Arsene Wenger insisted that it was “not his decision” to announce his departure.
Wenger will take charge of his last European game as Arsenal manager at the Emirates tomorrow night before leaving in the summer.
Arsenal boss Wenger is understood to have jumped before being pushed as he knew the end was coming at the end of the season.
But Wenger could not resist a little hint that he did not want to go or for it to come out in this manner ahead of the Europa League semi-final with Atletico Madrid.
Wenger said: “The timing was not really my decision and for the rest, I have spoken about it already.”
Wenger was then asked what he felt about all the emotional “Merci Arsene” banners just weeks after “Wenger Out” banners were being displayed.
“When people are unhappy, it isn’t always a majority,” said Wenger. “We live in an emotional society where people can express how they feel.
“I want to win and continue to do what I have done my whole life. The next game is in Europe and then we face (Manchester) United.
“I want to win those games. Is there a perfect goodbye? I don’t know. I want to do as well as I can. We have been challenged mentally and I have seen my players respond.
“This group of players deserve something special and I want to do it for them and achieve it with them. My biggest satisfaction would be to be successful with the players I have.
“A Champions League place is at stake, for us. These are two teams that are used to be playing in the Champions League.”
Wenger also defended his record in Europe despite losing two finals – the UEFA Cup in 2000 and the Champions League in 2006 – and claimed that Arsenal are potentially only TWO players away from winning the title next season.
Wenger said: “This team has quality. Three years ago we finished second, last year we won the FA Cup. This season we were in the League Cup final and in the semi-finals. I am convinced in the future, with two or three additions, we can fight for the title.
“If I can add that to what I have done, I will be very happy. We have to put a performance in on the pitch. We face a very strong team, the toughest opponent in this competition. We must focus on the quality of our performance. It is a Champions League night.
“My pride has always been to give my best until the last day of my contract. At the moment, I am not ready to commit to anything.”
Wenger held up beating Real Madrid on the way to the final in 2006 as one of his European highlights. “There are many (highlights),” said Wenger.
“I played over 200 games for Arsenal in Europe. It is difficult to think of one. Maybe when we knocked Real Madrid out – when they had Ronaldo, Zidane, Figo.
“We went to the final without conceding a goal, knocked out Juventus. We got to the final and unfortunately lost with 10 men.”
Wenger also said he has a “high opinion” of Luis Enrique – a potential successor – but also insisted he will carry on working.
Wenger added: “I have a high opinion of him. But I don’t want to influence the job for the next manager.
“I don’t know what I will do. I will continue to work. Will I take a rest? I don’t know.”
Copyright © 2017| MegaIconMagazine. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.megaiconmagazine.com as the source.