Arsene Wenger to stand down as Arsenal manager

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Arsene Wenger has announced he will stand down as Arsenal manager at the end of this season, ending a tenure spanning three decades with the Premier League club.

Wenger joined Arsenal in October 1996, leading the Gunners to the Premier League title the following season.

The 68-year-old won two further top-flight crowns and a record seven FA Cups as many of his methods from preparation to a bold and free-flowing tactical approach on the field revolutionised football in England.

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However, Arsenal last won the Premier League in 2003-04 and recent seasons have been marked by a growing discontent among the Emirates Stadium fanbase, with attendances dwindling at home games of late.

Wenger signed a two-year contract extension after last May's FA Cup final victory over Chelsea but he has decided the time is right to step aside with his Europa League semi-finalists currently sixth in the Premier League.

"After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season," Wenger said in a statement released on Arsenal's official website.

"I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. I managed the club with full commitment and integrity.

"I want to thank the staff, the players, the directors and the fans who make this club so special."

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