Arsene Wenger is confident Arsenal will mount a challenge for the Premier League title after he leaves the club.
The Frenchman bids farewell to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, with Burnley the visitors in his final home game as Gunners boss.
The final season of Wenger’s 22-year reign in north London will end without silverware after Thursday’s Europa League semi-final defeat to Atletico Madrid.
But Wenger is adamant he is leaving Arsenal in a position from which they can go about securing their first league title since 2004.
“It’s a big job,” he told Sky Sports. “The club has gone through the most difficult period in the last 10 years, building the stadium.
“I always felt that after 2016 that the club would be in a financial situation where we would compete again.
“What I could not predict is that clubs would move up another level financially that makes it more difficult now.
“But I still think Arsenal will come back and compete for the championship.”
Wenger has tipped Arsenal for future title challenges but his future remains shrouded in secrecy.
A break may be on the cards after more than two decades at Arsenal, but whatever the future holds, the Frenchman is adamant football will remain at the centre of his life.
“I don’t know [about a break],” Wenger added. “Maybe after three weeks I’ll tell myself not to be stupid and get back to work. I’m completely open at the moment.
“I cannot imagine life without football, even if I don’t work I will watch football every day. That will not change.”
It’s sure to be an emotional afternoon at the Emirates on Sunday as Wenger manages Arsenal for the last time in the stadium he played such a key role in building.
Asked whether he would ever return to the stadium, Wenger added: “Of course, why not?
“First of all I have to decide what I do in the future and take a bit of distance because the intensity I’ve had over the last 22 years demands a little bit of reflection.”