Did Wenger jump or was he pushed? – Arsenal boss proves evasive

The official club line is that Arsene Wenger made a conscious and unprompted decision to leave Arsenal, but not everybody is convinced.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (right)   -  Getty Images

Arsene Wenger passed up the chance to reject speculation that he was forced to stand down as Arsenal manager after overseeing Sunday's 4-1 Premier League win over West Ham at Emirates Stadium. 

It was announced on Friday that the Frenchman's 22-year reign would come to a close at the end of the season, but not everyone is convinced he made that call entirely of his own volition.

Rumours over the 68-year-old's future had lingered for a long while before this week's news amid growing fan unrest, although Wenger felt he addressed all he needed to in his initial statement.

Speaking to Sky Sports post-match, Wenger was reminded that he had previously underlined his commitment to see out his latest contract, which tied him to the club until 2019.

"I respect my contract," said Wenger, whose name rung out around the stadium following a late Arsenal rally.

"That is what I do. I was here and I respected my contract. I have nothing to add. It was in my statement what I wanted to say. Apart from that, there's not a lot to stay.

"I don't know [what his next move will be]. At the moment my focus and loyalty is with this club until the last day I'm here."

Asked if he could envisage ever returning to the club he joined in 1996, Wenger said: "I don't know. I think I have created a history with this club when you look at the Premier League games, the number of European games, the number of FA Cup games.

"We have built a history, a structure on a solid foundation. When you look at where the club was when I took over I think we have gone a good way together.

"Now I am happy that we won the game. For now let's continue to separate my feelings from the results of the team."

The game sprung into life after the interval, with Nacho Monreal breaking the deadlock before Aaron Ramsey's effort and a late Alexandre Lacazette double ensured Marko Arnautovic's superb strike was merely a consolation for the visitors. 

Next up for the Gunners is Thursday's visit of Atletico Madrid in the first leg of the Europa League semi-final.

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