Arsene Wenger chose to call time on his 22-year Arsenal tenure due to the ‘very real threat’ of being sacked if he stayed.
Arsenal announced on Friday that Wenger would leave the club at the end of the current season.
The Frenchman signed a two-year contract at the end of the 2016/17 campaign, but Premier League form has not improved and there are concerns over non-attendance at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal face Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-finals, but such domestic under-performance placed greater pressure on the manager’s position.
According to The Guardian, Wenger made the decision ‘on his own terms’ as he feared that the club could act in the summer.
David Hynter says that there was a ‘very real threat’ the Frenchman would have been dismissed at the end of the season, and so Wenger walked before being pushed.
Arsenal hope the timing of the decision helps ‘galvanise’ the playing squad ahead of a crucial few weeks, with Champions League qualification on the line against Atletico.
As per The Independent, Wenger has not necessarily retired. Miguel Delaney and Ed Malyon – who corroborate the claims over Wenger desiring to avoid an unceremonious sacking – say Wenger ‘is not necessarily ready to end his career now’. Any offer, however, would ‘have to be right’ to persuade him to remain in management.