Arsene Wenger admits he is still in shock after the curtain finally came down on his 22-year-reign as Arsenal manager and told The Guardian he will decide by the start of the World Cup as to do next.
The 68-year-old Frenchman — whose trophy-laden reign at the Gunners came to an end without any silverware in his final season and failed to secure Champions League football for next term — said he hadn’t discounted taking on a different role.
Wenger — who is to attend the World Cup in Russia as a pundit for Qatari-owned TV channel Bein Sports — stood down a year before his contract was due to end amid increasing discontent both among the fans and the board.
“It’s just too soon to know what I will do next,” he told The Guardianin an interview conducted in Paris this week shortly after he had taken charge of his 1,235th and final match in the Arsenal dugout — a 1-0 win at Huddersfield Town.
“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.”
Wenger, who guided Arsenal to three Premier League titles, including the famous Invincibles 2003-04 unbeaten season, and seven FA Cups, said he wasn’t certain whether, at his age, he wanted to go through the emotional turmoil of being a manager.
“But do I want to continue to suffer as much?” said Wenger.
“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.”