Arsene Wenger has opened up about taking a short break from managerial duties after leaving Arsenal before deciding on his next move.
Arsene Wenger cast serious doubt on the prospect of him managing another Premier League club next season after the outgoing Arsenal manager claimed he would be “surprised” if he faced Jose Mourinho again over the next 12 months, the Telegraph UK reports.
In the clearest indication yet that Wenger is considering taking an extended break from management, the Frenchman admitted he was in “unknown territory” and uncertain about what the future holds.
“I don’t know, honestly,” Wenger said when asked if he expected to share a technical area again with the Manchester United manager.
“First of all he [Mourinho] will be at Manchester United next year certainly and I don’t know where I will be. I have worked at a top level for 35 years without any interruption and I think I am the only one in the world who has done that.
“So at the moment I am a bit in unknown territory. I don’t know where I will go from here. Will I take a break? So I would be surprised if I meet him next year.”
Arsenal’s 2-1 loss to United in Wenger’s 28th outing at Old Trafford was their 12th league defeat of a miserable campaign and left the club looking over their shoulder at Burnley, whom they face at the Emirates next Sunday and who can still finish above Wenger’s side.
But despite being marooned in sixth, 11 points adrift of fourth place and 39 points behind champions Manchester City, Wenger believes his successor will inherit a talented crop of young players.
Wenger fielded his youngest starting XI in the Premier League since a 8-2 drubbing by United at Old Trafford in August 2011 and the Arsenal manager was particularly impressed by the contributions of midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles and defender, Konstantinos Mavropanos, who was the 200th player to be handed his debut by Wenger. Both are 20.
“My successor will watch this game today and hopefully he will come to a positive conclusion because I think they can be part of the future of Arsenal football club and some of them have shown 100 per cent [they can be],” he said.
“Niles slowly gets to the player I think he can be in defensive midfield and he can create as well and Mavropanos has shown in training top qualities but there is always a question mark if you don’t see that under pressure in a big game – then you don’t know.
“The big players do better in big competition than training and they make a career. The others – we have many players who do less well in the competition than training. So that was the question mark before but I think he surprised everybody with his quality today.”