Arsène Wenger has revealed he is set to return to football in the new year, a prospect that certainly appeals to former Arsenal man Robert Pires.
Robert Pires hopes Arsène Wenger takes up a new job as expected in 2019, believing football needs more men like the former Arsenal manager. Wenger has been out of the game since departing Emirates Stadium at the end of last season, but he revealed to Bild this week that he is set for a return in January, although he did not reveal a potential destination. And ex-Arsenal winger Pires, a key member of two of Wenger's three Premier League title-winning sides, is keen to see the 68-year-old involved again.
Football a poorer place without Wenger's passion
Asked where he could see Wenger taking a job, Pires told Sky Sports News: "This is a good question for Arsène Wenger. I hope he will find a new project, a new challenge. I don't know where - maybe in the UK, maybe in France. Football needs people like Arsène Wenger. He's a great manager, he knows everything about football, he loves football, he's passionate. I don't know what's happened in the last couple of weeks for Arsène, but I want to see him again on the bench."
Unai Emery pulling Gunners back into contention
However, Pires also believes Arsenal have done a good job at replacing Wenger, backing the club for success domestically and in Europe under new boss Unai Emery.
"[Emery] was a very good manager with Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain," he added. "It was difficult in the beginning in England against Man City and Chelsea, but now they're on a very good run. Nine games, nine victories. I watched the last game against Fulham and they played very well. Of course it was very difficult to replace Arsene Wenger, but he's a great manager with a lot of character. I think the message between him and the players is perfect. For Unai Emery and Arsenal, there are two objectives. The first is to finish in the top four. I think they can - they have a good squad with a lot of quality, they spent a lot of money in the summer on some players. The second objective is why not win the Europa League? Unai Emery is an expert - he won it three times with Sevilla. I believe in Arsenal, I am very happy. Now they can fight for the title and this is good news for all of the Arsenal fans."