Arsene Wenger is looking forward to being able to “shout at the next manager” of Arsenal as he prepares to pass on the reins after 22 years at the helm.
An iconic era in north London is coming to a close, with the Gunners’ long-serving manager taking in his final home game on Sunday against Burnley – with a 5-0 win providing a fitting farewell.
Wenger still has trips to Leicester and Huddersfield to take in before stepping aside, but attention has already started to shift towards what will happen once he is gone.
Various names have been offered up as potential candidates to fill a sizeable void in north London, while the man walking away remains adamant that he will be staying in football.
It remains to be seen whether that role will allow Wenger to return to Emirates Stadium, but he is hoping to be back as a fan and take in the experience of life in the stands.
“I would be happy to sit in the North Bank,” the Frenchman told Standard Sport.
“It depends. Do I work somewhere else or not? What do I do? In the job I do will I be free on the day Arsenal plays?
“I’d be happy to be in the North Bank. If you can offer me a ticket. The positive of that is I can shout at the next manager!”
Wenger has faced plenty of criticism himself in recent years, with Arsenal having slipped from a once lofty perch, but the 68-year-old claims he has learned to turn a deaf ear to detractors.
He added: “Fortunately in my job you learn to disconnect from yourself. You don’t analyse anymore how you feel. For 20 years I forgot about me and just cared about the problems I had to sort out.
“I must say when you’re such a long time in the job and people ask how do you feel you think ‘why does he ask me that, I don’t know how I feel.’ I have to learn to reconnect with myself now I have more time.
“It’s a new start for me.”
His impending departure has been welcomed by some in north London, but Wenger hopes that his legacy will see him remembered for the many good timeshe has brought to Arsenal over the years.
“Sometimes to make people happy you have to go somewhere else,” he joked.
“I want to make people happy because I have a certain idea of the game, the football to be played.
“My ambition was always to win with style. When you’re a big club you have that responsibility. For the supporters to have a special experience when they come to the club. That was always my target: making people happy.”