Arsene Wenger has yet to return to the Emirates since leaving Arsenal after promising to keep his distance – but recent comments suggest Mikel Arteta retains his support from afar
Arsene Wenger made a promise to himself after leaving Arsenal – that he would not be rushing back to the Emirates.
Wenger dedicated 22 years of his life to the north London club during a legendary spell before stepping down amid growing unrest in 2018.
Since the Frenchman’s departure, things have hardly been plain sailing for the Gunners.
After Unai Emery failed to steady the ship, Mikel Arteta is now in charge with the club sitting bottom of the Premier League table with no points and no goals from their opening three games.
Wenger was asked this week about their situation and if he would ever consider returning as manager and played down the chances.
He also gave his backing to former midfielder Arteta, insisting the club is “in good shape” and the current team has “potential”.
“I’m 71. I’ve given this club the best years of my life,” Wenger told BILD Live.
“Today the club is in good shape. They had two tough games, the team has potential and I hope they can come back. At the moment I’m just a fan.”
Despite now watching on as a fan, Wenger has still stood firm on his promise to stay away from the Emirates even as just a visitor.
“Would I return to the Emirates Stadium? I always said to myself that I would be leaving Arsenal completely,” he told BeIN Sport last year.
“That’s the decision I made.”
He later expanded on his position in an interview with BBC Sport, stating: “I have chosen to keep a complete distance.
“It doesn’t mean emotionally, just physically.
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“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.
“I felt that the best thing to do is cut it away.”
Whilst his former club are currently in dire straits, Wenger is still standing firm on his promise and keeping his distance in a bid to let the club carve out a new path.
But his latest comments suggest that he remains supportive of what Arteta is doing and his efforts to restore them to former glories.