Arsenal legend Emmanuel Petit has revealed that his former manager Arsene Wenger will be a manager again quite soon.
Wenger has been out of a job since he finally called time on an incredible 20-year stint as Arsenal’s manager at the end of last season. Though he isn’t getting any younger at the age of 69, the Frenchman refused to go into retirement and opted to take a break instead.
A number of big clubs are rumored to have made contact or at least shown an interest in recruiting him. Real Madrid and Bayern Munich were both linked, while Paris Saint-Germain considered him for the director of football position. A number of clubs from Japan, a country in which he has previously managed to quite some success, have also shown an interest in signing him.
Rumors even spread about the possibility of Wenger going into international management. England were reportedly eager to snap him up until Gareth Southgate won the nation’s hearts with an incredible World Cup campaign.
However, Wenger seemed pretty insistent on having a first real break from football in nearly two decades. Now though, he is itching to get back to business and admitted his return isn’t too far away in a conversation with former Arsenal midfielder Petit.
‘He is going to manage soon. Yes, soon,’ Petit told Paddy Power.
‘I had a conversation three weeks ago when I was in Dubai. He was with a friend of mine. There are big rumours in France about him taking over as Bayern Munich manager.
‘Some of them said he is going to go to Madrid, I don’t believe in it. Some of them said there is big things at Paris Saint-Germain as a sporting director.
‘I still believe Arsene is passionate about the field, working with the players. This is something really important for him.
‘It’s vital, so I don’t see him working in the offices. He could, he has the knowledge and the intelligence to do that. He still has experience to give on the pitch.’
Despite a gloriously glittering career littered with trophies, Wenger’s final years at Arsenal were nothing short of a disaster. He began to lose the fans, who became frustrated with the poor results and started pleading for a change. Ultimately, though it was him who announced he was stepping down, he is believed to have been forced into the decision by the board. Such was the degree to which he had struggled in his formative years at the Emirates.
For a manager of his pedigree, it would be a rather indignant way to call time on what has otherwise been a magnificent career. If anything, it only served to whet Wenger’s appetite for success even more and to learn from the mistakes he made – a sort of reality check, or in Petit’s words, ‘a kick up the a***’.
He added: ‘What happened with Arsenal gave him a big kick up the a***.
‘It was meant to be. It was even a bit too late but I think that was good for him. Now he does not have the security and he has had to take a step back.
‘He has to think “what was missing, did I do everything right?” Just like a player after a game. I know him very well and he has done that.
‘I’m sure he knows exactly what was wrong. Even when he is almost 70-years-old that will serve him as an experience.
‘They needed a change. Even Arsene knows it. He knows that after 20 years at the same club and frustrating years. It’s like living with your wife, after a while things are not the same way. It was like a divorce, but it was meant to be.’