Burnley

Burnley slideshow

Alvaro Morata's wasteful outing at Burnley in midweek has cost him a starting berth in Chelsea's FA Cup semi-final against Southampton.
Chelsea v Southampton: Giroud wins Wembley nod over Morata
Alvaro Morata's wasteful outing at Burnley in midweek has cost him a starting berth in Chelsea's FA Cup semi-final against Southampton.
Arsenal vs West Ham, live score updates What is it? Ordinarily, it would just be any other Premier League match, albeit a London derby. But this game has taken on new significance as it is the first match since Friday's shock announcement that Arsene Wenger is leaving Arsenal at the end of the season. Before Wenger's plan to leave, it was expected that The Emirates would be half empty - a sign of protest against Wenger by disenchanted supporters. That won't be the case any more... expect the stadium to be heaving! When is it? Today! Sunday, April 22. What time is kick-off? 1.30pm. What TV channel is it on? All the live action is on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League from 12.30pm. Or you can watch highlights on Match of the Day on BBC 2 at 10.30pm. Or you can follow all the action with our live blog. End of an era | Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season What is the team news? Arsenal The Gunners have doubts over the fitness of Jack Wilshere. The midfielder missed last weekend's defeat at Newcastle with an ankle injury that could again leave him on the sidelines against David Moyes' men, but Aaron Ramsey is available after suffering a deep gash to his calf against CSKA Moscow on April 12. Manager Arsene Wenger has promised to name a strong side despite the upcoming Europa League semi-final clash with Atletico Madrid, but Henrikh Mkhitaryan (knee) and Santi Cazorla (Achilles) remain out. Provisional squad: Cech, Ospina, Holding, Mustafi, Chambers, Bellerin, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Nelson, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Xhaka, Willock, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil, Iwobi, Welbeck, Lacazette, Nketiah, Aubameyang. Pick your Arsenal team to face West Ham West Ham Joe Hart could pay for his latest mistake when the Hammers travel to Arsenal. The goalkeeper's blunder gifted Stoke a goal in Monday's 1-1 draw and boss David Moyes admits he has a decision to make, with Adrian waiting in the wings. James Collins is not ready to return from his hamstring injury, while Winston Reid, Michail Antonio, Sam Byram and Pedro Obiang are long-term absentees. Provisional squad: Hart, Adrian, Ogbonna, Rice, Cresswell, Evra, Masuaku , Zabaleta, Noble, Kouyate, Fernandes, Lanzini, Mario, Arnautovic, Hernandez, Carroll, Hugill. Pick your West Ham team to face Arsenal What does the table look like? What are they saying? Former striker Ian Wright has claimed in The Sun that Arsene Wenger was sacked and does not believe it is in his character to walk away: "Arsene Wenger is a man of principle, honesty and integrity - that is why I am convinced he has been sacked and not resigned. "For all the vitriol and abuse thrown at him, Arsene has never been a man to walk out before the end of a contract. "It is a sad situation that it's come to this and I don't suppose we will ever find out who is responsible, because they will hide behind each other. "One day he is doing a press conference with no hint of this, the next he's gone. It doesn't add up. "But Arsene can go with his head high. That's why, whatever the results, it is imperative he gets the send-off a true Arsenal and football legend deserves. We all owe him so much." ----- David Moyes believes whoever steps in to replace Arsene Wenger will have a tough job on his hands: "It's never easy when you follow great managers at great clubs. It'll be tough for whoever takes the (Arsenal) job. "He's been a great competitor, a terrific manager. One of the best managers that the Premier League has seen. "Real football people appreciate what he's done. He's dedicated to his job, he's been dedicated to his sport and he's a real proper football man." Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What are the odds? Arsenal to win 1/2 Draw 7/2 West Ham to win 5/1 What's our prediction? With both clubs drifting towards a mediocre end-of-season finish, this match is now all about the beginning of the end of Arsene Wenger. Arsenal can be pipped to sixth by Burnley, but Thursday's Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid will dictate selection, while David Moyes can go for broke. Predicted score: Arsenal 2 West Ham 1. Who will replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal?
Arsenal vs West Ham, preview: How will fans react to Arsene Wenger? Plus team news, TV channel and prediction
Arsenal vs West Ham, live score updates What is it? Ordinarily, it would just be any other Premier League match, albeit a London derby. But this game has taken on new significance as it is the first match since Friday's shock announcement that Arsene Wenger is leaving Arsenal at the end of the season. Before Wenger's plan to leave, it was expected that The Emirates would be half empty - a sign of protest against Wenger by disenchanted supporters. That won't be the case any more... expect the stadium to be heaving! When is it? Today! Sunday, April 22. What time is kick-off? 1.30pm. What TV channel is it on? All the live action is on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League from 12.30pm. Or you can watch highlights on Match of the Day on BBC 2 at 10.30pm. Or you can follow all the action with our live blog. End of an era | Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season What is the team news? Arsenal The Gunners have doubts over the fitness of Jack Wilshere. The midfielder missed last weekend's defeat at Newcastle with an ankle injury that could again leave him on the sidelines against David Moyes' men, but Aaron Ramsey is available after suffering a deep gash to his calf against CSKA Moscow on April 12. Manager Arsene Wenger has promised to name a strong side despite the upcoming Europa League semi-final clash with Atletico Madrid, but Henrikh Mkhitaryan (knee) and Santi Cazorla (Achilles) remain out. Provisional squad: Cech, Ospina, Holding, Mustafi, Chambers, Bellerin, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Nelson, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Xhaka, Willock, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil, Iwobi, Welbeck, Lacazette, Nketiah, Aubameyang. Pick your Arsenal team to face West Ham West Ham Joe Hart could pay for his latest mistake when the Hammers travel to Arsenal. The goalkeeper's blunder gifted Stoke a goal in Monday's 1-1 draw and boss David Moyes admits he has a decision to make, with Adrian waiting in the wings. James Collins is not ready to return from his hamstring injury, while Winston Reid, Michail Antonio, Sam Byram and Pedro Obiang are long-term absentees. Provisional squad: Hart, Adrian, Ogbonna, Rice, Cresswell, Evra, Masuaku , Zabaleta, Noble, Kouyate, Fernandes, Lanzini, Mario, Arnautovic, Hernandez, Carroll, Hugill. Pick your West Ham team to face Arsenal What does the table look like? What are they saying? Former striker Ian Wright has claimed in The Sun that Arsene Wenger was sacked and does not believe it is in his character to walk away: "Arsene Wenger is a man of principle, honesty and integrity - that is why I am convinced he has been sacked and not resigned. "For all the vitriol and abuse thrown at him, Arsene has never been a man to walk out before the end of a contract. "It is a sad situation that it's come to this and I don't suppose we will ever find out who is responsible, because they will hide behind each other. "One day he is doing a press conference with no hint of this, the next he's gone. It doesn't add up. "But Arsene can go with his head high. That's why, whatever the results, it is imperative he gets the send-off a true Arsenal and football legend deserves. We all owe him so much." ----- David Moyes believes whoever steps in to replace Arsene Wenger will have a tough job on his hands: "It's never easy when you follow great managers at great clubs. It'll be tough for whoever takes the (Arsenal) job. "He's been a great competitor, a terrific manager. One of the best managers that the Premier League has seen. "Real football people appreciate what he's done. He's dedicated to his job, he's been dedicated to his sport and he's a real proper football man." Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What are the odds? Arsenal to win 1/2 Draw 7/2 West Ham to win 5/1 What's our prediction? With both clubs drifting towards a mediocre end-of-season finish, this match is now all about the beginning of the end of Arsene Wenger. Arsenal can be pipped to sixth by Burnley, but Thursday's Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid will dictate selection, while David Moyes can go for broke. Predicted score: Arsenal 2 West Ham 1. Who will replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal?
Stoke are ready to cancel Jese Rodriguez’s loan deal from Paris Saint-Germain, as the strugglers prepare for one of the most crucial games in their Premier League history. Jese’s troubled spell at the bet365 Stadium is finally over after angering Stoke officials with his failure to attend training for the last two weeks. The former Real Madrid attacker was expected to report back a week last Wednesday, after being granted compassionate leave, but he is yet to show up and Stoke’s patience has finally snapped. Stoke are now scrapping Jese’s season-long loan early, as they prepare for the final four games of their relegation battle. It is expected that an agreement will be reached to end the deal in the next few days. Paul Lambert, the manager, and Stoke’s board are determined to ensure full focus is on their safety mission and Jese’s conduct has infuriated the club at a time when they are in deep trouble. Jese (right) is being sent back to Paris Saint-Germain Credit: AFP His self-imposed strike has come under sharper scrutiny this week by the dedication of captain Ryan Shawcross, who played against West Ham on Monday just days after the death of his father. Stoke face Burnley at home on Sunday with chairman Peter Coates making no attempt to downplay the significance of the game. Coates told Telegraph Sport: “It’s a massive game and undoubtedly one of the most important in the 10 years Stoke have been in the Premier League. “We’ve never fought relegation before at this stage of the season so we all realise how hugely important it is. We’ve clearly had some great times in the Premier League and we desperately want to keep them going. “If we can win against Burnley it keeps us right in the mix. We’re all up for the fight.” Jese, a Champions League winner with Real Madrid, will now play no further part in Stoke’s relegation battle after a difficult spell in the Potteries. Signed by former Stoke manager Mark Hughes in August, his arrival was initially seen as a huge coup for the club. He scored on his debut in the 1-0 win over Arsenal but has struggled since – he was fined in December for storming down the tunnel before the final whistle when he was an unused substitute. Jese has frequently been granted time to fly back to Spain to care for his ill baby boy, and while the club have been careful to give him time off during a challenging period, his decision to go awol has proven the final straw. Ahead of the clash with Burnley, Lambert said: “I need people that are going to play my way. This is what I do. If you don’t want to do it there is no point coming because I don’t want anything else other than people that are going to put the effort in. “You look at Burnley, they have got some backbone. I saw them against Chelsea, they were never out of the game and Sean [Dyche] has lads that know what it's about. “It’s a predominantly British team and he’s had it for a few years now. That gives them a good grounding and a good structure. It's, 'this is the way we play and if you don’t abide by that there’s no point in playing'. It’s the same as myself.”
Stoke City in talks to rip up Jese Rodriguez loan deal from PSG
Stoke are ready to cancel Jese Rodriguez’s loan deal from Paris Saint-Germain, as the strugglers prepare for one of the most crucial games in their Premier League history. Jese’s troubled spell at the bet365 Stadium is finally over after angering Stoke officials with his failure to attend training for the last two weeks. The former Real Madrid attacker was expected to report back a week last Wednesday, after being granted compassionate leave, but he is yet to show up and Stoke’s patience has finally snapped. Stoke are now scrapping Jese’s season-long loan early, as they prepare for the final four games of their relegation battle. It is expected that an agreement will be reached to end the deal in the next few days. Paul Lambert, the manager, and Stoke’s board are determined to ensure full focus is on their safety mission and Jese’s conduct has infuriated the club at a time when they are in deep trouble. Jese (right) is being sent back to Paris Saint-Germain Credit: AFP His self-imposed strike has come under sharper scrutiny this week by the dedication of captain Ryan Shawcross, who played against West Ham on Monday just days after the death of his father. Stoke face Burnley at home on Sunday with chairman Peter Coates making no attempt to downplay the significance of the game. Coates told Telegraph Sport: “It’s a massive game and undoubtedly one of the most important in the 10 years Stoke have been in the Premier League. “We’ve never fought relegation before at this stage of the season so we all realise how hugely important it is. We’ve clearly had some great times in the Premier League and we desperately want to keep them going. “If we can win against Burnley it keeps us right in the mix. We’re all up for the fight.” Jese, a Champions League winner with Real Madrid, will now play no further part in Stoke’s relegation battle after a difficult spell in the Potteries. Signed by former Stoke manager Mark Hughes in August, his arrival was initially seen as a huge coup for the club. He scored on his debut in the 1-0 win over Arsenal but has struggled since – he was fined in December for storming down the tunnel before the final whistle when he was an unused substitute. Jese has frequently been granted time to fly back to Spain to care for his ill baby boy, and while the club have been careful to give him time off during a challenging period, his decision to go awol has proven the final straw. Ahead of the clash with Burnley, Lambert said: “I need people that are going to play my way. This is what I do. If you don’t want to do it there is no point coming because I don’t want anything else other than people that are going to put the effort in. “You look at Burnley, they have got some backbone. I saw them against Chelsea, they were never out of the game and Sean [Dyche] has lads that know what it's about. “It’s a predominantly British team and he’s had it for a few years now. That gives them a good grounding and a good structure. It's, 'this is the way we play and if you don’t abide by that there’s no point in playing'. It’s the same as myself.”
In the tumultuous history of the modern Chelsea, where impending disaster stalks every title and each boom is followed by bust, it has become increasingly difficult to quantify the meaning of success. Would victory in the FA Cup be enough to assuage the damage of failing to qualify for next season’s Champions League? Would a triumphant day at a Wembley final wash away the various tensions that have pockmarked an awkward season? And would a domestic trophy restore to its gleaming best the reputation of Antonio Conte, a manager who has veered from brilliant to belligerent but still lays claim to being one of Europe’s finest? These are the questions that will hover over Chelsea’s players as they trot out to face Southampton in an FA Cup semi-final that provides them with a chance to salvage a campaign defined by bickering and underperformance. But for Conte, it perhaps goes further than that. For him, the FA Cup represents an opportunity to strengthen his legacy, enhance his standing and add a touch more glamour to the CV before his inevitable departure this summer. The Italian enjoys reminding people that he is a winner - “I don’t play to enjoy,” he said, on the eve of this trip to Wembley - yet his second season is dangerously close to being classified as a failure. It is arguably Conte who has the most to gain from lifting the FA Cup trophy next month, and the most to lose from allowing this season to fade into insignificance. “Every season I start with only one idea in my mind,” he said. “In my mind, in my heart, in my soul must be this winning mentality. If I win something, I did my job, not something special. If we don’t win, I am very angry, above all with myself. But at the same time I am ready to work harder to try and win something the next chance I have.” It is, one suspects, this dynamic that has made Conte so preoccupied with the mental state of his squad. As he has struggled to maintain his hold over players that have become gradually less responsive to his high-maintenance approach, Conte has become increasingly concerned with their “spirit”. He spoke after last week’s league victory over Southampton about the importance of having the right “fire in the eyes”, and said he failed to transfer the “right passion” to his players in the first half. Again, ahead of this second meeting with Mark Hughes’s side in eight days, he reiterated the importance of enthusing his players with his “winning mentality”. The message is clear: you must be as hungry as I am. If not, trouble awaits. Conte learned as much in the first hour of their visit to Southampton last week, when they trailed 2-0 before substitute Olivier Giroud inspired a late comeback. Olivier Giroud inspired Chelsea's comeback against Southampton Credit: AFP “If we are the team that played the first half and a part of the second half [at St Mary’s], we must be concerned,” Conte said. “Really concerned. If we go to play with the right team spirit, like against Burnley [on Thursday] or in the last minutes of the Southampton game, we have a possibility of reaching the final. But my players have to know this.” Conte has been here before, overseeing the defeat of Tottenham Hotspur in a thrilling semi-final last season before they went on to be beaten by an under-strength Arsenal in the final, which clearly still grates. “I must be honest,” he said. “Last season we missed a great chance to win the FA Cup. We were in the best condition to try and go and win the FA Cup, and we missed that chance. It was our fault. We could do better. In that moment, we were stronger than them.” Antonio Conte is rueful about losing last year's FA Cup final Credit: ACTION IMAGES Conte believes that this year’s final would be more challenging, given the calibre of the opposition. They must overcome Southampton first, though, and Conte has a decision to make over which attacking players he selects. He paired Giroud with Alvaro Morata in the victory over Burnley, and could do the same again at Wembley despite Morata’s disappointing return of two goals in 18 games since Boxing Day. Conte will be without the suspended Marcos Alonso again, while midfielder Danny Drinkwater is a doubt. The Italian should still have more than enough firepower, though, to see off the challenge of a Southampton side that remains four points away from Premier League safety with four games remaining. “I am very surprised to see them in this position in the table,” Conte said. “They have talented players. Don’t forget, only one week ago we were losing 2-0 after 60 minutes. The last game, it will be very important for our approach, for our future in this competition.” And, perhaps, for his future beyond this club.
Antonio Conte hoping to salvage season and strengthen Chelsea legacy with FA Cup victory over Southampton
In the tumultuous history of the modern Chelsea, where impending disaster stalks every title and each boom is followed by bust, it has become increasingly difficult to quantify the meaning of success. Would victory in the FA Cup be enough to assuage the damage of failing to qualify for next season’s Champions League? Would a triumphant day at a Wembley final wash away the various tensions that have pockmarked an awkward season? And would a domestic trophy restore to its gleaming best the reputation of Antonio Conte, a manager who has veered from brilliant to belligerent but still lays claim to being one of Europe’s finest? These are the questions that will hover over Chelsea’s players as they trot out to face Southampton in an FA Cup semi-final that provides them with a chance to salvage a campaign defined by bickering and underperformance. But for Conte, it perhaps goes further than that. For him, the FA Cup represents an opportunity to strengthen his legacy, enhance his standing and add a touch more glamour to the CV before his inevitable departure this summer. The Italian enjoys reminding people that he is a winner - “I don’t play to enjoy,” he said, on the eve of this trip to Wembley - yet his second season is dangerously close to being classified as a failure. It is arguably Conte who has the most to gain from lifting the FA Cup trophy next month, and the most to lose from allowing this season to fade into insignificance. “Every season I start with only one idea in my mind,” he said. “In my mind, in my heart, in my soul must be this winning mentality. If I win something, I did my job, not something special. If we don’t win, I am very angry, above all with myself. But at the same time I am ready to work harder to try and win something the next chance I have.” It is, one suspects, this dynamic that has made Conte so preoccupied with the mental state of his squad. As he has struggled to maintain his hold over players that have become gradually less responsive to his high-maintenance approach, Conte has become increasingly concerned with their “spirit”. He spoke after last week’s league victory over Southampton about the importance of having the right “fire in the eyes”, and said he failed to transfer the “right passion” to his players in the first half. Again, ahead of this second meeting with Mark Hughes’s side in eight days, he reiterated the importance of enthusing his players with his “winning mentality”. The message is clear: you must be as hungry as I am. If not, trouble awaits. Conte learned as much in the first hour of their visit to Southampton last week, when they trailed 2-0 before substitute Olivier Giroud inspired a late comeback. Olivier Giroud inspired Chelsea's comeback against Southampton Credit: AFP “If we are the team that played the first half and a part of the second half [at St Mary’s], we must be concerned,” Conte said. “Really concerned. If we go to play with the right team spirit, like against Burnley [on Thursday] or in the last minutes of the Southampton game, we have a possibility of reaching the final. But my players have to know this.” Conte has been here before, overseeing the defeat of Tottenham Hotspur in a thrilling semi-final last season before they went on to be beaten by an under-strength Arsenal in the final, which clearly still grates. “I must be honest,” he said. “Last season we missed a great chance to win the FA Cup. We were in the best condition to try and go and win the FA Cup, and we missed that chance. It was our fault. We could do better. In that moment, we were stronger than them.” Antonio Conte is rueful about losing last year's FA Cup final Credit: ACTION IMAGES Conte believes that this year’s final would be more challenging, given the calibre of the opposition. They must overcome Southampton first, though, and Conte has a decision to make over which attacking players he selects. He paired Giroud with Alvaro Morata in the victory over Burnley, and could do the same again at Wembley despite Morata’s disappointing return of two goals in 18 games since Boxing Day. Conte will be without the suspended Marcos Alonso again, while midfielder Danny Drinkwater is a doubt. The Italian should still have more than enough firepower, though, to see off the challenge of a Southampton side that remains four points away from Premier League safety with four games remaining. “I am very surprised to see them in this position in the table,” Conte said. “They have talented players. Don’t forget, only one week ago we were losing 2-0 after 60 minutes. The last game, it will be very important for our approach, for our future in this competition.” And, perhaps, for his future beyond this club.
In the tumultuous history of the modern Chelsea, where impending disaster stalks every title and each boom is followed by bust, it has become increasingly difficult to quantify the meaning of success. Would victory in the FA Cup be enough to assuage the damage of failing to qualify for next season’s Champions League? Would a triumphant day at a Wembley final wash away the various tensions that have pockmarked an awkward season? And would a domestic trophy restore to its gleaming best the reputation of Antonio Conte, a manager who has veered from brilliant to belligerent but still lays claim to being one of Europe’s finest? These are the questions that will hover over Chelsea’s players as they trot out to face Southampton in an FA Cup semi-final that provides them with a chance to salvage a campaign defined by bickering and underperformance. But for Conte, it perhaps goes further than that. For him, the FA Cup represents an opportunity to strengthen his legacy, enhance his standing and add a touch more glamour to the CV before his inevitable departure this summer. The Italian enjoys reminding people that he is a winner - “I don’t play to enjoy,” he said, on the eve of this trip to Wembley - yet his second season is dangerously close to being classified as a failure. It is arguably Conte who has the most to gain from lifting the FA Cup trophy next month, and the most to lose from allowing this season to fade into insignificance. “Every season I start with only one idea in my mind,” he said. “In my mind, in my heart, in my soul must be this winning mentality. If I win something, I did my job, not something special. If we don’t win, I am very angry, above all with myself. But at the same time I am ready to work harder to try and win something the next chance I have.” It is, one suspects, this dynamic that has made Conte so preoccupied with the mental state of his squad. As he has struggled to maintain his hold over players that have become gradually less responsive to his high-maintenance approach, Conte has become increasingly concerned with their “spirit”. He spoke after last week’s league victory over Southampton about the importance of having the right “fire in the eyes”, and said he failed to transfer the “right passion” to his players in the first half. Again, ahead of this second meeting with Mark Hughes’s side in eight days, he reiterated the importance of enthusing his players with his “winning mentality”. The message is clear: you must be as hungry as I am. If not, trouble awaits. Conte learned as much in the first hour of their visit to Southampton last week, when they trailed 2-0 before substitute Olivier Giroud inspired a late comeback. Olivier Giroud inspired Chelsea's comeback against Southampton Credit: AFP “If we are the team that played the first half and a part of the second half [at St Mary’s], we must be concerned,” Conte said. “Really concerned. If we go to play with the right team spirit, like against Burnley [on Thursday] or in the last minutes of the Southampton game, we have a possibility of reaching the final. But my players have to know this.” Conte has been here before, overseeing the defeat of Tottenham Hotspur in a thrilling semi-final last season before they went on to be beaten by an under-strength Arsenal in the final, which clearly still grates. “I must be honest,” he said. “Last season we missed a great chance to win the FA Cup. We were in the best condition to try and go and win the FA Cup, and we missed that chance. It was our fault. We could do better. In that moment, we were stronger than them.” Antonio Conte is rueful about losing last year's FA Cup final Credit: ACTION IMAGES Conte believes that this year’s final would be more challenging, given the calibre of the opposition. They must overcome Southampton first, though, and Conte has a decision to make over which attacking players he selects. He paired Giroud with Alvaro Morata in the victory over Burnley, and could do the same again at Wembley despite Morata’s disappointing return of two goals in 18 games since Boxing Day. Conte will be without the suspended Marcos Alonso again, while midfielder Danny Drinkwater is a doubt. The Italian should still have more than enough firepower, though, to see off the challenge of a Southampton side that remains four points away from Premier League safety with four games remaining. “I am very surprised to see them in this position in the table,” Conte said. “They have talented players. Don’t forget, only one week ago we were losing 2-0 after 60 minutes. The last game, it will be very important for our approach, for our future in this competition.” And, perhaps, for his future beyond this club.
Antonio Conte hoping to salvage season and strengthen Chelsea legacy with FA Cup victory over Southampton
In the tumultuous history of the modern Chelsea, where impending disaster stalks every title and each boom is followed by bust, it has become increasingly difficult to quantify the meaning of success. Would victory in the FA Cup be enough to assuage the damage of failing to qualify for next season’s Champions League? Would a triumphant day at a Wembley final wash away the various tensions that have pockmarked an awkward season? And would a domestic trophy restore to its gleaming best the reputation of Antonio Conte, a manager who has veered from brilliant to belligerent but still lays claim to being one of Europe’s finest? These are the questions that will hover over Chelsea’s players as they trot out to face Southampton in an FA Cup semi-final that provides them with a chance to salvage a campaign defined by bickering and underperformance. But for Conte, it perhaps goes further than that. For him, the FA Cup represents an opportunity to strengthen his legacy, enhance his standing and add a touch more glamour to the CV before his inevitable departure this summer. The Italian enjoys reminding people that he is a winner - “I don’t play to enjoy,” he said, on the eve of this trip to Wembley - yet his second season is dangerously close to being classified as a failure. It is arguably Conte who has the most to gain from lifting the FA Cup trophy next month, and the most to lose from allowing this season to fade into insignificance. “Every season I start with only one idea in my mind,” he said. “In my mind, in my heart, in my soul must be this winning mentality. If I win something, I did my job, not something special. If we don’t win, I am very angry, above all with myself. But at the same time I am ready to work harder to try and win something the next chance I have.” It is, one suspects, this dynamic that has made Conte so preoccupied with the mental state of his squad. As he has struggled to maintain his hold over players that have become gradually less responsive to his high-maintenance approach, Conte has become increasingly concerned with their “spirit”. He spoke after last week’s league victory over Southampton about the importance of having the right “fire in the eyes”, and said he failed to transfer the “right passion” to his players in the first half. Again, ahead of this second meeting with Mark Hughes’s side in eight days, he reiterated the importance of enthusing his players with his “winning mentality”. The message is clear: you must be as hungry as I am. If not, trouble awaits. Conte learned as much in the first hour of their visit to Southampton last week, when they trailed 2-0 before substitute Olivier Giroud inspired a late comeback. Olivier Giroud inspired Chelsea's comeback against Southampton Credit: AFP “If we are the team that played the first half and a part of the second half [at St Mary’s], we must be concerned,” Conte said. “Really concerned. If we go to play with the right team spirit, like against Burnley [on Thursday] or in the last minutes of the Southampton game, we have a possibility of reaching the final. But my players have to know this.” Conte has been here before, overseeing the defeat of Tottenham Hotspur in a thrilling semi-final last season before they went on to be beaten by an under-strength Arsenal in the final, which clearly still grates. “I must be honest,” he said. “Last season we missed a great chance to win the FA Cup. We were in the best condition to try and go and win the FA Cup, and we missed that chance. It was our fault. We could do better. In that moment, we were stronger than them.” Antonio Conte is rueful about losing last year's FA Cup final Credit: ACTION IMAGES Conte believes that this year’s final would be more challenging, given the calibre of the opposition. They must overcome Southampton first, though, and Conte has a decision to make over which attacking players he selects. He paired Giroud with Alvaro Morata in the victory over Burnley, and could do the same again at Wembley despite Morata’s disappointing return of two goals in 18 games since Boxing Day. Conte will be without the suspended Marcos Alonso again, while midfielder Danny Drinkwater is a doubt. The Italian should still have more than enough firepower, though, to see off the challenge of a Southampton side that remains four points away from Premier League safety with four games remaining. “I am very surprised to see them in this position in the table,” Conte said. “They have talented players. Don’t forget, only one week ago we were losing 2-0 after 60 minutes. The last game, it will be very important for our approach, for our future in this competition.” And, perhaps, for his future beyond this club.
Stoke are ready to cancel Jese Rodriguez’s loan deal from Paris Saint-Germain, as the strugglers prepare for one of the most crucial games in their Premier League history. Jese’s troubled spell at the bet365 Stadium is finally over after angering Stoke officials with his failure to attend training for the last two weeks. The former Real Madrid attacker was expected to report back a week last Wednesday, after being granted compassionate leave, but he is yet to show up and Stoke’s patience has finally snapped. Stoke are now scrapping Jese’s season-long loan early, as they prepare for the final four games of their relegation battle. It is expected that an agreement will be reached to end the deal in the next few days. Paul Lambert, the manager, and Stoke’s board are determined to ensure full focus is on their safety mission and Jese’s conduct has infuriated the club at a time when they are in deep trouble. Jese (right) is being sent back to Paris Saint-Germain Credit: AFP His self-imposed strike has come under sharper scrutiny this week by the dedication of captain Ryan Shawcross, who played against West Ham on Monday just days after the death of his father. Stoke face Burnley at home on Sunday with chairman Peter Coates making no attempt to downplay the significance of the game. Coates told Telegraph Sport: “It’s a massive game and undoubtedly one of the most important in the 10 years Stoke have been in the Premier League. “We’ve never fought relegation before at this stage of the season so we all realise how hugely important it is. We’ve clearly had some great times in the Premier League and we desperately want to keep them going. “If we can win against Burnley it keeps us right in the mix. We’re all up for the fight.” Jese, a Champions League winner with Real Madrid, will now play no further part in Stoke’s relegation battle after a difficult spell in the Potteries. Signed by former Stoke manager Mark Hughes in August, his arrival was initially seen as a huge coup for the club. He scored on his debut in the 1-0 win over Arsenal but has struggled since – he was fined in December for storming down the tunnel before the final whistle when he was an unused substitute. Jese has frequently been granted time to fly back to Spain to care for his ill baby boy, and while the club have been careful to give him time off during a challenging period, his decision to go awol has proven the final straw. Ahead of the clash with Burnley, Lambert said: “I need people that are going to play my way. This is what I do. If you don’t want to do it there is no point coming because I don’t want anything else other than people that are going to put the effort in. “You look at Burnley, they have got some backbone. I saw them against Chelsea, they were never out of the game and Sean [Dyche] has lads that know what it's about. “It’s a predominantly British team and he’s had it for a few years now. That gives them a good grounding and a good structure. It's, 'this is the way we play and if you don’t abide by that there’s no point in playing'. It’s the same as myself.”
Stoke City in talks to rip up Jese Rodriguez loan deal from PSG
Stoke are ready to cancel Jese Rodriguez’s loan deal from Paris Saint-Germain, as the strugglers prepare for one of the most crucial games in their Premier League history. Jese’s troubled spell at the bet365 Stadium is finally over after angering Stoke officials with his failure to attend training for the last two weeks. The former Real Madrid attacker was expected to report back a week last Wednesday, after being granted compassionate leave, but he is yet to show up and Stoke’s patience has finally snapped. Stoke are now scrapping Jese’s season-long loan early, as they prepare for the final four games of their relegation battle. It is expected that an agreement will be reached to end the deal in the next few days. Paul Lambert, the manager, and Stoke’s board are determined to ensure full focus is on their safety mission and Jese’s conduct has infuriated the club at a time when they are in deep trouble. Jese (right) is being sent back to Paris Saint-Germain Credit: AFP His self-imposed strike has come under sharper scrutiny this week by the dedication of captain Ryan Shawcross, who played against West Ham on Monday just days after the death of his father. Stoke face Burnley at home on Sunday with chairman Peter Coates making no attempt to downplay the significance of the game. Coates told Telegraph Sport: “It’s a massive game and undoubtedly one of the most important in the 10 years Stoke have been in the Premier League. “We’ve never fought relegation before at this stage of the season so we all realise how hugely important it is. We’ve clearly had some great times in the Premier League and we desperately want to keep them going. “If we can win against Burnley it keeps us right in the mix. We’re all up for the fight.” Jese, a Champions League winner with Real Madrid, will now play no further part in Stoke’s relegation battle after a difficult spell in the Potteries. Signed by former Stoke manager Mark Hughes in August, his arrival was initially seen as a huge coup for the club. He scored on his debut in the 1-0 win over Arsenal but has struggled since – he was fined in December for storming down the tunnel before the final whistle when he was an unused substitute. Jese has frequently been granted time to fly back to Spain to care for his ill baby boy, and while the club have been careful to give him time off during a challenging period, his decision to go awol has proven the final straw. Ahead of the clash with Burnley, Lambert said: “I need people that are going to play my way. This is what I do. If you don’t want to do it there is no point coming because I don’t want anything else other than people that are going to put the effort in. “You look at Burnley, they have got some backbone. I saw them against Chelsea, they were never out of the game and Sean [Dyche] has lads that know what it's about. “It’s a predominantly British team and he’s had it for a few years now. That gives them a good grounding and a good structure. It's, 'this is the way we play and if you don’t abide by that there’s no point in playing'. It’s the same as myself.”
In the tumultuous history of the modern Chelsea, where impending disaster stalks every title and each boom is followed by bust, it has become increasingly difficult to quantify the meaning of success. Would victory in the FA Cup be enough to assuage the damage of failing to qualify for next season’s Champions League? Would a triumphant day at a Wembley final wash away the various tensions that have pockmarked an awkward season? And would a domestic trophy restore to its gleaming best the reputation of Antonio Conte, a manager who has veered from brilliant to belligerent but still lays claim to being one of Europe’s finest? These are the questions that will hover over Chelsea’s players as they trot out to face Southampton in an FA Cup semi-final that provides them with a chance to salvage a campaign defined by bickering and underperformance. But for Conte, it perhaps goes further than that. For him, the FA Cup represents an opportunity to strengthen his legacy, enhance his standing and add a touch more glamour to the CV before his inevitable departure this summer. The Italian enjoys reminding people that he is a winner - “I don’t play to enjoy,” he said, on the eve of this trip to Wembley - yet his second season is dangerously close to being classified as a failure. It is arguably Conte who has the most to gain from lifting the FA Cup trophy next month, and the most to lose from allowing this season to fade into insignificance. “Every season I start with only one idea in my mind,” he said. “In my mind, in my heart, in my soul must be this winning mentality. If I win something, I did my job, not something special. If we don’t win, I am very angry, above all with myself. But at the same time I am ready to work harder to try and win something the next chance I have.” It is, one suspects, this dynamic that has made Conte so preoccupied with the mental state of his squad. As he has struggled to maintain his hold over players that have become gradually less responsive to his high-maintenance approach, Conte has become increasingly concerned with their “spirit”. He spoke after last week’s league victory over Southampton about the importance of having the right “fire in the eyes”, and said he failed to transfer the “right passion” to his players in the first half. Again, ahead of this second meeting with Mark Hughes’s side in eight days, he reiterated the importance of enthusing his players with his “winning mentality”. The message is clear: you must be as hungry as I am. If not, trouble awaits. Conte learned as much in the first hour of their visit to Southampton last week, when they trailed 2-0 before substitute Olivier Giroud inspired a late comeback. Olivier Giroud inspired Chelsea's comeback against Southampton Credit: AFP “If we are the team that played the first half and a part of the second half [at St Mary’s], we must be concerned,” Conte said. “Really concerned. If we go to play with the right team spirit, like against Burnley [on Thursday] or in the last minutes of the Southampton game, we have a possibility of reaching the final. But my players have to know this.” Conte has been here before, overseeing the defeat of Tottenham Hotspur in a thrilling semi-final last season before they went on to be beaten by an under-strength Arsenal in the final, which clearly still grates. “I must be honest,” he said. “Last season we missed a great chance to win the FA Cup. We were in the best condition to try and go and win the FA Cup, and we missed that chance. It was our fault. We could do better. In that moment, we were stronger than them.” Antonio Conte is rueful about losing last year's FA Cup final Credit: ACTION IMAGES Conte believes that this year’s final would be more challenging, given the calibre of the opposition. They must overcome Southampton first, though, and Conte has a decision to make over which attacking players he selects. He paired Giroud with Alvaro Morata in the victory over Burnley, and could do the same again at Wembley despite Morata’s disappointing return of two goals in 18 games since Boxing Day. Conte will be without the suspended Marcos Alonso again, while midfielder Danny Drinkwater is a doubt. The Italian should still have more than enough firepower, though, to see off the challenge of a Southampton side that remains four points away from Premier League safety with four games remaining. “I am very surprised to see them in this position in the table,” Conte said. “They have talented players. Don’t forget, only one week ago we were losing 2-0 after 60 minutes. The last game, it will be very important for our approach, for our future in this competition.” And, perhaps, for his future beyond this club.
Antonio Conte hoping to salvage season and strengthen Chelsea legacy with FA Cup victory over Southampton
In the tumultuous history of the modern Chelsea, where impending disaster stalks every title and each boom is followed by bust, it has become increasingly difficult to quantify the meaning of success. Would victory in the FA Cup be enough to assuage the damage of failing to qualify for next season’s Champions League? Would a triumphant day at a Wembley final wash away the various tensions that have pockmarked an awkward season? And would a domestic trophy restore to its gleaming best the reputation of Antonio Conte, a manager who has veered from brilliant to belligerent but still lays claim to being one of Europe’s finest? These are the questions that will hover over Chelsea’s players as they trot out to face Southampton in an FA Cup semi-final that provides them with a chance to salvage a campaign defined by bickering and underperformance. But for Conte, it perhaps goes further than that. For him, the FA Cup represents an opportunity to strengthen his legacy, enhance his standing and add a touch more glamour to the CV before his inevitable departure this summer. The Italian enjoys reminding people that he is a winner - “I don’t play to enjoy,” he said, on the eve of this trip to Wembley - yet his second season is dangerously close to being classified as a failure. It is arguably Conte who has the most to gain from lifting the FA Cup trophy next month, and the most to lose from allowing this season to fade into insignificance. “Every season I start with only one idea in my mind,” he said. “In my mind, in my heart, in my soul must be this winning mentality. If I win something, I did my job, not something special. If we don’t win, I am very angry, above all with myself. But at the same time I am ready to work harder to try and win something the next chance I have.” It is, one suspects, this dynamic that has made Conte so preoccupied with the mental state of his squad. As he has struggled to maintain his hold over players that have become gradually less responsive to his high-maintenance approach, Conte has become increasingly concerned with their “spirit”. He spoke after last week’s league victory over Southampton about the importance of having the right “fire in the eyes”, and said he failed to transfer the “right passion” to his players in the first half. Again, ahead of this second meeting with Mark Hughes’s side in eight days, he reiterated the importance of enthusing his players with his “winning mentality”. The message is clear: you must be as hungry as I am. If not, trouble awaits. Conte learned as much in the first hour of their visit to Southampton last week, when they trailed 2-0 before substitute Olivier Giroud inspired a late comeback. Olivier Giroud inspired Chelsea's comeback against Southampton Credit: AFP “If we are the team that played the first half and a part of the second half [at St Mary’s], we must be concerned,” Conte said. “Really concerned. If we go to play with the right team spirit, like against Burnley [on Thursday] or in the last minutes of the Southampton game, we have a possibility of reaching the final. But my players have to know this.” Conte has been here before, overseeing the defeat of Tottenham Hotspur in a thrilling semi-final last season before they went on to be beaten by an under-strength Arsenal in the final, which clearly still grates. “I must be honest,” he said. “Last season we missed a great chance to win the FA Cup. We were in the best condition to try and go and win the FA Cup, and we missed that chance. It was our fault. We could do better. In that moment, we were stronger than them.” Antonio Conte is rueful about losing last year's FA Cup final Credit: ACTION IMAGES Conte believes that this year’s final would be more challenging, given the calibre of the opposition. They must overcome Southampton first, though, and Conte has a decision to make over which attacking players he selects. He paired Giroud with Alvaro Morata in the victory over Burnley, and could do the same again at Wembley despite Morata’s disappointing return of two goals in 18 games since Boxing Day. Conte will be without the suspended Marcos Alonso again, while midfielder Danny Drinkwater is a doubt. The Italian should still have more than enough firepower, though, to see off the challenge of a Southampton side that remains four points away from Premier League safety with four games remaining. “I am very surprised to see them in this position in the table,” Conte said. “They have talented players. Don’t forget, only one week ago we were losing 2-0 after 60 minutes. The last game, it will be very important for our approach, for our future in this competition.” And, perhaps, for his future beyond this club.
The Potters are looking to return to winning ways against the Clarets and the forward has called on the fans for support
Stoke City's Mame Diouf pleads for support ahead of Burnley clash
The Potters are looking to return to winning ways against the Clarets and the forward has called on the fans for support
The Potters are looking to return to winning ways against the Clarets and the forward has called on the fans for support
Stoke City's Mame Diouf pleads for support ahead of Burnley clash
The Potters are looking to return to winning ways against the Clarets and the forward has called on the fans for support
The Potters are looking to return to winning ways against the Clarets and the forward has called on the fans for support
Stoke City's Mame Diouf pleads for support ahead of Burnley clash
The Potters are looking to return to winning ways against the Clarets and the forward has called on the fans for support
The Potters are looking to return to winning ways against the Clarets and the forward has called on the fans for support
Stoke City's Mame Diouf pleads for support ahead of Burnley clash
The Potters are looking to return to winning ways against the Clarets and the forward has called on the fans for support
The Potters are looking to return to winning ways against the Clarets and the forward has called on the fans for support
Stoke City's Mame Diouf pleads for support ahead of Burnley clash
The Potters are looking to return to winning ways against the Clarets and the forward has called on the fans for support
Antonio Conte insists that striker Alvaro Morata was not angry at him for the decision to substitute him against Burnley
Morata was angry at his performance not substitution - Conte
Antonio Conte insists that striker Alvaro Morata was not angry at him for the decision to substitute him against Burnley
Antonio Conte insists that striker Alvaro Morata was not angry at him for the decision to substitute him against Burnley
Morata was angry at his performance not substitution - Conte
Antonio Conte insists that striker Alvaro Morata was not angry at him for the decision to substitute him against Burnley
Antonio Conte insists that striker Alvaro Morata was not angry at him for the decision to substitute him against Burnley
Morata was angry at his performance not substitution - Conte
Antonio Conte insists that striker Alvaro Morata was not angry at him for the decision to substitute him against Burnley
The final home opponents of the Frenchman's Arsenal reign will be Burnley, and for the visiting boss it will be a special moment
Dyche eager to feature in 'legendary' Wenger's Emirates farewell
The final home opponents of the Frenchman's Arsenal reign will be Burnley, and for the visiting boss it will be a special moment
Sean Dyche not prepared to spend big in summer transfer window despite Burnley's Premier League rise
Sean Dyche not prepared to spend big in summer transfer window despite Burnley's Premier League rise
Sean Dyche not prepared to spend big in summer transfer window despite Burnley's Premier League rise
Sean Dyche not prepared to spend big in summer transfer window despite Burnley's Premier League rise
Sean Dyche not prepared to spend big in summer transfer window despite Burnley's Premier League rise
Sean Dyche not prepared to spend big in summer transfer window despite Burnley's Premier League rise
Arsenal vs West Ham, live score updates What is it? Ordinarily, it would just be any other Premier League match, albeit a London derby. But this game has taken on new significance as it is the first match since Friday's shock announcement that Arsene Wenger is leaving Arsenal at the end of the season. Before Wenger's plan to leave, it was expected that The Emirates would be half empty - a sign of protest against Wenger by disenchanted supporters. That won't be the case any more... expect the stadium to be heaving! When is it? Tomorrow! Sunday, April 22. What time is kick-off? 1.30pm. What TV channel is it on? All the live action is on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League from 12.30pm. Or you can watch highlights on Match of the Day on BBC 2 at 10.30pm. Or you can follow all the action with our live blog. End of an era | Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season What is the team news? Arsenal The Gunners have doubts over the fitness of Jack Wilshere. The midfielder missed last weekend's defeat at Newcastle with an ankle injury that could again leave him on the sidelines against David Moyes' men, but Aaron Ramsey is available after suffering a deep gash to his calf against CSKA Moscow on April 12. Manager Arsene Wenger has promised to name a strong side despite the upcoming Europa League semi-final clash with Atletico Madrid, but Henrikh Mkhitaryan (knee) and Santi Cazorla (Achilles) remain out. Provisional squad: Cech, Ospina, Holding, Mustafi, Chambers, Bellerin, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Nelson, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Xhaka, Willock, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil, Iwobi, Welbeck, Lacazette, Nketiah, Aubameyang. Pick your Arsenal team to face West Ham West Ham Joe Hart could pay for his latest mistake when the Hammers travel to Arsenal. The goalkeeper's blunder gifted Stoke a goal in Monday's 1-1 draw and boss David Moyes admits he has a decision to make, with Adrian waiting in the wings. James Collins is not ready to return from his hamstring injury, while Winston Reid, Michail Antonio, Sam Byram and Pedro Obiang are long-term absentees. Provisional squad: Hart, Adrian, Ogbonna, Rice, Cresswell, Evra, Masuaku , Zabaleta, Noble, Kouyate, Fernandes, Lanzini, Mario, Arnautovic, Hernandez, Carroll, Hugill. Pick your West Ham team to face Arsenal What does the table look like? What are they saying? Former striker Ian Wright has claimed in The Sun that Arsene Wenger was sacked and does not believe it is in his character to walk away: "Arsene Wenger is a man of principle, honesty and integrity - that is why I am convinced he has been sacked and not resigned. "For all the vitriol and abuse thrown at him, Arsene has never been a man to walk out before the end of a contract. "It is a sad situation that it's come to this and I don't suppose we will ever find out who is responsible, because they will hide behind each other. "One day he is doing a press conference with no hint of this, the next he's gone. It doesn't add up. "But Arsene can go with his head high. That's why, whatever the results, it is imperative he gets the send-off a true Arsenal and football legend deserves. We all owe him so much." ----- David Moyes believes whoever steps in to replace Arsene Wenger will have a tough job on his hands: "It's never easy when you follow great managers at great clubs. It'll be tough for whoever takes the (Arsenal) job. "He's been a great competitor, a terrific manager. One of the best managers that the Premier League has seen. "Real football people appreciate what he's done. He's dedicated to his job, he's been dedicated to his sport and he's a real proper football man." Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What are the odds? Arsenal to win 1/2 Draw 7/2 West Ham to win 5/1 What's our prediction? With both clubs drifting towards a mediocre end-of-season finish, this match is now all about the beginning of the end of Arsene Wenger. Arsenal can be pipped to sixth by Burnley, but Thursday's Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid will dictate selection, while David Moyes can go for broke. Predicted score: Arsenal 2 West Ham 1. Who will replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal?
Arsenal vs West Ham, Premier League preview: Team news, kick-off time, TV channel and prediction
Arsenal vs West Ham, live score updates What is it? Ordinarily, it would just be any other Premier League match, albeit a London derby. But this game has taken on new significance as it is the first match since Friday's shock announcement that Arsene Wenger is leaving Arsenal at the end of the season. Before Wenger's plan to leave, it was expected that The Emirates would be half empty - a sign of protest against Wenger by disenchanted supporters. That won't be the case any more... expect the stadium to be heaving! When is it? Tomorrow! Sunday, April 22. What time is kick-off? 1.30pm. What TV channel is it on? All the live action is on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League from 12.30pm. Or you can watch highlights on Match of the Day on BBC 2 at 10.30pm. Or you can follow all the action with our live blog. End of an era | Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season What is the team news? Arsenal The Gunners have doubts over the fitness of Jack Wilshere. The midfielder missed last weekend's defeat at Newcastle with an ankle injury that could again leave him on the sidelines against David Moyes' men, but Aaron Ramsey is available after suffering a deep gash to his calf against CSKA Moscow on April 12. Manager Arsene Wenger has promised to name a strong side despite the upcoming Europa League semi-final clash with Atletico Madrid, but Henrikh Mkhitaryan (knee) and Santi Cazorla (Achilles) remain out. Provisional squad: Cech, Ospina, Holding, Mustafi, Chambers, Bellerin, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Nelson, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Xhaka, Willock, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil, Iwobi, Welbeck, Lacazette, Nketiah, Aubameyang. Pick your Arsenal team to face West Ham West Ham Joe Hart could pay for his latest mistake when the Hammers travel to Arsenal. The goalkeeper's blunder gifted Stoke a goal in Monday's 1-1 draw and boss David Moyes admits he has a decision to make, with Adrian waiting in the wings. James Collins is not ready to return from his hamstring injury, while Winston Reid, Michail Antonio, Sam Byram and Pedro Obiang are long-term absentees. Provisional squad: Hart, Adrian, Ogbonna, Rice, Cresswell, Evra, Masuaku , Zabaleta, Noble, Kouyate, Fernandes, Lanzini, Mario, Arnautovic, Hernandez, Carroll, Hugill. Pick your West Ham team to face Arsenal What does the table look like? What are they saying? Former striker Ian Wright has claimed in The Sun that Arsene Wenger was sacked and does not believe it is in his character to walk away: "Arsene Wenger is a man of principle, honesty and integrity - that is why I am convinced he has been sacked and not resigned. "For all the vitriol and abuse thrown at him, Arsene has never been a man to walk out before the end of a contract. "It is a sad situation that it's come to this and I don't suppose we will ever find out who is responsible, because they will hide behind each other. "One day he is doing a press conference with no hint of this, the next he's gone. It doesn't add up. "But Arsene can go with his head high. That's why, whatever the results, it is imperative he gets the send-off a true Arsenal and football legend deserves. We all owe him so much." ----- David Moyes believes whoever steps in to replace Arsene Wenger will have a tough job on his hands: "It's never easy when you follow great managers at great clubs. It'll be tough for whoever takes the (Arsenal) job. "He's been a great competitor, a terrific manager. One of the best managers that the Premier League has seen. "Real football people appreciate what he's done. He's dedicated to his job, he's been dedicated to his sport and he's a real proper football man." Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What are the odds? Arsenal to win 1/2 Draw 7/2 West Ham to win 5/1 What's our prediction? With both clubs drifting towards a mediocre end-of-season finish, this match is now all about the beginning of the end of Arsene Wenger. Arsenal can be pipped to sixth by Burnley, but Thursday's Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid will dictate selection, while David Moyes can go for broke. Predicted score: Arsenal 2 West Ham 1. Who will replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal?
The final home opponents of the Frenchman's Arsenal reign will be Burnley, and for the visiting boss it will be a special moment
Dyche eager to feature in 'legendary' Wenger's Emirates farewell
The final home opponents of the Frenchman's Arsenal reign will be Burnley, and for the visiting boss it will be a special moment
The final home opponents of Arsene Wenger's Arsenal reign will be Burnley, and for Sean Dyche it is set to be a special occasion.
Dyche eager to feature in 'legendary' Wenger's Emirates farewell
The final home opponents of Arsene Wenger's Arsenal reign will be Burnley, and for Sean Dyche it is set to be a special occasion.
Antonio Conte has risked reigniting his row with Jose Mourinho by suggesting his 100-game Chelsea win-rate is better than the record held by the Portuguese. The Premier League victory over Burnley meant that Conte completed his first 100 games in charge with 65 wins, which is the second-highest ratio of any Chelsea manager after Mourinho. But Conte believes his success, which included winning last season’s Premier League title, has come under more difficult circumstances than Mourinho’s 72 victories from his first 100 games. Conte highlighted the fact that his record, which he insisted should have been better, was achieved following the club’s 10th-placed finish. The Blues had been runners up when Mourinho first took over in 2004. Ahead of his 101st Chelsea game, Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Southampton, Conte said: “For sure, this is a good stat, but I know that, this season, we could have done better. “Mourinho was 72 in the first 100? We are talking about a great manager. Don’t forget that the first 100 games with Mourinho were many years ago. Now it’s not simple, I think. To have this type of results in this moment, in this present Chelsea. I must be pleased for the players, for the club, but, for sure, we could do better.” Mourinho and Conte have clashed several times in the last two seasons Credit: EPA Asked why his first 100 games in charge were harder than Mourino’s, Conte added: “Because it’s a different era. A different era in the history of the club. Only for this reason. “I won a title with Juventus after two seventh places. When you win a title in this way, it’s a great, great achievement. Not a simple achievement. “Last season we [Chelsea] won a title after a 10th place. When you win a title in this way, it means it’s a great, great achievement. Not a simple achievement, only because your name is Chelsea and it’s normal because, in the past, you won many titles. You have to see the era you are going through.” Conte traded insults with Mourinho earlier this season, but the two men shook hands before the last game between Chelsea and United in February. The Italian’s latest comments may well provoke a response from Mourinho, with the prospect of Chelsea meeting United in the FA Cup final very much alive. While Chelsea take on Southampton in the semi-finals, United face Tottenham at their temporary home, but Conte does not believe Spurs have an advantage in the competition because all the remaining games will be played at Wembley. He said: “I think that Tottenham is a great team. If they have an advantage it’s only because of this.” Conte doubts he could carry on as long in management as Arsene Wenger Credit: ARSENAL FC Conte joined the list of managers to pay tribute to Arsene Wenger, who has announced he will stand down from his position as Arsenal manager at the end of the season. And the 48-year-old admitted the pressure of modern-day management means it is unlikely that he will carry on in the industry that long. “In the past, the managers could stay in England and work for the same club for many years,” said Conte. “When you know this and have this possibility, you live football and you stay more relaxed because you know you have time to work, to show the importance of your work. “In the present, football is not the same like the past. In England, you can see this difference. Now every club is ready to change, no? To change manager if you don’t get results. If you don’t win. I think to live football in this way, your career could be less long, less long. "Because you live football with more pressure than in the past.” Chelsea have been ordered by the Professional Football Compensation Committee to pay up to £2.5 million to Exeter City for teenager Ethan Ampadu – which is £500,000 less than the Blues originally offered. It is believed League Two club Exeter were looking for at least £5 million for 17-year-old Ampadu, who has made seven first-team appearances in his first season at Chelsea before injury ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign. But the PFCC ruled that Chelsea must pay an initial fee of £850,000, a further £450,000 and potential further payments up to £1.25 million based on first-team appearances up to 50. Exeter will also receive 20 per cent of any profit made by the Blues should they sell Ampadu. Ampadu has impressed in a Chelsea shirt so far Credit: GETTY IMAGES Exeter chairman Julian Tagg, said: “To say that we are disappointed is an understatement. We are disappointed for our fans, our academy, which works so hard on producing talented young players like Ethan and for our management and coaching team who bring these players into the first team and beyond as part of supporting the work of the FA in its objective to produce international players of the highest quality which we believe we have done. “However, above all, we are disappointed for football as we feel this decision sends the wrong message in terms of financial reward for those owners, chairmen, managers and coaches up and down the country who are also working as hard as us to improve their clubs by producing talented home-grown players for both club and country. “At this stage, we have no written justification for the decision taken by the Professional Football Compensation Committee. We have been told that this will come within the next couple of weeks and once we receive this we will be communicating that to our supporters.”
Antonio Conte insists his century of Chelsea games has been more impressive than Jose Mourinho's 'different era'
Antonio Conte has risked reigniting his row with Jose Mourinho by suggesting his 100-game Chelsea win-rate is better than the record held by the Portuguese. The Premier League victory over Burnley meant that Conte completed his first 100 games in charge with 65 wins, which is the second-highest ratio of any Chelsea manager after Mourinho. But Conte believes his success, which included winning last season’s Premier League title, has come under more difficult circumstances than Mourinho’s 72 victories from his first 100 games. Conte highlighted the fact that his record, which he insisted should have been better, was achieved following the club’s 10th-placed finish. The Blues had been runners up when Mourinho first took over in 2004. Ahead of his 101st Chelsea game, Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Southampton, Conte said: “For sure, this is a good stat, but I know that, this season, we could have done better. “Mourinho was 72 in the first 100? We are talking about a great manager. Don’t forget that the first 100 games with Mourinho were many years ago. Now it’s not simple, I think. To have this type of results in this moment, in this present Chelsea. I must be pleased for the players, for the club, but, for sure, we could do better.” Mourinho and Conte have clashed several times in the last two seasons Credit: EPA Asked why his first 100 games in charge were harder than Mourino’s, Conte added: “Because it’s a different era. A different era in the history of the club. Only for this reason. “I won a title with Juventus after two seventh places. When you win a title in this way, it’s a great, great achievement. Not a simple achievement. “Last season we [Chelsea] won a title after a 10th place. When you win a title in this way, it means it’s a great, great achievement. Not a simple achievement, only because your name is Chelsea and it’s normal because, in the past, you won many titles. You have to see the era you are going through.” Conte traded insults with Mourinho earlier this season, but the two men shook hands before the last game between Chelsea and United in February. The Italian’s latest comments may well provoke a response from Mourinho, with the prospect of Chelsea meeting United in the FA Cup final very much alive. While Chelsea take on Southampton in the semi-finals, United face Tottenham at their temporary home, but Conte does not believe Spurs have an advantage in the competition because all the remaining games will be played at Wembley. He said: “I think that Tottenham is a great team. If they have an advantage it’s only because of this.” Conte doubts he could carry on as long in management as Arsene Wenger Credit: ARSENAL FC Conte joined the list of managers to pay tribute to Arsene Wenger, who has announced he will stand down from his position as Arsenal manager at the end of the season. And the 48-year-old admitted the pressure of modern-day management means it is unlikely that he will carry on in the industry that long. “In the past, the managers could stay in England and work for the same club for many years,” said Conte. “When you know this and have this possibility, you live football and you stay more relaxed because you know you have time to work, to show the importance of your work. “In the present, football is not the same like the past. In England, you can see this difference. Now every club is ready to change, no? To change manager if you don’t get results. If you don’t win. I think to live football in this way, your career could be less long, less long. "Because you live football with more pressure than in the past.” Chelsea have been ordered by the Professional Football Compensation Committee to pay up to £2.5 million to Exeter City for teenager Ethan Ampadu – which is £500,000 less than the Blues originally offered. It is believed League Two club Exeter were looking for at least £5 million for 17-year-old Ampadu, who has made seven first-team appearances in his first season at Chelsea before injury ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign. But the PFCC ruled that Chelsea must pay an initial fee of £850,000, a further £450,000 and potential further payments up to £1.25 million based on first-team appearances up to 50. Exeter will also receive 20 per cent of any profit made by the Blues should they sell Ampadu. Ampadu has impressed in a Chelsea shirt so far Credit: GETTY IMAGES Exeter chairman Julian Tagg, said: “To say that we are disappointed is an understatement. We are disappointed for our fans, our academy, which works so hard on producing talented young players like Ethan and for our management and coaching team who bring these players into the first team and beyond as part of supporting the work of the FA in its objective to produce international players of the highest quality which we believe we have done. “However, above all, we are disappointed for football as we feel this decision sends the wrong message in terms of financial reward for those owners, chairmen, managers and coaches up and down the country who are also working as hard as us to improve their clubs by producing talented home-grown players for both club and country. “At this stage, we have no written justification for the decision taken by the Professional Football Compensation Committee. We have been told that this will come within the next couple of weeks and once we receive this we will be communicating that to our supporters.”
Antonio Conte has risked reigniting his row with Jose Mourinho by suggesting his 100-game Chelsea win-rate is better than the record held by the Portuguese. The Premier League victory over Burnley meant that Conte completed his first 100 games in charge with 65 wins, which is the second-highest ratio of any Chelsea manager after Mourinho. But Conte believes his success, which included winning last season’s Premier League title, has come under more difficult circumstances than Mourinho’s 72 victories from his first 100 games. Conte highlighted the fact that his record, which he insisted should have been better, was achieved following the club’s 10th-placed finish. The Blues had been runners up when Mourinho first took over in 2004. Ahead of his 101st Chelsea game, Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Southampton, Conte said: “For sure, this is a good stat, but I know that, this season, we could have done better. “Mourinho was 72 in the first 100? We are talking about a great manager. Don’t forget that the first 100 games with Mourinho were many years ago. Now it’s not simple, I think. To have this type of results in this moment, in this present Chelsea. I must be pleased for the players, for the club, but, for sure, we could do better.” Mourinho and Conte have clashed several times in the last two seasons Credit: EPA Asked why his first 100 games in charge were harder than Mourino’s, Conte added: “Because it’s a different era. A different era in the history of the club. Only for this reason. “I won a title with Juventus after two seventh places. When you win a title in this way, it’s a great, great achievement. Not a simple achievement. “Last season we [Chelsea] won a title after a 10th place. When you win a title in this way, it means it’s a great, great achievement. Not a simple achievement, only because your name is Chelsea and it’s normal because, in the past, you won many titles. You have to see the era you are going through.” Conte traded insults with Mourinho earlier this season, but the two men shook hands before the last game between Chelsea and United in February. The Italian’s latest comments may well provoke a response from Mourinho, with the prospect of Chelsea meeting United in the FA Cup final very much alive. While Chelsea take on Southampton in the semi-finals, United face Tottenham at their temporary home, but Conte does not believe Spurs have an advantage in the competition because all the remaining games will be played at Wembley. He said: “I think that Tottenham is a great team. If they have an advantage it’s only because of this.” Conte doubts he could carry on as long in management as Arsene Wenger Credit: ARSENAL FC Conte joined the list of managers to pay tribute to Arsene Wenger, who has announced he will stand down from his position as Arsenal manager at the end of the season. And the 48-year-old admitted the pressure of modern-day management means it is unlikely that he will carry on in the industry that long. “In the past, the managers could stay in England and work for the same club for many years,” said Conte. “When you know this and have this possibility, you live football and you stay more relaxed because you know you have time to work, to show the importance of your work. “In the present, football is not the same like the past. In England, you can see this difference. Now every club is ready to change, no? To change manager if you don’t get results. If you don’t win. I think to live football in this way, your career could be less long, less long. "Because you live football with more pressure than in the past.” Chelsea have been ordered by the Professional Football Compensation Committee to pay up to £2.5 million to Exeter City for teenager Ethan Ampadu – which is £500,000 less than the Blues originally offered. It is believed League Two club Exeter were looking for at least £5 million for 17-year-old Ampadu, who has made seven first-team appearances in his first season at Chelsea before injury ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign. But the PFCC ruled that Chelsea must pay an initial fee of £850,000, a further £450,000 and potential further payments up to £1.25 million based on first-team appearances up to 50. Exeter will also receive 20 per cent of any profit made by the Blues should they sell Ampadu. Ampadu has impressed in a Chelsea shirt so far Credit: GETTY IMAGES Exeter chairman Julian Tagg, said: “To say that we are disappointed is an understatement. We are disappointed for our fans, our academy, which works so hard on producing talented young players like Ethan and for our management and coaching team who bring these players into the first team and beyond as part of supporting the work of the FA in its objective to produce international players of the highest quality which we believe we have done. “However, above all, we are disappointed for football as we feel this decision sends the wrong message in terms of financial reward for those owners, chairmen, managers and coaches up and down the country who are also working as hard as us to improve their clubs by producing talented home-grown players for both club and country. “At this stage, we have no written justification for the decision taken by the Professional Football Compensation Committee. We have been told that this will come within the next couple of weeks and once we receive this we will be communicating that to our supporters.”
Antonio Conte insists his century of Chelsea games has been more impressive than Jose Mourinho's 'different era'
Antonio Conte has risked reigniting his row with Jose Mourinho by suggesting his 100-game Chelsea win-rate is better than the record held by the Portuguese. The Premier League victory over Burnley meant that Conte completed his first 100 games in charge with 65 wins, which is the second-highest ratio of any Chelsea manager after Mourinho. But Conte believes his success, which included winning last season’s Premier League title, has come under more difficult circumstances than Mourinho’s 72 victories from his first 100 games. Conte highlighted the fact that his record, which he insisted should have been better, was achieved following the club’s 10th-placed finish. The Blues had been runners up when Mourinho first took over in 2004. Ahead of his 101st Chelsea game, Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Southampton, Conte said: “For sure, this is a good stat, but I know that, this season, we could have done better. “Mourinho was 72 in the first 100? We are talking about a great manager. Don’t forget that the first 100 games with Mourinho were many years ago. Now it’s not simple, I think. To have this type of results in this moment, in this present Chelsea. I must be pleased for the players, for the club, but, for sure, we could do better.” Mourinho and Conte have clashed several times in the last two seasons Credit: EPA Asked why his first 100 games in charge were harder than Mourino’s, Conte added: “Because it’s a different era. A different era in the history of the club. Only for this reason. “I won a title with Juventus after two seventh places. When you win a title in this way, it’s a great, great achievement. Not a simple achievement. “Last season we [Chelsea] won a title after a 10th place. When you win a title in this way, it means it’s a great, great achievement. Not a simple achievement, only because your name is Chelsea and it’s normal because, in the past, you won many titles. You have to see the era you are going through.” Conte traded insults with Mourinho earlier this season, but the two men shook hands before the last game between Chelsea and United in February. The Italian’s latest comments may well provoke a response from Mourinho, with the prospect of Chelsea meeting United in the FA Cup final very much alive. While Chelsea take on Southampton in the semi-finals, United face Tottenham at their temporary home, but Conte does not believe Spurs have an advantage in the competition because all the remaining games will be played at Wembley. He said: “I think that Tottenham is a great team. If they have an advantage it’s only because of this.” Conte doubts he could carry on as long in management as Arsene Wenger Credit: ARSENAL FC Conte joined the list of managers to pay tribute to Arsene Wenger, who has announced he will stand down from his position as Arsenal manager at the end of the season. And the 48-year-old admitted the pressure of modern-day management means it is unlikely that he will carry on in the industry that long. “In the past, the managers could stay in England and work for the same club for many years,” said Conte. “When you know this and have this possibility, you live football and you stay more relaxed because you know you have time to work, to show the importance of your work. “In the present, football is not the same like the past. In England, you can see this difference. Now every club is ready to change, no? To change manager if you don’t get results. If you don’t win. I think to live football in this way, your career could be less long, less long. "Because you live football with more pressure than in the past.” Chelsea have been ordered by the Professional Football Compensation Committee to pay up to £2.5 million to Exeter City for teenager Ethan Ampadu – which is £500,000 less than the Blues originally offered. It is believed League Two club Exeter were looking for at least £5 million for 17-year-old Ampadu, who has made seven first-team appearances in his first season at Chelsea before injury ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign. But the PFCC ruled that Chelsea must pay an initial fee of £850,000, a further £450,000 and potential further payments up to £1.25 million based on first-team appearances up to 50. Exeter will also receive 20 per cent of any profit made by the Blues should they sell Ampadu. Ampadu has impressed in a Chelsea shirt so far Credit: GETTY IMAGES Exeter chairman Julian Tagg, said: “To say that we are disappointed is an understatement. We are disappointed for our fans, our academy, which works so hard on producing talented young players like Ethan and for our management and coaching team who bring these players into the first team and beyond as part of supporting the work of the FA in its objective to produce international players of the highest quality which we believe we have done. “However, above all, we are disappointed for football as we feel this decision sends the wrong message in terms of financial reward for those owners, chairmen, managers and coaches up and down the country who are also working as hard as us to improve their clubs by producing talented home-grown players for both club and country. “At this stage, we have no written justification for the decision taken by the Professional Football Compensation Committee. We have been told that this will come within the next couple of weeks and once we receive this we will be communicating that to our supporters.”
Antonio Conte has risked reigniting his row with Jose Mourinho by suggesting his 100-game Chelsea win-rate is better than the record held by the Portuguese. The Premier League victory over Burnley meant that Conte completed his first 100 games in charge with 65 wins, which is the second-highest ratio of any Chelsea manager after Mourinho. But Conte believes his success, which included winning last season’s Premier League title, has come under more difficult circumstances than Mourinho’s 72 victories from his first 100 games. Conte highlighted the fact that his record, which he insisted should have been better, was achieved following the club’s 10th-placed finish. The Blues had been runners up when Mourinho first took over in 2004. Ahead of his 101st Chelsea game, Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Southampton, Conte said: “For sure, this is a good stat, but I know that, this season, we could have done better. “Mourinho was 72 in the first 100? We are talking about a great manager. Don’t forget that the first 100 games with Mourinho were many years ago. Now it’s not simple, I think. To have this type of results in this moment, in this present Chelsea. I must be pleased for the players, for the club, but, for sure, we could do better.” Mourinho and Conte have clashed several times in the last two seasons Credit: EPA Asked why his first 100 games in charge were harder than Mourino’s, Conte added: “Because it’s a different era. A different era in the history of the club. Only for this reason. “I won a title with Juventus after two seventh places. When you win a title in this way, it’s a great, great achievement. Not a simple achievement. “Last season we [Chelsea] won a title after a 10th place. When you win a title in this way, it means it’s a great, great achievement. Not a simple achievement, only because your name is Chelsea and it’s normal because, in the past, you won many titles. You have to see the era you are going through.” Conte traded insults with Mourinho earlier this season, but the two men shook hands before the last game between Chelsea and United in February. The Italian’s latest comments may well provoke a response from Mourinho, with the prospect of Chelsea meeting United in the FA Cup final very much alive. While Chelsea take on Southampton in the semi-finals, United face Tottenham at their temporary home, but Conte does not believe Spurs have an advantage in the competition because all the remaining games will be played at Wembley. He said: “I think that Tottenham is a great team. If they have an advantage it’s only because of this.” Conte doubts he could carry on as long in management as Arsene Wenger Credit: ARSENAL FC Conte joined the list of managers to pay tribute to Arsene Wenger, who has announced he will stand down from his position as Arsenal manager at the end of the season. And the 48-year-old admitted the pressure of modern-day management means it is unlikely that he will carry on in the industry that long. “In the past, the managers could stay in England and work for the same club for many years,” said Conte. “When you know this and have this possibility, you live football and you stay more relaxed because you know you have time to work, to show the importance of your work. “In the present, football is not the same like the past. In England, you can see this difference. Now every club is ready to change, no? To change manager if you don’t get results. If you don’t win. I think to live football in this way, your career could be less long, less long. "Because you live football with more pressure than in the past.” Chelsea have been ordered by the Professional Football Compensation Committee to pay up to £2.5 million to Exeter City for teenager Ethan Ampadu – which is £500,000 less than the Blues originally offered. It is believed League Two club Exeter were looking for at least £5 million for 17-year-old Ampadu, who has made seven first-team appearances in his first season at Chelsea before injury ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign. But the PFCC ruled that Chelsea must pay an initial fee of £850,000, a further £450,000 and potential further payments up to £1.25 million based on first-team appearances up to 50. Exeter will also receive 20 per cent of any profit made by the Blues should they sell Ampadu. Ampadu has impressed in a Chelsea shirt so far Credit: GETTY IMAGES Exeter chairman Julian Tagg, said: “To say that we are disappointed is an understatement. We are disappointed for our fans, our academy, which works so hard on producing talented young players like Ethan and for our management and coaching team who bring these players into the first team and beyond as part of supporting the work of the FA in its objective to produce international players of the highest quality which we believe we have done. “However, above all, we are disappointed for football as we feel this decision sends the wrong message in terms of financial reward for those owners, chairmen, managers and coaches up and down the country who are also working as hard as us to improve their clubs by producing talented home-grown players for both club and country. “At this stage, we have no written justification for the decision taken by the Professional Football Compensation Committee. We have been told that this will come within the next couple of weeks and once we receive this we will be communicating that to our supporters.”
Antonio Conte insists his century of Chelsea games has been more impressive than Jose Mourinho's 'different era'
Antonio Conte has risked reigniting his row with Jose Mourinho by suggesting his 100-game Chelsea win-rate is better than the record held by the Portuguese. The Premier League victory over Burnley meant that Conte completed his first 100 games in charge with 65 wins, which is the second-highest ratio of any Chelsea manager after Mourinho. But Conte believes his success, which included winning last season’s Premier League title, has come under more difficult circumstances than Mourinho’s 72 victories from his first 100 games. Conte highlighted the fact that his record, which he insisted should have been better, was achieved following the club’s 10th-placed finish. The Blues had been runners up when Mourinho first took over in 2004. Ahead of his 101st Chelsea game, Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Southampton, Conte said: “For sure, this is a good stat, but I know that, this season, we could have done better. “Mourinho was 72 in the first 100? We are talking about a great manager. Don’t forget that the first 100 games with Mourinho were many years ago. Now it’s not simple, I think. To have this type of results in this moment, in this present Chelsea. I must be pleased for the players, for the club, but, for sure, we could do better.” Mourinho and Conte have clashed several times in the last two seasons Credit: EPA Asked why his first 100 games in charge were harder than Mourino’s, Conte added: “Because it’s a different era. A different era in the history of the club. Only for this reason. “I won a title with Juventus after two seventh places. When you win a title in this way, it’s a great, great achievement. Not a simple achievement. “Last season we [Chelsea] won a title after a 10th place. When you win a title in this way, it means it’s a great, great achievement. Not a simple achievement, only because your name is Chelsea and it’s normal because, in the past, you won many titles. You have to see the era you are going through.” Conte traded insults with Mourinho earlier this season, but the two men shook hands before the last game between Chelsea and United in February. The Italian’s latest comments may well provoke a response from Mourinho, with the prospect of Chelsea meeting United in the FA Cup final very much alive. While Chelsea take on Southampton in the semi-finals, United face Tottenham at their temporary home, but Conte does not believe Spurs have an advantage in the competition because all the remaining games will be played at Wembley. He said: “I think that Tottenham is a great team. If they have an advantage it’s only because of this.” Conte doubts he could carry on as long in management as Arsene Wenger Credit: ARSENAL FC Conte joined the list of managers to pay tribute to Arsene Wenger, who has announced he will stand down from his position as Arsenal manager at the end of the season. And the 48-year-old admitted the pressure of modern-day management means it is unlikely that he will carry on in the industry that long. “In the past, the managers could stay in England and work for the same club for many years,” said Conte. “When you know this and have this possibility, you live football and you stay more relaxed because you know you have time to work, to show the importance of your work. “In the present, football is not the same like the past. In England, you can see this difference. Now every club is ready to change, no? To change manager if you don’t get results. If you don’t win. I think to live football in this way, your career could be less long, less long. "Because you live football with more pressure than in the past.” Chelsea have been ordered by the Professional Football Compensation Committee to pay up to £2.5 million to Exeter City for teenager Ethan Ampadu – which is £500,000 less than the Blues originally offered. It is believed League Two club Exeter were looking for at least £5 million for 17-year-old Ampadu, who has made seven first-team appearances in his first season at Chelsea before injury ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign. But the PFCC ruled that Chelsea must pay an initial fee of £850,000, a further £450,000 and potential further payments up to £1.25 million based on first-team appearances up to 50. Exeter will also receive 20 per cent of any profit made by the Blues should they sell Ampadu. Ampadu has impressed in a Chelsea shirt so far Credit: GETTY IMAGES Exeter chairman Julian Tagg, said: “To say that we are disappointed is an understatement. We are disappointed for our fans, our academy, which works so hard on producing talented young players like Ethan and for our management and coaching team who bring these players into the first team and beyond as part of supporting the work of the FA in its objective to produce international players of the highest quality which we believe we have done. “However, above all, we are disappointed for football as we feel this decision sends the wrong message in terms of financial reward for those owners, chairmen, managers and coaches up and down the country who are also working as hard as us to improve their clubs by producing talented home-grown players for both club and country. “At this stage, we have no written justification for the decision taken by the Professional Football Compensation Committee. We have been told that this will come within the next couple of weeks and once we receive this we will be communicating that to our supporters.”
Antonio Conte has risked reigniting his row with Jose Mourinho by suggesting his 100-game Chelsea win-rate is better than the record held by the Portuguese. The Premier League victory over Burnley meant that Conte completed his first 100 games in charge with 65 wins, which is the second-highest ratio of any Chelsea manager after Mourinho. But Conte believes his success, which included winning last season’s Premier League title, has come under more difficult circumstances than Mourinho’s 72 victories from his first 100 games. Conte highlighted the fact that his record, which he insisted should have been better, was achieved following the club’s 10th-placed finish. The Blues had been runners up when Mourinho first took over in 2004. Ahead of his 101st Chelsea game, Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Southampton, Conte said: “For sure, this is a good stat, but I know that, this season, we could have done better. “Mourinho was 72 in the first 100? We are talking about a great manager. Don’t forget that the first 100 games with Mourinho were many years ago. Now it’s not simple, I think. To have this type of results in this moment, in this present Chelsea. I must be pleased for the players, for the club, but, for sure, we could do better.” Mourinho and Conte have clashed several times in the last two seasons Credit: EPA Asked why his first 100 games in charge were harder than Mourino’s, Conte added: “Because it’s a different era. A different era in the history of the club. Only for this reason. “I won a title with Juventus after two seventh places. When you win a title in this way, it’s a great, great achievement. Not a simple achievement. “Last season we [Chelsea] won a title after a 10th place. When you win a title in this way, it means it’s a great, great achievement. Not a simple achievement, only because your name is Chelsea and it’s normal because, in the past, you won many titles. You have to see the era you are going through.” Conte traded insults with Mourinho earlier this season, but the two men shook hands before the last game between Chelsea and United in February. The Italian’s latest comments may well provoke a response from Mourinho, with the prospect of Chelsea meeting United in the FA Cup final very much alive. While Chelsea take on Southampton in the semi-finals, United face Tottenham at their temporary home, but Conte does not believe Spurs have an advantage in the competition because all the remaining games will be played at Wembley. He said: “I think that Tottenham is a great team. If they have an advantage it’s only because of this.” Conte doubts he could carry on as long in management as Arsene Wenger Credit: ARSENAL FC Conte joined the list of managers to pay tribute to Arsene Wenger, who has announced he will stand down from his position as Arsenal manager at the end of the season. And the 48-year-old admitted the pressure of modern-day management means it is unlikely that he will carry on in the industry that long. “In the past, the managers could stay in England and work for the same club for many years,” said Conte. “When you know this and have this possibility, you live football and you stay more relaxed because you know you have time to work, to show the importance of your work. “In the present, football is not the same like the past. In England, you can see this difference. Now every club is ready to change, no? To change manager if you don’t get results. If you don’t win. I think to live football in this way, your career could be less long, less long. "Because you live football with more pressure than in the past.” Chelsea have been ordered by the Professional Football Compensation Committee to pay up to £2.5 million to Exeter City for teenager Ethan Ampadu – which is £500,000 less than the Blues originally offered. It is believed League Two club Exeter were looking for at least £5 million for 17-year-old Ampadu, who has made seven first-team appearances in his first season at Chelsea before injury ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign. But the PFCC ruled that Chelsea must pay an initial fee of £850,000, a further £450,000 and potential further payments up to £1.25 million based on first-team appearances up to 50. Exeter will also receive 20 per cent of any profit made by the Blues should they sell Ampadu. Ampadu has impressed in a Chelsea shirt so far Credit: GETTY IMAGES Exeter chairman Julian Tagg, said: “To say that we are disappointed is an understatement. We are disappointed for our fans, our academy, which works so hard on producing talented young players like Ethan and for our management and coaching team who bring these players into the first team and beyond as part of supporting the work of the FA in its objective to produce international players of the highest quality which we believe we have done. “However, above all, we are disappointed for football as we feel this decision sends the wrong message in terms of financial reward for those owners, chairmen, managers and coaches up and down the country who are also working as hard as us to improve their clubs by producing talented home-grown players for both club and country. “At this stage, we have no written justification for the decision taken by the Professional Football Compensation Committee. We have been told that this will come within the next couple of weeks and once we receive this we will be communicating that to our supporters.”
Antonio Conte insists his century of Chelsea games has been more impressive than Jose Mourinho's 'different era'
Antonio Conte has risked reigniting his row with Jose Mourinho by suggesting his 100-game Chelsea win-rate is better than the record held by the Portuguese. The Premier League victory over Burnley meant that Conte completed his first 100 games in charge with 65 wins, which is the second-highest ratio of any Chelsea manager after Mourinho. But Conte believes his success, which included winning last season’s Premier League title, has come under more difficult circumstances than Mourinho’s 72 victories from his first 100 games. Conte highlighted the fact that his record, which he insisted should have been better, was achieved following the club’s 10th-placed finish. The Blues had been runners up when Mourinho first took over in 2004. Ahead of his 101st Chelsea game, Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Southampton, Conte said: “For sure, this is a good stat, but I know that, this season, we could have done better. “Mourinho was 72 in the first 100? We are talking about a great manager. Don’t forget that the first 100 games with Mourinho were many years ago. Now it’s not simple, I think. To have this type of results in this moment, in this present Chelsea. I must be pleased for the players, for the club, but, for sure, we could do better.” Mourinho and Conte have clashed several times in the last two seasons Credit: EPA Asked why his first 100 games in charge were harder than Mourino’s, Conte added: “Because it’s a different era. A different era in the history of the club. Only for this reason. “I won a title with Juventus after two seventh places. When you win a title in this way, it’s a great, great achievement. Not a simple achievement. “Last season we [Chelsea] won a title after a 10th place. When you win a title in this way, it means it’s a great, great achievement. Not a simple achievement, only because your name is Chelsea and it’s normal because, in the past, you won many titles. You have to see the era you are going through.” Conte traded insults with Mourinho earlier this season, but the two men shook hands before the last game between Chelsea and United in February. The Italian’s latest comments may well provoke a response from Mourinho, with the prospect of Chelsea meeting United in the FA Cup final very much alive. While Chelsea take on Southampton in the semi-finals, United face Tottenham at their temporary home, but Conte does not believe Spurs have an advantage in the competition because all the remaining games will be played at Wembley. He said: “I think that Tottenham is a great team. If they have an advantage it’s only because of this.” Conte doubts he could carry on as long in management as Arsene Wenger Credit: ARSENAL FC Conte joined the list of managers to pay tribute to Arsene Wenger, who has announced he will stand down from his position as Arsenal manager at the end of the season. And the 48-year-old admitted the pressure of modern-day management means it is unlikely that he will carry on in the industry that long. “In the past, the managers could stay in England and work for the same club for many years,” said Conte. “When you know this and have this possibility, you live football and you stay more relaxed because you know you have time to work, to show the importance of your work. “In the present, football is not the same like the past. In England, you can see this difference. Now every club is ready to change, no? To change manager if you don’t get results. If you don’t win. I think to live football in this way, your career could be less long, less long. "Because you live football with more pressure than in the past.” Chelsea have been ordered by the Professional Football Compensation Committee to pay up to £2.5 million to Exeter City for teenager Ethan Ampadu – which is £500,000 less than the Blues originally offered. It is believed League Two club Exeter were looking for at least £5 million for 17-year-old Ampadu, who has made seven first-team appearances in his first season at Chelsea before injury ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign. But the PFCC ruled that Chelsea must pay an initial fee of £850,000, a further £450,000 and potential further payments up to £1.25 million based on first-team appearances up to 50. Exeter will also receive 20 per cent of any profit made by the Blues should they sell Ampadu. Ampadu has impressed in a Chelsea shirt so far Credit: GETTY IMAGES Exeter chairman Julian Tagg, said: “To say that we are disappointed is an understatement. We are disappointed for our fans, our academy, which works so hard on producing talented young players like Ethan and for our management and coaching team who bring these players into the first team and beyond as part of supporting the work of the FA in its objective to produce international players of the highest quality which we believe we have done. “However, above all, we are disappointed for football as we feel this decision sends the wrong message in terms of financial reward for those owners, chairmen, managers and coaches up and down the country who are also working as hard as us to improve their clubs by producing talented home-grown players for both club and country. “At this stage, we have no written justification for the decision taken by the Professional Football Compensation Committee. We have been told that this will come within the next couple of weeks and once we receive this we will be communicating that to our supporters.”
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. Former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and ex-Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta are thought to be the leading contenders to replace Wenger, while Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim, former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti and Germany head coach Joachim Low are also in the running. 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. Former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and ex-Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta are thought to be the leading contenders to replace Wenger, while Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim, former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti and Germany head coach Joachim Low are also in the running. 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. Former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and ex-Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta are thought to be the leading contenders to replace Wenger, while Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim, former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti and Germany head coach Joachim Low are also in the running. 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. Former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and ex-Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta are thought to be the leading contenders to replace Wenger, while Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim, former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti and Germany head coach Joachim Low are also in the running. 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. Former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and ex-Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta are thought to be the leading contenders to replace Wenger, while Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim, former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti and Germany head coach Joachim Low are also in the running. 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. Former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and ex-Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta are thought to be the leading contenders to replace Wenger, while Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim, former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti and Germany head coach Joachim Low are also in the running. 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."
Sean Dyche has become one of the most admired managers in the Premier League over Burnley's past two seasons since winning promotion back to the top flight in the 2015-16 season. ​In a recent interview with ​ESPN, Dyche indulged in a rather less business-related interview, discussing his experiences of growing up in the 1970s and '80s, and his ever-growing interest and involvement in music. “The rave scene was a big era for me.”  Sean Dyche talks @MarkOgden_ through his eclectic music taste....
Sean Dyche Admits Being Big on 'Rave Scene' and Talks About His Favourite Gigs
Sean Dyche has become one of the most admired managers in the Premier League over Burnley's past two seasons since winning promotion back to the top flight in the 2015-16 season. ​In a recent interview with ​ESPN, Dyche indulged in a rather less business-related interview, discussing his experiences of growing up in the 1970s and '80s, and his ever-growing interest and involvement in music. “The rave scene was a big era for me.”  Sean Dyche talks @MarkOgden_ through his eclectic music taste....
Sean Dyche has become one of the most admired managers in the Premier League over Burnley's past two seasons since winning promotion back to the top flight in the 2015-16 season. ​In a recent interview with ​ESPN, Dyche indulged in a rather less business-related interview, discussing his experiences of growing up in the 1970s and '80s, and his ever-growing interest and involvement in music. “The rave scene was a big era for me.”  Sean Dyche talks @MarkOgden_ through his eclectic music taste....
Sean Dyche Admits Being Big on 'Rave Scene' and Talks About His Favourite Gigs
Sean Dyche has become one of the most admired managers in the Premier League over Burnley's past two seasons since winning promotion back to the top flight in the 2015-16 season. ​In a recent interview with ​ESPN, Dyche indulged in a rather less business-related interview, discussing his experiences of growing up in the 1970s and '80s, and his ever-growing interest and involvement in music. “The rave scene was a big era for me.”  Sean Dyche talks @MarkOgden_ through his eclectic music taste....
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."
Having shortened the gap between his own side and Spurs after defeating Burnley, the Italian is not giving up hope of finishing in a UCL spot
Conte: Top four still possible for Chelsea
Having shortened the gap between his own side and Spurs after defeating Burnley, the Italian is not giving up hope of finishing in a UCL spot
Having shortened the gap between his own side and Spurs after defeating Burnley, the Italian is not giving up hope of finishing in a UCL spot
Conte: Top four still possible for Chelsea
Having shortened the gap between his own side and Spurs after defeating Burnley, the Italian is not giving up hope of finishing in a UCL spot
Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal at the end of the season Frenchman has been Arsenal manager for almost 22 years Arsenal have five Premier League games left this season Wenger's last match at Emirates on May 6 against Burnley Last Premier League match ever on May 13 against Huddersfield The Gunners are also in the Europa League semi-finals Arsène Wenger, Arsenal’s longest-serving and most successful-ever manager, is to step 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. “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. Timeline | Arsene Wenger's seasons at Arsenal 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 Frenchman has been Arsenal manager for almost 22 years Arsenal have five Premier League games left this season Wenger's last match at Emirates on May 6 against Burnley Last Premier League match ever on May 13 against Huddersfield The Gunners are also in the Europa League semi-finals Arsène Wenger, Arsenal’s longest-serving and most successful-ever manager, is to step 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. “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. Timeline | Arsene Wenger's seasons at Arsenal 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."
There was a comical moment as Antonio Conte spoke to reporters about Chelsea's trip to Burnley - his wife called him on the telephone mid-news conference!
FD: Conte interrupted by wife during news conference
There was a comical moment as Antonio Conte spoke to reporters about Chelsea's trip to Burnley - his wife called him on the telephone mid-news conference!
There was a comical moment as Antonio Conte spoke to reporters about Chelsea's trip to Burnley - his wife called him on the telephone mid-news conference!
FD: Conte interrupted by wife during news conference
There was a comical moment as Antonio Conte spoke to reporters about Chelsea's trip to Burnley - his wife called him on the telephone mid-news conference!
There was a comical moment as Antonio Conte spoke to reporters about Chelsea's trip to Burnley - his wife called him on the telephone mid-news conference!
FD: Conte interrupted by wife during news conference
There was a comical moment as Antonio Conte spoke to reporters about Chelsea's trip to Burnley - his wife called him on the telephone mid-news conference!
There was a comical moment as Antonio Conte spoke to reporters about Chelsea's trip to Burnley - his wife called him on the telephone mid-news conference!
FD: Conte interrupted by wife during news conference
There was a comical moment as Antonio Conte spoke to reporters about Chelsea's trip to Burnley - his wife called him on the telephone mid-news conference!
Welcome to our new Friday morning feature in which we preview the forthcoming Premier League weekend through the lens of 11 players. The idea is to pick a team of individuals likely to play a pivotal role in the outcome of their match, their club's fortunes or feature in the big stories come Monday morning. All Premier League matches will be covered in some way, and the aim is to predict the weekend's best players before a ball has been kicked. For reasons of simplicity and week-to-week consistency, the players will be arranged in a 4-4-2 'formation'. Apologies to those of you who were fond of Premier League Bingo, which has gone the same way as the dodo, Woolworth's and Harry Kane's popularity. GK: Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City) Credit: GETTY IMAGES Despite their fine work and Carlos Carvalhal's garrulous proverbs, Swansea are not out of the woods just yet. Southampton and Stoke will hold out hope of reeling them in, particularly with a trip to newly crowned champions Manchester City looming this Saturday. With City charging towards 100 points, Swansea might need their goalkeeper to save them at the Etihad and Lukas Fabianksi has quietly been one of the division's best stoppers. There is a dearth of outstanding goalkeepers across the Premier League, and one or two of the 'Big Six' might be keeping an eye of Fabianksi - at least as a highly-competent No.2. Goalkeepers do tend to catch the eye in teams who keep them busy, however. (Manchester City vs Swansea, Sunday 4.30pm) RB: Kurt Zouma (Stoke City) Credit: GETTY IMAGES The on-loan Chelsea defender is more than capable of playing out of position at right-back, but Stoke are diluting one of their best assets by doing so. Burnley's visit to the bet365 Stadium is Stoke and Paul Lambert's last chance to mount a great escape, and they cannot afford to keep leaking cheap goals. Switching to a back five and utilising Zouma as one of three centre-halves would surely get more out of him and offer Stoke more attacking threat on that flank. (Stoke vs Burnley, Sunday 1.30pm) CB: Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal) Credit: GETTY IMAGES Pilloried for losing his man at the near-post in successive league games, Arsenal's £35 million centre back could probably do with a breather. However, with Laurent Koscielny kept on ice for their Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid, Mustafi is likely to get a chance to make amends on Sunday. We are running out of space on the German's charge sheet: he is rash, one-paced, struggles to defend crosses and prone to losing his head when the pressure is turned up. However, Mustafi has proven himself capable of some extremely impressive performances against top-level opponents. He stuck to Diego Costa like a cheap suit in a 3-0 win over Chelsea a few weeks into his Arsenal career, did the same to Alvaro Morata at Stamford Bridge this season and smothered Harry Kane (and scored) in a home north London derby. The jury is still out, but the foreman is getting impatient. (Arsenal vs West Ham, Sunday 1.30pm) CB: Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur) Credit: REUTERS Sanchez's potential is the reason Spurs appear confident enough to cash-in on Toby Alderweireld this summer. The £42million they paid Ajax will look a sound long-term investment in a few years - Sanchez in confident in position, happy to defend high up the pitch and comfortable in one-vs-one situations. However, the 21-year-old does tend to make at least one mistake per game and that will give Manchester United hope going into their FA Cup semi-final. Spurs will put United under intense pressure in central midfield, but that does mean they leave acres of green grass in behind their centre backs. That proved their undoing against City last weekend, when a clipped long ball from Vincent Kompany set Gabriel Jesus clean through for the opening goal. Sanchez is sometimes guilty of not checking over his shoulder, and can get the offside trap wrong. Jose Mourinho will have little interest in controlling territory at Wembley, he will wait for that one lapse in concentration to free one of his pacy forwards. (Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United, FA Cup semi-final, 5.15pm) Credit: GETTY IMAGES LB: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton) A week after a quite brilliant assist against Chelsea, Ryan Bertrand lines up against his former club in an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. The Southampton left-back will receive Premier League offers if they do succumb to relegation, and he could even have an outside chance of a place in England's World Cup starting XI. Danny Rose has been an inconsistent presence this season, and Gareth Southgate's preference for a back three also opens up the possibility of Betrand starting as the left centre-back. (Chelsea vs Southampton, FA Cup semi-final, 3pm) Credit: REUTERS RM: Alex Iwobi (Arsenal) With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang cup-tied and Henrikh Mkhitaryan struggling to regain fitness, Alex Iwobi can stake a claim for a starting spot against Atletico Madrid if he excels on Sunday. Iwobi was one of Arsenal's better performers in their defeat at Newcastle but remains a polarising figure, mainly because there is confusion about what type of player he is. Those who view him as a potential forward tend to focus on his pitiful end product and awkward finishing, while those who see him as a future midfielder praise his ball retention and spacial awareness. Iwobi should model his game on Tottenham's Mousa Dembele - a player derided for providing few goals or assists, who reinvented himself in a more withdrawn role where he could control games. (Arsenal vs West Ham, Sunday 1.30pm) Credit: PA CM: Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle) Shelvey's long-range passing was the scourge of Arsenal's defence last Sunday, and he lines up against an Everton midfield on Monday who also afford opponents time to think in possession. More importantly, the former Liverpool player now seems able to keep a lid on his emotions for 90 minutes and keep himself of the pitch. There is growing support to 'get him on the plane' to Russia, but Gareth Southgate might consider him too much of a loose cannon. Has been instrumental in Newcastle's surge to safety. (Everton vs Newcastle, Monday 8pm) Credit: GETTY IMAGES CM: Giogio Wijanldum (Liverpool) James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were a formidable midfield trio against Man City, but Wijnaldum might have a chance to change Jurgen Klopp's thinking before Liverpool's Champions League semi-final against Roma. Adam Lallana remains injured, so Liverpool are light on midfield options but Wijnaldum does feel something of a forgotten man. He was a key part of their performances in big matches last season, with his late runs into the box leading to some crucial goals. (West Brom vs Liverpool, Saturday 12.30pm) Credit: ACTION IMAGES LM: Jesse Lingard (Man Utd) Jose Mourinho is weighing up his attacking options, and a big name forward looks like missing out at Wembley. It would be surprising if it was Lingard however. In a team who too often look like a disparate collection of individuals, Lingard is the one player United have who can strike up partnerships easily. Like tonic, he is the perfect mixer. His willingness to run 'off the ball' is valuable in these big games and, Lingard likes to play with one or two touches. A week after Mourinho labelled his team 'masters of complication', Lingard's simplicity should assure his of a start. (Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United, FA Cup semi-final, 5.15pm) Credit: GETTY IMAGES CF: Shane Long (Southampton) Mark Hughes' striker of choice since he took over at Southampton, Long remains an invigorating, irritating and frustrating player to watch whether he plays for or against your team. Southampton will look to sit deep and hit Long in the channels against Chelsea at Wembley, a tactic to which he is ideally suited. Until the ball finally gets to him, that is, when a sight of goal goes straight to his head. Like a greyhound chasing after a plastic hare, Long enjoys the thrill of the chase without ever threatening a kill. (Chelsea vs Southampton, FA Cup semi-final, 3pm) Credit: REUTERS CF: Harry Kane (Tottenham) Kane can deliver the perfect answer to those who argue he is in a slump and fire Spurs to their first FA Cup final since 1991. Still feeling his way back to full fitness after an ankle injury, Kane nevertheless scored at Brighton on Wednesday despite a below-par showing. Although he did not score in Spurs' 2-0 league win over United, Kane bullied their centre-backs and pulled Mourinho's side from pillar to post with his impressive hold-up play and immaculate passing - it was arguably his best performance of the season. Kane will look to target any United defender who isn't Eric Bailly. (Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United, FA Cup semi-final, 5.15pm) FA Cup betting tips including a 4/1 treble for Manchester United v Tottenham at Betway >>
The pre-emptive Premier League (and FA Cup) team of the weekend
Welcome to our new Friday morning feature in which we preview the forthcoming Premier League weekend through the lens of 11 players. The idea is to pick a team of individuals likely to play a pivotal role in the outcome of their match, their club's fortunes or feature in the big stories come Monday morning. All Premier League matches will be covered in some way, and the aim is to predict the weekend's best players before a ball has been kicked. For reasons of simplicity and week-to-week consistency, the players will be arranged in a 4-4-2 'formation'. Apologies to those of you who were fond of Premier League Bingo, which has gone the same way as the dodo, Woolworth's and Harry Kane's popularity. GK: Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City) Credit: GETTY IMAGES Despite their fine work and Carlos Carvalhal's garrulous proverbs, Swansea are not out of the woods just yet. Southampton and Stoke will hold out hope of reeling them in, particularly with a trip to newly crowned champions Manchester City looming this Saturday. With City charging towards 100 points, Swansea might need their goalkeeper to save them at the Etihad and Lukas Fabianksi has quietly been one of the division's best stoppers. There is a dearth of outstanding goalkeepers across the Premier League, and one or two of the 'Big Six' might be keeping an eye of Fabianksi - at least as a highly-competent No.2. Goalkeepers do tend to catch the eye in teams who keep them busy, however. (Manchester City vs Swansea, Sunday 4.30pm) RB: Kurt Zouma (Stoke City) Credit: GETTY IMAGES The on-loan Chelsea defender is more than capable of playing out of position at right-back, but Stoke are diluting one of their best assets by doing so. Burnley's visit to the bet365 Stadium is Stoke and Paul Lambert's last chance to mount a great escape, and they cannot afford to keep leaking cheap goals. Switching to a back five and utilising Zouma as one of three centre-halves would surely get more out of him and offer Stoke more attacking threat on that flank. (Stoke vs Burnley, Sunday 1.30pm) CB: Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal) Credit: GETTY IMAGES Pilloried for losing his man at the near-post in successive league games, Arsenal's £35 million centre back could probably do with a breather. However, with Laurent Koscielny kept on ice for their Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid, Mustafi is likely to get a chance to make amends on Sunday. We are running out of space on the German's charge sheet: he is rash, one-paced, struggles to defend crosses and prone to losing his head when the pressure is turned up. However, Mustafi has proven himself capable of some extremely impressive performances against top-level opponents. He stuck to Diego Costa like a cheap suit in a 3-0 win over Chelsea a few weeks into his Arsenal career, did the same to Alvaro Morata at Stamford Bridge this season and smothered Harry Kane (and scored) in a home north London derby. The jury is still out, but the foreman is getting impatient. (Arsenal vs West Ham, Sunday 1.30pm) CB: Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur) Credit: REUTERS Sanchez's potential is the reason Spurs appear confident enough to cash-in on Toby Alderweireld this summer. The £42million they paid Ajax will look a sound long-term investment in a few years - Sanchez in confident in position, happy to defend high up the pitch and comfortable in one-vs-one situations. However, the 21-year-old does tend to make at least one mistake per game and that will give Manchester United hope going into their FA Cup semi-final. Spurs will put United under intense pressure in central midfield, but that does mean they leave acres of green grass in behind their centre backs. That proved their undoing against City last weekend, when a clipped long ball from Vincent Kompany set Gabriel Jesus clean through for the opening goal. Sanchez is sometimes guilty of not checking over his shoulder, and can get the offside trap wrong. Jose Mourinho will have little interest in controlling territory at Wembley, he will wait for that one lapse in concentration to free one of his pacy forwards. (Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United, FA Cup semi-final, 5.15pm) Credit: GETTY IMAGES LB: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton) A week after a quite brilliant assist against Chelsea, Ryan Bertrand lines up against his former club in an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. The Southampton left-back will receive Premier League offers if they do succumb to relegation, and he could even have an outside chance of a place in England's World Cup starting XI. Danny Rose has been an inconsistent presence this season, and Gareth Southgate's preference for a back three also opens up the possibility of Betrand starting as the left centre-back. (Chelsea vs Southampton, FA Cup semi-final, 3pm) Credit: REUTERS RM: Alex Iwobi (Arsenal) With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang cup-tied and Henrikh Mkhitaryan struggling to regain fitness, Alex Iwobi can stake a claim for a starting spot against Atletico Madrid if he excels on Sunday. Iwobi was one of Arsenal's better performers in their defeat at Newcastle but remains a polarising figure, mainly because there is confusion about what type of player he is. Those who view him as a potential forward tend to focus on his pitiful end product and awkward finishing, while those who see him as a future midfielder praise his ball retention and spacial awareness. Iwobi should model his game on Tottenham's Mousa Dembele - a player derided for providing few goals or assists, who reinvented himself in a more withdrawn role where he could control games. (Arsenal vs West Ham, Sunday 1.30pm) Credit: PA CM: Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle) Shelvey's long-range passing was the scourge of Arsenal's defence last Sunday, and he lines up against an Everton midfield on Monday who also afford opponents time to think in possession. More importantly, the former Liverpool player now seems able to keep a lid on his emotions for 90 minutes and keep himself of the pitch. There is growing support to 'get him on the plane' to Russia, but Gareth Southgate might consider him too much of a loose cannon. Has been instrumental in Newcastle's surge to safety. (Everton vs Newcastle, Monday 8pm) Credit: GETTY IMAGES CM: Giogio Wijanldum (Liverpool) James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were a formidable midfield trio against Man City, but Wijnaldum might have a chance to change Jurgen Klopp's thinking before Liverpool's Champions League semi-final against Roma. Adam Lallana remains injured, so Liverpool are light on midfield options but Wijnaldum does feel something of a forgotten man. He was a key part of their performances in big matches last season, with his late runs into the box leading to some crucial goals. (West Brom vs Liverpool, Saturday 12.30pm) Credit: ACTION IMAGES LM: Jesse Lingard (Man Utd) Jose Mourinho is weighing up his attacking options, and a big name forward looks like missing out at Wembley. It would be surprising if it was Lingard however. In a team who too often look like a disparate collection of individuals, Lingard is the one player United have who can strike up partnerships easily. Like tonic, he is the perfect mixer. His willingness to run 'off the ball' is valuable in these big games and, Lingard likes to play with one or two touches. A week after Mourinho labelled his team 'masters of complication', Lingard's simplicity should assure his of a start. (Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United, FA Cup semi-final, 5.15pm) Credit: GETTY IMAGES CF: Shane Long (Southampton) Mark Hughes' striker of choice since he took over at Southampton, Long remains an invigorating, irritating and frustrating player to watch whether he plays for or against your team. Southampton will look to sit deep and hit Long in the channels against Chelsea at Wembley, a tactic to which he is ideally suited. Until the ball finally gets to him, that is, when a sight of goal goes straight to his head. Like a greyhound chasing after a plastic hare, Long enjoys the thrill of the chase without ever threatening a kill. (Chelsea vs Southampton, FA Cup semi-final, 3pm) Credit: REUTERS CF: Harry Kane (Tottenham) Kane can deliver the perfect answer to those who argue he is in a slump and fire Spurs to their first FA Cup final since 1991. Still feeling his way back to full fitness after an ankle injury, Kane nevertheless scored at Brighton on Wednesday despite a below-par showing. Although he did not score in Spurs' 2-0 league win over United, Kane bullied their centre-backs and pulled Mourinho's side from pillar to post with his impressive hold-up play and immaculate passing - it was arguably his best performance of the season. Kane will look to target any United defender who isn't Eric Bailly. (Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United, FA Cup semi-final, 5.15pm) FA Cup betting tips including a 4/1 treble for Manchester United v Tottenham at Betway >>

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