Arsene Wenger ‘still in a state of shock’ after leaving as Arsenal manager

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ESPN’s Arsenal correspondent Mattias Karen talks through Arsene Wenger’s last season in charge of the club which ended without any silverware.

Arsene Wenger has said he is “in a state of shock” at no longer being Arsenal manager but wants to make a decision on his future before the World Cup.

Wenger, adjusting to life away from the club he led for 22 years, told beIN Sports he would decide whether to manage another team or possibly move into a director’s role.

“I haven’t even emptied my desk yet and in a way I am still in a state of shock,” he said. “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 said he would not take over at another English team because he could not see himself managing against Arsenal.

However, the 68-year-old said he had not had talks about a chief executive role at Paris Saint-Germain despite his close ties with chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

“I have had no discussions with them recently, I can tell you that in all honesty,” he said. “I have always been close to those in charge of PSG — I advised them to buy the club because I was convinced there were great things that could be done in a city which loves football.

“They have worked well and made a good start. I think people are too hard on them, too demanding. PSG just won all four national trophies in France and it’s not enough, apparently.

“But you cannot build a club with the idea that if you don’t win the Champions League then it’s a failure.”

Wenger added that he could not see himself enjoying retirement and a life away from football, saying: “I have friends who can go and lie on a beach all day long for the whole of their holidays and I envy them.

“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.”

Mattias is ESPN FC’s Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.