Monday, August 18, 2014
Arsene Wenger at 1000 in stats and quotes

Arsene Wenger at 1000 in stats and quotes

It’s Arsene’s 1000th competitive game tomorrow, so here’s a look back at that time in stats (provided, as usual, by @7amkickoff), and some of the boss’s best quotes.

Stats

The two halves of Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal

497 – Game number in which Arsene Wenger last won a trophy at Arsenal (FA Cup 2005)

502 – Games Arsene Wenger has managed since he last won a trophy

Using figures from Transfermarkt.co.uk¹, Wenger has only spent £61.66m on player transfers in his 18 year career at Arsenal. However, that number is hugely front-loaded with his total spend in the first 9 years coming in at £55.5m and his spend for the last 9 years at just £6.16m. Wenger was actually in the black for the last nine years until he stumped up £40m to land Mesut Özil this summer. £33m in the black.

In contrast, during the same 18 years, Sir Alex Ferguson spent £377.5m a figure which was pretty evenly split between the first half (£166.7m) and the second half (£210.8m) of Wenger’s reign. Liverpool have a similar number (£333m) as does Tottenham (£275.7m). Still, each of those clubs has outspent Arsene Wenger by at least a factor of 4 to 1. For every £1m Wenger has spent in the last 18 years Spurs and Liverpool have spent at least £4m to finish consistently behind him.

It will be no surprise to learn that the team who have most outspent Arsene Wenger is Chelsea; according to Transfermarkt they have spent £787m on transfers during Arsene Wenger’s tenure. And their numbers are pretty evenly split among the first (£385m) and second (£402m) halves of Wenger’s reign. Wenger has been outspent by Chelsea at a £7/1 (millions) ratio in the first half of his Arsenal career and a £67/1 (millions) ratio in this second half.

Manchester City’s spending spree didn’t start until 2008. But since then they have spent like a teenager trying to play “catch-up” with his drunk friends at a party. £555m in the transfer market since 2008. Effectively, Manchester City has spent nearly £100 to 1 (millions) that Arsenal have spent in Wenger’s last 9 years.

In the second half of his tenure at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger spent just £6.16m in transfers and did so while his competitors (Chelsea, City, United, Liverpool, and Tottenham) have combined to spend £1.52 billion. That’s £252m for every million pounds Arsene Wenger spent in the market.

Spend

 

And lest you think that these teams give a jot about Financial Fair Play or that it has played any part in their transfer dealings, Arsenal have spent £19m in the last three years while Chelsea have spent £191.4, City £164.8, United £158.5, and Liverpool £110m.

You can sort of understand the touch of venom in his voice when he says: “I went for a challenge that I knew would be difficult because we had to fight with clubs who lose £150 million per year and we had to make £30 million. On top of that we had to stand up with people telling us we had to beat them.”

The difference in spend has made a difference in team performance as Arsenal fans are well aware. Points are often the measure of how strong a team is but it is possible for a team to win the League and not really be the best team and for the best team to lose the League, we all know that as fans.

Instead of points, another way to measure a team’s relative strength is in goal difference (WARNING: serious stats). The team with the best goal difference has won all but 3 of the last 17 League titles during Wenger’s tenure — one was in 2008/2009 when Rafa Benitez let the title slip from his grasp, the other was in 2002/2003 when Arsenal fell away to Leeds United (the thought of Mark Veruca still gives me shivers), and the third was when the Tony Adams captained Arsenal side won the League in 1997/1998 despite being 12 goals worse off than Man U.

In Arsene’s first 9 seasons, Arsenal had three seasons where they had the best goal difference in the land (01/02, 02/03, and 03/04) and one season (98/99) where they were just 1 goal off the top team. In 2004/05 Arsenal began to slip away a bit and they were -6 goals off the eventual winners, Chelsea. The strength of that 01-05 team was such that Arsenal won two League trophies and three FA Cups. They also won the Community Shield twice in that period.

In the first half of Wenger’s tenure at Arsenal, his teams averaged just -10 GD off the eventual winners (two seasons of -22 and -23 are dragging the average way down) but in the last 9 seasons that number has doubled to -20. In fact, the closest Arsenal have been in term of goal difference was last season when the Gunners finished just -8 off Man U.

But the rules have changed dramatically in the last 9 years. In the first 8 full seasons of Wenger’s tenure at Arsenal, the team with the best goal difference topped +50 just twice. In the 8 years since, it has happened 6 times and two teams have gone +64 (Man City) and +71 (Chelsea) in a season.

The number of wins and losses is yet another measure of the strength of Wenger’s squad. In the first half of his tenure he never once had fewer than 20 wins in a season and maintained above 22 wins in all but one season. In the last 9 years Arsene has only pushed his team on to more than 22 wins twice, 07/08 (24) and 09/10 (23).

This season, Arsenal’s goal difference is only +25 and Man City have the best goal difference in the League with a +44. It’s no wonder, then, that everyone is tipping City to win the League. Wenger is also already on 19 wins with 9 games left in the season, and considering the opposition, my money is solidly on at least getting close to the 24 wins mark. Wenger could pull that off despite having one of his lowest scoring teams in his entire tenure. In his 1000 games for Arsenal he’s averaged 1.85 goals per game and in League games he’s averaged 1.89 goals per game. This season in Premier League play Arsenal are scoring just 1.82 goals per game.

But the League leaders right now are Chelsea and they have just four points, a +8 goal difference over Arsenal, and the Gunners have a game in hand. What better way to celebrate Wenger’s 1000th game in charge than to close all those gaps and hand the Special Onesie his first ever League home defeat at Stamford Bridge?

Two-nil to the Arsenal anyone?

¹Transfermarkt is often criticized for lack of perfectly accurate transfer numbers. For example, they list Reyes’ transfer at £17.6m which is the number that Arsenal would have paid had they forked out all of his bonuses. However, actual transfer costs are almost always hidden and while some sites like to claim they have accurate numbers I have no problem using transfermarkt because I find them to be relatively accurate.

QUOTES

“I realised when I joined Arsenal that the back four were all university graduates in the art of defending and Tony Adams was the doctor of defence.”

Arsene Wenger reflects on the brilliance of the famous back five.

“I tried to watch the Tottenham match on television in my hotel yesterday, but I fell asleep.”

Arsene on our less than entertaining North London neighbours.

“If you eat caviar every day it’s difficult to return to sausages.”

Arsene Wenger reflects on Arsenal fans booing a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough in November 1998.

“We live a society where everybody knows everything and it looks like it is a shame to say I don’t know.”

Arsene Wenger hits out at the constant sniping in the media.

“We didn’t think he would play on Sunday because he was suspended – that makes me think he has all the qualities to join Arsenal.”

Arsene Wenger talks the arrival of signing Jose Antonio Reyes from Sevilla.

“I think in England you eat too much sugar and meat and not enough vegetables.”

Arsene makes clear what he thinks of Les Rosbifs’ diet.

“A football team is like a beautiful woman. When you do not tell her, she forgets she is beautiful.”

Arsene channels his inner Swiss Tony.

“Everyone thinks they have the prettiest wife at home.”

Arsene Wenger responds to Sir Alex Ferguson’s 2002 claim that Manchester United had been the best side in the Premier League since Christmas that season.

“We do not buy superstars. We make them.”

An Arsene maxim to live and die by.

“What I don’t understand is that he does what he wants and you are all at his feet.”

Arsene takes a swipe at the Fergie fawning of Fleet Street’s finest.

“To remain unbeaten in a championship like the English championship now is really unbelievable. I want to win the Champions’ League but, really, this is more important. It is something amazing, something special. How can you do it?”

Even Arsene Wenger struggled to comprehend how his side avoided defeat for 38 games in 2003/04.

“Sometimes I see it [a foul by an Arsenal player], but I say that I didn’t see it to protect the players and because I could not find any rational explanation for what they did.”

Arsene reveals that sometimes he does see what he says he didn’t.

“He can only cheat.”

Arsene on Van Nistelrooy.

“It looks like you are burned in the village quicker now than before. And the fire is always raging.”

Arsene Wenger reacts to the cutthroat nature of managing at the highest level.

“I don’t kick dressing room doors or the cat or even football journalists.”

Although sometimes you suspect Arsene wouldn’t mind a go at the latter.

“If I go into a season and I say, ‘For fuck’s sake, if we don’t win anything, they will all leave,’ I have already lost. The problem of the media is always to imagine the worst. The problem of the manager is always to imagine the best.”

Arsene Wenger – Ever the optimist, despite the doom and gloom of the last six years.

“When I arrive at the gates of Heaven the Good Lord will ask ‘what did you do in your life?’ I will respond ‘I tried to win football matches.’ He will say: ‘Are you certain that’s all?’ But, well, that’s the story of my life.”

An ageing Wenger turns his mind to more pressing conversations ahead.

13,076 views

64 comments

  1. Seriously, beating Chelsea tomorrow would be so sweet in so many ways.

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    • but in contrast losing it would be so painful in so many ways… we gotta win this! #COYG

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    • How come it says AW has only spent £61.66m on player transfers in his 18 year career at Arsenal, and his spend for the last 9 years at just £6.16m. When ozil alone was £42.5m last year, dont understand someone pls explain this figures to me. Need to clear my head b4 we sunk chelsea today.

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      • I think those are net numbers. Look for blog’s post on Arsene’s bargain XI. We have made a tidy profit on a lot of our players, and that offset a lot of the cost.

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        • Thanks for the reply phelan, way better than giving me a thumbdown, that was one post I failed to read 2days ago for no fuckin real reason, it’ll never happen again, read every post and you’ll never be found wanting when it comes to arsenal facts and figures, Now unto da next one, chelseas ass kicking.

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  2. From the official site:

    ‘I had six great years at Arsenal under Arsène’s management. It was nice to have him as a coach and learn the way he think about football in all aspects. His knowledge is fantastic and the way he work with the players and for the club is something special. He works 24 hours a day looking after the growth of the club and development of the players, and has participated in the new Arsenal stadium development and helped many big players at the club.

    I feel happy for him that he is reaching his 1,000 games at this fantastic club that I’m proud to have been part of. I wish him all the best for the future as he deserves it, for what he did until now for the Club and for football itself.

    I hope Arsenal win something this year to calm down the pressure on him for a title. Many people question him about when it will happen, and one day when he leaves the club people will realise the importance of having him as manager. Thanks Arsène for helping me and teaching me without saying anything. Thanks for what you have done for our beloved Arsenal and for football. All my best to you and your family.’

    Gilberto

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    • How can anyone thumb this down, are u sure we don’t have chelsea fans here…… Pls we dnt need u.

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  3. What we have in Arsene is something so rare in football: a civilised, cultured and educated gentleman. It seems like everyone in the ‘meedya’ and the new breed of Facebook football fans want managers to act like spoiled, petulant children (cough, Mourinho, cough, Ferguson, cough, Redknapp, cough) and yet surely if there were any sense in the world then Monsieur Wenger would be the lauded as the man everyone should look up to? I knew he had had to put up with a lot with the rise of clubs prostituting themselves to sugar daddies, but seeing the numbers in print makes his achievements all the more outstanding.

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    • I found this gem of a quote reportedly said by Wenger during his speech when receiving the 1000th game award. It really does not need any explaining:

      “I’ve shown loyalty and turned many things down and agreed to work with restricted potential. I could rate what I had at this club.”

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  4. Wow, I’m not sure there is a fan among us who hasn’t lost a degree of patience with Arsene over the last nearly two decades. But those transfer stats are just incredible and really highlights how incredible it is to even be in the mill with these rediculous spending leviathans that we stay abreast with for the majority of time. It’s literally like a tank with amesome homing devices and lasers and stuff fighting a fat guy in underpants. Mind you if that man was Flamini, my money would be on him. I’m in my mid twenties so don’t know anything else but I love him for making me so damn proud to be an Arsenal fan. Cheers for that. Imagine if we supported Spurs eh?

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    • talk for yourself greek tragedy…i dont understand why you have to paint us all with the same brush…we are not all thick and stupid to moan about titles during the clubs toughest and most difficult transition in its entire history…nor are we sheep to get manipulated by media and rivals tauntings.

      perhaps if the arsenal fan had half this man’s class and strength we wouldnt experience the embarassments of having clueless folk telling Arsene how to run his football club.

      we had to repay our stadium, we were playing with kids and people were giving us shit for not winning titles against gazprom and the opec ???? real clever…..

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      • Ok, I’m not quite sure what point you’re making as you seem particularly inarticulate but my guess is that you are stating that you have never quivered in your full hearted support of Arsene Wenger. Now, I quite agree that he has done a wonderful job with limited resources, something I state in my previous point that obviously you haven’t understood, but we’ve been through stuff that other football fans have not and some of it has had a lot to do with managerial miscalculations.

        Conceding 8 at Old Trafford and then shipping them our best player, being knocked out of both cups last year by Blackburn and Bradford, respectively not strengthening in this last window when without doing so almost every Arsenal fan was aware we probably couldn’t win the league without doing so, just an embarrassing performance against Birmingham City. I could continue. I agree that Wenger has revolutionised our club but if you can say with a straight face that not once your faith has slightly dwindled, that perhaps Wenger’s rein had run its course, that making the same mistakes year after year had not budged your rock solid confidence, then you are either a liar or an idiot. Possibly both.

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  5. Some of my favourite Arsene quotes:

    “He (Mourinho) is out of order, disconnected with reality and disrespectful. When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes and not more intelligent.”

    And of course:

    [Upon being asked if he had received the apology that Sir Alex had announced he had sent to Wenger] “No. Perhaps he sent it by horse.”

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  6. Had lasagna for breakfast with some coffee

    I feel like I’m about to shit myself

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  7. Don’t forget he has an engineering degree and also a masters in economics. What a legend.

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  8. 1000-580-223-197-1850-964

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  9. just ordered one.

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  10. Loving all the Wenger love. The only man who is being a fool is Mourinho, and we play him tomorrow!! Starting goon XI, do the right thing and play the best you’ve ever played…

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  11. ~£62M in his time @arsenal – this man is a genius. I feel ashamed for doubting him. With all the figures from other clubs and in comparison… woof!

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  12. For those quotes this has been added to bookmarks alongside ‘Some things I like about Arsenal’ from Oct 2011

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  13. There’s only one Arsene Wenger ! ! !

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  14. Arsene is just such a great man and I pine for those rare times when he speaks philosophically about other issues. I’m disappointed he has said he won’t write a biography, because I’d love to hear his thoughts on so many topics beyond football.

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    • Agree totally.

      Though strictly if AW wrote a biography it would be about someone else than AW.

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      • True but I figured he’d use a professional writer to pen it for him, like most do. Would that still be an autobiography? I actually don’t know

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  15. There is literally no other manager I’d rather have at Arsenal. A beacon of class who represents Arsenal Football Club with the utmost professionalism and dedication. Looking forward to seeing his statue outside of the Emirates in the coming years.

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    • AW has integrity and dignity. He even manages to rise above those disgusting chants the lowlifes hurl at him. I mean if I read that any other manager had been outed as a kiddie fiddler I’d believe it but Arsene? A real gentleman.

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  16. “I tried to watch the Tottenham match on television in my hotel yesterday, but I fell asleep.”
    Respect sir!

    I also tried to watch Chelsea, but fell asleep too..

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  17. The Van Nistlerooy quote is poetry.

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  18. One of my favorites Arsene quotes. “I watched it when I got home and it looked very bad. You ask 100 people, 99 will say it’s very bad and the hundredth will be Mark Hughes.”

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  19. If ever there was a day a team talk wouldn’t be needed. If any player isn’t motivated enough for this great man tomorrow, he’s playing for the wrong team in North London.
    Thank you Arsene

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  20. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated Thumb up 1 Thumb down 86

    • You just don’t get it do you? Please, please go away

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    • lmao you dickhead…..surely the purpose of every business is to make money…just saying…

      unless you want to be a high class whore and spread your legs to tycoons to get by ……..

      arsenal chose to work for its success and its going to take time…deal with it like aman and stop crying like a tenyear old labout titles

      titles were never on the menu , especially for the years it would take you to repay you 450m investment..you effing shithead…..

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    • Will you PLEASE just shut up and go away, you troll? Absolutely no-one believes you support Arsenal.

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    • Fatgooner you are basing your argument on the incorrect premise that 2nd place means that you are not successful on the pitch. That is being contradictory: to finish anywhere near the 2nd place you MUST be successful on the pitch. You might not beat the team that finishes first, but you must beat every single other team to get second.

      Your complaint is thus rendered baseless.

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  21. so say a thank you perhaps every now and again that even in those restrains he kept you at a level not only respectable but also of over-achievement.

    what did you want ? to beat drogba with cesc and denilson? or to beat the best barcelona ever with clichy and nasri ?

    get real.

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  22. Had these saved on a file, pardon me for the repititions

    1) [Upon being asked what he does with his spare time] “I watch football.”

    2) “I tried to watch the Tottenham match on television in my hotel yesterday, but I fell asleep.”

    3) “When I first came to Arsenal, I realised the back four were all university graduates in the art of defending. As for Tony Adams, I consider him to be a doctor of defence. He is simply outstanding.”

    4) [On the qualities of Dennis Bergkamp] “Intelligence and class. Class is of course, most of the time linked to what you can do with the ball, but the intelligence makes you use the technique in an efficient way. It’s like somebody who has a big vocabulary but he doesn’t say intelligent words, and somebody who has a big vocabulary but he can talk intelligently, and that’s what Dennis is all about. What he does, there’s always a head and always a brain. And his technique allows him to do what he sees, and what he decides to do.”

    5) [After the Arsenal fans booed a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough in November 1998] “If you eat caviar every day it’s difficult to return to sausages.”

    6) “A company works best when everybody does the job he is paid to do.”

    7) “Sometimes now, when I watch continental games on television, I’m a bit bored. I’m thinking: ‘Where is the intensity?’”

    8) [In 2003] “It’s not impossible. I know it will be difficult for us to go through the season unbeaten. But if we keep the right attitude it’s possible we can do it.”

    9) [On Jose Mourinho after the then Chelsea boss accused him of being a voyeur] “He’s out of order, disconnected with reality and disrespectful. When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes and not more intelligent.”

    10) “A football team is like a beautiful woman. When you do not tell her, she forgets she is beautiful.”

    11) [In response to Sepp Blatter's accusation that big clubs were guilty of 'child slavery] “If you have a child who is a good musician, what is your first reaction? It is to put them into a good music school, not in an average one. So why should that not happen in football?”

    12) [After the departure of Sol Campbell to Portsmouth] “It is a big surprise to me because he cancelled his contract to go abroad. Have you sold Portsmouth to a foreign country?”

    13) “I believe the target of anything in life should be to do it so well that it becomes an art. When you read some books they are fantastic, the writer touches something in you that you know you would not have brought out of yourself. He makes you discover something interesting in your life. If you are living like an animal, what is the point of living? What makes daily life interesting is that we try to transform it to something that is close to art. And football is like that. When I watch Barcelona, it is art.”

    14) “When you represent a club it’s about values and qualities, not about passports.”

    15) “If I go into a season and I say, ‘For fu*k’s sake, if we don’t win anything, they will all leave,’ I have already lost. The problem of the media is always to imagine the worst. The problem of the manager is always to imagine the best.”

    16) [After the success of the Great Britain team at the Olympics] “I didn’t know the English were good at swimming. I have been in this country for 12 years and I haven’t seen a swimming pool.”

    17) “The biggest things in life have been achieved by people who, at the start, we would have judged crazy. And yet if they had not had these crazy ideas the world would have been more stupid.”

    18) “There is no better psychological education than growing up in a pub when you are five or six because you meet all different people and hear how cruel they can be. You hear the way they talk to each other like saying ‘You’re a liar.’ And from an early age you get a practical psychological education into the minds of people.”

    19) “I started at 33 as a manager and sometimes I felt I wouldn’t survive. Physically I was sick.”

    20) “Politically, I am for efficiency. Economically first. Until the 1980s the world was divided into two, people were either communist or capitalist. The communist model does not work economically, we all realised that, but the capitalist model in the modern world also looks to be unsustainable. You cannot ignore individual interests, but I believe the world evolves slowly. The last 30 years have brought a minimum amount of money for everybody in the west, the next step, politically, would be a maximum amount of money earned by everybody.”

    21) “As long as no-one scored, it was always going to be close.”

    22) “If I asked you who was the best team in the world you would say Brazil. And do they play good football? Yes. Which club won everything last year? Barcelona. Good football. I am not against being pragmatic, because it is pragmatic to make a good pass, not a bad one. If I have the ball, what do I do with it? Could anybody argue that a bad solution like just kicking it away is pragmatic just because, sometimes, it works by accident?”

    23) [In response to Sir Alex Ferguson's claim that he possessed the best team in the league despite Arsenal winning the title in 2002] “Everyone thinks they have the prettiest wife at home.”

    24) “Ferguson should calm down. Maybe it would have been better if he had put us against a wall and shot us.”

    25) “He [Ferguson] doesn’t interest me and doesn’t matter to me at all. I will never answer to any provocation from him any more.”

    26) [To journalists regarding Ferguson] “What I don’t understand is that he does what he wants and you are all at his feet.”

    27) “Ferguson’s out of order. He has lost all sense of reality. He is going out looking for a confrontation, then asking the person he is confronting to apologise. He’s pushed the cork in a bit far this time.”

    28) [Upon being asked if he had received the apology that Sir Alex had announced he had sent to Wenger] “No. Perhaps he sent it by horse.”

    29) “I’m ready to take the blame for all the problems of English football if that is what he wants.”

    30) [After Jose Reyes announced he wanted to leave Arsenal] “It’s like you wanting to marry Miss World and she doesn’t want you. I can try to help you but if she does not want to marry you what can I do?”

    31) “Despite the global warming, England is still not warm enough for him.”

    32) “Gerard Houllier’s thoughts on the matter [international football] echo mine. He thinks that what the national coaches are doing is like taking the car from his garage without even asking permission. They will then use the car for ten days and abandon it in a field without any petrol left in the tank. We then have to recover it, but it is broken down. Then a month later they will come to take your car again, and for good measure you’re expected to be nice about it.”

    33) “Gerard is an open-minded and passionate man. I am the opposite: stubborn and stupid. But sometimes stupid behaviour makes you win.”

    34) “I do not think about the national team too much because footballistically it is not of too much interest.”

    35) [On losing the lead of the league in November 2004] “It’s like a child who is used to having ice cream whenever he wants. When it doesn’t come when he asks he tends to get confused and nervous.”

    36) “Any man who concentrates his energies totally on one passion is, by definition, someone who hurts the people close to him.”

    37) “We were considering him [Ruud van Nistelrooy] and Francis Jeffers and, in the end, we went for Jeffers.”

    38) “Maybe people will be surprised that I have signed an Englishman but I looked at his quality and not his passport. Francis is a ‘fox in the box’.”

    39) [On Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2003] “He can only cheat.”

    40) “I think in England you eat too much sugar and meat and not enough vegetables.”

    41) “I lived for two years in Japan and it was the best diet I ever had. The whole way of life there is linked to health. Their diet is basically boiled vegetables, fish and rice. No fat, no sugar. You notice when you live there that there are no fat people.”

    42) “One of the things I discovered in Japan was from watching sumo wrestling. At the end you can never tell who has won the fight, and who has lost, because they do not show their emotion because it could embarrass the loser. It is unbelievable. That is why I try to teach my team politeness. It is only here in England that everybody pokes their tongue out when they win.”

    43) “What’s really dreadful is the diet in Britain. The whole day you drink tea with milk and coffee with milk and cakes. If you had a fantasy world of what you shouldn’t eat in sport, it’s what you eat here.”

    44) “If you do not believe you can do it then you have no chance at all.”

    45) [On Arsenal's recruitment policy] “If I give you a good wine, you will see how it tastes and after you ask where it comes from.”

    46) “I don’t kick dressing room doors or the cat or even football journalists.”

    47) “At some clubs success is accidental. At Arsenal it is compulsory.”

    48) “Nobody has enough talent to live on talent alone. Even when you have talent, a life without work goes nowhere.”

    49) “You have to be a masochist to be an international manager.”

    50) “For me, when you change more than three players in a team, you always take a technical risk because you change the deep structure of the team and the deep balance of the team, mentally and technically.”

    51) “We do not buy superstars. We make them.”

    52) “The real revelation of a player’s character is not in his social life but in how he plays. In my social life I can hide my real personality.”

    53) [After Martin Taylor snapped Eduardo's leg in half] “The guy should never ever play football again.”

    54) [On how long Tomas Rosicky would be ruled out for at the start of his 18-month recuperation] “Days not weeks.”

    55) “I am in a job where you always look in front of you. Unfortunately, the older you get, the less distance there is in front of you.”

    56) “We try to go a different way that, for me, is respectable. Briefly, these are the basics. I thought: “We are building a stadium, so I will get young players in early so I do not find myself exposed on the transfer market without the money to compete with the others. I build a team, and we compensate by creating a style of play, by creating a culture at the club because the boy comes in at 16 or 17 and when they go out they have a supplement of soul, of love for the club, because they have been educated together. The people you meet at college from 16 to 20, often those are the relationships in life that keep going. That, I think, will give us strength that other clubs will not have.”

    57) “What motivates me is an ideal of thinking about how football should be. And to try to get near this way of playing. And to try to improve all aspects of my personality that can help me get near this ideal way of playing football.”

    58) [On Emmanuel Adebayor's stamp on Robin van Persie] “I watched it when I got home and it looked very bad. You ask 100 people, 99 will say it’s very bad and the hundredth will be Mark Hughes.”

    59) “I did not see the incident.”

    60) “I do not like to make a fuss, it’ll just be another day. I want to stay 59.”

    61) “There are two categories of club, one travels with petrol & one that travels with sweat. We travel with sweat!”

    62) “Some are wrong because they are not strong enough to fight temptation and some some are wrong because they do not know.”

    63) “If I was the other players I would think ‘I have a good opportunity to play’. If you have been a football player you never cry when somebody goes.”

    64) “Sometimes you have to Swallow the UnSwallowable.”

    65) “I have shown in my 15 years that I am capable of bringing in quality. You have to trust my judgement ”

    66) ‘I’m like somebody who flies a plane for 30 yrs & I have to accept someone can come into the cockpit & think he can fly it better.’

    ’67) “If you do not turn up with the same competitive spirit in every game you can lose games everywhere”

    68) “What I would like from our fans is to be behind the team until the last day, the last minute, of the season”

    69) “i cannot as well sit there and be placid like I am on dope!”

    70) “In my job you expect to suffer that’s why when I go to hell one day it will be less painful for me than for you, I’m used to suffering”

    71) ?’When a German communicates, you listen” on Per’s valuable inputs for Dortmund game !

    72) “I will send my vibes and hope they will not be detected by Uefa”

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  23. Theories as to why fatgooner is like this.

    1) he had a trial at Arsenal when he was thingooner, but Wenger turned him down.
    2) he is actually Bruce Rioch and pissed at Wenger for taking his job.
    3) he supported sp*rs up until 03/04, changed to Arsenal after the invincibles, got shit loads of stick for it from his mates, who now don’t talk to him, and the only thing he got for all that was the FA Cup in 05.
    4) he is actually Neil Ashton
    5) he used to be called thingooner, but this awful trophy drought has led him to an eating disorder, and ultimately blames Wenger for him pulling on the pounds.
    6) he likes to think he’s Keanu Reeves in that film with Al Pacino. He can’t help playing Devil’s Advocate.
    7) he has a strange and highly addictive fetish for thumbs down.
    8) Wenger once bumped into him, knocking his bag of chips out his hand and on to the floor. Wenger didn’t apologise.

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  24. Wenger is the most masterful, knowledgeable man in football and we as gooners should be eternally grateful for the service he has given to The Arsenal.

    Hope our brilliant away fans sing his name constantly tomorrow and I really hope we beat that lot as can see big momentum building if that happens.

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  25. 1000 games more!!!

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  26. bergkamp's hooped sock

    A football manager and a gentleman. Somebody, buy the movie rights now!!

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  27. My favourite, and one I’ve never seen before, ties in nicely with the spending stats above.
    ‘We don’t buy superstars. We make them’. Should put that on the visitors dressing room door!

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  28. Am I just stupid or did he actually say ‘for fuck’s sake’ in public? Is that an actual quote? Brilliant, if so. Gotta love Le Professeur.

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  29. You just have to respect this man… Seeing the stats just crystallizes how much of an achievement it was just to stay up there with the top 4. We went through a rough patch and the discipline and determination not to put the club in debt in the midst of the largesse of his counterparts AND STILL KEEP UP WITH THE PACK, Outstanding! I hope he stays, just off the top of my head I cant think of any top manager now that would have taken up that challenge. Viva Wenger!!! Viva Arsenal!!

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  30. Excellent article, thanks.

    More quotes from Le Prof.

    Football is an art, like dancing is an art – but only when it’s well done does it become an art.

    I believe in work, in connections between the players, I think what makes football great is that it is a team sport. You can win in different ways, by being more of a team, or by having better individual players. It is the team ethic that interests me, always.

    I believe one of the best things about managing people is that we can influence lives in a positive way. That’s basically what a manager is about. When I can do that, I am very happy.

    As a club, we have an educational purpose: to give back to those people who love Arsenal so that they learn moral values from our game and how we behave.

    In a competitive world, not everybody can follow the pace; you will leave people out. We now accept that we must take care of these people. You cannot let them die in the streets; people will not accept it. And that is right, too.

    It is a big surprise to me because he canceled his contract to go abroad. Have you sold Portsmouth to a foreign country? [Sol Campbell going to Portsmouth, after hinting he wanted to go abroad]

    Don’t mind and don’t care. [After sp*rs went out of Europa, April 2013]

    That’s a question you shouldn’t ask me, but the referees. [When asked about facing Manure without Sir Alex]

    I’ve heard this for 16 years now. [When asked if sp*rs would finally beat us to a Champions League spot]

    You’ve certainly tried to go out with a girl, but find she has chosen someone else. You don’t commit suicide. [Suarez]

    Reporter: If this is your last chance to win a trophy this season…
    Wenger: Thank you very much for that question. It’s a long time that we didn’t answer it.

    Florentino Perez in 2005: Jose Mourinho and Fabio Capello are two of the world’s best trainers but I have another name for you, Wenger. I like him very much.
    Wenger: That’s nice of him but until 2008 I have glue on my seat.

    We played well and that made it easy.

    When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid

    If you are living like an animal, what is the point of living? What makes daily life interesting is that we try to transform it to something that is close to art.

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  31. DöubleDöubleDöuble

    For me the thing that sums up Wenger isn’t a quote, it’s an action…

    …offering to replay that FA Cup tie against Sheffield United.

    He didn’t have to, and nobody would have honestly expected him to. He could have hidden behind the rules, but he did the right thing. It made me proud to be a Gooner then, and still does now.

    Fans almost always think their club is morally superior to others. They try to justify the unjustifiable. Become hypocrites because a player was wearing their team’s shirt. But sometimes, on very rare occasions, we actually are superior.

    Thank you Arsene.

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  32. The stats are quality.

    67/1 ratio of money spent by Chelshit compared to us in the last 9 years.

    Stick that up your arse Mourinho.
    And your oil soaked mafia twat of a club owner.

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  33. Great article!
    It’s anyone’s right to be pro-Wenger or anti-Wenger. I personally am a big fan, think he is the last of a certain breed and will lament his eventual departure.
    He is a wonderful coach yet reassuringly fallible (even in 03/04 when the CL should have been secured). So when people complain about the ‘failure’ since 2005, I recall the runners up of 1999/ 2000 UEFA Cup/ 2001 FA Cup Final and say “so what, at least we always compete and put ourselves in the frame!”
    Mourinho doesn’t understand the adulation heaped on Wenger and is ultimately green with envy because he will never be appreciated in the same way, regardless of his trophy haul.
    When we look back on history, we slways remember the players, not the manager. Wenger has been personally responsible for creating great players and that is his lasting legacy.
    Lastly, AW has demonstrated the fundamental essence of the game- the primary purpose of a club is to exist, then compete and finally to be successful. Arsenal are comfortably aiming for the latter without worrying about the former.

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  34. Favorite Wenger quote: “When eventually I go to hell, it’ll be easier for me than for you, because I’m used to suffering.”

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  35. 99 problems but being GOONER aint one

    Interesting stats

    Wenger’s 999 games v Sir Alex Ferguson’s first 1,000.

    Arsene Wenger Sir Alex Ferguson
    Games 999 1000
    Wins 572 564
    Draws 235 248
    Losses 192 188
    Goals For 1845 1784
    Goals Against 961 944
    Win % 57.3% 56.4%

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  36. Arsene won’t fit in hell.

    Once Mourinho’s ego gets there, there will be no room left for anything.

    Although it might flex enough for John Terry!

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  37. Lads. You’ve got to win today, for our title hopes and for Wenger. You’ve worked hard all season to get here, don’t give it up now. If we lose to a dodgy ref or pure bad luck, I’ll forgive you. Even if Chelsea play like an on form Brazil team of ’82 (how unlikely is that?) and we lose…meh what can you do?

    I’m only asking one thing. You give fucking everything today. Cliche alert and all that, but leave nothing on the pitch. I want you to come off vomiting with exhauastion. Anything less in unncceptable! In fact, I will be so angry with you I would want the lot of you sold. I’m serious!

    Give it everything today. FFS!

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  38. He’s one of the biggest purists of the beautiful game.

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  39. This is great, feeling all giddy and “Arsenal-ly” inside.

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