Last week, a report claimed Arsene Wenger wants to stick around with Arsenal until he reaches 1,000 Premier League game with the club. Could that really happen?
Before Arsenal played Spurs, the Daily Star ran a story claiming sources close to Wenger says he wants to reach four figures for Premier League matches with the club.
In order to do so, the Frenchman would need to remain at Arsenal for another 183 matches. That’s the rest of this season, and another five seasons after that.
The 68-year-old’s current contract lasts until 2019, so he’d need another few two-year deals to make it that far. At this stage, 21-and-a-half years into his managerial career with Arsenal, it’s hard to rule anything out.
The only real example of a similar situation we have is Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United. The Scottish manager stayed with the club for 27 years, and left at the age of 71.
Wenger would have to match Ferguson’s United stay, and remain at the club until he was 73.
No manager in the Premier League at the moment is that old. Roy Hodgson is 70, and that’s as close as it gets. There’s not really any precedent for it in today’s game, but that doesn’t generally stop Arsene Wenger.
Will Wenger ever decide to call it a day?
Personally, I think Wenger’s targets are more to do with trophies and getting the club in a good place than building up appearance records.
I think if he wins the Premier League, he’ll want to end his stay right then, whatever he says about honouring his contracts.
Without a Premier League title, or an even more unlikely Champions League trophy, it’s anybody’s guess when Wenger wil decide to leave Arsenal. He went nine years without any trophies and that just seemed to make him more determined to stay.
He had the chance to leave after ending that drought in 2014, and again after becoming the most successful FA Cup manager in 2017.
Both times, he decided to stay.
If it’s down to the board, I don’t have any faith in their ability to make a decision.
From the looks of things, Stan Kroenke makes the final call regardless. He clearly likes Wenger and is a fan of stability.
If Arsenal don’t find form and win the Premier League next year, which seems incredibly unlikely, it’s hard to imagine Wenger staying on.
Then again, that’s never stopped him before.