Arsene Wenger meets Men in Blazers – full interview transcript

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Back when Arsenal visited California in the summer Arsene Wenger sat down with Roger Bennett, co-host of NBC show Men in Blazers, to discuss his 20 years in charge at Arsenal.

There’s a little bit of everything in the interview, broadcast in the US at the weekend and transcribed below, with the boss shedding new light on how he copes with the day-to-day stress of management, reflecting on his career highs and lows and discussing his reasons for being an eternal optimist.

Props to Mr Bennett for squeezing the best out of Arsene. We all know Wenger can be guarded in the weekly press conferences he’s contracted to stage at London Colney, but here he comes across relaxed and willing to engage with an interesting line of questioning.

Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy…


Arsene Wenger, this is your 21st season…

Don’t tell me that!

…as manager of Arsenal Football Club. I’ve got to know, how do you retain the energy to keep leading in the crucible of the Premier League for such an eternity. Do you feel like Sisyphus, eternally rolling a rock up a hill only to have it bang over your toes on the way down?

Not really, no. I think I’ve survived because I love the game. I love to win. I love the next game. My job is great because you have to build a concept and show that it works on the pitch. Football is so rich and every time it’s a new experience. I think it’s a good school of humility, it’s a good lesson for every individual who thinks, ‘I found the secret’. In the next football will show you that you found absolutely nothing at all.

I have to ask you…you are a rational, intelligent man. You’ve got a Masters in economics from Strasbourg [university]…what drives you to be a manager? Because there can only be one winner every season Arsene, everybody else is pilloried, mocked, scorned, derided, a tabloid piñata…

The pleasure in it all is to develop people and to give moments of happiness, to get the best out of a team. A season is not only [about] the team who has won the season, that means the last game of the season. A season is a succession of moments where you have the dream [to win], where you are fulfilled, where you are down, where you have to pick up your players, where you have to come back. It’s a fantastic school of being tough, strong and I believe as well, that a life of a strong human being is to have a long-term target and not to fade during that trip. Who can maintain the focus. Who is capable of going from A to B without being down every time you have a disappointment. Who can maintain the motivation level. That is what is really interesting in our job.

Your job, manager, a role that you once described thusly, “I am first and foremost an educator, I try to be faithful to the values I believe to be important in life and pass them on to others.” What are those values?

I know that we live in a period where it’s only about winning at any costs. I think a club is bigger than that and that sport is bigger than that. Sometimes we discover that people who were adored and worshipped for long periods were cheats. As a manager you have an influence on the identity of a club, on the individual course of the careers of the players and of course on the style of play and the results of the team. If you can manage to get these three together you can say you start to become a manager.

You told a sports paper, “I believe a big club must have the ambition to win with style.”

Of course.

If I could only give you one of these things, playing beautiful football or winning ugly, which would you select?

You don’t think like that. You think the best way to win is to play football where everybody expresses his talent. What is marvellous in this game… nobody has all the qualities, but in a team sport what is very interesting is to develop the strong qualities of each player and to put a harmony [on top] and put that to work together and then be efficient as a unit. What is marvellous in the game is 1 + 1+ 1 is more than 11. When you manage to do that, you have built a team. That will be a team with style because everybody expresses his qualities. And will be a team that is efficient because everybody brings his best to the unit. I believe always that the debate, ‘do you win ugly or [not]?’…you cannot be a big club and say to everybody, “Look my friends, buy a season ticket because we want to win ugly.” That will not go far. You have of course to have the desire to win, but all the big clubs need to have the ambition to do it with style. People want to come and see an experience that fulfils them for the game they love. Everybody who sits in the stand was a football player.

Everybody who sits in the stand thinks they are a football manager…

..as well [yes], but I accept that. They can be sometimes right and I can be wrong, you know. My job is to make sure that out of one hundred times I’m more often right than they are. You have to accept that it’s a public job and that everybody has an opinion. People today are better informed, they know better. On the other hand there’s not to be a dictatorship from people outside because they do not know always what is going on.

One of my favourite quotes that you often recite, “The only way to deal with death is to transform everything that precedes it into art.” You’ve come closest in the English Premier League to creating art as football, the 2003-04 ‘Invincible’ Arsenal team that went unbeaten for a whole season. Even just saying it, it’s almost impossible to fathom. How often, in your rare occasions of rest, do moments from that season come into your head?

My job is to do the best with the players I have and to develop them. What I wanted to do is football played with style. We are the only ones who have done that in the modern era in England, nobody else has done it. I wanted to show to the players that if you seed something in your brain and you really want it, you can do it. That was for me a very interesting lesson. If you set high targets sometimes you do not achieve them as quickly as you imagined you could do them, but if you maintain it, on a longer period you can get it. You never know how good you are as a manager, but if you never lose a game there’s not much room for anybody else to do better.

You won the title on enemy turf that season at White Hart Lane. I’ve always wanted to know, Arsenal vs Tottenham, is that rivalry a fan conception or did it add to your pleasure?

Of course [it adds to your pleasure], but it’s not the main one. As a manager you grow a bit above that. Your demands are internal, your needs are internal and you think, “Have I done the maximum with my players I have? Did I get this team as far as I could get them to go?” That is for me, more interesting than where you win the championship. I must say, even in some seasons where we just finished third or fourth I felt I have done a very good job. There was not much more in those teams, it [the achievement] was as good as winning the championship.

2003/04 was a peerless victory but it occurred at the moment when English football was forever changed; Roman Abramovich bought into Chelsea to lift the title the very next year. Did that massive cash influx and everything that has happened to the game since then transform everything you knew about winning as a manager?

Of course. Of course. It changed. It was a change of era. We have moved from a period where people who were successful bought the clubs of their dreams to an international level where the billionaires bought the clubs in England. We have even moved up again now to state clubs to some states, who own big international investment funds, buy clubs in England. It’s gone up a level. The billionaire is not enough in England anymore. It needs to be a big international investment fund.

And yet, despite this, you claim to maintain a sense of optimism.

Of course…

Football is dark and full of terrors, how has that sense of optimism not been beaten out of you?

Honestly, in my job the main quality is to be an optimist. If you see the future in a negative way you commit suicide in my job. You are responsible for the motivation of all the people around you. You have to pick up everybody inside the club. You should see what the club is like after a big defeat, it’s like a lost war and everybody is on the floor. You have to be an optimist to say, “Come on my friends, we are good enough to pick up and win our next game. We can do this together. Remember how good you are.” Everybody forgets quickly in life how good he is and how good he can be when things go wrong. I believe my job is to be an optimist.

You say that despite being a self-admitted, notoriously bad loser. You once said you, “experience every defeat like a death”…

Yes. Look in my heart here [taps chest]. Every defeat is a big scar in my heart here. We are all people. We love to win. We hate to lose. Most of the time the guys who love to win are strikers and the guys who hate to lose are defenders. I think a manager is a guy who loves to win, but as well, above all, hates to lose. When you’ve experienced [defeat], in my job, it’s even worse. That’s why I say, “When you lose once be very careful not to lose the game after.” Everybody dreams that you will win the next game and it will all start again. That’s where experience is very important. Just don’t lose the next one, don’t dream to win it, just don’t lose it. If you lose two you have more chances to lose three. Once you lose three you are in a super crisis. That is very important. I believe the quality of a manager is to stop the defeats as quickly as possible. When you lose two, the average run loses three or four or five. When all goes well, all the managers in the world are good. The quality of a manager is when he stands in a crisis and has to face it, how quickly can they stop it?

I’m fascinated by the public and the private and the difference between the two. Elite managers are very good at shifting the blame after a loss; it’s a referee’s fault…

Sometimes it is…

…or a lucky goal, a goal against the run of play. Honestly though, can you talk about how you process a loss to make sure that one loss doesn’t lead to a second or third.

First of all this is like a little bit a Formula One engine. When you don’t win the race you have to examine every little part of your engine. Big champions have one thing in common, they have a very fair assessment of their performance and they find the answers where it didn’t work. And that’s what it’s about for a manager. It’s to go to the essentials because you find a hundred problems, but you have to go to the two or three who are at the heart or the start of the problems. That’s why we try to analyse in a very objective way, statistics as well… numbers. For example, to give you a concrete view on how many chances did our opponents have? How many chances did we create? How well did we build our game up? Where was our biggest problem? Did we stop the crosses? Did we not stop the crosses? Did we allow shots from outside the box? Did we make stupid fouls? All these kinds of things…and you have to find exactly where you were wrong.

When do you do this? You have your press conference after the game or are we talking days?

I managed around 2,000 games so I know there’s a moment when I go to the dressing room and I’m destroyed. Before I go to the press conference, I know now my friend, the state is bad enough, don’t make it worse. There’s a moment of safety, [then] of emergency where you go to the press conference where you know you have to save what can be saved. And after, overnight, you analyse. In the next morning you watch the game again, you get your numbers, your analysis from the game, then you start to work. It’s very important in a press conference just after the game that you don’t make more damage than has already been done.

What role does external criticism play? I imagine as a manager you filter out almost all of it, that you have a thick skin. But what do you let in?

I would say it plays a part in the confidence because it has an incidence and a consequence on the confidence of the players. If I have survived for such a long time in this job it is because I can make a difference between what is hate, what is bad wishes, what is revenge, what is resentment and what is objective. I accept criticism but I just try to analyse, is it fair? Is it right or not? Then I get my own analysis and take into account what people say, yes. But as well, get completely out what is just destined to be spectacular. 

The stress Arsene…some games when I watch Arsenal, I look at you in the technical area.

You look at me suffering, and you’re right…of course, I suffer.

How do you cope with the stress?

I started at the top level at the age of 33. I was exceptionally young to have that responsibility at the age of 33. 30 years later, I’m still there. I must say sometimes when I was 33, 34 at half time I said to myself, “My friend, stop this. You will never survive in this job.” 30 years later I’m still here. That means my body has certainly progressively adapted to it. I still suffer, don’t worry. Why? Because you want to win and nobody can guarantee that. Football is spectacular because it is uncertain. But, at the end of the day, my optimistic personality always takes over. The future will be good. Just work hard, put the effort in, do the right things and the future will be alright.

That sense of optimism must be nourished by something Arsene…

It’s nourished by a naïve belief in human beings. My job basically is to say to people, “You do it for me, I believe in you.” If you experience that in a negative way, you become paranoid. If you believe in people, that they want to do their best, you’re an optimist. That may be naïve, but it’s like that.

20 years at Arsenal, it’s an unbelievable achievement. Is there one thing that you would have done differently with the benefit of hindsight?

Look, there are plenty of things I would have done differently. I think how I want to be looked at is, I carried through the generations [the] values of my club with absolute commitment and with absolute loyalty, that I gave absolutely my best to the players, showed the players how great football can be if we get over our egos and put our qualities together. Did I make mistakes? Of course, plenty. But that’s part of my experience as well.

What a remarkable football monogamist. Your relationship with Arsenal spans now two decades; it’s an astonishing amount of time. What’s the most important life lesson you draw from it all?

The most important life lesson is that you meet in your life the possibility to share the values that are important to you. And why did I stay at Arsenal? You know that I had plenty of opportunities to go to very glamorous clubs, but I think when you’ve found what is important for you – that means, you share the values that are important for you with your club – don’t be stupid enough just for an ego or a glory problem, to go somewhere else. I’m very proud of that. I resisted attractions that looked much more glorious just to be faithful to what I believe is right in life.

So that tenacity, that fidelity…

Tenacity is a most underrated quality in life. We all speak about talent, intelligence, glamour. But tenacity is the common thing for every successful person in life. Maintain that motivation to go from A to B and to keep your focus on that target without any weakening. That is called tenacity; stamina in your motivation.

https://youtu.be/eAGQ8OLyvqc

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WengersToyBus
WengersToyBus

Super interview. Absolutely love the subtle dig at Mourinho.

“A life of a strong human being is to have a long-term target and not to fade during that trip. Who can maintain the focus. Who is capable of going from A to B without being down every time you have a disappointment. Who can maintain the motivation level. That is what is really interesting in our job.”

True specialism, in failure.

Mootilated
Mootilated

The biggest dig at Mourinho for me is this one: ”When all goes well, all the managers in the world are good. The quality of a manager is when he stands in a crisis and has to face it, how quickly can they stop it?”

The man has built a reputation for being unable to deal with his teams when they reach a crisis hence the reasons he has been sacked so many times. He is unable to get his team out of a crisis, and it is hilarious to watch.

TobyC
TobyC

I thought the biggest dig at Mourinho was when he said ‘Mourinho is a cunt’.

SuchAnArse
SuchAnArse

Mourinwhore does not even deserve to be mentioned in a sentence with Arsene Wenger

thw14
thw14

Or maybe when there is an interesting conversation, louts like Mourinho are quickly forgotten.

Ike
Ike

An awesome, tenacious manager! Thank you Arsene!!!

The Blerch
The Blerch

“you cannot be a big club and say to everybody, “Look my friends, buy a season ticket because we want to win ugly.” That will not go far.”

” I think when you’ve found what is important for you – that means, you share the values that are important for you with your club – don’t be stupid enough just for an ego or a glory problem, to go somewhere else… Tenacity is a most underrated quality in life. We all speak about talent, intelligence, glamour. But tenacity is the common thing for every successful person in life”

What a man. Uncomfortable truth sometimes, but we’re so lucky to have someone who really does see the big picture

the only sam is nelson
the only sam is nelson

His intelligence is arguably what elevates him above the rest of the crowd. I mean had it been *any* other manager in the seat, then the first answer would have been “Sisy who?” but you just *know* that AW is familiar with the story. And can probably read it in ancient Greek.

Xxxrob
Xxxrob

Seriously bookmarking this page and coming back to it in the event I’m ever going to an interview for a manager position.
Every answer was insightful and explained so eloquently. This guy is class

And yes. He has frustrated me to no end at times. But you can never question his love for the club I love. Win lose or draw that’s enough for me. Wenger in!

MrBure

What. A. Guy.

The way my chest swells with pride when this man speaks…

Always a Gunner
Always a Gunner

“Every defeat is a big scar in my heart” – No wonder I adore his personality. So much to learn from him.

Stuart_Ten
Stuart_Ten

Carefully read every single word and sentence….realise you’ve posted the video at the bottom.
Life.

Thanks, though!

VT
VT

Exactly, and so I watched the video again (not that I didn’t enjoy it).

JB
JB

Incredible. I can’t wait till he writes a book, it’s going to be my bible.

Laycawn
Laycawn

“…I must say, even in some seasons where we just finished third or fourth I felt I have done a very good job. There was not much more in those teams…”

How tough it must have been knowing that you are at a disadvantage and having people compare you with other better equipped teams.

VT
VT

If my memory didn’t fail me, I remembered Arsene stating his ambitions during those post-Highbury years, at the beginning of every season, were to “win the league”. He is an eternal optimist, whose belief is intrinsically motivated by his faith in his players —

… and then I thought about the players who betrayed Arsene’s trusts. Heartache.

Edu's Braces
Edu's Braces

Has anyone anywhere been as true to a philosophy as he is? When he speaks about not allowing one loss to become two, suddenly his infuriatingly positive comments after a loss make a lot more sense. He is a proper football manager and so every decision, action and comment come naturally and align to the philosophy, which is why we’re so consistent. You could also argue it’s the reason we’ve stagnated but i’m still with him. COYG.

Yacine
Yacine

I understand why you feel this way but I don’t think that it’s the reason we’ve stagnated, as you call it. Let me quickly say that I agree with all your other points but I’d like to offer my perspective if you may.

Roger points out how the football landscape changed in 2003/04 when Roman Abramovic came in. This coincided with the beginning of the construction of the Emirates.

I think, simply, that the timing was unfortunate. Not as unfortunate as it would have been had construction started later on, though. It’s important to point that out because it’s a good part of the reason that we are starting to catch up with our squad now. The stadium is bigger, revenue is much more significant from all sources, and that simply guarantees that we can fund our own transfers and make bigger offers than before. Amongst the top 10 elite clubs, how many can claim to be able to do that? What about amongst all the clubs?

The reason we’ve stagnated is simply because it’s very, very difficult to have your cake and eat it too in business – and think of how particularly competitive and ruthless the business of football is. The reason Wenger was droning on and on about how qualifying for the Champions League is like a trophy in itself is because, in revenue alone, it brought us a little bit closer to a trophy every season. If you have more money to invest in the team… Plus, it kept our “quotient” or whatever decent to ensure we would never be paired up with (too many) heavyweights in the group stage. Painful to watch some seasons, but very pragmatic…

I don’t think he expected to struggle as much as he did at winning another title but if you were to look at football objectively since 2004, you’d realize that the league completely transformed during that timeframe from a time where one or two teams would dominate to one where the league is overflowing with competent managers (mostly), incredibly talented players, and teams that are able to compete a lot more closely than before simply because the quality of fitness, dieting, and training has improved dramatically.

Simply speaking, the landscape is much more competitive than it used to be. Which means that, while before you could win with a group of players so long as they were generally fitter and more technically skilled; nowadays it also requires great discipline, constant awareness, a very strong team unit, creativity, willpower, strength, stamina… And it can be quite difficult to find or develop these players, especially when everyone else is looking for them too (“Oh, you have a statistics team? So do we!”)

But thanks to Arsenal now being a global brand, with strong sponsorship deals, a stadium with (admittedly overly pricey) 60,000 seats, we are getting a lot closer to being able to compete at the very top level again. And that would not have been possible if we did not have to endure those few years of stagnation…

Edu's Braces
Edu's Braces

Good points, very eloquent, but I have to say, you’re preaching to the choir, I was throwing a crumb to the many fans who are pissed off with him. As far as I’m concerned he’s the boss and is the last person I will ever accept knows more about Arsenal than me, god help the next manager 😉

cal
cal

“For a long time people in this game can be idolised, but then people realise they are a cheat”

Mr mourinho might retort to that sly one hahaha wenger is great at underhanded sly digs the media Bearley ever pick up on it, and mourinho looks more of a twat for replying because wenger plays a blinder hahahahaha

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

I think it more likely that he’s talking about people like Lance Armstrong. Arsene is a student of life over and above football. I don’t think he’s that bothered by Mourinho other than when he has to be, unlike Mourinho, who seems supremely bitter with regards to anything Arsene-related.

The Only Olivier is Giroud
The Only Olivier is Giroud

I’m starting to develop a real and urgent sense of anxiety about the fact that one day this man will not be Arsenal manager. He may or may not sign a new contract, but this feeling transcends the politics of 2016/2017 Arsenal. I don’t know this club under any other manager. More than that, you look at any other club in the world, and you don’t see managers as “monogamous” as this. Players come and go (Cesc, Robin…) but Arsene has always been the constant, and one day he won’t be here any more.

We may or may not win more trophies then, play better or worse football, and we’ll cope with that because the Club is greater than any one individual and our love for the club will never fade… but not having someone with that same true love for the club as our custodian is a deeply saddening thought.

UtahGooner
UtahGooner

I had the same anxiety, and then I read this ….. it doubled !!!! 🙁

DAC Gooner
DAC Gooner

He may be criticised, heavily in some quarters, but history will show that this man turned AFC from a well-respected English football club into a world wide super club. We may have our ups and downs, but without him we would have been mid-table mediocrity.

I am so grateful that he has been our manager and sincerely hope he wins more trophies before he moves to the boardroom.

Thanks Arsène.

:bird:@iambadal
:bird:@iambadal

I don’t wish to fathom Arsenal managed by any other manager. Thanks Arsene for not just playing most beautiful football in English Premiere League, but also being humane at such level, that makes each Gunner in the world proud of having you at our club. I’d never just call you just by Arsene Wenger, it will be “Sir Arsene Wenger”.
“In Sir Wenger we trust”.

ChrisGoona
ChrisGoona

For some fans it is hard to admit (that clown/thug DT on Arsenal Fan TV for example), but Wenger is truly irreplaceable.

To mock Arsenal’s struggles over the 2nd decade of his tenure is pure ignorance. We all knew Arsenal were less equipped than our rivals. The pundits and media are still trying to mock Arsenal, our transfers, our penny-pinching manager… It is all bullshit. Wenger has overachieved in most of the seasons he has been at Arsenal. FACT.

Arsenal will be offering Wenger a new contract and it is nothing less than he deserves. You can’t begin to quantify his achievements by a single trophy count as he gives Arsenal so much more. Even if you do, he has the most domestic trophies of all teams in England of the last 3 years!

Adeoye
Adeoye

The only way to deal with death is to transform everything that precedes it into art

if you seed something in your brain and you really want it, you can do it

Everybody forgets quickly in life how good he is and how good he can be when things go wrong

experience every defeat like a death

Tenacity and forgiveness are the most underrated quality in life

I love this man, i can never hate him, never…i can’t even think of arsenal without this man….i love him to bits

Matt
Matt

Hey – it’s James from Gunnerblog!

Jdg
Jdg

Beautiful.

Alexis PACINO
Alexis PACINO

Another dig at super cunt Mourinho.
“It’s very important in a press conference just after the game that you don’t make more damage than has already been done”
Thinking of you Eva 😉

CheapCoffee
CheapCoffee

Maureen, the true specialist in failure.

Wizardry
Wizardry

“don’t be stupid enough just for an ego or a glory problem, to go somewhere else.” Hahahaha Mourinho must be fuming right now

Goonerboy
Goonerboy

“The only way to deal with death is to transform everything that precedes it into art.” Does anyone know who originally said this? Wenger quoted it in a previous interview in 2011, and just said it was by a ‘great philosopher’

Gooners & Roses
Gooners & Roses

Deidara. An Akatsuki member.

Little Mozart
Little Mozart

This man seemingly always teaches me important lessons about life. I can’t comprehend losing him.

Bergkamp's chips
Bergkamp's chips

An exceptional read. The wisdom in his words rings true beyond the borders of football. The Wenger way is essentially the ideal way to approach your life / career / people.

Inspirational and thought provoking. I can only imagine how amazing it would be to be mentored by someone like monsieur Wenger. Proud to be an Arsenal fan.

Kudos to blogs and Arseblog News Hound for this!

arseblog
Admin

All kudos to the Hound for doing the transcribing. That’s a Herculean effort.

Kostafi's Mustachi
Kostafi's Mustachi

This is one of the most inspiring interviews I’ve seen in a while.

Arsenal's Vardy
Arsenal's Vardy

Is it okay if my throat dried up a little and eyes got a bit teary reading this?

Eduardo Stark
Eduardo Stark

I have only work three years for my current employer, but already lose that tenacity for some complex reason. Fucking hell, he’s been at it for twenty!

There’s so much I’ve learned from him in life. That kind of optimism, naivety, ability to channel positives… What an admirable human being.

Great interview by Bennett, those question list are well prepared. As good as the L’Equipe one.

Thanks, Arsene, for these great years and hoping for more to come.

That sums it all up
That sums it all up

When I read his transcribed in-depth interviews, I genuinely get goosebumps. That doesn’t happen when I read the words of most other people. Whatever you think about Arsene, he makes it feel like we are on a journey that transcends mere sporting pursuit; one that is far greater than a scrappy last-minute win at Burnley, or poorly-graffitied bed-sheet banners, or the petty refusal to buy the new shirt because we haven’t bought a world-class striker. Being part of that journey fills me with a kind of smug pride.

Arshavin's fake moustache
Arshavin's fake moustache

A lot of what he says could be perceived as a dig at Mourinho, but I think mostly it’s just that his philosophy and outlook on life is the polar opposite.

Good.

Arsepedant
Arsepedant

I don’t think there’s anyone in the world whom I admire more than Arsene Wenger. A true scholar and a gentleman, he is the epitome of intelligence, class, commitment, and dedication. It will be a sad day indeed when he finally calls curtains on his Arsenal career.

santori
santori

Wenger has elevated football to a new level.

The beauty that he has brought to the game is truly magical when he comes together.

Its not for want of trying and for most times, we tend to flatter to deceive, but when it does work, it is absolutely subliminal!

When we are on song, the football we can play can take your breath away.

Sure its important to win titles and trophies but that isn’t everything.

Sometimes, the near misses can be equally memorable and ones to cherish too. Remember the miss that Pele did in one of the world cups when he dummied and rounded the keeper, I’d argue that that miss is more memorable than many of the finals or trophies in the world cup. Or the header downwards with force that Gordon Banks saved.

Thatw as of course sometime back and non Arsenal but we have had our equal moments of sublime audacity. One thing about Wenger is he never restricts the team to attempt the spectacular.

Part of his ethos is that he provides the frame work but like jazz, the players have to be left to interperete the piece with full freedom and as least intervention as possible.

Its not just about winning and end results. That is of course important but it is also about the journey.

It is a reason why players like Ozil (already world class when he came) choose to come to us to rehabilitate their career because they feel Wenger can bring something out in them and make them even better. Ditto Granit which must have been an important reason why he came to us over 6 or 7 other clubs who would have been willing to pay more than us.

This is the special attribute in Wenger that those banner holding simpletons simply will never get, harking back to the pre-Wenger era that they artificially elevate just to prove their narrative.

The man has transformed the club, given us the financial ability to compete in a new era and done it with our own resources.

He has elevated our brand of football to an art form.

He has done it whilst maintaining an extremely high standard of MINIMUM finish every season for 20 odd years. DO these people remember how erratic Arsenal were when quoting George Graham seasons? Do they really think we were that big a foot print in England pre-Wenger because I can only recall us wining a minor trophy in Europe.

He has above all beyond that taken us on an incredible journey through ups and down that has brought the Arsenal brand to truly global heights.

Some people are simply deluded in their thinking to have to minimise this man’s impact.

We’re not saying he is perfect or that he hasn’t made blunders, but have a bit of humility, you are in the presence of a truly great individual Arsene Wenger.

😉

Freddie Freeloader
Freddie Freeloader

When you referred to jazz, you gave me goosebums

Kris
Kris

The club has his touch through and true, so much that you would think he owns the club by the sound of his name. Arsene!

Destiny meets Love.

DB10's Air Miles
DB10's Air Miles

It’s so nice to be finally reading some kind words about this man in the comment section……… long overdue respect and praise for such a great man!

Glasgow_Gooner
Glasgow_Gooner

Arsene I love you so and we want you to know. That I will miss all this stuff, the minute you walk out that door. Please don’t go. Do gooooo don’t go away. Hey hey hey.

AnonymousGun
AnonymousGun

“The most important life lesson is that you meet in your life the possibility to share the values that are important to you. And why did I stay at Arsenal? You know that I had plenty of opportunities to go to very glamorous clubs, but I think when you’ve found what is important for you – that means, you share the values that are important for you with your club – don’t be stupid enough just for an ego or a glory problem, to go somewhere else. I’m very proud of that. I resisted attractions that looked much more glorious just to be faithful to what I believe is right in life.”

Quick! Someone plant this thought to Bellerin D:

JoGuna
JoGuna

Yes someone has got to plant that into our Hector.

'desi'gner gooner
'desi'gner gooner

What a man….I could hear him speak all day….
And what a privilege it has been to witness Wengerball for so many years on the trot. I dread to think of the day when it will be over. I hope it doesn’t happen any time soon.

LEFT08
LEFT08

What a brilliant, brilliant man. I feel so lucky to have experienced the 20 years of his management of the club. I really wish he carries on.

JoGuna
JoGuna

The Arsenal professor. No doubt I’ve always held the man in high esteem even when I see our teams not at their best. The way he comes out is not only motivation for the players but all those that love arsenal fc truly. Long live Wenger.

5kywalker
5kywalker

I agree with a couple of the comments here where he says about the faith, optimism and trust he puts into his players as well as developing them.

When you consider what some of those players who he has invested in (not financially speaking) over the years have done to him, the way they have treated Arsene and Arsenal….I don’t know, it makes you feel almost protective. This is our club. Arsene gets that and he is part of that. He loves Arsenal just like us.

As much as Thierry now says he is a fan, and his goal against Leeds when he made his comeback and lost his sh*t when he celebrated, it sounds to me like Arsene is a fan as well as having to manage the club.

Do we sometimes wish he would spend more or whatever? Yes of course. Unquestionably for me though, I will miss him when he is gone as he has given us ‘top top quality’ of his own for 20 years.

Long live the King.

Daza
Daza

Fantastic interview!
I’ll miss him when he eventually leaves!
He’s truly a an arsenal fan!