Lincoln boss reveals ‘invaluable’ Wenger post-game chat


Lincoln boss Danny Cowley has revealed how Arsene Wenger – often criticised by other managers for not having a post-game glass of wine with them – sat down for 90 minutes with him and his brother Nicky following Arsenal’s 5-0 FA Cup quarter-final win.

The Arsenal manager gave up his time for the duo who currently see their side top of the National League, and Cowley used the chance to pick the brains of one of the most experienced managers in the game.

He told BBC 5 Live about the time he’d spent with Wenger and what it meant to him.

“We had about an hour and a half with Arsene Wenger after the game and that will be invaluable, something we will cherish forever,” he said.

“The fact that he was willing to give us an hour, an hour and a half of his time after probably the week he’s had says everything about that man.

“He still spoke really passionately, still has a real affection for the game and when you consider the amount of criticism he has had recently – the fact he still loves the game and talks with such enthusiasm was brilliant.

“He said that after the results they’ve had he needed to instil confidence back into the group and that was the reason why he picked such a strong team.”

“I asked lots of questions. After an hour and a half I’m sure they’d had enough. It was really insightful, a fantastic experience.”

Considering the pressure he’s under at the moment, to spend that time with a young manager is very decent and says a lot about Wenger the man, even if many aren’t inclined to look beyond Wenger the manager at the moment.

Thanks to @jackbedlam for the heads-up

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90 Comments on "Lincoln boss reveals ‘invaluable’ Wenger post-game chat"

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Del boy

As a human, he is in the same league as David Attenborough. Legends

Alexis, Atom & Humber
Alexis, Atom & Humber

There is no better man among all the managers, Wenger is a class act. His innovative ways when he came to England changed the game forever. Therein lies the problem, he stopped innovating and stopped setting the pace.
There was a time when the king of mobile phones was the Blackberry, then came along the iPhones and Samsungs and the rest is history. If the Apple and Samsung don’t move ahead of the curve too, they will go the same was as the Blackberry. Now I don’t think anyone wants that to happen to Arsenal.

We cant remain sentimental to past achievements, I was privileged to watch the Arsenal before and during the invicibles team, so I am very grateful to Wenger for his achievements. The times have changed, so Arsenal needs to.


Here’s the thing, I’m a huge Arsene Wenger fan, always have been and always will be, even if he gets us relegated. I do feel however that Arsenal need a fresh approach and that he should leave at the end of the season. I absolutely hate the amount of disrespect he’s getting right now but the thing is, both he and the board said they would consider how the fans feel when they make their decision at the end of the season, so to me that tells me the protests have been successful and if I was one of the people protesting I’d feel encouraged and want to carry on.

Respect all my fellow Arsenal fans and strongly feel they’re entitled to their opinion, if you feel strongly about something don’t just sit there and take it, do something about them, so respect. Having said that, it makes me sick to my stomach to see Wenger go through all of this, it’s the equivalent to raising a kid then once he turns 18 he tells his father to fuck off. I understand Wenger is done as a manager and sentiments isn’t a reason to stay on, but it’s such a shit situation.

On one hand you don’t such a legend of our club to go out this way but if the fans that are protesting stop, then Wenger will think he’s done enough to win the fans over (although under 300 fans out of 60,000 statistically speaking would be enough to conclude Arsenal fans want Wenger to stay).


U’ve said it all.. Thumbs up

Jason Daniel

Im not sure that Arsene is” done” as a manager, 2nd last year, 3rd before that.
His success from spend stats are ridiculously good, when compared to some of the ‘bought’ teams.
The haters have no loyalty whatsoever to someone who has done so much.


I agree… And I am proud we are not a bought team… Yet if you look at the gameplay it needs to change, constant shifting of formations, coaxing the players to be brave going forward and not jumping at every tackle received, shifting of tactics and I mean gameplay within a game according to situation… And most importantly the players need to understand their roles perfectly before taking the field… Now most for most of this the blame goes to the players more than the manager… Unfortunately and disgustingly he has taken the blame…Yet we cannot deny the fact that we have been stagnant… So I don’t know what “Change would bring, Change comes first”… Let us see what happens…


“Respect all my fellow Arsenal fans and strongly feel they’re entitled to their opinion, if you feel strongly about something don’t just sit there and take it, do something about them, so respect.”

There is no respect in demanding Wenger leave. A desire to see more from this team doesn’t have to be insulting to the club legend. Stop validating boorish behavior. I detest the manner in which the fans have made themselves heard. I hate the failures of this team as much as any Arsenal fan. But to pin it on one man, and make him the focus of all your frustration is so unfair, so undignified that I find it as unforgivable as the results on the pitch. There is a serious rift and let it be known. NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS this fan here will never forget nor forgive the delusional cowardly fans who have turned a really bad situation into the worst possible situation.


I feel the same. When i started watching Arsenal 11-12y ago, the whole team, as well as the fans felt the coolest, most open minded bunch in the history of football. Nowadays i can’t bear watching games with the bunch that gathers in my city.
The times has changed and if Arsene leaves that will probably mean hiatus for my die hard, consume every bit info fandom.


Yeah as a man away from being Arsenal manager Wenger is a class act. He really is. He’s just lost his touch in this new modern ever changing game – thats it. He’s not shit. He’s not a ‘fraud.’ He just isn’t what he used to be, and there’s no shame in that. Nobody can operate at the highest level possible for as long as he has and expect to be as good as they were in their prime. Life doesn’t work like that, especially in professional sport.

His unwillingness to move with the times has ultimately cost him in some respects, but then ironically helped him in others. I think if Arsenal genuinely want to win a league title or a Champions League, then they need a new manager because Arsene doesn’t have it in his locker to compete at that level anymore.


One of the main reasons that Ferguson wasn’t so effective at United, bar the oodles of cash they splashed, was that he often deferred coaching to his assistant, which he often changed up to keep it fresh.
Wenger doesn’t delegate and you wonder how much input Bould actually gets to make


Very well written sums up the sentiments of most arsenal fans (I believe). Our respect for Arsene will not fade away but the club has to move forward.


Oh well said.


I agree. His intellect, integrity and humanity continue to infuse Arsenal with a sense of identity that it has sadly lost in most other aspects.

That makes it all the more painful that this man goes out week after week to take the bullets meant for the soulless corporate criminals that “own” the club. Every day he stays on their dime and refuses to call them out erodes the mental distinction between man and manager just a little further.

Del boy

To the gentleman who thumbed me down, you sir are a plonker


Quite right!

Dr Oo

They might not like David Attenborough


There’s only one Arsene Wenger.




This is such an important distinction: wenger the man vs wenger the manager. I dare anyone to find fault with wenger the man. We all need to keep this in mind regardless of what we would like to see in the summer (im hoping for a change)

George Belluardo

Well said Tim




I’m hoping for change as well. But the right kind of change. I don’t want a mourinho or anyone even close to that. Wenger has his flaws as a manager but he has few equals as a human being.


True Someone with the class and calibre of Jochim Lowe would be good. Arsenal FC manager has to be a great tactician but a decent human being.


Don’t agree with the change bit, but everything else is spot on!


Whatever criticism one has about Arsene Wenger you have today the man is pure class. Maybe change is needed but I will miss him when he is gone.


Whatever criticism one has about Arsene Wenger you have to say the man is pure class. Maybe change is needed but I will miss him when he is gone.


Fuckin’ excellent. My coats on…


Hmm. Maybe “Gazidis out” is the way to go?

Xhaka Demus, no Pliers
Xhaka Demus, no Pliers

I think the way to go regardless is Kroenke Out. Not that he’d give a f*** (given his disdain for the fans of his US sports franchises) but a mass demonstration against Kroenke would at least draw attention to the deeper issues at the club.


It doesn’t say much for the board members who sold their shares to a man who sees the club as an asset. I doubt he would have kept a secret of the fact he isn’t a football lover and isn’t here to invest and win things.
I say give Usmanov a chance to splash his cash, and I don’t care what he’s done, he’s hardly worse than the sheiks or the oil grabbing oligarch, but a hell of a lot richer

Crash Fistfight

Well if we’re happy to take sponsorship money from Emirates I don’t see why we should be that bothered about Usmanov’s money potentially being used.

Last week there was a story about a couple having been arrested in the UAE for having sex outside of marriage, which the authorities found out about because the woman was pregnant (so much for doctor-patient confidentiality BTW). So now a pregnant woman is behind bars – having done nothing to harm anyone – because of the archaic laws set by the same people who own that airline. The same people who use what is essentially modern slavery to build their infrastructure.

And the thing people protest about is the manager getting past his sell by date.

Stuck on repeat...

Completely agree. The fact that Chips was brought out this week shows me that the board (& possibly the owner) are at least aware that the fans are upset. I viewed that act (the statement made) as intentionally done to protect them as much as it was done to protect AW.

Feel bad for AW as I feel he has been shafted from both above (the owner/ board) & below (the players) for far far too long. Yes AW has his faults, but it speaks volumes that he has refused to blame anyone else for anything.

Genuinely believe that if there was more passion shown by other parties, whatever failings AW may have would have been largely nullified.

Daz gooner

My views exactly 👌


I agree. #KroenkeOut should be our slogan. He’s the one crippling this club. Doesn’t give a shit and takes money out of the club every year for NOTHING.
Respect for Wenger for putting up with that.

Phil sadler

Yeah Wenger has done well for the club and he will always be a legend at the club, but it’s time for change maybe it will be good or maybe we will go through a new manager every season.

But we need to try it George Graham was a legend and Wenger followed not long after hope the next manager whoever it will be will bring more talented players and more trophies.


Geroge Graham managed Tottenham.

David Hillier's luggage
David Hillier's luggage

George Graham was sacked because he took a bung, not to improve results or bring a change to the club.

Also, as an aside, how was Graham the only manager who got banned for taking a backhander? There is no way on earth he was the only one on the take

Andy Mack

It was easier to get rid of Graham at that time because we were below mid-table when the ‘bung’ shit hit the fan.


I hope Wenger stays. Talking to other people about football after a match is really important for Arsenal and definitely justifies his £8mill salary.


Hopefully Drumpf will talk to you and help you on how to spin a story out of context, better. I think it’s really important for your development as a person.

JJ's Bender

Andy, you are the antithesis of this article.

Another story how classy this man is, shame about some of our fans.

Bobby Bergkamp

Class is permanent…


The Arsenal way, is a way to be proud of. Wenger has done immensely for the club and it’s a shame he is treated so crudely. Im hoping (yes I’m naive), that we beat the big clubs in the upcoming 2 months and then Wenger may chose whether to stay or go


Always had huge respect for the guy. Heck I even thought the club was named after him when I was a kid. Will forever be grateful for what he’s done for us. I wish we could win stuff with him but sadly it’s time for him to go. Will continue to support him wherever he goes (even if it’s Barca or PSG). Hope he’s successful there. Thank You for everything Arsene.


My apologies for replaying this quotation from Cowley immediately following the game yesterday, but I do find it a significant counterpoint to the court of public opinion which has damned the manager’s abilities: “People criticise Arsene Wenger, and have criticised him this week, but anyone who really knows football and see the way those Arsenal players move, and their method and their understanding of each other’s space and tactically how intelligent they are, that comes from good coaching, no doubt about that,” Cowley said. “I’m not going to say it was great to watch because it was tough to watch. But it was a football education for sure.” This doesn’t give Wenger a pass on the deep problems afflicting Arsenal this season, nor does it go any distance towards justifying a renewal of his contract, but he’s not past it as a manager.


Comment: The problem is not wenger but the players who sometimes don’t give their all. what i think is that large sum of money be released next season by the board to overhaul the team.

Alfred S Goliath

I agreed, the players need to up their and show that they are worthy of £250 000.00 er week wages. If they lay and win the league title, the Board and Management need to come to the party with increased wages, but how can the wages of non-performing players be improved.

Big Dave

Regardless of the current situation I hope Wengers name is chanted on the terraces for years to come. It may be the end of an era, but just remember he started this era!


THINK ABOUT IT: When is the last time you heard one of the senior managers ‘sit down’ with a younger manager? You think Mourinho would ever do it? Class, as they say, is forever.


The PR machine at arsenal works round the clock.But even for them this is scratching the bottom of the barrel.

Yorkshire Gunner

The Cowleys said it themselves in an interview this morning? Shame to be so cynical.


Proud that this man is running the club I love.


He deserves a bit of respect considering what he has done for the club

I find the “wenger out” message frankly despicable and the timing a bit retarded.

We know we need change.

But the way some people are doing it lacks class.

The media of course are stoking it because these pundits who have never managed a club and are embittered by mediocre careers would like nothing but to see us fall out if top4 which has been their prediction for 5 to 6 seasons now.

They say Wenger HAS to go now.

Yet when you look at Spurs and Liverpool who have been trying to win the title for years…and have followed prescription advocated in changing young genius managers every next season… They have not done it for a half century and a quarter century now.

IMO we need to be careful and patient identifying and bringing in Wrngers successor.

I don’t think we need Wenger for more than a potential additional season to transition should we not find the right candidate this summer.

2018 post Wcup will usher the usual managerial changes.

We can afford to keep Wenger on for a years extension of need be

It will afford us time to put things in place…not rush our decision And allow Wenger a bit if face to step down.

Unless Wenger does not fulfill his minimum high standard of top 4 finish this season, there is no reason to panicky.

We are poor for our potential but we are not the embarrassment or disaster the media would paint us.

Stuck on repeat...

“We are poor for our potential but we are not the embarrassment or disaster the media would paint us”.

Love that statement & completely agree.

Not yet time for a change
Not yet time for a change

Big congrats to Arseblog. This has been serious times in terms of negativity within the club and we have had the privilege to hear excellent discussions on Arsecast with a great panel of guests and insightful blogs. Really has been quality to follow and proud to be a gooner. Top job Mr Blogs


Of flesh and blood he’s made
Born to make mistakes


besides being an arsenal fan, i have learnt the virtue of patience and humility from wenger, both as a manager and as a man.


The gaffer must leave. We want him gone, he has a beautiful attitude but enough is enough


Be careful what you wish for, as the grass is not always greener…. Wenger is a legend and the man that comes next might not bring the success that we all crave……

Then we will be rambling on about the good old days of wenger……

Hademe precious

So if Winger drops dead today, the club will be buried with him? Must Winger be there forever? One say he must leave and that time is now, no sentiment.

Block 93

Might help if you could at least spell his name right. #wingerout – but which winger?

Alfred S Goliath

Maybe some Arsenal fans don’t know where the team ended on the log, a year after George Graham lift.12th on the log and Arsenal never reach that after Arsenal took over. At last we are not humiliated to end below 4th during the last years under Wenger.


I have always loved Arsene and always will. He was in charge from when I was 9 so the few years I remember before that were pretty terrible. But enough is enough, people on this board are saying blame the players, he’s had about 5 different cycles of players since he last won the league,all players he’s signed who haven’t been good enough (Denilson, Song, Senderos) or have angled for a move because of our percieved lack of ambition or for better money (Nasri, Adebayor, Van Persie) the fact is it’s the manager that motivates players and I think that’s where it falls down with Arsene now but it’s to be expected, he’s in his late 60s and other than the love of the game he won’t have a single thing in common with them. It hurts to see on the touch line now it really does, the stress the man puts himself under and the hatred shown to him by certain elements of our fanbase is disgusting. In my opinion we’ve got the best squad in the league and if we had any of the other top 4 managers we would be clear at the top. I was really hoping we’d get Klopp in after he’d left Dortmund but us winning the FA cup put pay to that. So who does everyone think should get he job, favourite seems to be Allegri… as much as I hate Chelsea having and ex Juve man in there hasn’t done them harm.


Hey Andrews10, if a man in his 60’s only has ‘the love of the game’ in common with today’s footballers, it’s a sad indictment on the direction of the game. Although it’s probably not just footballers now a days who don’t value the same things Wenger does – football or not.

Having said that, the majority of the comments/votes on here who loved the article and what Wenger did shows there are many out there who can relate to Wenger and are proud to have him as a manager (when it comes to certain of his footballing philosophies). It is a pity though he hasn’t had the results/trophies for more to have faith in him for the few more years he might want to remain.

Andy Mack

Andrews10, you mention Denilson, Song and Senderos but not the fact we got them really cheap. Like these fuck-wits moaning that we bought Sanogo (we got him on a ‘Free’), some cheap players are a gamble and every manager that stays for a while at a club buys them because for every few failures there’s a win and the cost of players justifies the gamble.


Every good thing comes to an end. Some people have had wonderful marriages, jobs, children you name it but at some point they have lost them and moved on. Tell me a successful team that has not changed a manager, Arsenal needs to learn from other teams. Sticking to the same manger has cost us trophies and happiness. We need to be as happy as other clubs. We chose Arsenal above other clubs to be happy, every one should get this right. When you’re not happy in a relationship you quit and move on. We have had enough cries, people have laughed at us, listen enough is enough.
Thank you AW for all you have given the club but please go.


The guy is too nice a human for the reality we live in.


So nice to read the comments on here after the last couple of weeks. Whenever there’s talks about bungs, doping etc I think it’s fair to say lots of premier league fans would be nervous that their club was involved, but Arsenal with Wenger in charge, never, nnt even DT etc would even think that for a second. Time to go Arsene, but as an honorable man you’re there with the very best.

Hademe precious

Any body wanting arsene to stay is an enemy of the club. It is obvious he has lost touch with modern football hence his proud archaic philosophy has failed him. Yes he made huge money for the club but other managers and clubs has done so too,this too. This time, trophy is what counts and that is where he has failed. Honestly, I hate his stubbornness, I hate his stinginess,i hate his sole approach to every game. He should go.


I hate you! You go!

A Different George

“An enemy of the club?” Do you mean this seriously–we live in a moment where it is often impossible to tell heavy-handed satire from genuine idiocy. I sincerely hope you meant the first; if not, I hope you learn to keep things in perspective.


You should go. You don’t understand Arsenal. Piss off


I hope Arsene stays. He’s still class. We’re still playing beautiful football. We’re still competing at the top. I don’t understand what is meant by ‘move with the times’ Pay stupid money for overrated players? Pay stupid wages to overrated players? Jump up and down on the touchline? Cheat? Dive? Prevent the opposition from playing? Park the bus? WHAT?




Wonderful man. Bless him. As already stated … there’s only one Arsene Wenger. These current moments will not define, nor tarnish, the status he respectfully deserves.


Great man.

(Some fans still feel the need to post negativity in an article extolling a man’s virtue when they could have read and moved on. Still my bad for reading the comments section.)

I hope he stays for another season.

Wenga boys

I wish he’d give Lucas 90 minutes


We should not be too carried away with Lucas being the answer to everything either but the Spaniard keeps the ball and uses it very well.

That said, hats off to Walcott for stepping up a little more over recent games. He really needs to make more impact, he isn’t a 16yr old anymore.


For a few seasons now I’ve thought if we want success/trophies (big ones) then it’s time for a change in the dugout.

However I have to bear in mind that only six teams have won the Premier League since its inception in 92 and 9 since the day I was born (83). Two of those nine teams are not in the top division anymore (Leeds and Blackburn) and one may be headed that way very shortly (Leicester). Two more haven’t won the top division in twice as long (Everton and Liverpool)as Arsenal.

So does change always bring success! Clearly not ae. We have had longer barren spells in respect of league titles and I’m always reminded of Charlton Athletic when I think about clubs not being happy with their lot in life.

One final thing I hadn’t thought of was the character of the new manager and I really don’t want some ahole like Mourinho or dare I say it another soon to be invincible in Brendan Rodgers 🤔 ☹️


The problem with Arsene is not solely that he isn’t winning trophies but it’s how we keep losing. The team has no real ‘fight’ in them and this has been the case for years with different players, the one constant is the manager. Surely at some point you address the issue or move on.


How do you define “fight” in this context?

In the first half of this season, even the media were praising Arsenal’s steel and fight to get results, as we were winning and drawing games late with considerable resolve.


Perhaps we did then but ultimately we’ve reverted back to type. That’s the problem and it’s not a surprise at all because we all see this coming. To win titles, our mental toughness needs to be sustained.

It’s literally a repeat EVERY season.


We done good the club.

Not sure why some are always moaning.

We donated moneys to Sutton (Not Chris Sutton) and gave Lincoln some time with the gaffer.

That’s the way its done with class.

Semi finals and finals will be against the BIG boys so some work to be done before we claim accolade but should we do it and say City don’t go beyond a Bayern or Barca or Madrid in CL, then aside from Chelsea, who’s done better than us in the PL?

It won’t stop the likes of Harry Redknapp twitching on about how Spurs are better than us of course or ex Liverpool mob championing how brendan Rodgers sorry Jurgen Klopp is the best manager in the world or how United got it right spending on Pogba for a milk cup.

Lets go on and do it. Win the damm FA cup again for the 13th time and 7th for Wenger.


I weep at his greatness as a human. I love him. I want to have dinner with him and enjoys some mineral driven Alsatian wine. Smoke a few fags and then enjoy a meringue based dessert.

Jonathan Anthony

The reason fans are angry is not because Arsenal don’t regularly win titles, but bcoz AW is frugal with cash and refuses to pay over the top for world class players who could take the club to the next level.
But to be fair to the man, in the past 15 years the 2 Manchester clubs and Chelsea have spent between 750 million to 950 million, while Arsenal have spent 250 million. AW never has the spending power to buy success like those clubs which is why what he’s done all these years is outstanding. In his financial situation keeping us in 4th place is as good a winning the title. Besides, despite all the money those 3 clubs spent, they still don’t play CL every year. People need to be fair in their assessment of the man. You can’t sell your best players and spend less than half of your rivals and win the league.
Respect from a loyal Gunners fan from Bangalore, India.


I have been an Arsenal supporter for 40 years and have great respect for AW. As I see it his only fault is too much loyalty to players who consistently fail to perform and are unable to make the right decision in the heat of a game. Respect to AW but he must overhaul the squad and buy some fighters and leaders like we used to have


It s been an honour to have had Wenger as a manager; his time’s up though and he should go well, maybe with another FA Cup. Change is needed.


Have infinite respect and even a level of affection for some one who has an influence on my life for 20 years.
Even when infuriated by him, those core feelings remain.


Arsène Wenger is the reason I am able to go to sleep at night still believing that honour, kindness, belief in others and the courage to do the right things are still well and alive in the modern era.

This man has influenced more people than most world leaders would have done. The examples he has set and the way he has carried himself have been exceptional. Nobody ever has a bad word to say about him as a man. In the end it may not win us any trophies, but speaking as someone who has grown up without a proper male role model, Arsène Wenger is the one man most responsible for my life philosophy.
Forever grateful. One Arsène Wenger.


It’s really a tough time being an arsenal fan irrespective of the side of the divide you are in.

He’s done probably what no other manager has done for the club.
I hope the player realise how to honor this man by playing out there hearts to win the FA cup for the man who has shown so much faith in most of them even when they are undeserving of it, so that he can go out with a consolatary accolade.