With just 18 months left to go on his current contract with Arsenal FC, questions about Arsene Wenger’s future are bound to come up. However the Frenchman made it clear that he does not see himself anywhere other than at the Emirates.
Wenger is currently in the middle of a three-way fight for the Premier League title with Manchester City and Leicester City, and perhaps has the best chance to win it for the Gunners in more than a decade, with the likes of Chelsea FC and Manchester United both out of the running.
When asked about the impending end to his contract, Wenger seemed to have taken a dig at clubs that tend to hire and fire managers at will (which has become quite common in modern football), and suggested that he still has a long time left at the club.
“You know that 18 months for a manager today is an eternity,” Wenger was quoted as saying on Arsenal FC’s official website. “I am completely focused on doing well and I want to give absolutely everything until the end of the season. Then I want to go through the next season.”
The Frenchman was quite cryptic about his future as the manager of Arsenal FC till this point, but made things quite clear when quizzed about managing another football club. He said, “I completely commit to this club and I don’t imagine managing anywhere else at the moment.”
His term as a manager might be drawing to a close with Wenger at the age of 66, but he says that he wants to continue working in football at some level or the other. He even suggested that he might take up a role that allows him to train and work with the youth players.
“I will always try to work if I have hands and try to be useful at some stage and some level. Maybe it will be a different level but I will always work,” said Wenger. “I could be managing kids, developing young players, it can be all kinds of roles but I will not run for FIFA, you can count on that.”
Is Wenger left with no successor?
People often tend to chalk out the similarities between Arsenal FC and FC Barcelona. However, one big point of difference is that FC Barcelona actually have a very healthy ecosystem that allows their former players to become coaches and managers at the club. Pep Guardiola, the late Tito Vilanova and current manager Luis Enrique are all testament to this fact.
However, the Gunners have a tendency to move their own legends away when they have grown old, and chose to sell them off instead of securing a future for them at the club. The likes of Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Patrick Viera have all not been offered any substantial roles at the club after their playing days were over.
Henry has had a few sessions with the junior teams but that was about it, while Bergkamp is one of the assistant coaches at Ajax FC. However, the biggest regret that the Gunners may have is losing someone like Patrick Viera to Manchester City, as the former midfielder has now become a manager at New York City FC which is owned by the City Football Group.