neal Maupay's last-gasp header for Brentford sent Nuno Espirito Santo's side up. Wolves can celebrate at home to Birmingham on Sunday, but third-placed Fulham will have to gather themselves after falling a point and a place behind Cardiff - who have a game in hand. The Bluebirds left it late but kept themselves on course for an automatic promotion place with a 2-0 win at Norwich. Neil Warnock's side know three wins from their remaining four games will be enough to join Wolves in the Premier League but they had to dig deep to earn a vital three points at Carrow Road. Kenneth Zohore squeezed the ball past Angus Gunn in the 86th minute before Junior Hoilett's goal in added time ensured Cardiff's two-game losing streak was brought to an end. Junior Hoilett celebrates his injury time goal in Cardiff City's 2-0 win over Norwich Credit: PA Middlesbrough stormed into the play-off places after coming from behind to beat Bristol City 2-1 at the Riverside Stadium. Milan Djuric volleyed the visitors into a 13th-minute lead before George Friend levelled for Boro five minutes later. Daniel Ayala then headed home the winner in the 68th minute, moving Middlesbrough up to fifth while also denting Bristol City's own top-six hopes. Veteran striker Steve Morison struck his fifth goal of the season for Millwall as they came back to draw 1-1 against fellow play-off hopefuls Sheffield United in the early kick-off. Leon Clarke opened the scoring for the Blades in the 74th minute, but Morison equalised instantly to grab his side a point. The sixth-placed Lions remain unbeaten in the league since New Year's Day and Sheffield United, who are ninth, have not lost at home since late January. Ryan Sessegnon (L) was unable to help Fulham get all three points against Brentford and Romaine Sawyers (R) Derby slipped out of the top six, but Burton moved off the bottom and to within five points of safety after a 3-1 victory over the Rams at the Pirelli Stadium. Liam Boyce tapped home from close range to put the hosts in front after 24 minutes, but their lead did not last long as David Nugent equalised moments later. Luke Murphy curled a beautiful effort past Scott Carson to restore the Brewers' lead just before the break and Lucas Akins added a third in the 68th minute. Oli McBurnie's added-time equaliser secured a vital 2-2 draw for Barnsley at home to fellow strugglers Bolton. Gary Gardner scored from 10 yards midway through the first half for the Tykes before Adam Le Fondre levelled from the spot after 82 minutes. Craig Noone thought he had won it for Bolton three minutes later, but McBurnie had the final say to keep Barnsley within two points of the 21st-placed Trotters. Sunderland slipped to the foot of the table and remain six points below Bolton after drawing 2-2 at Reading. Liam Kelly gave the Royals the lead from the penalty spot after Lee Camp brought down Jon Dadi Bodvarsson in the box after 20 minutes. Paddy McNair fired home a stunning equaliser for the Black Cats just after the break before Lee Cattermole's first goal since August 2014 put the visitors in front in the 66th minute. Yann Kermorgant restored parity for Reading with 11 minutes remaining to leave Chris Coleman's side on the brink with three games left. Ben Brereton's late penalty and Joe Lolley's goal in added time secured an unlikely 2-1 win for Nottingham Forest against Ipswich, who had led through Grant Ward's first-half header. Elsewhere, Callum Robinson's double sealed a 2-1 win for Preston against QPR, who had Matt Smith on the scoresheet, while Jordan
Wolves seal promotion to Premier League as Fulham concede late goal
Wolves secured a return to the Premier League without kicking a ball on Saturday after Brentford stole a dramatic 1-1 draw at promotion-chasing Fulham. The Cottagers needed a win in the late kick-off to regain second place from Cardiff in the Sky Bet Championship and to deny Wolves a top-flight spot for the first time since 2012. Aleksandar Mitrovic's 70th-minute goal had looked like putting Wolves' party on hold but Neal Maupay's last-gasp header for Brentford sent Nuno Espirito Santo's side up. Wolves can celebrate at home to Birmingham on Sunday, but third-placed Fulham will have to gather themselves after falling a point and a place behind Cardiff - who have a game in hand. The Bluebirds left it late but kept themselves on course for an automatic promotion place with a 2-0 win at Norwich. Neil Warnock's side know three wins from their remaining four games will be enough to join Wolves in the Premier League but they had to dig deep to earn a vital three points at Carrow Road. Kenneth Zohore squeezed the ball past Angus Gunn in the 86th minute before Junior Hoilett's goal in added time ensured Cardiff's two-game losing streak was brought to an end. Junior Hoilett celebrates his injury time goal in Cardiff City's 2-0 win over Norwich Credit: PA Middlesbrough stormed into the play-off places after coming from behind to beat Bristol City 2-1 at the Riverside Stadium. Milan Djuric volleyed the visitors into a 13th-minute lead before George Friend levelled for Boro five minutes later. Daniel Ayala then headed home the winner in the 68th minute, moving Middlesbrough up to fifth while also denting Bristol City's own top-six hopes. Veteran striker Steve Morison struck his fifth goal of the season for Millwall as they came back to draw 1-1 against fellow play-off hopefuls Sheffield United in the early kick-off. Leon Clarke opened the scoring for the Blades in the 74th minute, but Morison equalised instantly to grab his side a point. The sixth-placed Lions remain unbeaten in the league since New Year's Day and Sheffield United, who are ninth, have not lost at home since late January. Ryan Sessegnon (L) was unable to help Fulham get all three points against Brentford and Romaine Sawyers (R) Derby slipped out of the top six, but Burton moved off the bottom and to within five points of safety after a 3-1 victory over the Rams at the Pirelli Stadium. Liam Boyce tapped home from close range to put the hosts in front after 24 minutes, but their lead did not last long as David Nugent equalised moments later. Luke Murphy curled a beautiful effort past Scott Carson to restore the Brewers' lead just before the break and Lucas Akins added a third in the 68th minute. Oli McBurnie's added-time equaliser secured a vital 2-2 draw for Barnsley at home to fellow strugglers Bolton. Gary Gardner scored from 10 yards midway through the first half for the Tykes before Adam Le Fondre levelled from the spot after 82 minutes. Craig Noone thought he had won it for Bolton three minutes later, but McBurnie had the final say to keep Barnsley within two points of the 21st-placed Trotters. Sunderland slipped to the foot of the table and remain six points below Bolton after drawing 2-2 at Reading. Liam Kelly gave the Royals the lead from the penalty spot after Lee Camp brought down Jon Dadi Bodvarsson in the box after 20 minutes. Paddy McNair fired home a stunning equaliser for the Black Cats just after the break before Lee Cattermole's first goal since August 2014 put the visitors in front in the 66th minute. Yann Kermorgant restored parity for Reading with 11 minutes remaining to leave Chris Coleman's side on the brink with three games left. Ben Brereton's late penalty and Joe Lolley's goal in added time secured an unlikely 2-1 win for Nottingham Forest against Ipswich, who had led through Grant Ward's first-half header. Elsewhere, Callum Robinson's double sealed a 2-1 win for Preston against QPR, who had Matt Smith on the scoresheet, while Jordan
Wolves secured a return to the Premier League without kicking a ball on Saturday after Brentford stole a dramatic 1-1 draw at promotion-chasing Fulham. The Cottagers needed a win in the late kick-off to regain second place from Cardiff in the Sky Bet Championship and to deny Wolves a top-flight spot for the first time since 2012. Aleksandar Mitrovic's 70th-minute goal had looked like putting Wolves' party on hold but Neal Maupay's last-gasp header for Brentford sent Nuno Espirito Santo's side up. Wolves can celebrate at home to Birmingham on Sunday, but third-placed Fulham will have to gather themselves after falling a point and a place behind Cardiff - who have a game in hand. The Bluebirds left it late but kept themselves on course for an automatic promotion place with a 2-0 win at Norwich. Neil Warnock's side know three wins from their remaining four games will be enough to join Wolves in the Premier League but they had to dig deep to earn a vital three points at Carrow Road. Kenneth Zohore squeezed the ball past Angus Gunn in the 86th minute before Junior Hoilett's goal in added time ensured Cardiff's two-game losing streak was brought to an end. Junior Hoilett celebrates his injury time goal in Cardiff City's 2-0 win over Norwich Credit: PA Middlesbrough stormed into the play-off places after coming from behind to beat Bristol City 2-1 at the Riverside Stadium. Milan Djuric volleyed the visitors into a 13th-minute lead before George Friend levelled for Boro five minutes later. Daniel Ayala then headed home the winner in the 68th minute, moving Middlesbrough up to fifth while also denting Bristol City's own top-six hopes. Veteran striker Steve Morison struck his fifth goal of the season for Millwall as they came back to draw 1-1 against fellow play-off hopefuls Sheffield United in the early kick-off. Leon Clarke opened the scoring for the Blades in the 74th minute, but Morison equalised instantly to grab his side a point. The sixth-placed Lions remain unbeaten in the league since New Year's Day and Sheffield United, who are ninth, have not lost at home since late January. Ryan Sessegnon (L) was unable to help Fulham get all three points against Brentford and Romaine Sawyers (R) Derby slipped out of the top six, but Burton moved off the bottom and to within five points of safety after a 3-1 victory over the Rams at the Pirelli Stadium. Liam Boyce tapped home from close range to put the hosts in front after 24 minutes, but their lead did not last long as David Nugent equalised moments later. Luke Murphy curled a beautiful effort past Scott Carson to restore the Brewers' lead just before the break and Lucas Akins added a third in the 68th minute. Oli McBurnie's added-time equaliser secured a vital 2-2 draw for Barnsley at home to fellow strugglers Bolton. Gary Gardner scored from 10 yards midway through the first half for the Tykes before Adam Le Fondre levelled from the spot after 82 minutes. Craig Noone thought he had won it for Bolton three minutes later, but McBurnie had the final say to keep Barnsley within two points of the 21st-placed Trotters. Sunderland slipped to the foot of the table and remain six points below Bolton after drawing 2-2 at Reading. Liam Kelly gave the Royals the lead from the penalty spot after Lee Camp brought down Jon Dadi Bodvarsson in the box after 20 minutes. Paddy McNair fired home a stunning equaliser for the Black Cats just after the break before Lee Cattermole's first goal since August 2014 put the visitors in front in the 66th minute. Yann Kermorgant restored parity for Reading with 11 minutes remaining to leave Chris Coleman's side on the brink with three games left. Ben Brereton's late penalty and Joe Lolley's goal in added time secured an unlikely 2-1 win for Nottingham Forest against Ipswich, who had led through Grant Ward's first-half header. Elsewhere, Callum Robinson's double sealed a 2-1 win for Preston against QPR, who had Matt Smith on the scoresheet, while Jordan
Wolves seal promotion to Premier League as Fulham concede late goal
Wolves secured a return to the Premier League without kicking a ball on Saturday after Brentford stole a dramatic 1-1 draw at promotion-chasing Fulham. The Cottagers needed a win in the late kick-off to regain second place from Cardiff in the Sky Bet Championship and to deny Wolves a top-flight spot for the first time since 2012. Aleksandar Mitrovic's 70th-minute goal had looked like putting Wolves' party on hold but Neal Maupay's last-gasp header for Brentford sent Nuno Espirito Santo's side up. Wolves can celebrate at home to Birmingham on Sunday, but third-placed Fulham will have to gather themselves after falling a point and a place behind Cardiff - who have a game in hand. The Bluebirds left it late but kept themselves on course for an automatic promotion place with a 2-0 win at Norwich. Neil Warnock's side know three wins from their remaining four games will be enough to join Wolves in the Premier League but they had to dig deep to earn a vital three points at Carrow Road. Kenneth Zohore squeezed the ball past Angus Gunn in the 86th minute before Junior Hoilett's goal in added time ensured Cardiff's two-game losing streak was brought to an end. Junior Hoilett celebrates his injury time goal in Cardiff City's 2-0 win over Norwich Credit: PA Middlesbrough stormed into the play-off places after coming from behind to beat Bristol City 2-1 at the Riverside Stadium. Milan Djuric volleyed the visitors into a 13th-minute lead before George Friend levelled for Boro five minutes later. Daniel Ayala then headed home the winner in the 68th minute, moving Middlesbrough up to fifth while also denting Bristol City's own top-six hopes. Veteran striker Steve Morison struck his fifth goal of the season for Millwall as they came back to draw 1-1 against fellow play-off hopefuls Sheffield United in the early kick-off. Leon Clarke opened the scoring for the Blades in the 74th minute, but Morison equalised instantly to grab his side a point. The sixth-placed Lions remain unbeaten in the league since New Year's Day and Sheffield United, who are ninth, have not lost at home since late January. Ryan Sessegnon (L) was unable to help Fulham get all three points against Brentford and Romaine Sawyers (R) Derby slipped out of the top six, but Burton moved off the bottom and to within five points of safety after a 3-1 victory over the Rams at the Pirelli Stadium. Liam Boyce tapped home from close range to put the hosts in front after 24 minutes, but their lead did not last long as David Nugent equalised moments later. Luke Murphy curled a beautiful effort past Scott Carson to restore the Brewers' lead just before the break and Lucas Akins added a third in the 68th minute. Oli McBurnie's added-time equaliser secured a vital 2-2 draw for Barnsley at home to fellow strugglers Bolton. Gary Gardner scored from 10 yards midway through the first half for the Tykes before Adam Le Fondre levelled from the spot after 82 minutes. Craig Noone thought he had won it for Bolton three minutes later, but McBurnie had the final say to keep Barnsley within two points of the 21st-placed Trotters. Sunderland slipped to the foot of the table and remain six points below Bolton after drawing 2-2 at Reading. Liam Kelly gave the Royals the lead from the penalty spot after Lee Camp brought down Jon Dadi Bodvarsson in the box after 20 minutes. Paddy McNair fired home a stunning equaliser for the Black Cats just after the break before Lee Cattermole's first goal since August 2014 put the visitors in front in the 66th minute. Yann Kermorgant restored parity for Reading with 11 minutes remaining to leave Chris Coleman's side on the brink with three games left. Ben Brereton's late penalty and Joe Lolley's goal in added time secured an unlikely 2-1 win for Nottingham Forest against Ipswich, who had led through Grant Ward's first-half header. Elsewhere, Callum Robinson's double sealed a 2-1 win for Preston against QPR, who had Matt Smith on the scoresheet, while Jordan
Wolves secured a return to the Premier League without kicking a ball on Saturday after Brentford stole a dramatic 1-1 draw at promotion-chasing Fulham. The Cottagers needed a win in the late kick-off to regain second place from Cardiff in the Sky Bet Championship and to deny Wolves a top-flight spot for the first time since 2012. Aleksandar Mitrovic's 70th-minute goal had looked like putting Wolves' party on hold but Neal Maupay's last-gasp header for Brentford sent Nuno Espirito Santo's side up. Wolves can celebrate at home to Birmingham on Sunday, but third-placed Fulham will have to gather themselves after falling a point and a place behind Cardiff - who have a game in hand. The Bluebirds left it late but kept themselves on course for an automatic promotion place with a 2-0 win at Norwich. Neil Warnock's side know three wins from their remaining four games will be enough to join Wolves in the Premier League but they had to dig deep to earn a vital three points at Carrow Road. Kenneth Zohore squeezed the ball past Angus Gunn in the 86th minute before Junior Hoilett's goal in added time ensured Cardiff's two-game losing streak was brought to an end. Junior Hoilett celebrates his injury time goal in Cardiff City's 2-0 win over Norwich Credit: PA Middlesbrough stormed into the play-off places after coming from behind to beat Bristol City 2-1 at the Riverside Stadium. Milan Djuric volleyed the visitors into a 13th-minute lead before George Friend levelled for Boro five minutes later. Daniel Ayala then headed home the winner in the 68th minute, moving Middlesbrough up to fifth while also denting Bristol City's own top-six hopes. Veteran striker Steve Morison struck his fifth goal of the season for Millwall as they came back to draw 1-1 against fellow play-off hopefuls Sheffield United in the early kick-off. Leon Clarke opened the scoring for the Blades in the 74th minute, but Morison equalised instantly to grab his side a point. The sixth-placed Lions remain unbeaten in the league since New Year's Day and Sheffield United, who are ninth, have not lost at home since late January. Ryan Sessegnon (L) was unable to help Fulham get all three points against Brentford and Romaine Sawyers (R) Derby slipped out of the top six, but Burton moved off the bottom and to within five points of safety after a 3-1 victory over the Rams at the Pirelli Stadium. Liam Boyce tapped home from close range to put the hosts in front after 24 minutes, but their lead did not last long as David Nugent equalised moments later. Luke Murphy curled a beautiful effort past Scott Carson to restore the Brewers' lead just before the break and Lucas Akins added a third in the 68th minute. Oli McBurnie's added-time equaliser secured a vital 2-2 draw for Barnsley at home to fellow strugglers Bolton. Gary Gardner scored from 10 yards midway through the first half for the Tykes before Adam Le Fondre levelled from the spot after 82 minutes. Craig Noone thought he had won it for Bolton three minutes later, but McBurnie had the final say to keep Barnsley within two points of the 21st-placed Trotters. Sunderland slipped to the foot of the table and remain six points below Bolton after drawing 2-2 at Reading. Liam Kelly gave the Royals the lead from the penalty spot after Lee Camp brought down Jon Dadi Bodvarsson in the box after 20 minutes. Paddy McNair fired home a stunning equaliser for the Black Cats just after the break before Lee Cattermole's first goal since August 2014 put the visitors in front in the 66th minute. Yann Kermorgant restored parity for Reading with 11 minutes remaining to leave Chris Coleman's side on the brink with three games left. Ben Brereton's late penalty and Joe Lolley's goal in added time secured an unlikely 2-1 win for Nottingham Forest against Ipswich, who had led through Grant Ward's first-half header. Elsewhere, Callum Robinson's double sealed a 2-1 win for Preston against QPR, who had Matt Smith on the scoresheet, while Jordan
Wolves seal promotion to Premier League as Fulham concede late goal
Wolves secured a return to the Premier League without kicking a ball on Saturday after Brentford stole a dramatic 1-1 draw at promotion-chasing Fulham. The Cottagers needed a win in the late kick-off to regain second place from Cardiff in the Sky Bet Championship and to deny Wolves a top-flight spot for the first time since 2012. Aleksandar Mitrovic's 70th-minute goal had looked like putting Wolves' party on hold but Neal Maupay's last-gasp header for Brentford sent Nuno Espirito Santo's side up. Wolves can celebrate at home to Birmingham on Sunday, but third-placed Fulham will have to gather themselves after falling a point and a place behind Cardiff - who have a game in hand. The Bluebirds left it late but kept themselves on course for an automatic promotion place with a 2-0 win at Norwich. Neil Warnock's side know three wins from their remaining four games will be enough to join Wolves in the Premier League but they had to dig deep to earn a vital three points at Carrow Road. Kenneth Zohore squeezed the ball past Angus Gunn in the 86th minute before Junior Hoilett's goal in added time ensured Cardiff's two-game losing streak was brought to an end. Junior Hoilett celebrates his injury time goal in Cardiff City's 2-0 win over Norwich Credit: PA Middlesbrough stormed into the play-off places after coming from behind to beat Bristol City 2-1 at the Riverside Stadium. Milan Djuric volleyed the visitors into a 13th-minute lead before George Friend levelled for Boro five minutes later. Daniel Ayala then headed home the winner in the 68th minute, moving Middlesbrough up to fifth while also denting Bristol City's own top-six hopes. Veteran striker Steve Morison struck his fifth goal of the season for Millwall as they came back to draw 1-1 against fellow play-off hopefuls Sheffield United in the early kick-off. Leon Clarke opened the scoring for the Blades in the 74th minute, but Morison equalised instantly to grab his side a point. The sixth-placed Lions remain unbeaten in the league since New Year's Day and Sheffield United, who are ninth, have not lost at home since late January. Ryan Sessegnon (L) was unable to help Fulham get all three points against Brentford and Romaine Sawyers (R) Derby slipped out of the top six, but Burton moved off the bottom and to within five points of safety after a 3-1 victory over the Rams at the Pirelli Stadium. Liam Boyce tapped home from close range to put the hosts in front after 24 minutes, but their lead did not last long as David Nugent equalised moments later. Luke Murphy curled a beautiful effort past Scott Carson to restore the Brewers' lead just before the break and Lucas Akins added a third in the 68th minute. Oli McBurnie's added-time equaliser secured a vital 2-2 draw for Barnsley at home to fellow strugglers Bolton. Gary Gardner scored from 10 yards midway through the first half for the Tykes before Adam Le Fondre levelled from the spot after 82 minutes. Craig Noone thought he had won it for Bolton three minutes later, but McBurnie had the final say to keep Barnsley within two points of the 21st-placed Trotters. Sunderland slipped to the foot of the table and remain six points below Bolton after drawing 2-2 at Reading. Liam Kelly gave the Royals the lead from the penalty spot after Lee Camp brought down Jon Dadi Bodvarsson in the box after 20 minutes. Paddy McNair fired home a stunning equaliser for the Black Cats just after the break before Lee Cattermole's first goal since August 2014 put the visitors in front in the 66th minute. Yann Kermorgant restored parity for Reading with 11 minutes remaining to leave Chris Coleman's side on the brink with three games left. Ben Brereton's late penalty and Joe Lolley's goal in added time secured an unlikely 2-1 win for Nottingham Forest against Ipswich, who had led through Grant Ward's first-half header. Elsewhere, Callum Robinson's double sealed a 2-1 win for Preston against QPR, who had Matt Smith on the scoresheet, while Jordan
New National Security Adviser John Bolton and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders listen to U.S. President Donald Trump's statement on Syria at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 13, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. President Donald Trump makes a statement about Syria
New National Security Adviser John Bolton and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders listen to U.S. President Donald Trump's statement on Syria at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 13, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to announce military strikes on Syria as new National Security Advisor John Bolton follows behind at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 13, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. President Trump arrives to announce military strikes on Syria while delivering a statement from the White House in Washington
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to announce military strikes on Syria as new National Security Advisor John Bolton follows behind at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 13, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
China is set to hold live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait next week in a move certain to ratchet tensions with Taipei, after Chinese president Xi Jinping oversaw the biggest naval exercises in the country's history. The new drills, which are planned for Wednesday, come as tensions between Beijing and Taiwan simmer over increased American support for the government of the self-ruled island. Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan's president, on Friday presided over her first military drills since she took office in 2016, but those exercises did not involve live fire. Tensions between Beijing and Taipei have escalated in recent weeks amid speculation of a visit to Taiwan by new US national security adviser John Bolton and Washington's backing of Taiwan's plans to build an indigenous submarine force. Chinese media said a decision by Donald Trump's administration to give the go ahead for US defence contractors to help Taiwan build the submarine fleet has made war between Taiwan and China "more probable". China's drills next week will be the first in the Strait since just before the 2015 presidential election, which saw Mrs Tsai, the candidate for the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), sweep to power. Beijing has viewed the Taiwanese president with suspicion and believes she is preparing to move Taiwan towards formal independence - a move that would represent a red line for China. Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech as he reviews a military display of Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy in the South China Sea Credit: Li Gang/Xinhua via REUTERS China views Taiwan as a renegade province which will one day be reunited with the mainland - by force if necessary. On Thursday President Xi presided over huge exercises in the South China Sea in an unmistakable show of force to Beijing's regional rivals. The drills involved 48 ships, among them China's sole operating aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, along with 76 helicopters, fighter jets and bombers, and more than 10,000 personnel. Chinese media said it was the largest of its kind. "The mission of building a mighty people's navy has never been more urgent than it is today," Mr Xi, dressed in army fatigues, said in remarks on the helicopter deck of one of China's most advanced destroyers. "Strive to make the people's navy a first-rate world navy." The nationalist Global Times newspaper warned in a commentary on Taiwan's drills that the island's leaders were making a gamble they couldn't afford to lose. The Liaoning aircraft carrier is accompanied by navy frigates and submarines Credit: Li Gang/Xinhua via AP "The mainland has abundant capability to take back the Taiwan authorities' bargaining chips one at a time until it deals a decisive blow to 'Taiwan independence'," the state-run newspaper said. China's state television broadcaster cited China's Taiwan Affairs Office as saying that Beijing had firm will and the ability to "thwart any kind of Taiwan independence separatist plot and action, and safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity". Beijing has claimed Taiwan since defeated Nationalist forces fled to the island in 1949 after losing the civil war with Mao Tse-tung's Communists. China has become increasingly assertive on the world stage since Mr Xi assumed power five years ago. The Chinese president has also oversaw the rapid modernisation of China's military - which is the world's largest. China's increasing power has caused concern among its neighbours in the South China Sea. Beijing claims nearly all of the strategic waters, despite partial counter-claims from Taiwan and several south-east Asian nations including the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The US Navy has been confronting China in the region with 'freedom of navigation' exercises. The US aircraft carriers Theodore Roosevelt and Carl Vinson have sailed through the South China Sea in recent months, angering Beijing.
Xi Jinping plans live-fire drills in Taiwan Strait after biggest naval exercises in China's history
China is set to hold live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait next week in a move certain to ratchet tensions with Taipei, after Chinese president Xi Jinping oversaw the biggest naval exercises in the country's history. The new drills, which are planned for Wednesday, come as tensions between Beijing and Taiwan simmer over increased American support for the government of the self-ruled island. Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan's president, on Friday presided over her first military drills since she took office in 2016, but those exercises did not involve live fire. Tensions between Beijing and Taipei have escalated in recent weeks amid speculation of a visit to Taiwan by new US national security adviser John Bolton and Washington's backing of Taiwan's plans to build an indigenous submarine force. Chinese media said a decision by Donald Trump's administration to give the go ahead for US defence contractors to help Taiwan build the submarine fleet has made war between Taiwan and China "more probable". China's drills next week will be the first in the Strait since just before the 2015 presidential election, which saw Mrs Tsai, the candidate for the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), sweep to power. Beijing has viewed the Taiwanese president with suspicion and believes she is preparing to move Taiwan towards formal independence - a move that would represent a red line for China. Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech as he reviews a military display of Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy in the South China Sea Credit: Li Gang/Xinhua via REUTERS China views Taiwan as a renegade province which will one day be reunited with the mainland - by force if necessary. On Thursday President Xi presided over huge exercises in the South China Sea in an unmistakable show of force to Beijing's regional rivals. The drills involved 48 ships, among them China's sole operating aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, along with 76 helicopters, fighter jets and bombers, and more than 10,000 personnel. Chinese media said it was the largest of its kind. "The mission of building a mighty people's navy has never been more urgent than it is today," Mr Xi, dressed in army fatigues, said in remarks on the helicopter deck of one of China's most advanced destroyers. "Strive to make the people's navy a first-rate world navy." The nationalist Global Times newspaper warned in a commentary on Taiwan's drills that the island's leaders were making a gamble they couldn't afford to lose. The Liaoning aircraft carrier is accompanied by navy frigates and submarines Credit: Li Gang/Xinhua via AP "The mainland has abundant capability to take back the Taiwan authorities' bargaining chips one at a time until it deals a decisive blow to 'Taiwan independence'," the state-run newspaper said. China's state television broadcaster cited China's Taiwan Affairs Office as saying that Beijing had firm will and the ability to "thwart any kind of Taiwan independence separatist plot and action, and safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity". Beijing has claimed Taiwan since defeated Nationalist forces fled to the island in 1949 after losing the civil war with Mao Tse-tung's Communists. China has become increasingly assertive on the world stage since Mr Xi assumed power five years ago. The Chinese president has also oversaw the rapid modernisation of China's military - which is the world's largest. China's increasing power has caused concern among its neighbours in the South China Sea. Beijing claims nearly all of the strategic waters, despite partial counter-claims from Taiwan and several south-east Asian nations including the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The US Navy has been confronting China in the region with 'freedom of navigation' exercises. The US aircraft carriers Theodore Roosevelt and Carl Vinson have sailed through the South China Sea in recent months, angering Beijing.
China is set to hold live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait next week in a move certain to ratchet tensions with Taipei, after Chinese president Xi Jinping oversaw the biggest naval exercises in the country's history. The new drills, which are planned for Wednesday, come as tensions between Beijing and Taiwan simmer over increased American support for the government of the self-ruled island. Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan's president, on Friday presided over her first military drills since she took office in 2016, but those exercises did not involve live fire. Tensions between Beijing and Taipei have escalated in recent weeks amid speculation of a visit to Taiwan by new US national security adviser John Bolton and Washington's backing of Taiwan's plans to build an indigenous submarine force. Chinese media said a decision by Donald Trump's administration to give the go ahead for US defence contractors to help Taiwan build the submarine fleet has made war between Taiwan and China "more probable". China's drills next week will be the first in the Strait since just before the 2015 presidential election, which saw Mrs Tsai, the candidate for the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), sweep to power. Beijing has viewed the Taiwanese president with suspicion and believes she is preparing to move Taiwan towards formal independence - a move that would represent a red line for China. Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech as he reviews a military display of Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy in the South China Sea Credit: Li Gang/Xinhua via REUTERS China views Taiwan as a renegade province which will one day be reunited with the mainland - by force if necessary. On Thursday President Xi presided over huge exercises in the South China Sea in an unmistakable show of force to Beijing's regional rivals. The drills involved 48 ships, among them China's sole operating aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, along with 76 helicopters, fighter jets and bombers, and more than 10,000 personnel. Chinese media said it was the largest of its kind. "The mission of building a mighty people's navy has never been more urgent than it is today," Mr Xi, dressed in army fatigues, said in remarks on the helicopter deck of one of China's most advanced destroyers. "Strive to make the people's navy a first-rate world navy." The nationalist Global Times newspaper warned in a commentary on Taiwan's drills that the island's leaders were making a gamble they couldn't afford to lose. The Liaoning aircraft carrier is accompanied by navy frigates and submarines Credit: Li Gang/Xinhua via AP "The mainland has abundant capability to take back the Taiwan authorities' bargaining chips one at a time until it deals a decisive blow to 'Taiwan independence'," the state-run newspaper said. China's state television broadcaster cited China's Taiwan Affairs Office as saying that Beijing had firm will and the ability to "thwart any kind of Taiwan independence separatist plot and action, and safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity". Beijing has claimed Taiwan since defeated Nationalist forces fled to the island in 1949 after losing the civil war with Mao Tse-tung's Communists. China has become increasingly assertive on the world stage since Mr Xi assumed power five years ago. The Chinese president has also oversaw the rapid modernisation of China's military - which is the world's largest. China's increasing power has caused concern among its neighbours in the South China Sea. Beijing claims nearly all of the strategic waters, despite partial counter-claims from Taiwan and several south-east Asian nations including the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The US Navy has been confronting China in the region with 'freedom of navigation' exercises. The US aircraft carriers Theodore Roosevelt and Carl Vinson have sailed through the South China Sea in recent months, angering Beijing.
Xi Jinping plans live-fire drills in Taiwan Strait after biggest naval exercises in China's history
China is set to hold live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait next week in a move certain to ratchet tensions with Taipei, after Chinese president Xi Jinping oversaw the biggest naval exercises in the country's history. The new drills, which are planned for Wednesday, come as tensions between Beijing and Taiwan simmer over increased American support for the government of the self-ruled island. Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan's president, on Friday presided over her first military drills since she took office in 2016, but those exercises did not involve live fire. Tensions between Beijing and Taipei have escalated in recent weeks amid speculation of a visit to Taiwan by new US national security adviser John Bolton and Washington's backing of Taiwan's plans to build an indigenous submarine force. Chinese media said a decision by Donald Trump's administration to give the go ahead for US defence contractors to help Taiwan build the submarine fleet has made war between Taiwan and China "more probable". China's drills next week will be the first in the Strait since just before the 2015 presidential election, which saw Mrs Tsai, the candidate for the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), sweep to power. Beijing has viewed the Taiwanese president with suspicion and believes she is preparing to move Taiwan towards formal independence - a move that would represent a red line for China. Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech as he reviews a military display of Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy in the South China Sea Credit: Li Gang/Xinhua via REUTERS China views Taiwan as a renegade province which will one day be reunited with the mainland - by force if necessary. On Thursday President Xi presided over huge exercises in the South China Sea in an unmistakable show of force to Beijing's regional rivals. The drills involved 48 ships, among them China's sole operating aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, along with 76 helicopters, fighter jets and bombers, and more than 10,000 personnel. Chinese media said it was the largest of its kind. "The mission of building a mighty people's navy has never been more urgent than it is today," Mr Xi, dressed in army fatigues, said in remarks on the helicopter deck of one of China's most advanced destroyers. "Strive to make the people's navy a first-rate world navy." The nationalist Global Times newspaper warned in a commentary on Taiwan's drills that the island's leaders were making a gamble they couldn't afford to lose. The Liaoning aircraft carrier is accompanied by navy frigates and submarines Credit: Li Gang/Xinhua via AP "The mainland has abundant capability to take back the Taiwan authorities' bargaining chips one at a time until it deals a decisive blow to 'Taiwan independence'," the state-run newspaper said. China's state television broadcaster cited China's Taiwan Affairs Office as saying that Beijing had firm will and the ability to "thwart any kind of Taiwan independence separatist plot and action, and safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity". Beijing has claimed Taiwan since defeated Nationalist forces fled to the island in 1949 after losing the civil war with Mao Tse-tung's Communists. China has become increasingly assertive on the world stage since Mr Xi assumed power five years ago. The Chinese president has also oversaw the rapid modernisation of China's military - which is the world's largest. China's increasing power has caused concern among its neighbours in the South China Sea. Beijing claims nearly all of the strategic waters, despite partial counter-claims from Taiwan and several south-east Asian nations including the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The US Navy has been confronting China in the region with 'freedom of navigation' exercises. The US aircraft carriers Theodore Roosevelt and Carl Vinson have sailed through the South China Sea in recent months, angering Beijing.
China is set to hold live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait next week in a move certain to ratchet tensions with Taipei, after Chinese president Xi Jinping oversaw the biggest naval exercises in the country's history. The new drills, which are planned for Wednesday, come as tensions between Beijing and Taiwan simmer over increased American support for the government of the self-ruled island. Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan's president, on Friday presided over her first military drills since she took office in 2016, but those exercises did not involve live fire. Tensions between Beijing and Taipei have escalated in recent weeks amid speculation of a visit to Taiwan by new US national security adviser John Bolton and Washington's backing of Taiwan's plans to build an indigenous submarine force. Chinese media said a decision by Donald Trump's administration to give the go ahead for US defence contractors to help Taiwan build the submarine fleet has made war between Taiwan and China "more probable". China's drills next week will be the first in the Strait since just before the 2015 presidential election, which saw Mrs Tsai, the candidate for the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), sweep to power. Beijing has viewed the Taiwanese president with suspicion and believes she is preparing to move Taiwan towards formal independence - a move that would represent a red line for China. Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech as he reviews a military display of Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy in the South China Sea Credit: Li Gang/Xinhua via REUTERS China views Taiwan as a renegade province which will one day be reunited with the mainland - by force if necessary. On Thursday President Xi presided over huge exercises in the South China Sea in an unmistakable show of force to Beijing's regional rivals. The drills involved 48 ships, among them China's sole operating aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, along with 76 helicopters, fighter jets and bombers, and more than 10,000 personnel. Chinese media said it was the largest of its kind. "The mission of building a mighty people's navy has never been more urgent than it is today," Mr Xi, dressed in army fatigues, said in remarks on the helicopter deck of one of China's most advanced destroyers. "Strive to make the people's navy a first-rate world navy." The nationalist Global Times newspaper warned in a commentary on Taiwan's drills that the island's leaders were making a gamble they couldn't afford to lose. The Liaoning aircraft carrier is accompanied by navy frigates and submarines Credit: Li Gang/Xinhua via AP "The mainland has abundant capability to take back the Taiwan authorities' bargaining chips one at a time until it deals a decisive blow to 'Taiwan independence'," the state-run newspaper said. China's state television broadcaster cited China's Taiwan Affairs Office as saying that Beijing had firm will and the ability to "thwart any kind of Taiwan independence separatist plot and action, and safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity". Beijing has claimed Taiwan since defeated Nationalist forces fled to the island in 1949 after losing the civil war with Mao Tse-tung's Communists. China has become increasingly assertive on the world stage since Mr Xi assumed power five years ago. The Chinese president has also oversaw the rapid modernisation of China's military - which is the world's largest. China's increasing power has caused concern among its neighbours in the South China Sea. Beijing claims nearly all of the strategic waters, despite partial counter-claims from Taiwan and several south-east Asian nations including the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The US Navy has been confronting China in the region with 'freedom of navigation' exercises. The US aircraft carriers Theodore Roosevelt and Carl Vinson have sailed through the South China Sea in recent months, angering Beijing.
Xi Jinping plans live-fire drills in Taiwan Strait after biggest naval exercises in China's history
China is set to hold live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait next week in a move certain to ratchet tensions with Taipei, after Chinese president Xi Jinping oversaw the biggest naval exercises in the country's history. The new drills, which are planned for Wednesday, come as tensions between Beijing and Taiwan simmer over increased American support for the government of the self-ruled island. Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan's president, on Friday presided over her first military drills since she took office in 2016, but those exercises did not involve live fire. Tensions between Beijing and Taipei have escalated in recent weeks amid speculation of a visit to Taiwan by new US national security adviser John Bolton and Washington's backing of Taiwan's plans to build an indigenous submarine force. Chinese media said a decision by Donald Trump's administration to give the go ahead for US defence contractors to help Taiwan build the submarine fleet has made war between Taiwan and China "more probable". China's drills next week will be the first in the Strait since just before the 2015 presidential election, which saw Mrs Tsai, the candidate for the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), sweep to power. Beijing has viewed the Taiwanese president with suspicion and believes she is preparing to move Taiwan towards formal independence - a move that would represent a red line for China. Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech as he reviews a military display of Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy in the South China Sea Credit: Li Gang/Xinhua via REUTERS China views Taiwan as a renegade province which will one day be reunited with the mainland - by force if necessary. On Thursday President Xi presided over huge exercises in the South China Sea in an unmistakable show of force to Beijing's regional rivals. The drills involved 48 ships, among them China's sole operating aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, along with 76 helicopters, fighter jets and bombers, and more than 10,000 personnel. Chinese media said it was the largest of its kind. "The mission of building a mighty people's navy has never been more urgent than it is today," Mr Xi, dressed in army fatigues, said in remarks on the helicopter deck of one of China's most advanced destroyers. "Strive to make the people's navy a first-rate world navy." The nationalist Global Times newspaper warned in a commentary on Taiwan's drills that the island's leaders were making a gamble they couldn't afford to lose. The Liaoning aircraft carrier is accompanied by navy frigates and submarines Credit: Li Gang/Xinhua via AP "The mainland has abundant capability to take back the Taiwan authorities' bargaining chips one at a time until it deals a decisive blow to 'Taiwan independence'," the state-run newspaper said. China's state television broadcaster cited China's Taiwan Affairs Office as saying that Beijing had firm will and the ability to "thwart any kind of Taiwan independence separatist plot and action, and safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity". Beijing has claimed Taiwan since defeated Nationalist forces fled to the island in 1949 after losing the civil war with Mao Tse-tung's Communists. China has become increasingly assertive on the world stage since Mr Xi assumed power five years ago. The Chinese president has also oversaw the rapid modernisation of China's military - which is the world's largest. China's increasing power has caused concern among its neighbours in the South China Sea. Beijing claims nearly all of the strategic waters, despite partial counter-claims from Taiwan and several south-east Asian nations including the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The US Navy has been confronting China in the region with 'freedom of navigation' exercises. The US aircraft carriers Theodore Roosevelt and Carl Vinson have sailed through the South China Sea in recent months, angering Beijing.
Donald Trump, the US president, has warned of a tough response to a chemical attack in Syria but it is yet unclear what form this will take. Mr Trump had some strong words for Russia, which backs the Syrian regime in the war, warning President Vladimir Putin he would pay a “big price”. His comments threatened to ratchet up tensions between the two former Cold War foes. What is likely to happen next? The attack came days after Mr Trump announced a draw down of US troops, which some analysts say may have served as a green light to President Bashar al-Assad. Douma chemical attack The US and its Western allies’ general inaction over Syria has only emboldened Mr Assad, who has for years been acting with impunity as the international community sat on its hands. A US Tomahawk missiles strike on a government air base after last year’s deadly chemical attack was a sharp tap on the wrist that succeeded in destroying a few jets, but no meaningful response followed. Mr Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron discussed the strike overnight, agreeing it had been chemical in nature and what their move should be if blame could be apportioned to the regime. What will Britain do? Behind the scenes, Washington, Paris and London, had been discussing a possible trilateral response to any such chemical attack. However, the UK, whose parliament is this week in recess, has just to make any official announcement. Any action would require a parliamentary vote. The UK was in the same position in 2013 after the last big chemical attack in Syria and the vote did not pass. Syria war timeline Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary called for a "strong and robust international response", without elaborating. Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, has merely pointed to the United Nation’s upcoming Security Council meeting. The UK and other nations called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting to be held later today. Russia is a veto-wielding memo and has previously prevented any investigation into Syrian regime attacks. The US could partner with France in the strike directly, leaving Britain out. John Bolton, Mr Trump’s new National Security adviser, starts in the job today. He has previously advocated for strikes against Syria and will likely do the same now he has the president’s ear. Any action will likely be limited to cruise missiles strikes on Syrian aircraft. Both will be looking not to get dragged further into the intractable conflict, particularly Mr Trump who had campaigned on getting America out of Middle East conflicts. Syria chemical attack What about Israel? It looks as though the strike on T4, or Tyras, base in Homs, central Syria, in the early hours of Monday morning was from Israeli. Israel is not part of the US-led coalition and its decision to unilaterally strike will be seen as the Jewish state acting in its own national interest. It likely had its own intelligence about Syrian government and Iranian assets on the ground, which it was keen to destroy before it had the chance to move anything like it did after before last year’s Tomahawk strike. Iran is a key backer of Mr Assad. Will there be a World War Three? It is unlikely. We have been here before and both the US and Russia have looked to avoid a direct confrontation at all costs. Having said that, the political landscape has changed considerably in the last year. US and Russia relations are as bad as they have ever been under Mr Trump. Syrian Army soldiers gathering in an area on the eastern outskirts of Douma, as they continue their fierce offensive to retake the last opposition holdout in Eastern Ghouta Credit: AFP/AFP The US has expanded sanctions against Moscow and expelled a number of its diplomats over the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Salisbury. "We're not heading to a nuclear war with the Russians, but this is a dangerous period," said Ian Bremmer, president of geopolitical-risk firm Eurasia Group. "If the Americans engage in direct strikes against Assad — given their direct support by the Russians and the Iranians — it is a dangerous thing to do, but I do think that it's an appropriate thing to do in this environment." The Russians have too much invested to back down and Mr Trump has already signalled he does not see America has any business left in Syria beyond defeating Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
What happens next in Syria – could Britain be drawn into World War Three?
Donald Trump, the US president, has warned of a tough response to a chemical attack in Syria but it is yet unclear what form this will take. Mr Trump had some strong words for Russia, which backs the Syrian regime in the war, warning President Vladimir Putin he would pay a “big price”. His comments threatened to ratchet up tensions between the two former Cold War foes. What is likely to happen next? The attack came days after Mr Trump announced a draw down of US troops, which some analysts say may have served as a green light to President Bashar al-Assad. Douma chemical attack The US and its Western allies’ general inaction over Syria has only emboldened Mr Assad, who has for years been acting with impunity as the international community sat on its hands. A US Tomahawk missiles strike on a government air base after last year’s deadly chemical attack was a sharp tap on the wrist that succeeded in destroying a few jets, but no meaningful response followed. Mr Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron discussed the strike overnight, agreeing it had been chemical in nature and what their move should be if blame could be apportioned to the regime. What will Britain do? Behind the scenes, Washington, Paris and London, had been discussing a possible trilateral response to any such chemical attack. However, the UK, whose parliament is this week in recess, has just to make any official announcement. Any action would require a parliamentary vote. The UK was in the same position in 2013 after the last big chemical attack in Syria and the vote did not pass. Syria war timeline Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary called for a "strong and robust international response", without elaborating. Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, has merely pointed to the United Nation’s upcoming Security Council meeting. The UK and other nations called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting to be held later today. Russia is a veto-wielding memo and has previously prevented any investigation into Syrian regime attacks. The US could partner with France in the strike directly, leaving Britain out. John Bolton, Mr Trump’s new National Security adviser, starts in the job today. He has previously advocated for strikes against Syria and will likely do the same now he has the president’s ear. Any action will likely be limited to cruise missiles strikes on Syrian aircraft. Both will be looking not to get dragged further into the intractable conflict, particularly Mr Trump who had campaigned on getting America out of Middle East conflicts. Syria chemical attack What about Israel? It looks as though the strike on T4, or Tyras, base in Homs, central Syria, in the early hours of Monday morning was from Israeli. Israel is not part of the US-led coalition and its decision to unilaterally strike will be seen as the Jewish state acting in its own national interest. It likely had its own intelligence about Syrian government and Iranian assets on the ground, which it was keen to destroy before it had the chance to move anything like it did after before last year’s Tomahawk strike. Iran is a key backer of Mr Assad. Will there be a World War Three? It is unlikely. We have been here before and both the US and Russia have looked to avoid a direct confrontation at all costs. Having said that, the political landscape has changed considerably in the last year. US and Russia relations are as bad as they have ever been under Mr Trump. Syrian Army soldiers gathering in an area on the eastern outskirts of Douma, as they continue their fierce offensive to retake the last opposition holdout in Eastern Ghouta Credit: AFP/AFP The US has expanded sanctions against Moscow and expelled a number of its diplomats over the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Salisbury. "We're not heading to a nuclear war with the Russians, but this is a dangerous period," said Ian Bremmer, president of geopolitical-risk firm Eurasia Group. "If the Americans engage in direct strikes against Assad — given their direct support by the Russians and the Iranians — it is a dangerous thing to do, but I do think that it's an appropriate thing to do in this environment." The Russians have too much invested to back down and Mr Trump has already signalled he does not see America has any business left in Syria beyond defeating Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Donald Trump, the US president, has warned of a tough response to a chemical attack in Syria but it is yet unclear what form this will take. Mr Trump had some strong words for Russia, which backs the Syrian regime in the war, warning President Vladimir Putin he would pay a “big price”. His comments threatened to ratchet up tensions between the two former Cold War foes. What is likely to happen next? The attack came days after Mr Trump announced a draw down of US troops, which some analysts say may have served as a green light to President Bashar al-Assad. Douma chemical attack The US and its Western allies’ general inaction over Syria has only emboldened Mr Assad, who has for years been acting with impunity as the international community sat on its hands. A US Tomahawk missiles strike on a government air base after last year’s deadly chemical attack was a sharp tap on the wrist that succeeded in destroying a few jets, but no meaningful response followed. Mr Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron discussed the strike overnight, agreeing it had been chemical in nature and what their move should be if blame could be apportioned to the regime. What will Britain do? Behind the scenes, Washington, Paris and London, had been discussing a possible trilateral response to any such chemical attack. However, the UK, whose parliament is this week in recess, has just to make any official announcement. Any action would require a parliamentary vote. The UK was in the same position in 2013 after the last big chemical attack in Syria and the vote did not pass. Syria war timeline Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary called for a "strong and robust international response", without elaborating. Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, has merely pointed to the United Nation’s upcoming Security Council meeting. The UK and other nations called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting to be held later today. Russia is a veto-wielding memo and has previously prevented any investigation into Syrian regime attacks. The US could partner with France in the strike directly, leaving Britain out. John Bolton, Mr Trump’s new National Security adviser, starts in the job today. He has previously advocated for strikes against Syria and will likely do the same now he has the president’s ear. Any action will likely be limited to cruise missiles strikes on Syrian aircraft. Both will be looking not to get dragged further into the intractable conflict, particularly Mr Trump who had campaigned on getting America out of Middle East conflicts. Syria chemical attack What about Israel? It looks as though the strike on T4, or Tyras, base in Homs, central Syria, in the early hours of Monday morning was from Israeli. Israel is not part of the US-led coalition and its decision to unilaterally strike will be seen as the Jewish state acting in its own national interest. It likely had its own intelligence about Syrian government and Iranian assets on the ground, which it was keen to destroy before it had the chance to move anything like it did after before last year’s Tomahawk strike. Iran is a key backer of Mr Assad. Will there be a World War Three? It is unlikely. We have been here before and both the US and Russia have looked to avoid a direct confrontation at all costs. Having said that, the political landscape has changed considerably in the last year. US and Russia relations are as bad as they have ever been under Mr Trump. Syrian Army soldiers gathering in an area on the eastern outskirts of Douma, as they continue their fierce offensive to retake the last opposition holdout in Eastern Ghouta Credit: AFP/AFP The US has expanded sanctions against Moscow and expelled a number of its diplomats over the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Salisbury. "We're not heading to a nuclear war with the Russians, but this is a dangerous period," said Ian Bremmer, president of geopolitical-risk firm Eurasia Group. "If the Americans engage in direct strikes against Assad — given their direct support by the Russians and the Iranians — it is a dangerous thing to do, but I do think that it's an appropriate thing to do in this environment." The Russians have too much invested to back down and Mr Trump has already signalled he does not see America has any business left in Syria beyond defeating Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
What happens next in Syria – could Britain be drawn into World War Three?
Donald Trump, the US president, has warned of a tough response to a chemical attack in Syria but it is yet unclear what form this will take. Mr Trump had some strong words for Russia, which backs the Syrian regime in the war, warning President Vladimir Putin he would pay a “big price”. His comments threatened to ratchet up tensions between the two former Cold War foes. What is likely to happen next? The attack came days after Mr Trump announced a draw down of US troops, which some analysts say may have served as a green light to President Bashar al-Assad. Douma chemical attack The US and its Western allies’ general inaction over Syria has only emboldened Mr Assad, who has for years been acting with impunity as the international community sat on its hands. A US Tomahawk missiles strike on a government air base after last year’s deadly chemical attack was a sharp tap on the wrist that succeeded in destroying a few jets, but no meaningful response followed. Mr Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron discussed the strike overnight, agreeing it had been chemical in nature and what their move should be if blame could be apportioned to the regime. What will Britain do? Behind the scenes, Washington, Paris and London, had been discussing a possible trilateral response to any such chemical attack. However, the UK, whose parliament is this week in recess, has just to make any official announcement. Any action would require a parliamentary vote. The UK was in the same position in 2013 after the last big chemical attack in Syria and the vote did not pass. Syria war timeline Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary called for a "strong and robust international response", without elaborating. Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, has merely pointed to the United Nation’s upcoming Security Council meeting. The UK and other nations called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting to be held later today. Russia is a veto-wielding memo and has previously prevented any investigation into Syrian regime attacks. The US could partner with France in the strike directly, leaving Britain out. John Bolton, Mr Trump’s new National Security adviser, starts in the job today. He has previously advocated for strikes against Syria and will likely do the same now he has the president’s ear. Any action will likely be limited to cruise missiles strikes on Syrian aircraft. Both will be looking not to get dragged further into the intractable conflict, particularly Mr Trump who had campaigned on getting America out of Middle East conflicts. Syria chemical attack What about Israel? It looks as though the strike on T4, or Tyras, base in Homs, central Syria, in the early hours of Monday morning was from Israeli. Israel is not part of the US-led coalition and its decision to unilaterally strike will be seen as the Jewish state acting in its own national interest. It likely had its own intelligence about Syrian government and Iranian assets on the ground, which it was keen to destroy before it had the chance to move anything like it did after before last year’s Tomahawk strike. Iran is a key backer of Mr Assad. Will there be a World War Three? It is unlikely. We have been here before and both the US and Russia have looked to avoid a direct confrontation at all costs. Having said that, the political landscape has changed considerably in the last year. US and Russia relations are as bad as they have ever been under Mr Trump. Syrian Army soldiers gathering in an area on the eastern outskirts of Douma, as they continue their fierce offensive to retake the last opposition holdout in Eastern Ghouta Credit: AFP/AFP The US has expanded sanctions against Moscow and expelled a number of its diplomats over the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Salisbury. "We're not heading to a nuclear war with the Russians, but this is a dangerous period," said Ian Bremmer, president of geopolitical-risk firm Eurasia Group. "If the Americans engage in direct strikes against Assad — given their direct support by the Russians and the Iranians — it is a dangerous thing to do, but I do think that it's an appropriate thing to do in this environment." The Russians have too much invested to back down and Mr Trump has already signalled he does not see America has any business left in Syria beyond defeating Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
President Donald Trump is expected to demand that Pyongyang abolish its nuclear weapons capability within a year when he sits down for talks with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator, but will offer to open an embassy in the North’s capital and provide humanitarian assistance as an incentive. The details offer a sense of the rapid pace of progress towards talks although analysts suggest the timetable may be overambitious. Quoting sources in Washington, South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper said Mr Trump rejected Pyongyang's proposals for “phased and synchronised” steps to eliminate the North’s nuclear arsenal and will instead insist that full denuclearisation is completed within 12 months of their meeting. The Dong-A Ilbo newspaper added that North Korea and the US have already started discussing an outline of the agenda for when their two leaders meet - Mr Trump has suggested the summit is likely to take place in May or early June - and that Washington is willing to “compensate” Pyongyang by boosting the regime’s standing by opening a liaison office and an embassy, as well as delivering humanitarian aid. Analysts, however, say the time frame is “unrealistic”. Donald Trump surprised the world when he agreed to meet Kim Jong-un Credit: Getty Images Daniel Pinkston, a professor of international relations at the Seoul campus of Troy University, said: “Complete denuclearisation will mean the North declaring all its nuclear facilities and programmes - military and civilian - and then having independent inspectors draw up inventories of everything they have. “Exports will need to be accounted for, nuclear cooperation deals will need to be examined - such as for the nuclear reactor agreement with Syria - and there will then need to be full dismantling of all facilities in accordance with [International Atomic Energy Agency] guidelines." Verification would add another level of complexity. “That is not a trivial matter, as this comment seems to suggest, and it cannot be completed in that narrow a time frame," he said. North Korea's nuclear history: key moments At a meeting with governors at the White House on Thursday, Mr Trump predicted the his summit with Mr Kim would be “terrific” and praised China for helping to crack down on the regime through sanctions. “Meetings are being set up right now between myself and Kim Jong-un,” he said. “I think it will be terrific. I think we’ll go in with a lot of respect and we’ll see what happens, but China has really helped us at the border and we appreciate it." Mr Trump’s optimistic prediction followed-high level meetings in Washington between John Bolton, his newly appointed national security adviser, and his South Korean and Japanese counterparts. North Korea’s nuclear progress - estimated yields per test South Korean media reported on Friday that US and North Korean officials, known to be communicating through intelligence back channels, are likely to agree on the summit venue and dates as early as next week. Currently Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar is a hot favourite for the unprecedented event, but Pyongyang, the militarised border between North and South, Sweden, Geneva and Iceland have all been touted as possibilities. A number of those venues may immediately be off the list, however, because there are questions over how Mr Kim would reach them. How North Korea's airline keeps its Soviet-era fleet ready for service Mr Kim has three personal aircraft, although the most modern is an Ilyushin IL-62 that was built by the Soviet Union in the 1960s and all three jets have a habit of being out of operation due to a shortage of spare components. Without the range to reliably reach Europe or North America - and fearful of being embarrassed by a breakdown - it is believed that Mr Kim will opt for a venue closer to home.
Donald Trump 'to tell Kim Jong-un to scrap nuclear arsenal within year in return for US embassy in Pyongyang'
President Donald Trump is expected to demand that Pyongyang abolish its nuclear weapons capability within a year when he sits down for talks with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator, but will offer to open an embassy in the North’s capital and provide humanitarian assistance as an incentive. The details offer a sense of the rapid pace of progress towards talks although analysts suggest the timetable may be overambitious. Quoting sources in Washington, South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper said Mr Trump rejected Pyongyang's proposals for “phased and synchronised” steps to eliminate the North’s nuclear arsenal and will instead insist that full denuclearisation is completed within 12 months of their meeting. The Dong-A Ilbo newspaper added that North Korea and the US have already started discussing an outline of the agenda for when their two leaders meet - Mr Trump has suggested the summit is likely to take place in May or early June - and that Washington is willing to “compensate” Pyongyang by boosting the regime’s standing by opening a liaison office and an embassy, as well as delivering humanitarian aid. Analysts, however, say the time frame is “unrealistic”. Donald Trump surprised the world when he agreed to meet Kim Jong-un Credit: Getty Images Daniel Pinkston, a professor of international relations at the Seoul campus of Troy University, said: “Complete denuclearisation will mean the North declaring all its nuclear facilities and programmes - military and civilian - and then having independent inspectors draw up inventories of everything they have. “Exports will need to be accounted for, nuclear cooperation deals will need to be examined - such as for the nuclear reactor agreement with Syria - and there will then need to be full dismantling of all facilities in accordance with [International Atomic Energy Agency] guidelines." Verification would add another level of complexity. “That is not a trivial matter, as this comment seems to suggest, and it cannot be completed in that narrow a time frame," he said. North Korea's nuclear history: key moments At a meeting with governors at the White House on Thursday, Mr Trump predicted the his summit with Mr Kim would be “terrific” and praised China for helping to crack down on the regime through sanctions. “Meetings are being set up right now between myself and Kim Jong-un,” he said. “I think it will be terrific. I think we’ll go in with a lot of respect and we’ll see what happens, but China has really helped us at the border and we appreciate it." Mr Trump’s optimistic prediction followed-high level meetings in Washington between John Bolton, his newly appointed national security adviser, and his South Korean and Japanese counterparts. North Korea’s nuclear progress - estimated yields per test South Korean media reported on Friday that US and North Korean officials, known to be communicating through intelligence back channels, are likely to agree on the summit venue and dates as early as next week. Currently Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar is a hot favourite for the unprecedented event, but Pyongyang, the militarised border between North and South, Sweden, Geneva and Iceland have all been touted as possibilities. A number of those venues may immediately be off the list, however, because there are questions over how Mr Kim would reach them. How North Korea's airline keeps its Soviet-era fleet ready for service Mr Kim has three personal aircraft, although the most modern is an Ilyushin IL-62 that was built by the Soviet Union in the 1960s and all three jets have a habit of being out of operation due to a shortage of spare components. Without the range to reliably reach Europe or North America - and fearful of being embarrassed by a breakdown - it is believed that Mr Kim will opt for a venue closer to home.
President Donald Trump is expected to demand that Pyongyang abolish its nuclear weapons capability within a year when he sits down for talks with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator, but will offer to open an embassy in the North’s capital and provide humanitarian assistance as an incentive. The details offer a sense of the rapid pace of progress towards talks although analysts suggest the timetable may be overambitious. Quoting sources in Washington, South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper said Mr Trump rejected Pyongyang's proposals for “phased and synchronised” steps to eliminate the North’s nuclear arsenal and will instead insist that full denuclearisation is completed within 12 months of their meeting. Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un appear on a TV screen at Seoul Railway Station Credit: AP The Dong-A Ilbo newspaper added that North Korea and the US have already started discussing an outline of the agenda for when their two leaders meet - Mr Trump has suggested the summit is likely to take place in May or early June - and that Washington is willing to “compensate” Pyongyang by boosting the regime’s standing by opening a liaison office and an embassy, as well as delivering humanitarian aid. Analysts, however, say the time frame is “unrealistic”. Donald Trump surprised the world when he agreed to meet Kim Jong-un Credit: Getty Images Daniel Pinkston, a professor of international relations at the Seoul campus of Troy University, said: “Complete denuclearisation will mean the North declaring all its nuclear facilities and programmes - military and civilian - and then having independent inspectors draw up inventories of everything they have. “Exports will need to be accounted for, nuclear cooperation deals will need to be examined - such as for the nuclear reactor agreement with Syria - and there will then need to be full dismantling of all facilities in accordance with [International Atomic Energy Agency] guidelines." Verification would add another level of complexity. “That is not a trivial matter, as this comment seems to suggest, and it cannot be completed in that narrow a time frame," he said. North Korea's nuclear history: key moments At a meeting with governors at the White House on Thursday, Mr Trump predicted the his summit with Mr Kim would be “terrific” and praised China for helping to crack down on the regime through sanctions. “Meetings are being set up right now between myself and Kim Jong-un,” he said. “I think it will be terrific. I think we’ll go in with a lot of respect and we’ll see what happens, but China has really helped us at the border and we appreciate it." Mr Trump’s optimistic prediction followed-high level meetings in Washington between John Bolton, his newly appointed national security adviser, and his South Korean and Japanese counterparts. North Korea’s nuclear progress - estimated yields per test South Korean media reported on Friday that US and North Korean officials, known to be communicating through intelligence back channels, are likely to agree on the summit venue and dates as early as next week. Currently Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar is a hot favourite for the unprecedented event, but Pyongyang, the militarised border between North and South, Sweden, Geneva and Iceland have all been touted as possibilities. A number of those venues may immediately be off the list, however, because there are questions over how Mr Kim would reach them. How North Korea's airline keeps its Soviet-era fleet ready for service Mr Kim has three personal aircraft, although the most modern is an Ilyushin IL-62 that was built by the Soviet Union in the 1960s and all three jets have a habit of being out of operation due to a shortage of spare components. Without the range to reliably reach Europe or North America - and fearful of being embarrassed by a breakdown - it is believed that Mr Kim will opt for a venue closer to home.
Donald Trump 'to tell Kim Jong-un to scrap nuclear arsenal within year in return for US embassy in Pyongyang'
President Donald Trump is expected to demand that Pyongyang abolish its nuclear weapons capability within a year when he sits down for talks with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator, but will offer to open an embassy in the North’s capital and provide humanitarian assistance as an incentive. The details offer a sense of the rapid pace of progress towards talks although analysts suggest the timetable may be overambitious. Quoting sources in Washington, South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper said Mr Trump rejected Pyongyang's proposals for “phased and synchronised” steps to eliminate the North’s nuclear arsenal and will instead insist that full denuclearisation is completed within 12 months of their meeting. Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un appear on a TV screen at Seoul Railway Station Credit: AP The Dong-A Ilbo newspaper added that North Korea and the US have already started discussing an outline of the agenda for when their two leaders meet - Mr Trump has suggested the summit is likely to take place in May or early June - and that Washington is willing to “compensate” Pyongyang by boosting the regime’s standing by opening a liaison office and an embassy, as well as delivering humanitarian aid. Analysts, however, say the time frame is “unrealistic”. Donald Trump surprised the world when he agreed to meet Kim Jong-un Credit: Getty Images Daniel Pinkston, a professor of international relations at the Seoul campus of Troy University, said: “Complete denuclearisation will mean the North declaring all its nuclear facilities and programmes - military and civilian - and then having independent inspectors draw up inventories of everything they have. “Exports will need to be accounted for, nuclear cooperation deals will need to be examined - such as for the nuclear reactor agreement with Syria - and there will then need to be full dismantling of all facilities in accordance with [International Atomic Energy Agency] guidelines." Verification would add another level of complexity. “That is not a trivial matter, as this comment seems to suggest, and it cannot be completed in that narrow a time frame," he said. North Korea's nuclear history: key moments At a meeting with governors at the White House on Thursday, Mr Trump predicted the his summit with Mr Kim would be “terrific” and praised China for helping to crack down on the regime through sanctions. “Meetings are being set up right now between myself and Kim Jong-un,” he said. “I think it will be terrific. I think we’ll go in with a lot of respect and we’ll see what happens, but China has really helped us at the border and we appreciate it." Mr Trump’s optimistic prediction followed-high level meetings in Washington between John Bolton, his newly appointed national security adviser, and his South Korean and Japanese counterparts. North Korea’s nuclear progress - estimated yields per test South Korean media reported on Friday that US and North Korean officials, known to be communicating through intelligence back channels, are likely to agree on the summit venue and dates as early as next week. Currently Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar is a hot favourite for the unprecedented event, but Pyongyang, the militarised border between North and South, Sweden, Geneva and Iceland have all been touted as possibilities. A number of those venues may immediately be off the list, however, because there are questions over how Mr Kim would reach them. How North Korea's airline keeps its Soviet-era fleet ready for service Mr Kim has three personal aircraft, although the most modern is an Ilyushin IL-62 that was built by the Soviet Union in the 1960s and all three jets have a habit of being out of operation due to a shortage of spare components. Without the range to reliably reach Europe or North America - and fearful of being embarrassed by a breakdown - it is believed that Mr Kim will opt for a venue closer to home.
President Donald Trump is expected to demand that Pyongyang abolish its nuclear weapons capability within a year when he sits down for talks with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator, but will offer to open an embassy in the North’s capital and provide humanitarian assistance as an incentive. The details offer a sense of the rapid pace of progress towards talks although analysts suggest the timetable may be overambitious. Quoting sources in Washington, South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper said Mr Trump rejected Pyongyang's proposals for “phased and synchronised” steps to eliminate the North’s nuclear arsenal and will instead insist that full denuclearisation is completed within 12 months of their meeting. Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un appear on a TV screen at Seoul Railway Station Credit: AP The Dong-A Ilbo newspaper added that North Korea and the US have already started discussing an outline of the agenda for when their two leaders meet - Mr Trump has suggested the summit is likely to take place in May or early June - and that Washington is willing to “compensate” Pyongyang by boosting the regime’s standing by opening a liaison office and an embassy, as well as delivering humanitarian aid. Analysts, however, say the time frame is “unrealistic”. Donald Trump surprised the world when he agreed to meet Kim Jong-un Credit: Getty Images Daniel Pinkston, a professor of international relations at the Seoul campus of Troy University, said: “Complete denuclearisation will mean the North declaring all its nuclear facilities and programmes - military and civilian - and then having independent inspectors draw up inventories of everything they have. “Exports will need to be accounted for, nuclear cooperation deals will need to be examined - such as for the nuclear reactor agreement with Syria - and there will then need to be full dismantling of all facilities in accordance with [International Atomic Energy Agency] guidelines." Verification would add another level of complexity. “That is not a trivial matter, as this comment seems to suggest, and it cannot be completed in that narrow a time frame," he said. North Korea's nuclear history: key moments At a meeting with governors at the White House on Thursday, Mr Trump predicted the his summit with Mr Kim would be “terrific” and praised China for helping to crack down on the regime through sanctions. “Meetings are being set up right now between myself and Kim Jong-un,” he said. “I think it will be terrific. I think we’ll go in with a lot of respect and we’ll see what happens, but China has really helped us at the border and we appreciate it." Mr Trump’s optimistic prediction followed-high level meetings in Washington between John Bolton, his newly appointed national security adviser, and his South Korean and Japanese counterparts. North Korea’s nuclear progress - estimated yields per test South Korean media reported on Friday that US and North Korean officials, known to be communicating through intelligence back channels, are likely to agree on the summit venue and dates as early as next week. Currently Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar is a hot favourite for the unprecedented event, but Pyongyang, the militarised border between North and South, Sweden, Geneva and Iceland have all been touted as possibilities. A number of those venues may immediately be off the list, however, because there are questions over how Mr Kim would reach them. How North Korea's airline keeps its Soviet-era fleet ready for service Mr Kim has three personal aircraft, although the most modern is an Ilyushin IL-62 that was built by the Soviet Union in the 1960s and all three jets have a habit of being out of operation due to a shortage of spare components. Without the range to reliably reach Europe or North America - and fearful of being embarrassed by a breakdown - it is believed that Mr Kim will opt for a venue closer to home.
Donald Trump 'to tell Kim Jong-un to scrap nuclear arsenal within year in return for US embassy in Pyongyang'
President Donald Trump is expected to demand that Pyongyang abolish its nuclear weapons capability within a year when he sits down for talks with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator, but will offer to open an embassy in the North’s capital and provide humanitarian assistance as an incentive. The details offer a sense of the rapid pace of progress towards talks although analysts suggest the timetable may be overambitious. Quoting sources in Washington, South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper said Mr Trump rejected Pyongyang's proposals for “phased and synchronised” steps to eliminate the North’s nuclear arsenal and will instead insist that full denuclearisation is completed within 12 months of their meeting. Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un appear on a TV screen at Seoul Railway Station Credit: AP The Dong-A Ilbo newspaper added that North Korea and the US have already started discussing an outline of the agenda for when their two leaders meet - Mr Trump has suggested the summit is likely to take place in May or early June - and that Washington is willing to “compensate” Pyongyang by boosting the regime’s standing by opening a liaison office and an embassy, as well as delivering humanitarian aid. Analysts, however, say the time frame is “unrealistic”. Donald Trump surprised the world when he agreed to meet Kim Jong-un Credit: Getty Images Daniel Pinkston, a professor of international relations at the Seoul campus of Troy University, said: “Complete denuclearisation will mean the North declaring all its nuclear facilities and programmes - military and civilian - and then having independent inspectors draw up inventories of everything they have. “Exports will need to be accounted for, nuclear cooperation deals will need to be examined - such as for the nuclear reactor agreement with Syria - and there will then need to be full dismantling of all facilities in accordance with [International Atomic Energy Agency] guidelines." Verification would add another level of complexity. “That is not a trivial matter, as this comment seems to suggest, and it cannot be completed in that narrow a time frame," he said. North Korea's nuclear history: key moments At a meeting with governors at the White House on Thursday, Mr Trump predicted the his summit with Mr Kim would be “terrific” and praised China for helping to crack down on the regime through sanctions. “Meetings are being set up right now between myself and Kim Jong-un,” he said. “I think it will be terrific. I think we’ll go in with a lot of respect and we’ll see what happens, but China has really helped us at the border and we appreciate it." Mr Trump’s optimistic prediction followed-high level meetings in Washington between John Bolton, his newly appointed national security adviser, and his South Korean and Japanese counterparts. North Korea’s nuclear progress - estimated yields per test South Korean media reported on Friday that US and North Korean officials, known to be communicating through intelligence back channels, are likely to agree on the summit venue and dates as early as next week. Currently Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar is a hot favourite for the unprecedented event, but Pyongyang, the militarised border between North and South, Sweden, Geneva and Iceland have all been touted as possibilities. A number of those venues may immediately be off the list, however, because there are questions over how Mr Kim would reach them. How North Korea's airline keeps its Soviet-era fleet ready for service Mr Kim has three personal aircraft, although the most modern is an Ilyushin IL-62 that was built by the Soviet Union in the 1960s and all three jets have a habit of being out of operation due to a shortage of spare components. Without the range to reliably reach Europe or North America - and fearful of being embarrassed by a breakdown - it is believed that Mr Kim will opt for a venue closer to home.
The shakeup plays out while Trump's new pick for secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, awaits confirmation by Congress.
Another national security official departs Trump White House as John Bolton cleans house
The shakeup plays out while Trump's new pick for secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, awaits confirmation by Congress.
South Korea's National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong arrives at Incheon International Airport in Incheon
South Korea's national security adviser in U.S. to meet Bolton: officials
South Korea's National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong arrives at Incheon International Airport in Incheon
South Korea's National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong arrives at Incheon International Airport in Incheon
South Korea's national security adviser in U.S. to meet Bolton: officials
South Korea's National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong arrives at Incheon International Airport in Incheon
South Korea's national security adviser in U.S. to meet Bolton: officials
South Korea's national security adviser in U.S. to meet Bolton: officials
South Korea's national security adviser in U.S. to meet Bolton: officials
South Korea's national security adviser in U.S. to meet Bolton: officials
South Korea's national security adviser in U.S. to meet Bolton: officials
South Korea's national security adviser in U.S. to meet Bolton: officials
Another high-ranking member of Trump’s National Security Council resigns following John Bolton appointment
Another high-ranking member of Trump’s National Security Council resigns following John Bolton appointment
Another high-ranking member of Trump’s National Security Council resigns following John Bolton appointment

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