Legendary Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger attends first game since leaving the club under a cloud more than four years ago… with fans giving Frenchman a hero’s welcome for West Ham clash at the Emirates
- Arsene Wenger enjoyed a legendary spell as Arsenal manager from 1996 to 2018
- The Frenchman has not returned to the club since his departure as manager
- Mikel Arteta has outlined a desire to see Wenger come back in some sort of role
- Wenger attended Arsenal’s game vs West Ham – his first in more than four years
Arsene Wenger attended his first Arsenal game since leaving the club in 2018 as the Gunners entertained West Ham.
Wenger, 73, spent 22 years as Arsenal boss from 1996-2018, overseeing several triumphs, along with the move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium.
However, he departed at the end of the 2017-18 season after mounting fan pressure and protests over the lack of progress at the club while he was at the helm.
Arsene Wenger attended his first Arsenal game since his departure as manger back in 2018
Wenger was present for the Gunners first game after the World Cup as they hosted West Ham
The Frenchman now works as chief of global development at FIFA and had not attended an Arsenal game over the past four and a half years.
Upon his appearance at the Gunners’ game on Monday, Arsenal fans were quick to give their former boss a hugely positive welcome.
His presence for their game against West Ham is a major moment in Wenger’s ongoing relationship with the club, with Mikel Arteta previously outlining his desire to see the former boss return and even have a role within the club.
In 2021, Arteta said: ‘We would be delighted to have him (Wenger) much closer.
‘I think he would have a great time just seeing the environment that he can create around him when he’s around this place because of the respect, admiration and the love that everybody at the club has for what he’s done, as well as for what he represents as a person.
Wenger enjoyed a successful spell as Gunners boss from 1996-2018 but hadn’t returned since
Current Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta (L) has previously outlined his desire to see Wenger (R) come back to the club in some sort of role
‘What I can say is that I would like him to be much closer, personally, to me because I think it would be a great help, I think it would be a great help for the club.
‘Things take time and I think he has to dictate those timings. What I can say is from my side and I can say, I think, on behalf of everybody, is that we would be delighted to have him much closer.’
Wenger has also outlined in the past why he has not visited the Gunners since his exit as manager.
Two years ago, the Frenchman explained: ‘I have chosen to keep a complete distance. It doesn’t mean emotionally, just physically.
‘It’s important people don’t see you as a shadow. It may look like you’re still trying to influence things and have your way.
Wenger managed 1,235 games while in charge at the Emirates and won 17 major trophies
‘I felt that the best thing to do is cut it away.’
Wenger managed the Gunners for a mammoth 1,235 games – winning 707 of them – and ending with a 57.2 per cent win ratio.
He won 17 trophies while at the club including three Premier League titles.
However, he was best known for Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ season in 2003-04 when they won the Premier league without losing a game across the campaign.
Wenger was voted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2006 and left the Emirates with a legacy of playing an attacking brand of football, while also bringing through several talented youngsters.