Arsene Wenger has managed his last of 1,235 matches with Arsenal and the reality has yet to set in for him.
“It’s just too soon to know what I will do next,” he says. “I haven’t even emptied my desk yet and in a way I am still in a state of shock. I am going to give myself until June 14, the day the World Cup begins, to decide. The question is do I still want to coach, to be on the bench, or is it time to take up different functions? The one thing I can say for sure is that I will continue to work.
“But do I want to continue to suffer as much? I want to continue to defend my ideas of football, that’s for sure. Spontaneously, I would say I still want to coach but I can’t really say that yet for sure.”
Wenger has worked for 34 straight years and hasn't had any time off since becoming manager of Nancy in 1984.
“I have friends who can go and lay on a beach all day long for the whole of their holidays and I envy them,” he says with a grin. “I just can’t do that. I get bored. I need to be doing something. I need a challenge. I have lived and breathed football all these years and it’s a passion – I can’t imagine doing anything else. That’s why in a way this is an exciting moment for me, too. I have a new page, a blank page in front of me. As all good writers know, that can be a time of anguish but I hope I won’t have too much of that. It’s also a chance to write new chapters.”