Martin Keown interviews Arsene Wenger / transcript

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Martin Keown has interviewed Arsene Wenger for the BBC ahead of Monday night’s FA Cup clash with Manchester United. We’ve written up a transcript of the seven minute head-to-head.

Even if you’ve watched the original, we suggest giving it a read. It’s only having scrutinised Arsene’s words at close quarters that we’ve noticed he references what he was asked to achieve during the early years of the stadium build and just how bullish he is about the future…

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MK: I know you don’t like looking back, you’re in the middle of your career…you like to think you’re in the middle of your career…why not?

AW: I’m not in the middle of my career, but I still don’t like to look back because what is important in our job is to look forward for the next game. You know, our job is linked with the last result.

If I do ask you to look back, which one of those wins [in the FA Cup] means the most to you?

Maybe the first one. The first one was when we won the Double in 1998 against Newcastle. I remember absolutely everything. It was at Wembley which for a guy who comes from France, you know, for me it was all new. It was really something special. The whole stadium…it was an old stadium, but there was a soul in there that was exceptional, the grass was special. Everything was special at Wembley.

Where do you keep your medals? Do you have a big cabinet at home or are they in a box somewhere?

Martin, I don’t even know where they are! That tells you that I don’t look back. Maybe one day I will regret it. I like to think I get more from my career from the human side of it than the medals. I would like to think that when I meet the former players I remember more what kind of people they were than what I won with them.

There have been some epic battles between these two teams [Arsenal and Manchester United] over the years, what memories do you have of these games?

Look, I think the most memorable…you were involved in it once. [Laughs] You will be in a better position to talk about it. One was of course that famous incident with the penalty on Van Nistelrooy where you were singled out afterwards. The second one was, what I never forget, we lost the fiftieth game at Man United. That still hurts today. It was certainly the game that hurt us the most, even if we had lost sometimes with a big goal difference (6-1, 8-2 etc.). The fiftieth game will remain forever for me.

Sir Alex Ferguson is of course no longer in the dugout, do you miss him now he’s gone?

Look, I’m happy to see him now, much more than before. We have gone through some difficult spells in our relationship. In the end it became more peaceful and respectful. Today we are happy to have a good dinner together or a good glass of wine and talk about football and raise above the differences we had before.

What do you make of Louis Van Gaal?

I think he’s a great manager and when you look at what he has done in his life it is absolutely outstanding. He’s in a period where they rebuild their team and he has stabilised the team now; they lost only two out of the last 18 games. I believe as well the environment of the teams and the clubs has changed you know. Everybody is always under severe scrutiny, questioning. The media environment is much more demanding, the social networks are much more demanding. Every game today is a trial where you are judged before and after.

You haven’t won at Old Trafford for ten games, how are you going to change that?

Look, what is good in our game is that first of all it is unpredictable. Secondly, it is not the history that makes the result; it is the performance on the day. The target is to qualify for the semi-final of the FA Cup, that is enough just for us to focus on our performance.

Looking at the team in 2004 it was certainly much more physical than the current team, it’s much more technical now. You changed there…

I think the availability of the players changed. We produced after that [2004] players like Fabregas who were less physical than Patrick Vieira, but were still exceptional players. For a while maybe, of course we became slowly a little bit less athletic. What people forget is that we had to build the stadium, to build the stadium we had to create money. Today the weight of that is not important any more, we can compete again to fight for the best players. That was not the case six, seven years ago or five years ago.

Did you have chances to leave? 

2004, 2005, 2006…I had chances to leave, of course. I went for the club with a challenge to build a new stadium without dropping out of the Champions League three years out of five. That was the financial request. We made it every year. I knew that that period for the club was a very sensitive period and I feel I’ve done my job in a very committed and faithful way.

One day everybody has to leave this club, it happened to me…

It will happen to me.

What condition to do you want to leave this club in?

In a strong, healthy position. That means a club that has good players, good youth [coming up] behind and a strong financial position to go further up and develop even more. I will do that, you can believe me. The guy who comes in after me is in a very strong position to deliver something exceptional. I believe that biggest quality first of a top, top club is to maintain consistency in the results. I hope that when I’ve left some day and come back to the Emirates to watch a game that I’ll be very happy to see a quality team.

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You can watch the interview on the BBC or on YouTube. 

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Cornelius P. Snuffington III

Martin Keown interviews Martin Keown sounded a lot more interesting, then you corrected your tweet. 🙂

Simon

“I like to think I get more from my career from the human side of it than the medals. I would like to think that when I meet the former players I remember more what kind of people they were than what I won with them.”

This is why I love Wenger.

Ibbo

Exactly! Arsene will never have a relationship with his ex players like Sir Alex has with Roy Keane or David Beckham or like Mourinho has with Casillas or Lukaku just to name a few. So much respect.

alexis' shorts

Class is permanent

Dr Funke

Couldn’t agree more.

UGooner

Very true. I also like to think that when he meets Nasri, this means he also quietly remembers he’s a cunt rather than he didn’t win anything with the cunt.

Humphre3000

I think AW’s legacy will be defined by his leadership during the years of austerity even more so than the trophy laden Highbury era.
The years at the Emirates have been hard and painful, buy throught it all we have managed to maintain ourselves as a top team in England against all odds.
Now it’s time to become the top team in England and become a European powerhouse.

Thank you AW for putting us in a good condition. Whoever comes in will definately have a strong foundation to work with.

VCC. COYG

Phil

Yeah, people in the game seem to appreciate what Wenger’s done a lot more than a large part of the fan base. I think Gary Neville called our post-Highbury years one of the greatest managerial performances of all time at one point. After THAT Newcastle game.

xi

Most fans would not know much what goes behind the scenes and they thought (logically) the invincibles are the signal of a period of sustained dominance. Wonder how much difference it would have mattered to them if we managed to lift that UCL trophy in 2006. What I’ve always felt is that the club would have been thinking of developing a new stadium to keep up with times when the Premier League era started, and with a period of success we achieved from the late 90s to early 2000s, it must have felt right to embark on that project at… Read more »

Andy Mack

SAF would have been running for the door the moment a restricted transfer budget was mentioned.
Apart from that, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The mugsmashers and our noisy neighbours are desperate for a manager that can achieve what AW has during their coming stadium moves. That’s despite them being in a much better financial position for a move due to the mega increase of TV money and them having local councils want their moves to happen, unlike ours.

xi

I would think SAF is the only other manager who would genuinely cared for the club like it was a part of them, I certainly see more similarity in Arsene and SAF in that respect as compared to folks like mou.

Young Gun

If SAF had ever been really half of that man, he would never have left such wonderful legacy to his heir King David the first…

alexis' shorts

As much as I dislike SAF and think he acts like a right cunt half the time, I have to respect his stay at United. Granted, he could’ve been fired at the start of his career and he’d be just a random name in a list of multiple managers United had over 20 years, but he built that team and kept them up. When it comes to consistent quality and longevity at the top level, only Wenger has achieved more (I qualify “more” with the fact that financially, Wenger couldn’t compete). It’s like Wenger said, now that he’s out of… Read more »

Mootilated

I think SAF won things for himself rather than the club. He was a great manager, and he won everything with United but it never felt like he did it for the Club but rather for himself. While, to an extent, it is what a manager should do, one should look at the broader picture. Arsene Wenger’s response in regards to the medals question is what I wanted to hear. Whilst winning trophies is great, it should be the cherry on the icing on the cake of entertaining, passionate, brilliant football. Not the be all and end all of the… Read more »

John C

You’re being disingenuous, yes other teams had significantly more money, but we started with clearly superior players and they had to spend hundreds of millions just to catch up. Wenger has not done this out of the kindest of his heart as some might think but because he’s one of, if not the highest paid manager in the World. If he was being kind maybe he could have deferred his wages to create extra transfer funds? The truth is, that for most fan’s we completely understand the difficulties faced, which is why he was given so many years grace despite… Read more »

xy

you’re on the wrong website buddy – here at Arseblog we love our club and our manager – you’ll find plenty of support for your dillusional points of view on Arsenal News Review

John C

You’re delusional, i love my club and have done so probably longer than you. I loved Arsenal before Arsene Wenger joined and will continue when he leaves.

Maybe you should tell me where i’ve gone wrong in my response?

GoonerN16

Seized, fyi

John C

Unfortunately there’s a lack of edit button on this site

Andy Mack

You miss 2 points;
1) that players get ‘past it’ and leave.
2) our previous squad consisted of a few expensive players and some cheaper players bought when there was less transfer competition.
It would matter less if the previous squad were all 21 years old but they weren’t. They have to be replaced and without money a ‘like for like’ replacement when other teams suddenly start paying silly money is the work of a magician, AW isn’t a magician.

John C

Here’s a list of players who were allowed to leave who weren’t past it: Ashley Cole Kolo Toure Gilberto Sol Campbell Patrick Vieira Thierry Henry Lauren Jose Reyes Quite a list and it doesn’t matter about transfer competition if they’re already your player! Arsene Wenger’s cuts in experience were too deep and too quick to give the youngsters a chance and it meant he eventually lost them as well. Many, many people warned against it at the time but it fell on deaf ears so it’s can’t be called hindsight. Make no mistake, Wenger’s youth policy cost us trophies during… Read more »

Andy Mack

Cashley leaving had nothing to do with AW. Kolo wasn’t the same players since he contracted malaria at the ACN. How old was Gilberto???? How Old was Sol and didn’t he leave for other reasons? Paddy V was desperate to go to Italy as he saw it as unfinished business, plus he couldn’t deal with the PL physically any longer (check out how few games he played at Juve). King Thierry was crocked (how many games at Farca?) How old was Lauren????? Reyes has his head screwed with by the PL refs and a Spanish radio station (his form dropped… Read more »

John C

Arsene Wenger always has the final say on contracts so he was involved in Cole leaving Kolo Toure won the league with Man City Sol and Lauren won the FA Cup with Portsmouth Patrick Vieira won league titles in Italy Thierry Henry won the league and Champions league at Barcelona You can’t tell me they didn’t have something to offer. And It’s was their class and experience we couldn’t afford to lose. United didn’t get rid of Giggs and Scholes when they weren’t quite what they once were, because Alex Ferguson knew the value of experience and maintaining a winning… Read more »

Andy Mack

It’s reported that Dein thought he had the final say with Cashley but it turned out that P H-W and the full board did. Kolo was a member of the team that won the PL. His contribution was erratic. As I said, wasn’t there another reason Sol left? Lauren was replaced by Sagna, not good enough for you? How many games did Paddy V play for Juve…. I can’t remember but I’m pretty sure it was less than 10 and their whole squad was good enough that they shouldn’t have needed to fix matched. He contributed very little. King Thierry… Read more »

John C

It’s reported that Dein had the final say but Wenger always says he has the final say, so i’ll go with him, unless you’re saying he’s a liar? I would have happily accepted an erratic Toure contribution to us winning the title! Sol had admittedly gone mad, but we have to ask the question why. Vieira won 3 league titles in Italy not one, i think he played more than 10 games in that period! Eboue replaced Lauren not Sagna, that wasn’t an improvement was it? It doesn’t matter what Henry cost Barcelona because we didn’t have to pay a… Read more »

Andy Mack

As I understand it, back then AW decided if he wanted the player but the board decided if they were prepared to pay the money and having Clichy on the bench they decided they didn’t want to pay Cashley, but even if that’s not the case, are you saying Clichy was a poor replacement? You may like the idea of keeping Kolo but he was an accident waiting to happen at $iteh, and he had plenty of accidents there (the fact we also had accidents waiting to happen at CB is a side-issue. I’ve just checked Paddys numbers and I… Read more »

John C

For me it doesn’t matter that their contribution diminished, you can’t buy that quality or experience, and not all but a couple should have been retained on the squad. Money shouldn’t have been the reason some of them left.

It’s absolutely criminal that Vieira is now at Man City doing what he should be doing at Arsenal, how have we allowed Man City to benefit from the experience he gained at Arsenal?

Andy Mack

As I understand it, Cashley was the only one that moved for more salary…….

John C

So the only conclusion we can come to is that bad management was the reason the rest left

Andy Mack

That’s a cock-eyed logic.
Paddy V left as he wanted to have another go at Italy.
King Thierry wanted to get away from London and his marital split.
The others were all injured in some way or another (physical or mental) except Cashley and Gilberto.

Andy Mack

That’s an odd logic as they either wanted to move for personal reasons or were injured, except Cashley and Gilberto. Maybe we should have held onto gilberto…..

Hank Scorpio

Always wondered why we never got Keown onboard in a permanent capacity after he oversaw that miserly CL defence featuring the likes of Eboue, Flamini & Senderos

Andy Mack

Did he want to stay or does he prefer his media work?

CB

The physicality part is the most interesting for me. I think we are still short, literally, but I’m glad he knows it has been an issue (though begging the question why he didn’t do more about it, eg have a ‘Matic’ to protect Fabregas).

Ozillllllllll

We have a “coq” to block the opposition………….what more can you ask for?

CB

Which I’m delighted about, we’ve needed him for a long time, to protect the defence and pass the ball over to the more skilful players. Though would like more midfield and attacking players that aren’t 5 foot 6 to 5 foot 10, as most still are.

Anon

Be careful what you wish for, because we would have ended up with Felipe Melo or Yann M’Vila had we gone in with our handbrakes off.

barney

I think it was a combination of finances being tight and not being able to get the right player. I think were Javi Martinez to become available in the summer we’d look at him. Or if Gundogan wanted to leave he’d provide a good evolution over arteta who was more the sort of pint sized xabi alonso compared to the archetypal defensive midfielder like matic. The problem with DM’s, and why i think we didnt get one sooner is that theyre often low on technical quality making them quite a niche category and probably wouldnt have improved the team in… Read more »

Andy Mack

There aren’t many DMs that are actually good ball players. Many are just ‘stoppers’ and that isn’t something AW wants.Add in the poor refs and we’d soon be moaning about a ‘stopper’ giving away free kicks and getting sent off all the time. The few that were more than that are horribly expensive.

alexis' shorts

That, and the ones that can play the ball don’t want to be DMs – Khedira. Matic is probably the prototype of a big, not too slow, disciplined DM who can also pass. There aren’t many capable of doing that consistently and maintaining the discipline to be that foundation save maybe Schneiderlin and in the future, Rabiot (hah I’m having a laugh just throwing out names from the papers!). Coquelin may not be as big, but he definitely has shown the discipline so far, and can pass it 20 yards and throw in some diagonal balls as well. I think… Read more »

John C

You just need someone to be able to do the job, this idea that you need a defensive midfielder with great technical skill is non sense. We had Gilberto during the invincible, he wasn’t great technically. Chelsea have won the league win John Obi Mikel, and the league cup with Zuma in defensive midfield, they’re not technically great. You have other players to pick up the technical slack, thats why you buy players like Ozil. But instead we ask the likes of Ozil and Walcott to pick up the defensive slack left by our inadequate defensive midfielders, when really we… Read more »

Lucas Santos

Gilberto was very underrated in the technical aspect of the game, he was pretty good on the ball.

Bould's Eyeliner

All great arguments until you remember that Arsenal plays a different football than Chelsea and that the balance of players were entirely different during the Invincibles – it’s about the balance and what fits with the team, not, he does this role, and they do this role. In case you haven’t been keeping up with the ‘times’ of strategy, football is all about the transition from attack to defense – the moment we win the ball, we attack, spend time doing 2-3 short passes to transition that and you lose the opportunity because EVERYONE, not just Ozil, on every team,… Read more »

John C

Bound’s eyeliner i can only assume you haven’t been watching us this season because our transition has been slow and ponderous because for large parts we’ve had Wilshere and Ramsey trying to dribble the ball up the pitch. Yes Chelsea play different football to us, it’s called winning football. The balance in our team hasn’t been right because we don’t have players in our midfield good enough at defending. Correct this and we become a much more formidable team, we already have the attacking players they need a better platform. I expect Ozil to defend to a point but i… Read more »

GoonerN16

Yes, plus there has always been the hope that Abou Diaby would recover from his injuries and in my view I’d have him all day and preferably all season long; so would Arsene I’d wager.

DR

Interesting read from start to finish.

CB

People still don’t understand how the club can make a profit but not spend on players (cashflow was poor due to sponsorship going towards advanced payments on the stadium). No longer, this is now corrected.

Looking forward to the next 2 years to see if the financial and physical strength comes through successfully and he can leave with trophies under his belt.

ankan

Because profit doesn’t matter if you are cash strapped. You still run the risk of going bankrupt. A sustainable club must always keep a healthy cash flow and cash reserves.

Rich

We’re very close, but Arsene’s faith in some of his players is extremely misguided.
I’m not sure he has the ruthlessness to take us back to the pinacle?
Which makes me sad, because I love the man, I really hope he proves me wrong.

moonie

Whatever side of the fence you maybe, and for all his flaws and imperfections, you can’t deny how much Arsene loves this club. Much respect.

alexis' shorts

Truth, and when the time comes that he leaves, some will rejoice, some will weep. It will add a bit of excitement as to who will come in after 20 years of Wenger, but also a huge fear after seeing what happened to United – although I’m glad Wenger doesn’t have the ego to name his successor. I hope it will be someone with a similar playing style and outlook on how to treat players, but maybe a bit more flexible tactically when things aren’t working. I do not want my Arsenal to turn into a changing carousel of who’s… Read more »

CB

I’m interested on Arseblog’s post today to see the debate on video refereeing. Better decisions at the cost of slowing down the game (if you’ve watched rugby).

Thumbs up if you want video refereeing, down if against.

Santi Claws

I like the two refs idea personally. I live in New Zealand (saturated by rugby 11 months out of 12) and rugby has become much harder to watch and much more annoyingly pedantic since extensive video replays became a thing. Now I think they can go back four phases in the play to check for a minute forward pass that had no consequence on anything at all and disallow a brilliant end-to-end try for the most finnickity of infringements, kind of like if we scored a brilliant counter attacking goal and it was disallowed because there was a measly shirt… Read more »

Utkarsh

NZ too!
Rugby has become saturated with video calls to the point where the ref is just there to blow his whistle and point at the 3rd referee. However I think video calls should definitely be used for penalties and the punishment for missed referee calls should be implemented i.e a two footed tackle that the ref misses

GoonerN16

Plus for any dives in the box that could/should result in a penalty.

GoonerN16

Or a card for the diver….

Anon

Why don’t we have a system where a referee ASKS for video evidence from a panel instead of having them automatically on for such and such decisions? It puts emphasis on the referees still and gives them more room to breathe. And if the game becomes incredibly slow for some reason, that is the responsibility of the referee the same way a game going out of control / massive indiscipline is their responsibility. Goal-line technology is a no-brainer either so implementing some technology isn’t as hard as you make it out to be. There are a million ways implementation can… Read more »

alexis' shorts

I prefer that the referee doesn’t have to ask. If the ref asks, that’s an extra few seconds of time wasted and we don’t want that. I like the Dutch idea of a 5th official seeing camera all game long. He should only review: – goals scored when there is an argument for offside (although this might make the assistant ref less hesitant to raise the flag b/c he knows it will be reviewed) – obvious fouls in the box – aka Henry’s tug of Ozil in the QPR game, or when a player is strongly impeded from reaching the… Read more »

CB

Like the ideas, definitely with you on the Dutch model.

I would make diving an offence that can get punished after the match, with bans (or even replays if it has really affected the result) so that players realise it is not acceptable to cheat like Wayne Rooney (the 50th…).

alexis' shorts

Absolutely CB, that’s why I’m saying to get rid of that no-review-if-the-ref-saw-it rule. They “can’t” review it because that’s against their rules. It’s remedial.

Rufusstan

I agree to an extent that video reffing slows down rugby a bit, but there are so many technical calls in that game, and much of the time the evidence is simply hard to see even with the cameras. Football by its nature is much more open and the decisions are easier to see. — Compare both of the second yellow decisions yesterday where anyone could see what happened on a second look, with trying to see if the ball has been grounded somewhere in the middle of a pile of players. I’m suspicious with using 2 refs either because… Read more »

Giroud Awakening

Man that 50th game still haunts me so bad. I was only 9 at the time but remember watching it with my Man United fan cousin who rubbed it in my face for a solid week after it. Needless to say I cried, and I still hate Rooney over it.

Özil's Eyes on Arsene's Hot Thighs

..I was 18 and I recall Cuntinho telling the media and going on along the lines of: “you think they’re unbeatable, wait till they visit Old Trafford on Oct 24(??)…” One of the reasons I hate that cunt standard till this day, add to that the fact that we haven’t enjoyed a victory over him

Ehsan

What arsene did for arsenal, was extraordinary! He is the reason what makes us a bigger club than spuds. I believe very strongly that we will win the premier league titel in the next 2 years and make the CL final again!
We are adding more quality every year. That fear that somebody will leave the club for a better club in the summer, is not there anymore. Support the team, we are on our way to be a very big club, like madrid and barcelona.
Support, support, support!

Juxta Position

‘He’s the reason we’re bigger than Spuds,’ are you serious? Do you have any idea what we achieved before wenger came? Football didn’t start in ’96 you know…

Joel

You’ve not considered his comment Juxta Position. What he means is that we’re a bigger club now than Spurs. During that sensitive period of limited finances we could have easily dropped below them. That we didn’t is down to Wenger.

Pearson

Wrong again.
You can’t turn a drain into penthouse.
As soon as a chicken attempts to fly a gunner will shoot it down.

Atletico Islington

You can’t actually build an argument purely on analogies.

Gunnerwinalot

A great interview! I didn’t know the specific objective re 3 years out of 5 in Champs Lge during the financial restrictions! AW of course exceeded this! He could have walked 10 years ago into a club with more money to spend but he didn’t. I hope & expect that his loyalty will continue to be rewarded after last year’s Cup win! COYG

Romford Pele

I understand fully that while the new stadium was being paid off the club could not admit that they needed to tighten the purse strings – after all it would have affected the share price. But what I don’t understand is why they are not being completely transparent about it now. It has been a couple of years now and we are only getting dribs and drabs of details. I think the unrest with the fans would be appeased far quicker if all the details were released. Us real fans know that this ow why they were “barren years” but… Read more »

Thierry Bergkamp

If the fans don’t get it yet, what is the point in trying with them now

Romford Pele

*Some* of the fans don’t get it.

But that is exactly what I am trying to say – if they were more transparent then I think there would be more positive support for the team and Wenger. This could have made a big difference last season when we led the league for so long.

But so many fans think Wenger has been underperforming for “so long” when this isn’t the case. It is so frustrating when these years now should actually be the years the club are rewarded for their bravery, not a time of bile and impatience.

Juxta Position

Yeah to hell with the dumbass fans, cash flows up? Screw it, let’s jack ticket prices up even more!

Gandalf

Wenger is a legend, but those pundits are probably right.

I don’t blame him for the cl final loss, we had chances even down to ten men.

However, the league in 08, the league in ’11 and the cc final in ’11, I always thought he could have done more. Especially in the winter transfer windows of those seasons.

_

Winning the league in ’08 or ’11 would be gigantic overperformance against teams who spent hundreds of millions on transfers and were paying 50%+ more on wages. It really depends on whether you consider clubs like pool, spurs, recently utd, or even chelsea to underperform or not. (Despite the millions, chelsea won 1 league title in the last 8 years.) The point is, if your definition of underperforming implies that almost everyone is underperforming, then your definition is probably wrong. It’s just hard to swallow that no matter how much you love the club, it is not the biggest club… Read more »

Romford Pele

So you are saying that despite not being able to compete financially, and despite that we came close to getting a trophy, that still isn’t good enough?

Yet managers with more money at their disposal have come and gone and achieved less.

Gandalf

Came close to getting a trophy is still the same as not winning a trophy. Money isn’t everything. Why did Birmingham beat us in the Cc final? Why did Bradford knock us out of the CC that year (the final was Bradford vs Swansea)? Why did we lose to blackburn in the fa cup (the final was city vs Wigan)? I’m not saying “twopphees” is the be all and end all. But wenger’s given another interview about how it was difficult post the emirates move and people are again excusing the fact we’ve done pretty shít in the league this… Read more »

adriano

Sorry Wenger couldn’t win the league for you…

Gandalf

I think you may have missed the point.

Romford Pele

We lost those games because we had a poor squad due to the fact we were doing everything on a budget.

Agreed that we should have done better in the last 18 months, but judge Wenger on the last 2 years as he builds a new side, not the last 10 years because what he achieved in the first 8 of them was borderline miraculous.

Gandalf

I’ve already said Wenger did well post the emirates move (league-wise). I’m merely saying this interview (which he’s done a few times) shouldn’t sway people’s minds regarding the fact he is currently underperforming.

Plenty of time for that to change though, and it starts with man u tonight.

John C

Exactly, there has been no lack of money relative to Birmingham and Burnley, so finance can not explain those losses. And our record in big matches is so bad that it can’t explain that either.

When the limit of your ambition is 4th, losing certain matches becomes acceptable as long as you meet your objective. I think this also effected our transfers, we’ve only ever bought in the January window when it looked like we wouldn’t make the top 4 and not once made a calculated gamble on the title.

kafka

Good point, sympathetically made. I would add last year. Could have done more in the winter than kallstrom, could have played better in the big losses and sought at least draws there. It’s in the past, but we’ve been close. And in those moments, it’s difficult to think about the stadium move.

Andy Mack

Without knowing the actual details of what was planned but didn’t happen (which players said they’d come here but didn’t etc) it’s difficult to know if we could have done better than kallstrom on the budget we had then. but on the other points, he’s certainly not perfect and only an idiot would suggest he is.

Heisenberg

When Arsene Wenger steps down, it will be sad day for Arsenal football club.
He has given me the best footballing moments in my life, and whoever gets the job after him, will have a hell of a lot to live up to.

brucejuice

I hope its either Pep or Diego simone!
Pep says he doesn’t stays at a club for more than five years, but that has to come an end to that some day and i hope its at arsenal where he can built on the foundation laid by Arsene. (Also the seer joy of him beating morhinho).
Diego simone has already beaten morhinho in champions league semi final, he can do the job as well!

TruthHurts

Pep or Simeone? Are you having a laugh mate? This is the man we need after Arsene resigns… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgpc3QeKR30

Le Jim

NEVER LEAVE US, ARSENE, NEVER LEAVE US :'(

Francis123

The man is a legend, can’t find another word to describe him.

DB10**

In the post highbury days I believe he woul’nt compromise on the type of player he wanted. if he doesn’t like what he sees he would rather not work with that player knowing fully well he would replace him as soon as possible.
So it tells you how desperate we were when we got hold of santos, etc.
that kind of honesty has probably cost us. If we had a decent player at centre half or mid it would have made all the difference during the lean years.

rch

Could always be next prime minister as he would run the countrys finances better than the lying shower of shit we have at the moment

Andy Mack

Or the alternative ‘shadow’ lying shower of shit we could have in a few months time!

CB

Crazy though, most politicians are paid one hundredth of what Arsene gets paid pa. Imagine we paid them well, got good people in, surely running the country deserves more pay than running a football club.

We might do a lot better than the current jokers we have to put up with.

Andy Mack

Although you definitely have a point, most politicians are just adding to their CV for the day they leave politics and earn the real money as non-exec directors etc. Also generally in modern times anyone that wants to be a politician shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near politics and I suspect that would also apply to most (not all) businessmen that would consider making the move.

xi

Well, you can look at Singapore for an example, the PM gets usd 1.7mil per year (after a recent paycut, and apparently not including huge amounts of performance bonuses). A MP would earn around the million mark as well. It have been a source of discontent among citizens but the gov stand is that high salary helps to stem corruption and attract talents. While it does make sense at the look of it, you cant help but notice the huge gulf between the middle income and them. While Singapore is a relatively very well run country, many recent gov policies… Read more »

Man Manny

The Arsene in Arsenal is beyond the name. It is practically impossible to talk about Arsenal without Arsene. Every trophy this club wins when he is gone will have his imprint all over.
I can’t see the “Sir Alex” situation in the Emirates…he will leave behind a mature and hungry team ready for the big titles.

Goon

We are very lucky we have a selfless man in charge. He is a great role model. Managers like Maureen may be winners and they might bring trophies but not many care about the club like Wenger. He has and still is setting the club up for future success.

Arsene is one of a kind and we are lucky.

alek

Great interview and yes that game still hurts – Rooney dive against Campbell and a penalty. I’m afraid he’ll do everything to repeat it tomorrow.
Long Live King Arsene !

Vescucci

Look……..

Dylan

uhhhh….

Gary14

Great article, seems to have appealed more to the fans that appreciate what AW has achieved. I remember saying back in 06, before the UCL final. I’d happily go years without winning, pay off the stadium and keep our finances in place. Once that’s done we will have a ridiculous amount of money coming in which will surely go towards attracting top top players… Sanchez and Özil to name two. Eventually turning us into the one of the biggest clubs in world football. I think winning the FA Cup last season will be a resurgence for the club. Arsene is… Read more »

Algerian Gunner

Off topic!

Just to mention that such a great manager is well deserved by a great fan base.

The report below (not sure how credible they are…) focuses on the only one true known truth in life which is Chelski fans are the shittiest (Hated) among others, it proves by the numbers how Londoners perceive positively the Arsenal fans.

https://yougov.co.uk/news/2015/03/04/chelsea-and-millwall-fans-voted-worst-london/

Cheers (First post here despite thousands reads!).

WengersNoseHair

LEGEND.

o2ba

No one else could have got us through. Not even old red nose. Arsene is just pure class.

AntiSpud

The trophies Maureen the Moaner wins are literally bought with cash. That is killing the game mate. Not giving chance to youth in the club just bying bying. Berlusconi was doing at AC Milan in the 90s. How did it ended? Watch this space. We are just one small revolution in Russia or a fall out between Putin and abramovich and chelscky is in trouble. That house is built on a sandy foundation whilst our is on solid rock. Thanks Wenger fuck the haters. COYG

Arsepedant

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe ALL the money Abramovich has put into Chel$ki is in the form of interest-free loans. Comes to about 1.5 billion pounds at this point. If he ever decides he’s had enough of Chel$ki, the loans all become due. Not exactly a rosy financial forecast if those fuckers have to pay that much money back to him.

santori

Fans that say that they built the club are horridly wrong. Without Wenger’s early success from 98-05 (A good 8 year stretch) we would neither be able to attract the caliber of players we had (with the prices we paid) nor would we have been able to attract the finances to build the stadium in the first place and grow the club. We are a self made club and have had to be prudent with finances plus committed to qualifying for that top 4 trophy every season despite restrictions. (Ask United and Liverpool or perrenial underperformers Spurs what they realistic… Read more »

John C

You are the one with the blinkers if you think what you’ve written is correct. Arsenal has alway been by far the biggest club, in terms of success, support, and finance in London. Wenger’s early success was built on George Grahams success of the early nighties; 2 titles, Cup double, European trophy! He didn’t come into a small team but the second largest, in terms of league titles to Liverpool, in England. Manchester United only over took Arsenal in that respect during the Wenger years. Arsene Wenger has been the prime beneficiary of the massive TV deals that have been… Read more »

Goontang

Love Martin Keown. Bumped into him at Sao Paolo airport at the world cup last year and even though he was pissed off at the air lines stuffing his flights, he was such a nice guy and loved talking gooners with me for 10 minutes.

Gooners & Roses

his touch on human side of the games, that’s puris

Vasna

God bless you that man

Vasna

I hope he wins the quadruple

Gunnersaurus's Lover

This man has sacrificed so much to Arsenal Football Club, and watching people screaming for his departure while calling them selves “fans” is down right embarrasing. The manager that eventually replaces him, will without doubt thrive on the foundation that he has built, so when that time comes (and it will very soon) let’s not forgett the man that made it all possible. Thank you so much for all the joy and sadness we have been through all these years Wenger, I loved every minute of it.

Merlin's Panini

We’re lucky to have a manager who loves the club and has as much of a feeling of responsibility as Wenger. There are very few that seem to have the same sort of affinity with their club, and what makes him interesting, as with Ferguson, is that he had never played for us before. He just seemed to “get” the club straight away and got on board with all the ideas.

Al Gilmore

I think it’s important to emphasise that when the board along with Wenger decided on the stadium move there was no oligarch money in football. It was understandable to assume that once we got our finances sorted that we’d immediately be back up there winning titles . After all we had a manager that already was able to trade titles with the Utd under their best ever manager even though they outgunned us financially. They did not factor in the oil money phenomenon, the phenomenon of owners willing to spend fortunes, to incur huge losses, to be prepared to wait… Read more »

Bellerin-a

I think Wenger’s greatest achievement will be what he leaves us. For example Ferguson leaves an ageing side to go out on top with an ego, Wenger will leave with something stable and exciting, giving the next person a chance, not leaving Moyes under the bus.

COYG. Chills!