Arsene Wenger says the response to his decision to leave Arsenal has given him a glimpse of what his own funeral will be like, and does not expect to take up another position in England.
It was announced on Friday the veteran manager will step down at the end of the season, having helped to transform the club by winning three Premier League titles, seven FA Cups and overseen the move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium, since his appointment in 1996.
The Gunners beat West Ham 4-1 at home on Sunday, after two days in which supporters and journalists reflected on the seismic impact the pioneering Frenchman has exerted on English football.
"I had the feeling of assisting… at my funeral," he said at a post-match news conference.
"People speak about how you were, it is a little bit interesting. I don't need to die anymore, I know what it is.
"I must say I would like to thank everybody who has been absolutely nice to me. I got more praise than I deserve and more criticism than I deserve, it has been difficult but also fantastic."
Despite his advancing years, the 68-year-old has given no indication he intends to retire upon leaving Arsenal, but suggested he was highly unlikely to accept another Premier League post.
"If you speak about emotions, that certainly would be for me emotionally difficult," he said.
"I don't know how well I would deal with that.
"It's difficult to say never, but at the moment I'm too attached to this club.
"I honestly cannot tell you much more, because I don't want you to come back to me in six months and say you lied to us. I know I did that a few times. I wouldn't like to be definite today. I don't know how I will respond to that situation."
Wenger also claimed the motivation behind his announcement was not to galvanise the team for their Europa League semi-final tie against Atletico Madrid, with the tantalising prospect of Champions League qualification still possible by winning UEFA's secondary club competition.
"I don't know," he said of the possible effect of his impending departure on the players.
"That was not the first speculation, the club needs to prepare for the future, the earlier it is settled the better it is. You cannot come in on June 1 and say 'we're separating now'.
"We will try but we play against Atletico Madrid. It is very open. Hopefully we can continue to have positive results until the end."
Wenger offered a tongue-in-cheek response to questions about the qualities required by his successor to reinvigorate Arsenal's fortunes on the field.
"Look, you take me and you take a guy who is much stronger in every point I have," he said with a smile.
"There is no perfect person."
|Language no barrier to Dortmund dangermen Reus and Alcacer|
|EPCR confirms no replay of Bath-Toulouse Champions Cup fixture|
|F1 Raceweek: Five the magic number as Hamilton eyes Mexico repeat|
|RFU to introduce in-season breaks for players|
|Nainggolan misses Barcelona trip|
|Wozniacki battles through knee complaint to down Kvitova|
|Alcacer: Two seasons at Barcelona not lost|
|Henderson, Keita to miss Liverpool´s Red Star clash|
|Khabib holds talks over Mayweather Moscow fight|
|Wolf in for Titz as Hamburg try to stop slump|
|Davies released from Wales squad as Evans comes in|
|Mbappe on track to match Messi and Ronaldo, says Giuly|
|Coleman, Kipchoge and Lyles among IAAF Male World Athlete of the Year shortlist|
|Serena Williams will win slams again sooner or later, says Seles|
|You always want the best – Ter Stegen open to Neymar return|
|Xavi: My teams will never use Mourinho´s style|
|I knew what I got myself into - LeBron appreciates Lakers are a work in progress|
|Mourinho: Ronaldo loves United but he will want to score|
|Cooper completes Rebels move and takes parting shot at Reds coach Thorn|
|Bellerin amazed by ´born champion´ Ozil|
|Penguins, kangaroos and ´Stone Cold´ Steve Austin: Halloween comes early for Trail Blazers|
|Ronaldo gunning for United, Aguero targets double record - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Ill Vardy couldn´t stomach penalty decision – Puel|
|LeBron´s Lakers lose again, Magic stun Celtics|
|Bartomeu: No Barca return for Neymar, Valverde contracted until 2020|
|Simmons and ´stimulating´ 76ers in NBA Finals mix, says Longley|
|Falcons heap further misery on Giants|
|Vidic hails Ronaldo as ultimate professional ahead of Old Trafford return|
|Warriors´ Cousins nearing NBA return|
|Pogba can´t do the basics – Souness criticises Man United star|
|Messi absence big blow for Barca as Icardi talks up Inter|
|´You can´t cry, that´s true´ – Ronaldo responds to Isco|
|Bartomeu: Barca still competitive without Messi|
|Bills RB McCoy remains in concussion protocol|
|Raiders place Marshawn Lynch on IR|
|Emery calm over title talk after another Arsenal win|
|Green: Warriors have to clean up defensively|
|Mariners say Bolt talks ongoing amid reports contract offer was rejected|
|Proud captain Ozil revels in Arsenal´s ´sexy football´|
|Puel angry over Holding handball|
|Cilic breezes through in Basel, Anderson fights back|
|Ingram: Four-game ban better than we expected|
|Raiders send Cooper to Cowboys for first-round pick|
|Arsenal 3 Leicester City 1: Outstanding Ozil inspires comeback win|
|World Series 2018: Three reasons why the Dodgers will win|
|Yarmolenko out for six months after Achilles surgery|
|World Series 2018: Three reasons why the Red Sox will win|
|Ozil eclipses Klinsmann to become Premier League´s most prolific German|
|Allegri expecting Old Trafford battle against Mourinho´s United|
|Bertens feared she did not belong in Kerber clash|
|Returning Ronaldo expecting ´tough´ game against Manchester United|
|Cristiano Ronaldo confident of clearing his name amid rape allegation|
|Osaka looking to learn from losing start in Singapore|
|Kovac expects tough test against AEK Athens|
|Whyte gives Chisora deadline over rematch|
|Spartak Moscow sack Massimo Carrera|
|Atletico Madrid confirm fresh injury issue for Gimenez|
|Dolberg extends Ajax contract after Real Madrid links|
|Ronaldo an example for Lukaku to follow|
|Bertens battles back to blast past Kerber|
|Ramos apologises for training ground fracas|
|Raikkonen should take heed of Alonso misfortune as F1 career winds down|
|Guardiola wants Manchester City fans to push team to Champions League glory|
|Isco not interested in departed Ronaldo - he didn´t want to be here|
|World Series 2018: Three storylines to watch in Red Sox-Dodgers|
|Neymar focus bad for football - PSG´s Maxwell|
|Marco Ianni charged by FA over Jose Mourinho touchline row|
|Stephens sees off Osaka in see-saw Singapore battle|
|I´m happy at Manchester United - Mourinho dismisses Real Madrid reports|
|Semenya and Asher-Smith head IAAF Female World Athlete of the Year shortlist|