Jack Wilshere, a former Arsenal player, has revealed that legendary manager Arsene Wenger did not step down as widely believed but was sacked by the Gunners board.
Wilshere, who has since joined West Ham, described the moment Wenger was “sacked” and the impact of the decision on his own future.
“I was in the last year of my contract, and I spoke with the manager at the time, Arsene Wenger, and he said that they won’t be offering me a new deal and that I could leave,” Wilshere told BBC’s ‘Football Focus’.
“But at the time I was injured and it was difficult, because I wasn’t fit and I wasn’t playing, and not many teams wanted me injured.
“So I decided to stay and I got back into the team and they finally offered me a deal in January which I was ready to sign, and then Arsene got sacked.
“It was strange, everyone was just shocked and Per Mertesacker, the captain, said a few words, and I think everyone was just in shock.
“It was strange. No-one really saw it coming, but it changed everything, and I wanted to wait to speak to the new manager. And I did, and he was brilliant, he was honest with me.
“He said you can stay, but you won’t be in my starting XI, so I thought it was the right time to finally leave.”
The Gunners begin life under new manager Unai Emery, on Sunday afternoon as Manchester City visit on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.