Former England stars Gary Neville and Gary Lineker as well as Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp have joined the football community in showering encomiums on Arsene Wenger after the Frenchman announced he will quit his post as Arsenal manager at end of the current season.
Wenger, who is currently the longest serving manager in the English Premier League having been in charge since 1996, made his intention known via a shocking press statement on Friday.
“Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football. The 98 team was amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks,” former Manchester United defender Neville wrote on Twitter on Friday.
Klopp also joined in praising Wenger who he described a fantastic manager.
“I am surprised. It is his decision. I respect that. He is an influence in football. Had a fantastic career. Outstanding personality,” Klopp told the BBC.
“He was there for so long, 22 years is a long time. Maybe in last few months not everybody was happy with this result or that.
“He was the dominating guy in mid 1990s, 2000s. It is different now because we have to challenge but in Germany he was a big role model.
“It will be different. Maybe he will go somewhere else. I wish him all the best.”
Lineker, who is a legend for Arsenal’s North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, paid tribute to the Frenchman.
“Arsene Wenger is to leave @Arsenal at the end of the season. He has given much of his life to Arsenal. He has brought much success to the club. He has given much to the game of football in our country. Merci et bonne chance, Monsieur Wenger. #Wenger,” Lineker tweeted.
The Frenchman, 68, joined the Gunners in 1996 and won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, leading the club to an unbeaten league campaign in 2003/2004.