Arsene Wenger Says Lack of 'Patience' Cost Him Arsenal Job

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2018

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - MAY 13: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger looks on during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Arsenal at John Smith's Stadium on May 13, 2018 in Huddersfield, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

Arsene Wenger has said a lack of "patience" and "forgiveness" at Arsenal led to his exit from the club. 

Wenger stepped down as manager after 22 years in charge, and the Gunners announced former Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain boss Unai Emery will be taking his place on Wednesday.

The Frenchman has reflected on his departure from the Gunners, and told beIN Sports (h/t MailOnline's Max Winters):

"We sat together and thought that would be better, to have somebody that comes in that has credit and patience.

"There's a great spirit in the team, it was a pleasure to work with them, there's great potential in the team, somebody coming in and having time will fight for the championship.

"You felt always there was an impatience there, no forgiveness anymore. When you're such a long time there there's impatience. We were used to always huge success but nothing was good enough anymore.

"Even this season we played in the League Cup final, the semi-final of the Europa League and didn't deserve to go out. Even if we had won the Europa League I could feel there was an impatience that was definite."

Wenger guided Arsenal to UEFA Champions League qualification in each of the first 20 years of his reign, and along with three Premier League titles he also lifted seven FA Cups.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

His last three victories in the latter competitionin 2014, 2015 and 2017—helped enhance his longevity in the job, but few Arsenal fans would agree with Wenger's assessment after a decade or more of visible decline for their side.

In his final two seasons, the Gunners finished fifth and then sixth, with the latter a particularly poor showing, per Squawka Football:

Arsenal finished the campaign with 63 points, and they also shipped 51 goals in the Premier League—their worst defensive record under Wenger—having gone 11 matches without keeping a clean sheet in one spell.

What's more, their only points away from home in 2018 came on the final day of the season at Huddersfield Town.

Coupled with repeated humiliations in the Champions League, in which they exited at the round of 16 for seven years running, and the Gunners' fragile tendency toward self-destruction, Wenger's exit had been a long time coming.

In the first leg of their UEFA Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid, the Gunners failed to see out a victory against the 10-man side after a comedy of errors at the back undid what had been a strong performance.

Football writers James McNicholas and Tom Williams felt it summarised Arsenal under Wenger perfectly:

After so long in north London—and having had a huge influence over the running of the club for much of his time there—Wenger could be in for a shock if he takes charge elsewhere.

Few managers remain at teams long term these days, so time may be at a premium at his next destination, and many clubs have moved toward the idea of having a head coach who focuses primarily on players and tactics, rather than a manager who is also heavily involved in transfers, contracts and the like.

As for Emery, contrary to Wenger's comments there has been a great deal of patience shown at Arsenal in recent years, and some of that will likely extend to him as he takes on the difficult task of reversing their decline.

The Spaniard will need to show visible signs of improvement early on if he's to keep supporters onside, though.