Arsene Wenger is adamant he is leaving Arsenal in a stable financial position to be able to challenge for the English Premier League title.
"I've met people for whom I am the only Arsenal manager they have known, so now this is a good opportunity for the club to have new people and new ideas to continue to move the club forward, which is what I've tried to do my whole life".
It marked Arsenal's last chance of making it into the Champions League next season and all that remains now is for them to try to cement their sixth-place position in the Premier League to secure them another crack at the Europa League next season.
Wenger and Arsenal have been coy about what directly prompted his departure with a season remaining on his contract.
Arsene Wenger said he is looking forward to a fresh start despite his sadness at bidding farewell to Arsenal after 22 years in charge as manager.
The speech was followed by a lap of honour around the pitch where Wenger applauded every corner of the stadium, thanking fans for their support over the years.
On a day dominated by tributes to the Frenchman, Wenger was greeted with a guard of honour before kick-off and presented with a special gold trophy originally given to the club for winning the Premier League without losing a game in 2003/04 under his guidance.
"Thank you for having me for such a longtime". Thank you all for being such an important part of my life.
'What I will miss most about this job is the competition itself, ' Wenger wrote.
Arsenal's final two matches this term are away at Leicester and Huddersfield.
'I knew I had to sit with the guy for as long as it took. It has not sunk in yet because I am still so focused and you are a bit robotic thinking about the next game.
In Wenger's final home match as Arsenal boss, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang book-ended the scoring, with Alexandre Lacazette, Sead Kolasinac and Alex Iwobi also finding the back of the net.
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