Wenger reveals why he turned down United job


Arsene Wenger says he turned down the chance to move to Manchester United in 2001 because he was happy at Arsenal

Former United chairman Martin Edwards recently revealed in his autobiography that the Frenchman twice invited him and Peter Kenyon to his home in Totteridge to discuss succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ultimately, the Scot postponed his retirement negating the need for a formal decision although Edwards wrote that Wenger’s loyalty to David Dein and his project at Highbury would probably have won through anyway.

Asked about the story in his press conference after the 3-0 win over Bournemouth, Wenger underlined why sharing Arsenal’s club values proved decisive in his decision.

“I was always happy here, people were happy with me and I always happy.

“Because I love the values of this club and, for me, a club is about values first. One day it would be a good chat to have with the press to look at the evolution.

“You speak about Man United, the evolution in the last 20 years would be very interesting. A lot has changed but when I came here this club was about values that I love in sport. That is why I am still in the competition.

“A lot has changed but when I came here this club was about values that I love in sport. That is why I am still in the competition.

“I always question myself. Yes, of course, Man United is attractive but am I happy here? The answer was yes.

“It is too long to talk about that but I think it is quite an interesting subject that you know certainly as well as I do, but a lot has changed.

“When I arrived here we were 80 people, today we are 700. Sometimes I cross somebody inside our club who I know, that is quite new. Most of them I don’t know anymore. We have changed a lot.”


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Only if he had moved. Would swap uniteds history post 2001, except maybe invincibles


We would probably be still at Highbury and with our revenue stream probably further behind than we’re right now. The man may have not been as successful on pitch but he has surely transformed this football club. When he’s gone (which most of us hope is soon) we will take stock and celebrate his legacy. For as long as he remains manager, I wish him and the team well


Can’t like you comment as I don’t want him gone.


Can’t like your comment as I want him gone. So desperately. But not as desperately as OUR club needs him gone.

Mein Bergkampf

“Most of them I don’t know anymore”

Then sell Debuchy, for god sake!


No wonder. He forgot about him and a few other players.


Yes he doesn’t know anymore how to use his own players….


You think he hasn’t tried? No-one will take the fucker!


Debuchy is still a decent footballer. He might even get a chance to show that this season. Hopefully he can and be the challenge that Bellerin needs.


Who will pay his big wage? Seems that he’s on £70,000/week.
Same story with:
Jenkinson: £45,000
Wilshire: £90,000


These guys were worth it at the time to lock them down.

Cygan\'s Magical Left foot
Cygan\'s Magical Left foot

One win against the Cherries and the boys (apologist) back in town.

So, judge me in two years time!!!!!.

Some will never learn.


No, you’re forgetting the values of this club.


Wenger: I almost signed Man Utd…


‘Would swap for uniteds history post 2001’ You do realise if he moved he was only taking the role not swapping teams and managers! Fergus was quitting not going the other way, you’d have had one of the 2 strongest squads with the best remaining manager, who probably would have toOK players with him, United would still have won loads.


How do you not love this man…

Cygan\'s Magical Left foot
Cygan\'s Magical Left foot

Because he doesn’t know when enough is enough.

Now he’s the problem NOT the solution.


Look at whats happening in the Club in the past 10 years and answer yourself this question


Could have easily been the same without him or atleast worse over the last 10 years.

nimble foot

Something jumps out at me “I WAS happy here”
His happiness in past tense TWICE.
Surely, there’s a lot we don’t know going on behind the scenes

nimble mind aka And_Arsene_Said...
nimble mind aka And_Arsene_Said...

Talking about event that happened in the past. Hence “I WAS happy here”. But yeah, sure there is a lot going on behind the scene though not about this in particular.

Dan Hunter

He’s know being kept against his will and he cries himself to sleep at night all the while wiping his tears with £50 notes.

Andy Mack

He’s referring to a specific moment in time so is the correct thing to say.


Or is it because he’s referring to a situation 16 years ago?


Wow, the tinfoil hat squad is out in force today!


Quite the opposite i think, as usually after a win Arseblog comment section is dominated by the romantics squad-lets hold our hands and celebrate-so many great signs for the upcoming future! Anyone opposing to this naivity is usually asked to ‘stop fucking moaning’. What a load of bollocks this Club is if even fans accept this mediocrity.

Da Boss

Or perhaps people are fed up of the moaning. Like him or not, he is here for another 2 seasons. That’s a long time to moan about anything or anyone. Plus we all (should) love Arsenal, regardless of who the managers or players are. The club remains after they leave and we will still support it. Would I like a new manager? Yes. Am I prepared to spend the next 2 years of my life hating everything he does or every decision he makes? No. So let’s just get on with it.


I am prepared to spend the next two years calling out all the stupid things he does. I’ll probably start Sunday afternoon. I hope I don’t need to, but after his last 10 years of piss poor leadership I truly have no hope whatsoever left that we’ll do anything other than gets slammed by the blue shite.

Andy Mack

Cagooner, that’ll really help! 😀

Donald\'s Trump

Or easily have been much better.


One fucking win against a shit team and all the Wenger romantics start defending him. Guarantee the majority will be slamming him again after next loss.

Edward Ssemambo

You are absolutely rite because this man is trying all his best to get good results throughout the seasons though it’s always disappointing at ends.But all we have to is to stand behind him and give him support.

Gunner for life.

Peter Foley

I’m 51 and have supported the Gunners since I was 6. A classy team you will not find anywhere else .our motto” you can’t buy class.” From the great arsenal team of the seventies to the most recent years we have always carried ourselves in the highest classy manner. Sure the last few years have been a bit disappointing, Wenger is certainly doing his best but unfortunately his best is not good enough anymore and it showed clearly at the panic like bids at the last minute . If your a gunners fan then support them and let’s stop the negative boos and jeers , we are still a good squad and Mr Arsene Wenger has done so much for this club.The new stadium is his , the financial stability he’s brought where we can splash £90 million around. A class organization with a first class manager who has perhaps stayed on too long. Top of the league or in 5th place I’m proud to be a gunners fan and not some team that has grown thru some mega wealthy owner. In Wenger we trust !!


I’m proud to be a gunner. But embarrassed about our ownership, organization and manager. Truly embarrassed. Like others say on here – we don’t get shit from the Scum, Chelski and United fans anymore. Just sympathy. How fucking sad is that. Proud to be a gunner.


Tell me one manager that would have had a more successful past 10 years in the situation Wenger was in with the board we currently have. In fact, tell me one top manager that would have taken over knowing he wouldn’t have the backing by board and would have to make a profit for at least the first 5 transfer windows. Just because it’s not perfect doesn’t mean it’s all shit.


Who said ‘it’s all shit’? I gave the reason ‘why not to love Wenger’ – its the outlook of premier league and champions league tables in the last 10 years. There is a far way from loving to calling sb ‘shit’ so stop manipulating.


I think Wenger has done some great work but just to answer your question
1. Diego Simeone
2. Jurgen Klopp

both had more success while routinely losing their best players. I think what’s really hard is to separate what Wenger has done from the club & whether he is the right man to lead it forward. Thinking he is not the right man to lead it forward should not denigrate on all that he has done for the club. Nor has what he done for the club in the past guarantee that he is the best man to lead it forward.

Andy Mack

Atom, Managing a team in Germany or Spain isn’t anywhere near the same as managing a team in the PL.
The top of La Liga is excellent but the lower half is Championship level and it’s the same with the Bundesliga.
So PL teams don’t have the option to cotton wool their best players before big / CL games.

Maybe they’re both great managers, maybe they can’t hack it in the PL. Time will tell.
Although he obviously did well against Bayern, Klopp certainly had some wobbles at Liverpoo! and hasn’t won anything yet. But he hasn’t been had his hands tied financially in the PL, so not really comparable with most of our ‘post invincibles’ period.

Spanish Gooner

which is why Klopp has fewer total points than Brendan Rodgers had at the point he was sacked


Such a bad narrative. Both clubs aren’t considered serious contenders for the title in their leagues. AM is below RM and Barca and if they won the league then it would be considered a massive achievement. Only expectations for AM is to finish 3rd and thats about it. Same with Dortmund. BM is king and rest are battling for 2nd. When Dortmund wins league its all about whats wrong with BM.

What key players did JK keep losing during his tenure? Only players of significance that he lost were Lewa, Mario and Sahin over his time while at the same time they brought in players like Ikay, Reuss, Auba, HM and others. The same with DS. He hasn’t lost key players that weren’t replaced.


Are you kidding?
Diego Simmeone & Jurgen Klopp operated with far smaller budgets than Wenger had, took over clubs much further down the league table, and developed unheralded players into champions. Simeone managed to win the league – no small feat thanks to how the TV money is split and to make 2 champions league finals. None of the players you just named were anything before Klopp took and developed them.

Andy Mack

Atom, It certainly isn’t a small achievement, but it still doesn’t compare to the PL. La Liga and Bundesliga are about beating 2-3 big teams and a load of poor teams. If you can rise for the big games then you can rest for the others. You must have a decent team but they only need to play to their best against 2-3 teams. In the PL there aren’t any really poor teams (maybe 1 or 2 max). You bring up the subject of buying/developing players, and that is a problem in the PL as every game is so competitive that no one can afford to take the chance on unproven players, but they can in the Bundesliga and La Liga for at least half their games.
Similarly, work permits are easier for those 2 leagues, so they can buy potential from non-EU countries and train them, whereas we have to send players on loan to Spain, Portugal German etc because we can’t get permits for them to stay here…
Really you’re comparing apples with oranges.
I’m still not saying either DS or JK will turn out as bad PL managers, but your justification doesn’t hold.


Until Wenger goes – it’s all shit.

The Foot

His love and dedication for the club was never in question. His ability to coach and run the club effectively is why people are upset.


Join the discussion how can you love him


The last paragraph almost seemed to me like Wenger saying “I don’t recognise this club anymore”

Bould\'s Eyeliner

Psychological projection is a dangerous thing. Let’s not make mountains out of molehills. Also if maybe the journalist’s line of questioning was included, we would have less of these assumptive issues.

SB Still

It was complete loyalty from Wenger to have stuck around during his heydays. It would be fitting if he somehow manages one title victory before retiring.

Hank Wankford

I’m not holding my breath…! (But would love that more than anything)


Fitting. But there’s no hope. Not so hard to stay around anywhere for the money he is on.


Of course, I’ll take the boss at his word that he stayed out of love for the club, he has demonstrated that time and again.
But also, imagine the squalls if he had accepted. Van Persie x 100.

Little Mozart

“Man United is attractive but am I happy here? The answer was yes.”


Maybe I’m just being sensitive.


Overly, the decision he made was in the past.

nimble foot

No you are not. “WAS” and he said that twice. The man is probably not happy with the way stuff is being run at the club


He was speaking in the past. If he wasn’t happy now why on earth did he sign a new contract.

Edward Ssemambo

Because of the love he has for the club

Harish P

He’s talking about something from the past so the talks using past tense.

I can see why you might be confused though.

Harish P

*HE talks


He obviously meant at that moment. If he wasn’t happy now, what’s stopping him from leaving and going to PSG?? What stopped him from retiring after 2013?

Crash Fistfight

The question “was”…


The answer “was”…

Wazza the Manc

8 likes, 2 dislikes 😀


Fergie knew when to quit, you don’t.
Fergie evolved with times, you didn’t.
Maybe with manure transfer budget, he’d have probably won a few more trophies and all, but truth is Wenger was done as a top coach in 10/11. That’s when everyone knew what he was all about. His ability to identify talent is gone. He’s simply lost the gravitas he once had in the football world.
You can see he’s no longer possess that calm and serene demeanor he did in his early days…the time where he’d tell you we can go a season unbeaten and it’ll happen. Now you see him saying things like 4th place is trophy and giving excuses every time…i knew he was done when his reply after one of our embarrassing losses was “it’s just a game”. Fergie would never ever say that.


“… Fergie would never say that”
Go support Fergie then.
Comparing 2 different people is madness.

Likewise, Fergie would not have sticked with ManU under the same difficult times(stadium move/ less budget) as Wenger has.

Donald\'s Trump

Argghhhhhh support The Arsenal not frigging Arsene.

And how do you know Fergie would have left? Did the Glazers give him unlimited funds?

Nah mate they replaced Ronaldo with Antonio frigging Valencia and Fergie still won stuff.


Don’t dare speak sense on here. Just be positive and pretend we have won the league in the last 13 years or we have performed so well in the ucl or that spurs haven’t caught up to us. Positivity will win us the league just like it did in 15/16 season.
Positivity will make Ozil and Alexis stay
Positivity will make Wenger learn how to utilize Xhaka
Positivity will make Wenger a tactical genius
Positivity will make us not get thrashed 8-2, 6-0, 5-1, 6-3 by big teams.
Positivity galore. Let’s all ignore the bad and talk about the positives like spending almost 100m and coming 5th despite having “continuity”
Wenger till 2035

Andy Mack

Fergie already had Nani who he thought would be as good as Ronaldo, but Fergie was wrong… And he got Valencia as well in case Nani got injured.

Spanish Gooner

Fergie spent £30m on a centre back in 2001 so in pre-arab money yes he had unlimited funds


they were already loaded club that decided to let CR.


I support Arsenal, not Arsene. They will be arsenal when he leaves. People like you seem to think Wenger is above criticism.


There is criticism, and there is douchism.


Facts has no respect/room for emotion. Call it whatever you want, but the truth will always remain the truth. No amount of positivity will mask Wenger’s failures over the years.


3 Premiership titles and 7 Fa Cups. One undefeated season and 2 doubles. What a failure.


How many in the last 13 years?? Thought so.


Again how many of those years involved the heavy debt that the club had to pay off for the stadium?


I used to look forward to reading inciting and witty comments on this site. Not anymore.

Le Groan now seems a more comfortable place for people that just want to talk about Arsenal FC without moaning.

Sad times.


I’m saying it as it is not “moaning”. Being “positive” didn’t win us the league at 15/16 and will certainly not do it this season.

Frank Bascombe

Got a lot to say for yourself you eh?


Being a repetitive whiner might help us win this year! Go for it!!


If pointing out the flaws I and many other people see is “whining”, then I’m the greatest whiner of all time. I’d rather be a whiner than live in a fantasy world that borders on delusion.


I am sick of all the negativity about Wenger. Arsenal are where they are today because of him and envied all around the world. Wish all the so called supporters would stay at home and stop bringing their negativity to match day


Uhmm, did you mean to say Arsenal are mocked everywhere in the world for not being able to win the Premier League for 13 years and being beaten 8-2,6-0,5-1,4-0 and 10-2(Agg) to Bayarn and finishing fifth last season?


Toughen up, buttercup. Sure, those heavy defeats stung like a bastard – but we had a few brilliant days too. Also, anyone using ‘finishing 5th last season’ – really?? Which clubs have finished in the top 4 as many times as the Arsenal since Wenger came in? There is plenty to moan about if you choose to do so, but that’s just grasping at straws.


How many times have Liverpool and Spurs won the Premier League. Only 6 clubs have ever won it. Are all those clubs being mocked. By the way there is a small issue of 4 Fa Cups too.

Donald\'s Trump

OK FA cups are great but no one cares really. Most teams play weakened sides until the semis.

Wigan and Portsmouth also recently won it.

He is shit. Deal with it.

Andy Mack

Yeah, Man U really didn’t care bout it in 2016…. or is that complete bollocks!
Deal with it.


They didn’t. That’s why the fired LVG day after.


Yeah, but they’re now on upward trajectory. And we’re stuck with a stubborn deluded arrogant past-it manager going in the wrong direction.


“Am I happy here? The answer was yes.”

Interesting switch in tenses.


He talks like that all the time, no biggie.


Why did he sign a new contract ?


Yeah, it would have worked like a charm after those horrible chants their fans used to make at him. If one could ignore the obvious heart burn we guys would’ve felt, it would’ve been hilarious to see some of them back pedal and declare all forgiven.


Interesting comment about not knowing most of the employees nowadays – I know in the early years he was synonymous with ensuring all staff from tea lady to boots cleaner were greeted (ideally by name) and respected by the players etc.

No wonder he can’t manage the whole club from top to tail any more. 700 peeps 😀

Gunner George

Then MU were winning everything.As the CP chairman has said football is aresults based business.So if he were not winning the epl by the 2nd year he would be axed unlike Arsenal where it seems he is immune from the sack despite countless false dawns.


I think that he is such a private and loyal man and only when he has gone will we know how restricted he really has been and a few of the bizzare decisions will be explained. The board have a lot to answer for and the hatred should be directed at them.


If he loves values so much why does he accept Mr Kronke owning this beloved club?


What, exactly, can he do about who owns the club?



Andy Mack

Why? So some other douchebag businessman can buy the business?

Aleksander Włodarz

Everything must change … and change is the only constant in the Universe


Wenger did not go to Manu because they would have demanded more of him. The culture and values he keeps boasting about include charging the highest ticket prices and not investing properly in the squad. Even Stock did away with Pulis regardless of stability, they wanted to experience something different. This notion that Arsenal will get relegated once wenger leaves is bollocks. In the past 10yrs wenger and his team have been disappointing. when you bring up the shortcomings, people will start reminiscing about revolution and good old days 20yrs ago. That’s all wenger is holding onto right now, many fans have let it go and are ready to move forward others need to follow.

Laughing Stock

What a hero

Laughing Stock

I love the way he’s being lauded as a hero for not accepting a job he was never actually offered


So Martin Edwards, Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger are all liars.


He should have taken the job…we could have got Eddie Howe. The press is never wrong.;)

…remember Martinez the football genius, young revolutionary?:D


Eddie Howe was 24 in 2001.


He should have taken the job. We could have got Jurgen…he’s another football genius…at least we would not have such a shambolic defensive display.;)

The arsenaut

Any chance that offer is still on the table..

Tyler Briscoe

I’d the club has such a moral compass and values are SO important, how on EARTH did we end up Kroenke!?

Men/women of values sold their shares to himself, no?

Crash Fistfight

No – they sold shares to him. Only he could sell shares to himself (which is impossible).

David Hillier\'s luggage
David Hillier\'s luggage

Some of these comments suggesting Wenger should have gone back then would be hilarious if it wasn’t so indicative of the idiocy of some Arsenal supporters these days. It’s actually rather sad.

If Arsene left in 2001 there would have been no third double, no invincibles, no Champions League final, Henry, Vieira, Pires & Ljungberg would have all buggerd off, and we would probably be finishing about 7th or 8th every season post 2006 whilst we paid off our stadium. No manager would have touched us with a barge pole given our limited finances. And Man Utd would have won a shed load of trophies. People bang on about Wenger inheriting a great defence when he came to Arsenal and ‘only’ added attacking flair, if you follow that line of thinking just imagine what he would have done with Utd’s squad.

Sure, you might not think he’s doing a great job now, but there is no denying what he did for us and the club in the early 2000s.

Teryima Adi

How touching.


I can’t understand people who defend what he is doing at present if you guys can’t see that he got left behind then you are part of the problem