Wenger’s interview with L’Equipe – full transcript


There has been much discussion of Arsene Wenger’s interview with L’Equipe last weekend. The manager himself clarified some of the reported comments in his post-game press conference after the 2-1 win over Norwich, but to make sure everything is in context, here is the full transcript of the interview.

Translation very kindly provided by @mattspiro – and because it’s long it’s split into two pages.

L’EQUIPE MAGAZINE, Saturday November 19, 2011

 The interview, conducted by Jean-Marc Butterlin, took place in the manager’s office at London Colney on Monday October 31, two days after the Chelsea game. The journalist spent one and a half hours talking to Wenger.

ARSENE WENGER: “In the storm, I’ve been solid and I’ve stayed on course.”

L’Equipe: When we reflect on your 15 years as Arsenal manager, we have the impression that after some glorious seasons, last summer was the worst time of all…

Wenger: Yes, definitely. There are periods when everything is easy and there are moments when suddenly everything becomes difficult. That’s part of the job and it’s an experience any manager can go through, with highs and lows.

L’Equipe: Did it not feel like things were suddenly slipping away from you, especially during the summer, during the transfer window?

Wenger: The hard thing is the feeling that something is ending. You had a project with guys that you took on at the age of 18 and they leave at the age of 23. That’s not what you dream about. What’s more, on top of the players that left, there were injuries. It’s simple: last season, our midfield was built around Wilshere, Nasri, Diaby and Fabregas. Then we find ourselves without Diaby and Wilshere who are injured for a long time, and without Nasri and Fabregas who have gone to Manchester City and Barça.

L’Equipe: Do you know who once said that the success of a season depends 90 percent on the summer’s recruitment?

Wenger: Yes, I said that and I still think it. I know that my recruitment has been criticised, but personally I think I have succeeded beyond my own hopes. I’m happy with Gervinho, Mertesacker, Santos, Park, Benayoun and Arteta. I’ve never signed so many players (so quickly) before, although I didn’t really have a choice.

L’Equipe: From the outside, it looks like a case of patching up…

Wenger: I acknowledge that not everything was planned. Above all, what wasn’t planned was Wilshere’s long injury and Vermaelen having to undergo surgery. Losing 8-2 at Manchester United wasn’t planned either, nor was Gibbs’ injury. When that happens you are obliged to act quickly, to adapt. I bought five players in three days at the end of August, and am happy about it.

L’Equipe: Still, there was a lot of commotion and it seems to be the end of the hopes you placed in a generation of players. Do you not see that as a personal failure?

Wenger: For the first time since I have been here, I lost young players who were reaching maturity. I suffered. Because it is painful to separate with key players who you have invested a lot in, it’s painful when the results are not good enough. We are fighting with clubs that have far superior means to us. We cannot account for the difference in the financial potential of clubs like Manchester City and ourselves.

L’Equipe: You can’t ignore the fact that the results haven’t been there. That might have worn down certain players and contributed to the exodus…

Wenger: Of course that played a part. In this respect, last season broke the squad. They could have been extraordinary. I often call it ‘the season of the last minute’. We lost the League Cup final in the last minute, we lost to Liverpool in the last minute (in fact Arsenal drew in April, Kuyt equalising in 12th minute of added time), we lost the chance of qualifying, with only ten players, against Barcelona with Bendtner’s opportunity. At Tottenham, we were 3-1 up and got pegged back. When that happens your backs are against the wall. When you no longer have anything to get your teeth into, one and a half months is a long time to spend together. We felt like the winds wouldn’t stop blowing against us and yet we were so close to exploding (winning) everything.

L’Equipe: How much responsibility do you take for the collapse?

Wenger: If I acknowledge one mistake, it was wanting to win everything. We played 27 matches between November and January. After that we started to run out of petrol.

L’Equipe: You wanted to win everything because above all you couldn’t afford to win nothing… again?

Wenger: Yes. To try to catch one, we ran after all the hares.

L’Equipe: What about this season?

Wenger: I’ll do the same thing. It’s the only response I have to pressure.

L’Equipe: Does the current team have what it takes to resist, to shoulder the pressure?

Wenger: I don’t know. Paradoxically, our bad start to the season has lowered the pressure. People are saying: ‘Arsenal are going to battle against relegation, they’ll do nothing’. That’s why our victory at Chelsea had such a resounding effect. Nobody believed we were capable of that. People had downplayed our wins so much up until then, it was a clap of thunder in the English sky.

L’Equipe: Was it a positive turning point?

Wenger: We will see where we are situated in December.

L’Equipe: Do you have a clue?

Wenger: None at all. We are coming from a long way back. We’ve had to rebuild at a time when there was a total lack of confidence. That takes time.

L’Equipe: It terms of technique and tactics, we have seen your team struggle like never before. Have you looked to change your footballing principles… become less ambitious?

Wenger: Our style is founded on a form of insouciance when it comes to risk-taking, and this is something that had disappeared. As a result, there was no longer spontaneity in our play and we were in difficulty. So we decided to try to get some ‘small’ wins. Confidence is something you lose quickly and regain slowly. You climb back up the slope step by step. But I never considered renouncing my playing philosophy. On the contrary, I told myself that if I also abandoned the playing habits that this club has been founded on until now, the team would become disorientated. If I tell the players tomorrow ‘hit the ball long towards the forwards’, they will be even more unsettled. I have kept faith in our style, knowing all along that it would be hard work and laborious.



    • Well it just shows how the press never let the “facts” get in the way of a good story.

      To me it just shows what a strong, admirable man Wenger is.

      No one could have foreseen the russian gangster coming in to CSKA Fulham to launder his money and then the arabs from middle eastlands.

      Let’s face it, without this form of cheating, financial doping, we would have won a lot more.

      Two hundred million debt in one season! If I were a man city fan, I’d be ashamed.

      We Gooners are blessed with this great man at the helm.

      We will win something this season, maybe even old big ears!

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      • And me… I started in 1994, when I was 8, so I remember Graham, Houston, Rioch and Rice before Wenger, but I also remember going to the Sunderland game in 1996, right before Wenger came. Not to mention being told of his appointment by my Dad, and asking something along the lines of “Arsène who?”

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  1. Despite the lack of monkeys driving cars, Russian girlfriends and running old dears over coming through in the translation, what a great interview, and thanks for putting it out there for us.

    This would never have happened with an English journo, so it’s refreshing to read his words as reported.

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  2. ” I like courage and this club is courageous. In 1996, for a club that represented the tradition of English football, going and getting an unknown Frenchman from Japan was a bit rash. So historically, Arsenal have been courageous, innovatory. They try to do things with class and style. That’s why I defend them with so much fierceness. Because of these values. They mean a lot to me and I like to defend them.”

    A true love statement. This man is amazing.

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    • He has always defended the club, whatever his point of view might have been, I can’t think of a single instance where he’s said anything bad about the fans, players, board or our history no matter what has happened with or around him.

      Like people have been saying, he might have made some bad decisions but his intentions have always been right and he only wants the best for our club. He’s a true fan, in fact even a fanatic gooner! Proud to have a classy human being in charge of our great club!

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  3. Agreed with Ben. First watched Arsenal in 1997 when I was 8. Now Im 22 . Ive grown up watching Wenger. I can never imagine anyone else on the bench. It will be a very sad day when The Professor decides to call it a day. In Arsene I trust. Always.

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  4. Loved his last statement.

    Also, he could stay for 30 years in Arsenal, despite him saying he won’t be here 15 years from now. Look at Sir Alex Ferguson, he said he’d retire at 60, and he’s still on as Man Utd manager.

    A man can dream.

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  5. Classic Wenger. Loving the ‘Let it circulate’ quote. Grand to see the interview fleshed out like that, everything in context, good job.

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  6. Well there you go. Journalists cherry pick the juicy sound-bites from a story and neglect the rest of the interview as they only want to gain clicks to their website, or pennies for the paper: Playing on people’s anxiety towards a certain topic in order to make a story compelling. We’re all anxious about this season for a host of reasons, the hacks can smell it. It makes their job easy.

    Fear sells.


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  7. This: “It’s true, a new cycle is starting. When we left Highbury, I set my sights on a long-term project with a young team. It didn’t produce the results I’d hoped for. Yes, we have to rebuild”

    and this: “as far as I am concerned, we are now talking pretty short term”
    i find very interesting.

    He has admitted his project hasn’t worked, and his changed his tact slightly. I think this is fantastic management. A man that has realised his own mistakes and has responded accordingly, whilst still staying true to his footballing principles.
    I have always been behind Arsene, and continue to be, i have disagreed with decisions he’s made and still do, that is my perogative, but i have always respected the fact he has stayed true to his philosophy, and his single-mindedness.
    Long may he continue to manage this great club.

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    • so basically by saying “as far as I am concerned, we are now talking pretty short term” he means he is not gonna invest so much in youth as he has done previously?
      It’s a good thing in my opinion. Basically he will buy some proven stars( might not be at the highest level) and restructure arsenal wage pyramid.
      Let’s keep our fingers crossed…

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      • i don’t think it means he’s going to invest in youth more, i think he will always see the youth system as extremely important for the club, and i’m sure we’ll see more youth products come through. I just think it means he is more focused on NOW than what the team is going to be like in 2-3 years time.

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      • @ critic: no I thin k he meant survival in the first instance (stop the slide) then win a trophy to rebuild the confidence of both the team and the fans. He alluded to it during the interview.

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  8. When the naming rights come up again let’s do the classy thing and call it the wenger stadium(we won t spend the money anyway!),it’s the least he deserves

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    • I share the sentiment but I feel that naming the the training ground after him would be more meaningful seen as that’s the place the players & training staff spends most of their time. Also it will remind future generations of his legacy every day…

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  9. Amazing man and manager. Is there any other club as blessed with their manager as Arsenal? And yeah, he’s arguably better than Ferguson if one looks at all the factors

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    • “when u see a cow at the neighbour’s house u think it’s better than your cow but it’s actually not”……that was the dumber version of “grass is always greener on the other side”

      And ferguson is not half smart and good looking as wenger. FACT.

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    • That’s a good idea.
      What we should do is keep an eye on the press articles. Then, whenever a hack writes a story, mentions himself and neglects to add that he’s got a secure job, get a news article put out here on how he’s getting sacked in the morning.

      E.g. Alan Hansen pens an article on how disappointed he is in the scousers’ defending and how much better it was in his day (perm one from infinity there). Our article says that Hansen is “disappointed” with football, feels he’s not up with the current game and considering giving up punditry. (Usual stuff – one quote, one out-of-context reword and a made up bit).
      Sit back, wait for Google to do its job and spot the “Hansen quitting” articles in the press tthe next day.

      Simple eh?

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  10. Love him or hate him, the man is class

    If the players he trusted showed the same class and repaid his trust, then things may have been different.
    Perhaps that’s the frailty in the man !!! Maybe he looks at the world through ” rose tinted glasses. “

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    • “If the players he trusted showed the same class and repaid his trust, then things may have been different.”

      that’s why there’s only “one arsene wenger”, no players will sacrifice greener pastures for arsenal and philosophy like arsene does.

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  11. What an interview !!! how wise is this man.. He keeps amazing people with his wisdom. Carry on forever .. am really emotional . Kudos for the transalation.

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  12. Guys a legend!

    Last comment made me smile, Okay I was a fan before Wenger (but only just – am 27 now). I remember the tail end of Grahams reign, Houston being caretaker, Rioch’s year, more Houston caretaking and then Wenger… He’s certainly been a very prominent figure in my life.

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  13. I honestly have tears in my eyes reading that.

    And that’s why I’ll defend him to the end. All the Wenger out numpties need to read that and have a good look at their ungrateful selves.
    This is the man that said ‘…I believe this team can go undefeated.’ and the world laughed at him.
    There will never be another arsene Wenger.

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  14. “I was thinking about a 10 year old kid who might have come to watch Arsenal for the first time with his dad in 1996. I was thinking that he’d now be 25, and he will have known only one chap on the bench” <– Well as a matter of a fact Arsene, thats right. Thats exactly what happened to me.

    Arsene Wenger represents a huge generation of Arsenal Football Club to many and I for one am very proud of that fact.

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      • No I will always defend Cesc because he really loved Arsenal but he so wanted to go home to Spain. He has always been up front about that…so take back the abuse critic…but its OK to lump it on the cunt Nasri (0;

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  15. 2 weeks ago my girlfriend asked me who my hero was. I thought for a moment and replied in all seriousness that it was Arsene. The answer surprised me but I couldn’t think of anyone else who I admired so much. Wise, gracious, competitive and unswerving commitment and dedication to his values and to Arsenal.

    Fantastic interview. Thanks.

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  16. Great interview and completely different tone to what has appeared in the media. Just before this translated transcript I swallowed my pride and read Myles Palmer’s take on this Wenger interview. This particular thought flashed across my mind.

    “Never argue with a fool, because they will only drag you down to the level of stupidity, and then beat you with their experience.”

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  17. Cor Blimey… isn’t our Manager a word smith general of the highest calibre.

    Some of his vocabularies are just pure gold.

    There are so many quotes I could use from the excellent translated interview above but I choose this “With time, like Ferguson at Manchester United, I have become part of the historic memory of the game”

    With a global audience in the millions; you Mr Arsene Wenger will be remembered by many, from all corners of the world, from supporters and fans with names that many cannot imagine nor pronounce. Both the old and young generation will remember you… BUT IT’S NOT OVER YET!

    Arsene Wenger …Le Professor: I say take a bow and long may you continue sitting on that beach at the Emirates.

    Mon ami : Quand vous vivez, vous obtiendrez plus que juste un stand nommé d’après vous.

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  18. Typical of the media to add 2 + 2 and come up with any number other than 4!

    It is good to read the interview with the full context. Wenger has given everything to Arsenal and continues to do so. This interview does not suggest he might be about to leave, it suggests a man who is still doing everything he can to make Arsenal winners

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  19. This is really refreshing. Arsene Wenger is truly a legend. It is sad when players like Fabregas and Nasri leave him after he had stuck out his neck for them. Truly there will only be one Arsene Wenger but many Nasris and a few Fabregas who make Arsenal a delight to watch.
    We have seen this new team develop in a few weeks and they are playing well. Lets hope that we can get Jack in there soon, Ryo also and the Ox. I am sure we will soon forget the hurt of the barca boy and the money loving french boy leaving us at the worst time – when we needed them most.
    In Arsene? We trust.

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  20. i cant believe reading this interview has made me emotional. what a man!! i hope people realise how lucky we are to have him as manager. and why did the english media make it sound bad? reading the whole piece shows just how the media try to make noise out of nothing. #inarsenewetrustalways

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  21. I’m really pleased there’s so many posts basically saying they were that kid he’s talking about.

    It’s restored my faith in that you don’t have to be an older fucker like me, and be able to recall when things really were shit, to truly appreciate how much this man has done for our club.

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    • too right. My first game was December 1976 – nearly 35 years ago *gulp* – and it saw SuperMac, recently purchased for a third of a million pounds, turn on his former club, smashing a hat trick in a 5-3 win in front of a packed Highbury.

      As a starry eyed 5 year old I was instantly in love with this free flowing, entertaining and goal filled club called Arsenal with their full stadium of adoring fans and team studded with glittering talent

      Of course this cruel illusion was starkly exposed quickly enough, but by then it was too late. Oh Terry Neill and Don “a draw is never a loss” Howe…

      We really *were* boring, boring Arsenal once. But not now, and that’s down to one man. For that, for all the trophies, for the wonderful football, for the fact that other fans have an admiration for the Arsenal now that I never imagined possible rather than the contempt of days gone by, for the constant ability to challenge for honours in the absence of financial doping, for all of that I thank Mr Wenger. A real gent.

      And the “we all think we have the best looking wife at home” comment in 2002 that wound Demento up, I’d *really* like to thank him for that. Heh.

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      • You are a lucky so-and-so Sammy Nelson (one of my favorites btw) I started in 1968 and it was not a vintage year. But I got to see the rise of Bertie Mee’s Red & White Army. Some great FA Cup nights (that’s what we aspired to then) and it wasn’t until GG that we thought that we could win anything like another title. GG was good and most Gooners of my generation felt that we had never had it so good…until…Wenger! I still can scarcely believe the improvement in everything Arsenal that Wenger has brought. Its a completely different club – from top to bottom. The Wenger generation can not imagine how different our football has been compared to before Wenger..when you see the UTUBE clips of us winning the Fairs Cup and the 71 Double it hides the fact that we had to suffer years of dire football on muddy pitches to get a little bit of cheer every so often…oh to be a Gooner these days..

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  22. Is it by coincidence that his name is synonymous with the club? Could that have arouse the passion and dedication? That aside, these are the kinda man of any employer’s dream. A man that would remember the day he was employed out of dust. I wish some certain players would have taken a pinch from this,remember the day they were brought to the club as relatively unknown.

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  23. He came to arsenal when I was 2 he is all I’ve ever known and I believe we shouldn’t let him go because there isn’t a better manager that could come in and fill his shoes. Will be a very sad day in the history of Arsenal Football Club when he leaves

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    • I truly believe arsene will leave a great foundation for his successor as he said in the interview.

      Board really need to be pro-active in making the transition hassle free.

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  24. What a delightful interview…..a class act???
    Take note our friends from Chelsea, who just churn through managers………
    you cant buy class lads!!

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  25. When this interview first came to light I knew it didn’t all seem quite right.
    He’s always said he would honour his contract and I believe he will, at the very least, do that. People who say Arsene is not Arsenal are right, but he’s more Arsenal than any other manager we’ve ever had or probably ever will have.
    His loyalty is unwavering and astounding and I am proud to have grown up as an Arsenal supporter with him, in the most part, at the helm.

    The funny thing with Arsene is that I felt at ease with him as soon as he took over. There was no period of adjustment. He was just fantastic from the off.
    I still look back with bafflement that Bruce Rioch ever managed us. His legacy will always be Dennis Bergkamp, although from what I’ve heard that deal wasn’t really his doing.

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  26. I’ve been a following the Arsenal for 30 years. The last 15 of those with true pride. Pride of the beautiful way we play the game, of how we manage to compete despite the lack of a sugar daddy. I also read Myles’ xenophobic take on the interview earlier. That man has totally lost it.

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  27. If someone knows Arsene personally they should let him read all the comments made here,might give him a glimpse of what he means to the club to the fans,personally the man is a legend,a hero a true mentor and a man who inspires me to stand by my beliefs to the end. Give us another 15 years Arsene!,please.

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  28. Brilliant. Let me add my thanks for this translation.

    Also Palmer is a cynical twat who shouldn’t be encouraged. Vanity coupled with stupidity , wrapped up in smugness. A proper little shit.

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  29. At first i thought he was stuborn, but now i can call him a courageous man. The most painful part of his reign in Arsenal should be the betrayal done to him by some players (like Flamini, Hleb, Adebayor, Nasri, Clichy, even Cesc) who he picked as NOBODIES and turned them into Sought- after STARS. I never sat with you in a class to be taught Management Ethics but ur Philosophy has added to my Managerial Skills. I love you Arsene Wenger, stay with us cos i can see better days ahead.

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  30. All the above comments and the interview makes me feel privileged to be a fan of this great club…i love ARSENAL…i love Arsene….and i love all the loving faithful gooners….

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  31. Started watching club football when I was a lot older – at 22 in ’98 and followed Arsenal because of a certain Dutch magician. But have ever since been impressed by the old Frenchman & dispite his frustrating ways sometimes, I can’t imagine anyone else at this point leading the club better with our limited resources. Let’s soon win the title so his methods are vindicated.

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  32. Although I’ve always seen wenger as more intelligent than the average football manager, seeing his words in his own language really hits home just how articulate, intellectual, passionate and deep thinking the man really is. A class act.

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  33. He’s a fucking star but did anyone else feel like L’Equipe were being sort of.. Cunty in their tone and the way the questions were so blunt and leading? Like quoting his own comments then trying to flip them on him and he just disarmed everything they had to say like the boss that he is haha
    Let it circulate made me smile haha

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  34. What a man!!! Not that it was ever in doubt, but I think the timing of this adds perspective to those (few) who felt he had lost it and was out of touch. I started supporting Arsenal before Wenger arrived but only had the opportunity to watch matches on tv regularly and to visit Highbury/Emirates after he joined and I’m truly grateful for everything he has done for this club. I also feel very privileged to be amongst so many special people who support this great club and I really hope we win a trophy just to vindicate his methods and sheer love and loyalty for our club!

    Only one Arsene Wenger! Arsene IN! 🙂
    and Myles Palmer – egg on your face every week, you might as well keep your mouth open and stop writing.

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  35. Above interview was good reading for me. I have been an Arsenal supporter since 1976, and I still love this club. I have followed Arsenal from boring Arsenal to a teame vere even Man-U supporters admit they they are playing grear fotball. The reson for this is Arsene. Arsene is the reason why we became what they we are today. He have done a greit job for Arsenal, and it made me very said when I read all the stories on the web during the summer where many suporters turned his back to him. I cant understand that people have problems to see how great this man are. It is alway possible to replace players which are leaving the club, but replace Arsene will be almost impossible. He is a legend, and we have to make sure that he stays in Arsenal forever.

    They should have a seat ready for him at the border the day he decide to resign as our manager.

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    • Couldn’t agree more, but there will be many more shedding tears and I will be among them. I think he is among the greatest managers of any sport given results vs resources. I also agree he should be given a position on the board of directors as he always had and always will have the best interests of the club at heart.

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  36. Blimey I got 55 thumbs up for my stadium naming idea maybe blogs should start a campaign, I don t normally have good ideas-that’s probably it for another 5 years!

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  37. One of the best interviews I’ve read of a manager in any sport. Arsene Wenger, at once intelligent and articulate, has had his strengths–and foibles–laid out for all to see. I believe he’s unique among English managers, and his will be a hard act to follow when he does finally retire.

    I especially enjoyed the comments of those who first watched Arsenal play as children and, now in adulthood, have known no other manager of the Gunners. There are very few managers in any sport who may boast this kind of longevity.

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  38. […] I know this relatively old news now, seen as though the story ‘broke’ over 48 hours ago, but as I was buying my morning newspaper (The Times, I am a sophisticated young chap) a man in the queue started warbling about loyalty, Arsene Wenger and how it was all about money, you know, the usual moan and groan. I felt it my moral obligation to inform him of the article and what lay behind it, something which feeled me with joy and as such, for those of you reading this who don’t know the origin of said story, I found a transcript of the entire interview. Well, I say found, it was smack in my face on Twitter! Head over to Arseblog by clicking the link provided here. […]

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  39. Truly a great man as well as a great manager. Its obvious that he is completely gutted that the youth policy was prematurely ended by the departure of Fabregas. Reading between the lines my guess is that he now fears that football (or at least the Premiership) will fall into the hands of the mega rich clubs and the failure to show (via Arsenal) an alternative, sustainable way is going to weigh heavy on him and will probably be the catayst for his departure at the end of his current contract. If that does happen, it wont be just Arsenal fans that suffer.

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  40. a wise man once said Arsene Wenger and everybody exclaimed.who! what!..in 1994-1995 he had an interview on African Soccer, I believe. He had just signed Donald Sie to Grampus Eight in Japan,simply put that was the best and probably still is the best interview in regards to the game, I have ever read. Simply stated, its a pretty long interview but it gave alot of insight on a man who knows how to simplify the game, so we can all enjoy it. On that interview he mentioned names like Peruzzi, Van Der sar & Desailly, I read that interview over and over again in the next few months, just like Ive already read this interview over and over again , only this time as someone who is grateful for all that he has done, and what he represents.

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    • Do U have a link or something to the interview you are talking about? Pls post if you do have!

      On the post, what a legend! He has truly been my rolemodel, though I am not the 15 year long fan he is talking about, I have never known Arsenal under any other manager and it is truly a honor to be born in this Wenger Era at Arsenal.

      Even when he leaves someday, and long may it take to come, he will be remembered in our hearts and his stamp will be on our team!

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  41. In Arsene we trust
    The man has stayed true to da phrase “no man is bigger than the game/team, I love him and he is a legend.

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  42. What a class act. I think somebody in the comments above hit it on the head; Wenger’s youth project failed because he expected the kids he’d brought into the club and transformed into the players they are to have the same sort of commitment and enthusiasm for the project as he does himself. One might say that was a bit naive of him but it gives you an insight into his mindset and the amount of integrity the man has.

    And that last statement of his made me well up. I started following Arsenal in 2000 and am now 25. He’s like a kindly old uncle. It’s been truly difficult to see him suffer these past few seasons. I hope we win the Champion’s League with him before he rides off into the sunset. Few things would make me happier to see the man and his methods vindicated.

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  43. I refuse to believe that I am the only English Arsenal supporter who had heard of Arsene before is intended arrival was announced. I jumped for joy at the prospect. I knew that he had persuaded the most skillful English player of his day namely Glen Hoddle to leave his birth club and join Arsene at Monaco.
    Not only an Arsenal friend he had the respect of players who had skill. GH says that Arsene advised him to go into coaching – (but said nothing about religion.) So it came about that Arsene’s opposite number for awhile was GH! Also Asene had to deal with GH as England’s manager!

    His vision of a youthful team playing great entertaining football only failed to win trophies for reasons beyond his control.

    A great man and a great manager.

    As soon as we can the stadium should rightly be named ‘The Arsene Wenger Stadium’. There can be no other name for it

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  44. I am fed up of knob head Manure fans asking me why we don’t want to get rid of Wenger.

    I reply with. “If fergie didn’t win anything for 6 years, but in that time, made cup finals and semi finals, including the champs league and qualified for Champions league every season – would you be calling for his head just because the papers have told you to – neglecting everything he did for your club?”

    I hope they then get the point. Most of them are shallow bastards tho – something shallow fans of our club need to remember too. We’re competing and it isn’t even a level playing field.

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  45. Just like he did change the English game for the better when he came and changed the way all teams train and play – I think he will change the English game again, and prove that financial fair play and not getting into mountains of debt will win at the end of the day!!

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  46. Can anyone point out a manager who discovers unknown talents and makes them gems? The list is endless peeps. From Kanu to Anelka, Henri to Fabregas, u’ll never stop counting. All credit to this football legend called Wenger. Wish he’ll stay on forever

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  47. AW is a true legend. What he has done for English football is immense!

    I’d love to read Arsene’s memoirs / autobiography when he eventually retires – hopefully its still a long way off! His brilliant mind and integrity are what I admire most in Le Professeur.

    In Wenger we trust!

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  48. Am realy completely short of words. It’s always amazing when he give simple answerz to difficult questions. I lost my grand dad some months and am not even close to tears but arsene courage, comitment, understanding, sheer class and patience made me sheared some handful of tears. From the players, friends and fans who has failed arsene in any way at anytime. They all owe him a massive apology. Giving our stadium his name is nothing near what he has done for this club, moreover it was the man’s project….. Love you with every pinch of my blood arsene. Long live wenger! Long live faithful once like me(last of the dying breed)!! Long live Arsenal Fc!!!

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  49. The mans a legend, we won’t know how lucky we were untill he does go, hopefully it’s a role on the board he gets when he finishes coaching after many many more years I hope

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  50. Gives a great insight to the man as well as the manager. Even though I’m 25, I started going to matches when I was 7 and remember some of the earlier games most vividly. People have short memories and this man is a gigantic step forward from Graham or Rioch. Long may it continue. Wit or without trophies, this man alone has more or less ensured out seat at the top table of world football for years to come. Peace out gooners!

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  51. True legend in the game.

    Taking everything into account, i.e. youth development, business accumen, football philosophy/vision, intelligence/common sense (not to be taken for granted – see Pulis, Terry, Shawcross, le Cunt), courage, transfer policy, loyalty (to club, staff, ex-players) , passion, temperament, class – AW is the greatest football manager in the world.

    The UN, NATO and all world leaders should come together and give him the keys to the globe. That is the level he is on.

    I dare someone to say SAF……

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  52. Enjoying the responses from all of Arsene’s “Class of ’96” and it got me thinking about my own situation. I started following Arsenal when I was 6 in 1967. My family came from Dover, but my dad worked up in London, and from Monday to Friday lived in the same pub as George Armstrong, who he greatly admired even though a lifelong Sheffield Wednesday fan.

    He decided that it was time for me to learn about football, and naturally he wanted to do things the right way. He took me up to Highbury to see Arsenal, even though he guessed that I would choose them as my team as a result. He knew they weren’t world beaters at the time, but he also knew about their history and their class and style, and he thought that if I had to follow some team other than his then Arsenal was a team he could live with. Not so sure he felt the same way in the summer of 1993 though 🙂

    From the start I knew about The Arsenal, and the great managers of the past, with Herbert Chapman rising high above the rest as the man who took a good team and turned into the biggest team in the world in the early 30’s.

    As a team we have had our ups and downs over the years since I started to support them, and we have been out in the wilderness occasionally (that’s mid-table, for us, I don’t mean falling into the second division like Man Utd, Chelsea, etc). Even when we were on a low I was always proud to be a Gooner, but at the back of my mind was always a kind of jealousy towards the Arsenal fans of the thirties when we were in our Golden Age and were the greatest team in the world.

    I always loved our occasional, fantastic successes, and although we might have a few barren years we would always be there or thereabouts I still had that little voice of jealousy in the back of my head… and then along came Arsene Wenger.

    He brought to my team a period of sustained success that we had not seen for almost 70 years. We finally had a manager with the vision, the innovation, and the determination of Herbert Chapman. So, for all that I turn 51 this year, Arsene Wenger is my hero. He is My Herbert Chapman, and since he arrived I have had, and am still having, the privilege to live through Arsenal’s best years ever.

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  53. Finally got around to reading this full interview. I only hope that our next manager is as articulate, classy and visionary as Mr. Wenger. Throughout the ‘storm’ he always behaved with integrity, never shooting his mouth off or over-reacting. Quite incredible considering the criticism that was levelled at him and the pressure he was under.

    A fascinating read – Mr. Wenger’s way with words always makes for a thoughtful dialogue, and it’s at times that these we realise how much we’ll all miss him when he’s gone. I’m so glad that he’s managed to turn this team around and start getting results – it would be fantastic and fitting if he could manage to win a big trophy before he leaves the club. It’s the least he deserves.

    I love the end of the interview, makes us all take a step back and think about the impact he’s had. I personally started following the Arsenal during the George Graham days. My dad took me to Highbury and I was hooked instantly. Watching us grind out a 1-0 win, scoring in the 88th minute – those were the days! Then Mr. Wenger came and treated us to the incredible brand of football that we’re so accustomed to these days. The opposition fans still sang ‘boring boring Arsenal’ at us, but they knew things were changing.

    Let’s raise a drink to Mr. Wenger, and enjoy what time we have left with him. COME ON YOU GUNNERS!

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  54. Wat else cn i say? Brothers, u ve all said it all. I v seen friends support teams bcos of a particular player and whn dat player live deir so called love 4 dat team dies. I ve evaluated myself. Askd myslf wat hz made me love dis club almost as i love my siblings,mother and mostly my GOD. Answers vn’t surfaced, great and some greedy players v left dis club yet i remain. Meaning my luv 4 the Arsenal stretches over any player bt then only one man has been in charge of this great club since my love story startd with dis club which makes me come 2 d conclusion dt my true test as an arsenal fan is still 2 come. Arsene is my role model character wise. I hold is blives dear 2 my hrt. He is a class act. There is sometin abt we d fans dt endears me more, we r commitd and die hards. You all are lyk brodas and sistas 2 me. With love 4rm Nigeria. Great interview. Arsenal is a religion.

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