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Monday 23 July 2018

Wenger 'not ready' to face Arsenal as boss

NEW CHALLENGE: Arsene Wenger says his final farewell as Arsenal manager. Photo: PA
NEW CHALLENGE: Arsene Wenger says his final farewell as Arsenal manager. Photo: PA

Arsene Wenger oversaw victory in his final game as Arsenal manager before admitting he may look to work abroad to avoid coming up against the Gunners in the future.

The Frenchman's 22-year reign came to an end with a 1-0 victory at Huddersfield on Sunday as he was again treated to a guard of honour and a number of special moments. Wenger insists he remains unsure what his next move will be and said he would steer clear of any reunion with a club he has managed for over two decades.

"I'm not ready for that at the moment," he said.

"That would be very difficult, I'd stay at home that day. Maybe I don't envisage that at the moment.

"Yes I had offers, yes, of course. I had many offers. But at the moment, I have not said anything to anybody. I came out of a long process and you cannot just the next morning go somewhere else. It's impossible."

Asked if he would work in England again, Wenger added: "I don't know. Maybe it's better I go somewhere else."

Wenger took his leave of Arsenal at the end of a record Premier League season for managerial departures.

There were 10 changes in the 20 clubs' hotseats during the campaign and with the end of Wenger's 22-year reign announced in mid-April before he saw out the season, the total stands at 11 - equalling 2015-16's Premier League record.

The latter campaign saw eight in-season changes, including two at Aston Villa who dispensed with both Tim Sherwood and Remi Garde, before three pre-announced departures at the end of the season in the same manner as Wenger.

League Managers Association chief executive Richard Bevan said: "Loyalty to managers is still the best recipe for success. We have lost 50 managers, 11 in the Premier League. But if you look at clubs which are actually sticking with their managers for a two-year term, we have success.

"The likes of John Coleman doing a great job at Accrington Stanley, Neil Harris at Millwall, Sean Dyche (Burnley), Chris Hughton (Brighton), there are many examples."

PREMIER LEAGUE MANAGERIAL DEPARTURES 2017-18

SEPTEMBER: Frank de Boer (Crystal Palace)

OCTOBER: Craig Shakespeare (Leicester), Ronald Koeman (Everton)

NOVEMBER: Slaven Bilic (West Ham), Tony Pulis (West Brom)

DECEMBER: Paul Clement (Swansea)

JANUARY: Mark Hughes (Stoke City), Marco Silva (Watford)

MARCH: Mauricio Pellegrino (Southampton)

APRIL: Alan Pardew (West Brom), Arsene Wenger (Arsenal)

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