Arsene Wenger Admits Arsenal Exit Was a Relief Following Steady Downturn in Health

Arsene Wenger has admitted the pressure and criticism he faced during his final years as manager of Arsenal negatively affected his health in the long run.

Wenger stepped down from his managerial position with the Gunners at the end of last season following a 22-year spell with the club that included three Premier League titles, seven FA Cups and seven Community Shields. Throughout Wenger's final few years at the Emirates Stadium, the Frenchman was heavily criticised regarding the club's inability to compete with other elite sides in Europe.

He was replaced in the summer by Unai Emery, who has led the Gunners to third place this season, and has already matched the amount of points Arsenal won under Wenger last season with seven games left to be played. 

Speaking at a conference (as quoted by the Daily Mail) Wenger admitted he was relieved to finally escape the pressure of the Gunners' supporters. The former manager revealed: "In life, there are some splits that you choose and some that are imposed on you. In this case, it was a bit of a mix of the two. Because, at a certain point, the fans need a change. In my last year, it was becoming difficult.

"So it was both a break-up but also a relief for me because carrying that responsibility for so long, with all the obligations that come with it, it wears you out. It's extraordinarily difficult. And last year I felt I was beginning to pay the price health-wise."

Following his managerial career, the 69-year-old has worked as a pundit for beIN Sports and may be set to return to football as the head of technical development at FIFA. Wenger recently picked up a Lifetime Achievement award at the Laureus World Sports Awards, and has reportedly been approached by several European clubs.


Arsenal are set to travel to Goodison Park to take on Everton in the Premier League on Sunday evening before they host Napoli in a Europa League quarter-final clash on Thursday 11 April.

Source : 90min