Ljungberg Seeks Wenger Advice As He Plots Arsenal Revival

Arsenal’s Swedish interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg awaits kick off in the English Premier League football match between Norwich City and Arsenal at Carrow Road in Norwich, eastern England on December 1, 2019. PHOTO: Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

 

Freddie Ljungberg intends to tap into the knowledge of Arsene Wenger and Sven-Goran Eriksson as he prepares for his second game in charge of Arsenal.

The 42-year-old interim manager took over from Unai Emery at the Emirates last week after the Spaniard was sacked, with Arsenal languishing in mid-table in the Premier League.

Ljungberg said Wenger, who brought the Swede to Arsenal as a player back in 1998, and Eriksson could offer valuable experience as he looks to build his own career.

Asked if he had spoken to former Arsenal boss Wenger, he replied: “No (not yet).

“I would really like to speak to him. I’m in contact with him but I haven’t spoke to him because it’s been a bit hectic, but it’s on my list to do so.

“He was here for 22 years as the coach so he has a lot of experience. And he probably has some things that he thinks are important that he can share with me and make me a better coach. That’s what I wanted to ask.”

While Ljungberg never played under his Swedish compatriot Eriksson, he admitted he heard good things about the former England manager.

“Sven is intelligent,” he said. “I spoke to him a lot when he was the manager of England because he was watching our games.

“I know in the past some stories of how he treated players and how he made them feel good and things like that.

“I have stolen a little bit of those ideas. He’s a great coach, it’s been a long time, and I hope I can speak to him soon.”

Arsenal drew 2-2 at Norwich on Sunday in Ljungberg’s first game in charge — extending their run without a victory in the Premier League to six matches.

They are in eighth place, seven points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, after just four wins from their first 14 matches.

Ljungberg, who said taking charge at the Emirates would be a proud moment, added the only way to change the atmosphere in the stadium was by performing on the pitch.

“When it comes to the Emirates, the fans want us to win football games,” he said.

“They want us to play good football and I think the only way to try to get a good atmosphere and get them going is to try to achieve that. Whether that’s me or someone else as a coach, I don’t think that matters so much.”

AFP

FIFA Name Arsene Wenger Global Football Development Chief

Arsenal’s former coach Arsene Wenger has been named FIFA’s world football development director, the Zurich-based body said on November 13, 2019.
Ozan KOSE / AFP

 

Veteran coach Arsene Wenger has been named FIFA’s chief of global football development, the governing body announced on Wednesday.

FIFA said the former Arsenal and Monaco coach would be responsible for the growth of the game “for both men and women around the world”, and would also be the “leading authority on technical matters”, including potential changes to the sport’s laws.

It added that Wenger, 70, would also be tasked with coach education and aiding a programme designed to help former players enter management.

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“I very much look forward to taking on this extremely important challenge,” Wenger said in a statement.

“Not only because I have always been interested in analysing football from a broader perspective but also because FIFA’s mission as world football’s governing body is truly global.”

The new role brings Wenger back to the game for the first time since 2018, when he left Arsenal after 22 years in charge.

Wenger made the Gunners one of the strongest sides in Europe, winning three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups and taking his team to the 2006 Champions League final.

On Saturday Wenger denied claims by Bayern Munich that they had turned down his offer to take over at the German champions after the sacking of Niko Kovac.

Wenger Contradicts Bayern’s Claim They Turned Him Down

Despite Criticisms, Wenger Gets Kroenke’s Full Backing
Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger is pictured prior to the UEFA Europa League football between Belgrade (Crvena zvezda) and Arsenal, on October 19, 2017 in Belgrade.
Andrej ISAKOVIC / AFP

 

Arsene Wenger has contradicted a claim by Bayern Munich that they turned him down for the vacant head coach’s job and accused the defending German champions of a lack of discretion.

Bayern need a new coach after Niko Kovac was sacked last Sunday with former Germany assistant Hansi Flick appointed interim boss for Wednesday’s win over Olympiakos and Saturday’s home league game against Dortmund.

On Thursday, Bayern put out a statement claiming Wenger had called club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge to express interest in replacing Kovac, but said the former Arsenal boss had been turned down.

However, Wenger, 70, rejected those version of events and criticised Bayern for leaking “rumours from everywhere”.

“My name came out of nowhere,” said Wenger in an interview with beIN Sports on Friday.

“On Wednesday, Rummenigge called me, I called back out of courtesy.

“We talked for four or five minutes, maximum, and he reported that they signed Flick (as interim coach) for the next two games.

“He asked me if I would be interested, because they are looking for a coach.”

Wenger says he told Rummenigge that he would think about it and “we decided together” to talk again “next week because I am in Doha until Sunday night. This is the true story.”

After a decade as Bayern’s president, Uli Hoeness will step down on Friday and Wenger said Bayern are at a “turning point” with Rummenigge also set to quit as chairman within the coming year.

Between them, Hoeness and Rummenigge have helped grow Bayern into one of the most successful clubs in Europe.

“It seems that the future is uncertain” at Bayern, said Wenger who added that the German club had always been “very discreet and direct” in the past, “but today (they are) very exposed with rumours coming from everywhere”.

Wenger wished Bayern “good luck” in finding a replacement for Kovac.

Other candidates for the vacancy, Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel and Ajax’s Erik ten Hag, already made it clear last week that they will not join Bayern before at least the end of the season.

Wenger, Still In ‘Shock’, Sets Deadline For Future Plans

Arsenal’s French manager Arsene Wenger watches on from the touch line during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 22, 2018. PHOTO: Ian KINGTON / AFP

 

Arsene Wenger admits he is still in shock after the curtain finally came down on his 22-year-reign as Arsenal manager and told The Guardian he will decide by the start of the World Cup as to do next.

The 68-year-old Frenchman — whose trophy-laden reign at the Gunners came to an end without any silverware in his final season and failed to secure Champions League football for next term — said he hadn’t discounted taking on a different role.

Wenger — who is to attend the World Cup in Russia as a pundit for Qatari-owned TV channel Bein Sports — stood down a year before his contract was due to end amid increasing discontent both among the fans and the board.

“It’s just too soon to know what I will do next,” he told The Guardian in an interview conducted in Paris this week shortly after he had taken charge of his 1,235th and final match in the Arsenal dugout — a 1-0 win at Huddersfield Town.

“I haven’t even emptied my desk yet and in a way I am still in a state of shock.

“I am going to give myself until June 14, the day the World Cup begins, to decide.

“The question is do I still want to coach, to be on the bench, or is it time to take up different functions? The one thing I can say for sure is that I will continue to work.”

Wenger, who guided Arsenal to three Premier League titles, including the famous Invincibles 2003-04 unbeaten season, and seven FA Cups, said he wasn’t certain whether, at his age, he wanted to go through the emotional turmoil of being a manager.

“But do I want to continue to suffer as much?” said Wenger.

“I want to continue to defend my ideas of football, that’s for sure. Spontaneously, I would say I still want to coach but I can’t really say that yet for sure.”

‘Write new chapters’

Wenger, who says he has not held discussions about a potential role with the Qatari owners of French champions Paris Saint Germain, with whom he has close links and who he advised them to buy the club, concedes he is too restless to just loll around kicking his heels.

“I have friends who can go and lay on a beach all day long for the whole of their holidays and I envy them,” he said.

“I just can’t do that. I get bored. I need to be doing something. I need a challenge.

“I have lived and breathed football all these years and it’s a passion -– I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Wenger said his lack of a firm plan for the future also filled him with anticipation.

“That’s why, in a way, this is an exciting moment for me, too,” said Wenger.

“I have a new page, a blank page in front of me.

“As all good writers know, that can be a time of anguish but I hope I won’t have too much of that. It’s also a chance to write new chapters.”

Wenger, who will also spend time in Russia travelling with close friend David Dein, the man who took the inspired decision to bring him from Japan to manage Arsenal in 1996, said he believed he had helped improve English people’s perceptions of the French.

“When I arrived, you know, I was a complete unknown and I have always had the impression I am representing my country in a way,” said Wenger.

“In a land where there has always been so much animosity between the English and the French I am proud to have achieved certain things and perhaps to have opened doors for other French coaches.

“Don’t forget, when I arrived in England a foreign manager was a very rare thing.”

AFP

Wenger Predicts European Super League

Departing Wenger Seeks Peaceful End To Mourinho Rivalry
Arsenal’s French Manager Arsene Wenger                                                 Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Arsene Wenger predicts a European super league will be introduced over the next few years, leading to major changes for the Premier League.

The outgoing Arsenal boss believes Europe’s elite clubs will fight for the introduction of a continental, weekend league to challenge the success of the English top flight.

Wenger, 68, will leave the Emirates Stadium after a reign lasting almost 22 years when the season ends away to Huddersfield on Sunday.

But the Frenchman is predicting a huge overhaul of football in the near future, with Premier League fixtures relegated to midweek slots.

“The next evolution? Maybe I will see you in a few years and you will certainly have a European league over the weekends,” he said.

“A domestic league will certainly play Tuesday/Wednesday. I think that is the next step we will see.”

Wenger said the move was “inevitable” because the big clubs would want a bigger slice of the money that comes into football and would be less willing to share it with their smaller rivals.

The idea of a European league has been mooted for years and could be driven by dwindling Champions League attendances and the fact more revenue is demanded for the Premier League television rights than UEFA’s elite club competition.

“It will be soon because it is a way for other clubs to fight against the Premier League,” Wenger said.

The Arsenal boss predicted matches would take place at weekends to boost crowds.

“Look at the audiences of the Champions League,” he said. “There’s a contrast there because if you look at the audiences of the Champions League it is not fantastic.

“But if you have Real Madrid v Barcelona, or Real Madrid v Arsenal, or Manchester United v Bayern Munich every week the audiences will be good.”

Such a dramatic shift would mean major changes to the Premier League, said Wenger.

“If you want to make it more attractive you have to go down to 16 (teams),” he said. “And make a real competition of it. But it will be smaller if it goes to Europe.”

AFP

‘It’s Not Easy To Say Goodbye’ – Wenger

Arsenal’s French manager Arsene Wenger                                                                     Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Arsene Wenger admits his long goodbye from Arsenal has been a bittersweet experience as he prepares to finally say farewell on Sunday.

The Frenchman will take charge of Arsenal for the last time as his 22-year reign comes to an end with the Gunners’ Premier League clash at Huddersfield this weekend.

The 68-year-old has been on a prolonged farewell tour since Arsenal announced on April 20 that he had agreed to part ways with the north London club following another troubled season.

Wenger has tried to stay focused on football, but he conceded it hasn’t always been easy amid all the nostalgia triggered by his impending departure.

“I enjoyed some aspects of it, yes – and not all,” Wenger said during his final pre-match press conference at Arsenal’s training base on Thursday.

“It was not always easy to cut slowly with what you do everyday and always you want to do it as well as you can and you don’t want to forget to thank people who deserve it.

“There are some people here who I employed 20 years ago who did fight for me every single day so it is not easy to say goodbye.”

While Arsenal have insisted Wenger’s exit was on mutual terms, the Gunners boss has dropped several hints that he would have preferred to stay on for the final year of his contract.

But that was impossible after Arsenal’s dismal run left them languishing in sixth in the Premier League amid growing fan unrest at Wenger’s failure to win the title since 2004.

The final weeks of Wenger’s reign have seen that inconsistent form continue as the Gunners crashed out of the Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid — condemning the club to another season without Champions League football.

A 3-1 defeat at Leicester on Wednesday leaves Arsenal without an away league point in 2018.

Control the animal 

The highlights of Wenger’s farewell have been home victories over West Ham and Burnley, the latter followed by an emotional on-pitch presentation to mark his final match in charge at the Emirates Stadium.

Wenger would have liked the announcement of his departure to have been delayed until the end of the season to avoid all the attention.

“Yes, of course. Because there was more questioning as well, you do not feel the same adhesion to what you do and when you stay here for such a long period you question yourself ‘is it time now to go or not?'” he said.

“We live in a society where people want quick change and that has changed in recent years.”

Wenger led Arsenal to three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, as well as reaching the Champions League final in 2006 and transforming English football with his ground-breaking commitment to sports science.

Those feats will see Wenger ranked as Arsenal’s greatest manager, but the urbane Frenchman’s professorial image sometimes obscured his fierce will to win.

He engaged in long-running feuds with Jose Mourinho and Alex Ferguson, while battling several bosses in touchline rows that turned physical.

“I’m very passionate and at a very young age, I realised that if I wanted to survive in this job, I had to get control of my emotions or I wouldn’t survive,” he said.

“There’s a long learning process of controlling who you really are. Control the animal that is inside you. That helps me a lot.

“I went through some fantastic periods in my life, and as well some more difficult periods. The fact that I managed to keep control of my emotions and my reactions helped me a lot to do my job.

“You have seen the real Arsene Wenger, one aspect of me, which is a desperate guy who wants to win football games.

“That’s the thing that matters. That’s what is a really big part of my personality.”

AFP

Wenger ‘Surprised’ At Job Offers Ahead Of Arsenal Exit

Wenger 'Surprised' At Job Offers Ahead Of Arsenal Exit
Arsenal’s coach Arsene Wenger from France looks on during a football match on March 8, 2018. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

 

Arsene Wenger said Tuesday he has been surprised at the number of job offers he has received since his departure from Arsenal was announced, urging the club to appoint his successor as soon as possible.

The Frenchman will step down as Gunners boss after Sunday’s Premier League trip to Huddersfield, with Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri reportedly the first choice of the Arsenal board as his replacement.

Wenger will leave after almost 22 years at the helm and was handed an emotional tribute from the club following Sunday’s 5-0 defeat of Burnley, his final game in charge at the Emirates Stadium.

The 68-year-old has said he will take a break from football before deciding on his next move but revealed on Tuesday he has not been short of suitors since last month’s surprise announcement.

Asked if he had received any offers, Wenger replied: “Yes, more than I expected!

“At the moment I focus on doing my job well. I didn’t analyse anything or consider anything. I want to work well until the last day of my contract, and then after, I will rest a little bit and go from there.”

Allegri, who is set to deliver a fourth successive Serie A title with Juventus, is reportedly the frontrunner but Carlo Ancelotti and Luis Enrique, both currently out of work, have been linked with the job.

“I think the earlier, the better,” Wenger said when asked if an appointment should be made ahead of the World Cup, but he refused to be drawn on who he favoured.

“People want hope and they need as well to prepare for the next season. I must say the squad doesn’t need much, because there’s a huge potential in there.

“There’s a good spirit, a good basis. It needs two or three additions and this team will compete for the championship next year.”

Arsenal’s last two games of the season come on the road, with the club yet to take a point away from home since the turn of the year.

Wenger is set to depart with the club finishing in sixth, the lowest position of his reign, and with no silverware following their Europa League semi-final exit at the hands of Atletico Madrid last week.

Captain Laurent Koscielny was carried off on a stretcher early on in Thursday’s 1-0 defeat in Spain and Wenger confirmed the 32-year-old is “devastated” as he faces up to six months on the sidelines with a ruptured Achilles.

AFP

‘Lucky’ Guy Wenger Looks To Fresh Start After Fitting Farewell

Arsenal’s French manager Arsene Wenger gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on April 29, 2018. 
Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

 

Arsene Wenger said he is looking forward to a fresh start despite his sadness at bidding farewell to Arsenal after 22 years in charge as manager.

Wenger was given a fitting send-off in his final home game at the Emirates on Sunday as Arsenal produced a devastating performance to thrash Burnley 5-0.

On a day dominated by tributes to the Frenchman, Wenger was greeted with a guard of honour before kick-off and presented with a special gold trophy originally given to the club for winning the Premier League without losing a game in 2003/04 under his guidance.

“This stadium I have worked on every single part from your press conference to the technical areas, so it is part of myself,” said Wenger, who was given a hero’s reception on a final lap of honour at full-time.

“I can say, guys who managed 22 years in a club of that stature, there are not many.

“I have been lucky to have the comfort to work for such a long time in a club of that stature.

“On the other hand, I have to think, I will cherish every minute I had here, but as well it is a new start for me.”

Wenger, 68, hasn’t hidden his desire to continue working in some capacity next season, having also hinted his departure wasn’t entirely his own decision.

Despite winning three Premier League titles in his first decade in charge, many fans had become frustrated with the Gunners’ inability to challenge for the Premier League and Champions League in recent years.

Arsenal will finish this season in sixth, as low as they ever have in Wenger’s reign, and defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-finals means for a second straight season Wenger has failed to qualify Arsenal for the Champions League.

Nevertheless, there was rightly an atmosphere steeped in nostalgia for the great days Wenger has given the club on Sunday in a 60,000-capacity stadium he helped to deliver and design when the club moved from Highbury in 2006.

“It means that even if they are not always happy, they still respected me and wanted to show at least I gave my total commitment to do well,” said Wenger of his ovation from the supporters.

“That’s how I see it. They know my commitment was genuine, total, with complete integrity, it is, of course, a big compliment.”

Costa Ends Europa League Dream For Wenger, Arsenal

Arsenal’s German defender Shkodran Mustafi (L) vies with Atletico Madrid’s Spanish forward Diego Costa during the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Arsenal FC. GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

 

Diego Costa killed Arsene Wenger’s last hope of a glorious Arsenal farewell as his goal sent Atletico Madrid through to the Europa League final on Thursday. 

Wenger’s 250th European fixture with Arsenal also to proved to be his last, decided by a typically ruthless finish from Costa, who delivered the sort of barnstorming display defenders must have nightmares about.

Arsenal’s defence, fragile and nervous throughout, were particularly susceptible and this 1-0 defeat, 2-1 on aggregate, means Wenger’s final season in charge will end with his team missing out on Champions League qualification for a second year in a row.

For all his domestic achievements, Wenger will also depart without a European trophy to his name and it remains to be seen how sitting outside the continent’s premier tournament will affect Arsenal’s pursuit of a new coach, and players, this summer.

More immediately, there was the concerning sight of Laurent Koscielny being carried off on a stretcher in the 12th minute after the defender went down, with nobody near him, clutching his left Achilles.

Arsenal and France now face an anxious wait, with the start of the World Cup just over a month away.

Koscielny’s exit made a tough task all the more difficult for Arsenal, who were always going to be up against it at the Wanda Metropolitano, where Atletico have not lost in the league all season and not conceded a goal since January.

It was perhaps also telling that Costa’s physicality and Atletico’s defensive rigour ultimately proved decisive, two qualities Wenger’s Arsenal in recent years have so lacked.

Costa was hunting Arsenal’s back four from the outset as he wrestled past Koscielny, knocked over Nacho Monreal before firing wide with only David Ospina to beat.

Koscielny was substituted soon after, replaced by Calum Chambers, but Arsenal enjoyed one of their best spells midway through the half, dominating possession and reducing Atletico to a series of rushed clearances.

– Clinical Costa –

At the back, however, they were shaky, as Ospina had balls booted out of his grasp by his teammates on more than one occasion while their passing out of the back was too often careless.

By the end of the half, Atletico had regained the ascendancy and in injury-time, they struck. Granit Xhaka’s weak header put Arsenal on the back foot and Antoine Griezmann threaded through to Costa.

He held off Hector Bellerin with ease before coolly finishing past Ospina.

Arsenal came again after the interval. Aaron Ramsey bundled his way through but the ball would not fall for him six yards out while Mesut Ozil flashed too sumptuous deliveries across the face of goal.

Griezmann could have put the tie to bed after Costa had turned Shkodran Mustafi inside out but the defender recovered just in time to block.

A vintage Costa performance would not be complete without a scuffle and he provided it when Mustafi tried too enthusiastically to grab the ball off him for a free-kick.

Both players were booked and when Costa was substituted soon after, the striker was given a standing ovation.

Arsenal piled forward late on in search of an equaliser but in truth, their night ended without them really creating a clear-cut chance.

When the final whistle blew, Wenger marched straight down the tunnel as around him, Atletico’s celebrations began.

AFP

Wenger Receives Warm Trafford Send-Off

Arsenal’s French manager Arsene Wenger gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England, on April 29, 2018. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Outgoing Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was warmly greeted by the Manchester United fans and presented with a gift by former United boss Alex Ferguson on his final visit to Old Trafford as Gunners’ boss on Sunday.

Wenger and Ferguson were fierce rivals for many years as Arsenal and United battled for Premier League supremacy in Wenger’s first decade of a 22-year reign in charge.

However, the tension between the two has since eased, and Ferguson greeted Wenger on the touchline before kick-off before presenting him with a glass momento alongside current United manager Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho has also had his spats with Wenger, most famously describing the Frenchman as a “specialist in failure” for his inability to win the Premier League since 2003/04.

It was all smiles as the Portuguese and Wenger enjoyed a warm embrace before kick-off while Wenger was applauded by the United support.

“There are some great clubs and some fantastic competition in the Premier League now, but United against Arsenal was great for the game. It made the Premier League,” Ferguson told the United website.

“Virtually every game we played against Arsenal, there was a real edge to the match. There were confrontations because there were two teams and two managers battling for one award: the Premier League.

“In my time, we had a few arguments but I always did really respect the man because he did a fantastic job at his club.”

AFP

Departing Wenger Seeks Peaceful End To Mourinho Rivalry

Departing Wenger Seeks Peaceful End To Mourinho Rivalry
(Files) Arsenal’s French manager Arsene Wenger attends a training session on the eve of their Europa League first leg semi-final football match against Atletico Madrid at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground on April 25, 2018. Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Arsene Wenger says he hopes his farewell match at Old Trafford on Sunday passes off “peacefully” but has admitted he is unsure he will ever be friends with Jose Mourinho.

Wenger, 68, made the surprise announcement last week that he will end his 21-year reign at Arsenal when the season is completed.

His rivalry with Mourinho often spilled over into physical altercations dating as far back as when the Portuguese took over at Chelsea in 2004 and promptly grabbed Premier League supremacy from Wenger’s Arsenal team.

Wenger had not got the better of Mourinho in a competitive fixture until Arsenal beat United 2-0 at the end of last season.

Mourinho has greeted Wenger’s announcement warmly and even suggested they could “even be friends in the future”.

“It depends,” said Wenger. “I respect him of course… you should give me a little bit of peace for my final weeks and not try to push me into another confrontation.

“I want to go peacefully, and with Mourinho now because he is a great manager. I say goodbye to everyone. In France, we say ‘au revoir’ which means you might see me again.”

Before Mourinho, Wenger frequently clashed with Alex Ferguson in Arsenal-United matches, but former United chairman Martin Edwards revealed in 2017 that he held talks with Wenger about replacing Ferguson when the Scot originally announced he would retire in 2002.

Ferguson changed his mind and would stay for another 11 years while Wenger said at the time Arsenal’s “values” meant he would never have accepted the job anyway.

“I turned many clubs down to stay here and face the challenge when we built the stadium. I don’t regret that because I see my life and what is important to me,” he said on Friday.

The Gunners go to Old Trafford ahead of the second leg of their Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid, with the tie delicately balanced after a 1-1 draw at the Emirates on Thursday.

AFP

Revolutionary Wenger ‘Like Che Guevara’, Says Boa Morte

Revolutionary Wenger 'Like Che Guevara', Says Boa Morte
Arsenal’s French manager Arsene Wenger attends a training session on the eve of their Europa League first leg semi-final football match against Atletico Madrid at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground on April 25, 2018. Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Arsene Wenger was compared Thursday to Che Guevara for his revolutionary impact at Arsenal by former player Luis Boa Morte.

The Frenchman last week announced he would leave the club at the end of the season after 22 years in charge, during which time he won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, and in 2004 guided his “Invincibles” to the only unbeaten season in England’s modern top-flight history.

Preston North End were also unbeaten in the 1888-89 season, but in those days there were just 12 teams in the English Football League.

“I’m surprised, and I’m sad about it,” said the former Portuguese international Boa Morte, who was brought to England as a 19-year-old by Wenger in 1997.

“He’s a revolutionary. He’s like Che Guevara because he created a revolution at Arsenal.

“He created unbelievable things and I don’t know who else will come along and do what he did, winning the league without a defeat. The impossible became possible. Let’s see who will come next.”

Boa Morte, now 40, won the Premier League and FA Cup double in 1998 with Arsenal. He retired in 2013 but will play in Hong Kong next month for an all-star veterans team at the city’s Soccer Sevens tournament.

AFP