Wednesday Wisdom How To Go Out At The Top

Things got worse for Arsenal last night, and even worse for Arsene Wenger. Before the game, there were protests from some sections of Arsenal fans who want to see their manager leave, and another 5-1 humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich only amplified the negativity surrounding the club.

Wenger has been at the helm for 20 years, a length of time that seems unimaginable in modern football, but in the past few years, frustration has grown at the Frenchman. Having failed to deliver a league title since 2004, and being knocked out early in the Champions League in recent years, many feel it’s time for a change.

It shouldn’t be forgotten that Wenger has achieved great things whilst at the North London club and ultimately will be the one who decides his own destiny. Were he to call it a day at the end of the season, his reputation should remain intact. 

We decided to look at other sporting examples where stars have quit whilst they’re ahead. 

Sir Alex Ferguson

The former Manchester United manager held his position at the club for almost 27 years, with a large proportion of those coinciding with Wenger’s reign. In fact, the late 90’s and early 00’s was dominated by the rivalry between the two clubs and the managers. Despite the intense rivalry, Ferguson and Wenger have great respect for each other.

Fergie’s trophy haul at Old Trafford is unprecedented; 13 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cups, 4 League Cups and 2 Champions League titles. It’s easy to see why many laud Sir Alex as the greatest ever British manager. 


As is the case with Wenger, it was always going to be down to Ferguson when he called time on his illustrious career. And, what better way to sign out than with a Premier League title in the 2012/13 season? 

Eric Cantona

Staying with the Red Devils, Cantona shocked the footballing world when he retired from professional football in 1997 at the tender age of 30.

The French striker is heralded as one of United’s most influential players of all-time and the main reason behind the club’s dominance in the early years of the Premier League. 


At the start of the 1996-97 season, Cantona was given the captain’s armband after Steve Bruce’s departure. The striker went on to play a key role in yet another title-winning campaign for United, it was his fourth in five years at the club. 

Nico Rosberg

Last season Rosberg became the only driver other than Lewis Hamilton or Sebastien Vettel to win the Formula One World Championship since 2010. 

It was a fascinating battle between the German and his fellow Mercedes driver, Hamilton, throughout the season. It was clear that the two were putting team orders aside as they sought the title, but it was Rosberg’s after a second placed finish in the final race of the season.


Rather than attempt to defend his title, Rosberg took the shock decision to retire from the sport. He claimed he had reached the pinnacle of his career and is the first champion to retire since Alain Prost in 1993. 

Back to articles

Date Posted: Wednesday 8th March 2017

Author: George Crewe