Arsene Wenger’s long term assistant at Arsenal Pat Rice has admitted that the Frenchman has been left feeling ”very hurt,” by his soured relationship with the clubs fans.
Rice is a hugely popular figure at the Emirates, having played for the Gunners before going on to become Wenger’s number two from 1996 to 2012.
Speaking to Sky Sports the former Arsenal assistant paid tribute to the departing Frenchman and also claimed that he has been the greatest manager in the clubs history.
‘I think he would feel very hurt about the reaction he was getting but at the end of the day we all know we are in a business where it can happen to anybody,’ Rice said.
‘It is not the first time it has happened to a football manager but when you think what he has done for our great club it is a shame that it had to end this way.
‘I’m just hoping that for the last home game of the season [against Burnley] everybody shows their appreciation to a wonderful man and a tremendous manager.’
‘In my eyes he is the best Arsenal manager there has ever been,’
‘The foresight that he had was just second to none and he changed the way of people’s thinking about football in England, there’s absolutely no doubt about that.’
Since the 68-year-old announced he would be severing ties with Arsenal after 22 years last Friday, reports have emerged suggesting he is only walking away from the Gunners due to the fact he faced the possibility of being sacked at the end of the season due to poor results on the pitch and concern over continued fan unrest.
Wenger is said to be open to taking up another managerial post, although he has stressed privately that it would have to be the right kind of offer to convince him to extend his coaching career.