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Name Arsene Wenger
Spelling Arsène Wenger
Gender Male
Nationality France
Ethnic French
Job Arsenal Manager
  Football Coach


Club as Coach Arsenal FC
  Nancy FC


Assistant Coach Pat Rice

1999 10 03 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger defends Patrick Vieira] It was cheating by Paolo Di Canio. He had a great game but I was very frustrated by his behaviour. He dived for Vieira’s first yellow card and again for the sending-off, so Patrick was very upset

2001 05 14 Retrieve

[Thierry Henry has urged boss Arsene Wenger to buy him a world-class strike partner in the wake of Arsenal’s FA Cup Final defeat by Liverpool] If we are to become great again, we must buy a couple of world-class players. This team still has huge potential but we need some extra quality to take us that step further. I know who I want - and we have enough time to sort it all out

2002 05 09 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger wants his Double-winners to go on and dominate English football in the years to come] We wanted tonight to be a shift of power, and to take the trophy back to Highbury. It’s just fantastic to win it here as they are the team we want to beat, the team who have dominated English football for the past three years. Since I arrived at Arsenal, we have won the title twice and United have won it three times. So they are 3-2 ahead and now we want to equalise next season

[But Wenger expects a tougher challenge next season] I think they will come back stronger next year. But we want to be stronger as well. We will maybe add one or two as maybe we will lose one or two, but we want to keep the basis of our team. [And, crucially, Wenger added] I expect Patrick Vieira to be at the club next season

[By winning at Old Trafford, Arsenal completed the season without defeat away from home] It’s a tremendous record. Once again tonight, we had to show great character. We were solid as a rock in the first half and they never really threatened us. This is a victory for the entire squad. Everyone has contributed and we’ve had a great team spirit

[Wenger also pinpointed victory at Liverpool back in December as the key to their title triumph] That was the turning point for us - winning there with 10 men convinced me we would win the championship

2002 09 16 Retrieve

[Wenger justifies his faith in his Patrick Vieira’s fitness] If Vieira is cooked, then how good will he be when he declares himself fresh? Tired like that. I’ll love him the whole year

[Wenger has already spoken of a power shift from Old Trafford to Highbury] United will be up there, don’t worry about that. We know we can win the league. We know we can be stronger. At this stage last season we were not as good as we are now

2003 03 05 Retrieve

Talk in football is not so important, what is important is how well you play and we concentrate on that. We are confident and determined. We know we have the potential to do what we want to achieve and that’s why we ignore a bit what is said outside of here

2003 05 04 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger claims as early as September, following a 4-1 mauling of Leeds, that Arsenal could remain unbeaten to the end of the season] I am still hopeful we can go through the season unbeaten - a frightening thought

2003 08 13 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger after Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires sign new deals] I never had any doubts that both Patrick and Robert would sign new contracts. I’m delighted; they’re both very important players who will be instrumental in our goal of winning more trophies this season and in years to come

2004 04 09 Retrieve

[Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits even he was surprised by the strength of character his side showed in beating Liverpool at Highbury] I was surprised by the resources they find. They are amazing. It doesn’t get any worse than losing a Champions League game the way we did, but I felt the way they responded was absolutely magnificent

Thierry Henry’s second goal was amazing, but I think the whole team was amazing. After two big defeats it was a big test of our mental strength, character and togetherness. They have shown once again that when their backs are against the wall they can respond by playing fantasic football. We still have an unbeaten league run and the championship to go for and that is the biggest title. I can only guarantee one thing with this team, and that is they will give everything to win each game. I have big respect for this team

2004 04 25 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger paid tribute to his Arsenal side after they sealed the Premiership title at Tottenham] The overall achievement of the club has been tremendous. The championship is where you see how good a team is. All the players have had a remarkable attitude and all my staff have been fantastic. We’ve been remarkably consistent, haven’t lost a game and we have played stylish football. We have entertained people who just love football

We have won the championship twice in the last three years and we have won the FA Cup twice in the last three years. In my opinion we have made up ground on Manchester United and have improved every year. It is now our target to defend the title. Manchester United won it three years in a row and we have improved since then, so we must try and win another Premiership

I believe we must keep our humility and wonder how we can become a better team. That starts with me. If we do that then I believe there is a lot more to come from this side. My target now is to keep the players focused on our unbeaten record. We have put so much effort into this season so to lose a game now because we had switched off would not be ideal. We have to keep going

2005 07 15 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger comments on Patrick Vieira’s move to Juventus] I share the sadness with our supporters that Patrick has left us. But on the other hand I would say to them ‘trust us and support us’. The sad thing is he leaves us, but the good thing is that he leaves us on a high

Patrick was a great player for us, one of the greatest in the club’s history and I feel I had a special relationship with him because I made him come here. I think his impact, not only at Arsenal but in English football overall, was just tremendous

2005 11 02 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger comments on Jose Mourinho who reveals Wenger’s dossier] When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes and not more intelligent

I find it out of order, disconnected with reality and disrespectful. I will see if I take any action. I don’t know yet but I will leave that door open. I don’t know what I said that was malicious. I was asked a question about Chelsea FC and gave my honest answer, just like I expect any other manager to do when he is asked about Arsenal FC

2007 03 09 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger explains his football philosophy] When you’re dealing with someone who only has a pair of underpants on, if you take his underpants off, he has nothing left - he’s naked. You’re better off trying to find him a pair of trousers to complement him rather than change him

[Arsene Wenger defends his recruitment policy at Arsenal] If I give you a good wine, you will see how it tastes and after you ask where it comes from

[Arsene Wenger on coaching national team] I do not think about the national team too much because footballistically it is not of too much interest

2007 11 13 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger responds after Sir Alex Ferguson has a dig at Arsenal for their lack of homegrown player] I’m ready to take the blame for all the problems of English football if that is what he wants

2010 01 08 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger feels Patrick Vieira will still be a force and understands his motives for a move to Manchester City] For me he has made the right choice and City has made the right choice so it should be a good marriage. I thought about it [re-signing Vieira] but I felt that we had players like Alex Song coming through and to keep on giving them a chance it was important that nobody steps in front of them

2012 09 27 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger on Olivier Giroud first Arsenal goal scored against Coventry in the Capital One Cup] It was a good finish, he is a good finisher Olivier, but at the moment I believe he is looking for confidence and that goal will help him. I expect him to take that into the Premier League

2013 09 02 Retrieve

[Arsenal smash club record to sign Mesut Ozil] We are extremely pleased to have signed Mesut Ozil. He is a great player, with proven quality at both club and international level. We have watched and admired him for some time as he has all the attributes I look for in an Arsenal player

2013 12 14 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger plays down 6-3 thrashing of Arsenal by Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City on EPL title race] They are one of the teams to beat, but no more than any other we have played until now. We have played Everton and Southampton and they are as good as City

[Wenger felt his side’s trip to Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday had affected his players’ performance] I don’t want to look for excuses after a defeat like that but it did not help. It was not ideal and you could see we were not as fresh as we could have been

Our strength until now has been our defensive discipline but we lost that as the game went on. Whenever we got a goal back we conceded another soon afterwards, and always through bad mistakes

We had tired legs and in the end we lost 6-3 but what hurts me more is that we had the opportunity to win and put City nine points behind us and, instead, they are three points behind us. That is very difficult to swallow because we played a team that was not unbeatable. We conceded many goals but honestly we could have scored six as well

We had three offsides given against us which were not offside, and a penalty turned down. The referee had a bad game

2014 03 09 Retrieve

[Perhaps these are early signs that Mesut Ozil is rediscovering his lust for the fight] It looks like it, yes. He was absolutely in a different physical shape today, even if he played nearly 90 minutes on Wednesday night against Chile. It was quite a tough game but sometimes when you have two tough games like that it helps you to recover

[Now, as Wenger explained, the strain had been mental, not physical] I think it affected him mentally too much, the penalty he missed against Bayern Munich. He had the feeling he let the team down at a very important moment of the game. That affected his performance very much. Sometimes a psychological wound is like a physical one. You can talk and talk and talk, but it takes time. I think he is over it. He has a good opportunity to show on Tuesday night how good he is

I would like him to find the right balance between being a provider and finisher. At the moment the balance is a bit detrimental to the finishing. But he is pacy, much quicker than people think he is, and with that technical quality and pace, if he gets into the right areas, with the service he has, he can score goals. He wants to score more goals, I am convinced of that

[Özil got booing by his home fans when he played for Germany in Stuttgart in midweek] We live in a society where the period of time is very short between the boos to the applause

2014 03 09 Retrieve

[Arsène Wenger says he was relieved to have oil in the engine again] Ramsey and Özil give us cutting edge that make us look much more dangerous. Football is down to the quality of the players. We have had problems scoring goals away from home but players like that help. It was good to have Özil back. The timing of his passes and incisiveness means we can turn from defence to offence very quickly

We knew we had to win, we had that kind of pressure. We could already see [in the 3-1 win] against West Ham there’s something better and we saw it again today. It looks like there’s oil in the engine again

2015 01 25 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger on Tomas Rosicky who celebrates after scoring the third crucial goal] If you love football, you love Rosicky

2015 04 02 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger on Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard the complete midfielder] Yes of course [Gerrard’s one of the best I’ve faced]. For long periods when Liverpool were in trouble, everyone looked to Gerrard and nine out of 10 times he did it. He’s a huge player and what I liked is that he’s shown great loyalty through his whole career to play for Liverpool. It’s very difficult to see how because he had the calibre to play for any big club but he stayed loyal and I have big respect for that. When you look at his qualities it’s hard to see what he didn’t have in the locker. He’s quick, a good passer, good technique, could score goals, a dream midfielder. He had every single quality needed for midfield

2015 05 05 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger has hailed Mesut Ozil’s fantastic performance against Hull City] Mesut Ozil is developing fantastically well and had a fantastic game. Overall his influence was very strong. Alexis Sanchez had one of his complete games. I like when he mixes his game up with the runs in behind and coming to the ball - he did that against Hull

I’m very happy [with the win] because it keeps our run going and overall I think we secured the top four. We now have an opportunity to go second now so we want to take it. We also want to continue to improve and develop as a team, and you could see that the focus is there to do it

[Wenger also reserved praise for Jack Wilshere, who made his first appearance in five months after coming on as a second-half substitute] It’s great and he’s sharp. Maybe he felt too sharp because he wanted to always make the difference but it’s good. You could see that he has found his burst again. Let’s be patient with him, not too demanding either. It is interesting that he’s back

2015 08 20 Retrieve

Thierry Henry could take ball in the middle of park and score a goal that no one else in the world could score

It was embarrassing for the defenders. He just scored when he wanted

His sensational career was down simply to Thierry’s class. He is a player who had everything you dream of as a manager – physical potential, a technical level, super intelligence and what people also forget for many top level athletes, is he was dedicated to his job, with a very serious life. He is simply a model professional who won everything you can in our world

2015 10 04 Retrieve

[Arsenal 3-0 Manchester United] We did not give them any chances to score and that was vital. We surprised them with our start. From Petr Cech to Theo Walcott we only had superb performances. I have managed many strong teams and never had one that played 60 games at the same level. You have to accept that we are human beings

I’ve been at the club for 19 years and I know what you want is a strong response in a big game when you have a big disappointment. We are in it, we are two points off the league leaders, Manchester City, so I hope that result today will give us belief to fight for it

2015 11 Retrieve

[With His Anxiety and his relationship with time] Going back in time, looking back is just as scary. … there’s not as much to come as what has already been lived … The only way to fight time is to not look back too much. If you do, it can make you feel anxious and guilty

[When it was claimed that he is an Aristocrat and an Educator] Aristocrats had their heads cut off in France. I strive to pass on values. Not the right of blood. A civilisation that does not honour its dead or its values is doomed

[Whether he should develop future talent vs winning now] I don’t want the will to educate to be opposed to the will to win. That makes the educator sound like an idiot. Any manager’s approach must be to educate

[Regarding his Expectations] The philosophical definition of happiness is a match between what you want and what you have. And what you want changes as soon as you’ve got it. Always more. Always better

[When asked about Art, Beauty, and Football] I chose a team sport. There is a kind of magic when men unite their energies to express a common idea. That is when sport becomes beautiful. The unhappiness of man comes when he finds himself alone to fight against the problems he must face

2015 11 25 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger on Steven Gerrard] He was a fantastic player who had the qualities that every midfielder dreams of. He scored goals, he could pass. He had commitment and motivation

2015 12 29 Retrieve

[Wenger admitted comparisons with Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp are becoming increasingly pertinent] His career, no matter what he does, is to be better every day. That focus, that consistency … Some cannot do it, but he is consistently showing he is going upwards

2016 01 09 Retrieve

[Arsène Wenger said the number of players returning from injury - plus possible transfer activity - will see them through the busy schedule] I believe that the next step is to get Tomas Rosicky back, Danny Welbeck back, Alexis Sánchez back, Jack Wilshere back and maybe we will get one player in. Overall, I think we have no new injuries so I’m not worried. If we had the same number of injuries we would be a bit short

2016 01 30 Retrieve

[Arsène Wenger in response to the signings of Kelechi Nwakali] We identified Kelechi Nwakali as the player of the tournament, basically, and as a top player

2016 04 02 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger reflecting on Johan Cruyff’s legacy] He was a kind of James Dean of football at the time - he smoked and played. I saw him playing against us at Strasbourg and he was eating a sandwich before the game, then he would go on the pitch and be the best player. He had that kind of expression of freedom in the way he behaved and that strength of personality was absolutely exceptional in that period

2016 04 15 Retrieve

[Wenger admitts he could not count the season as a success] We are second in the league and we want to be first. We are not happy but the 18 other teams behind would be happy to be in our position. For a while our supporters have not been going home happy and at least today they had some satisfaction

[After the attempted fan protest two weeks ago, there were even plenty of chants for Wenger on the lap of appreciation to end the season] A positive feeling. I am not masochist enough to love to be booed

2016 10 10 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger on retaining Tony Adams as captain upon his arrival] He was a mixture of a laid-back player who was very fierce and strong pride. He could always find that when he was bad like he had a bad ankle you wondered if he could play at the day of a competition

This is the guy that always found the resources to be at his best. This was the brand of the back four when I arrived, they were all the same and like that. You wondered sometimes during the week if they would be available but they always surprised you and they were always much better than you predicted they would be

2016 10 22 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger says he is convinced Mesut Ozil will extend his contract with the North London club] I don’t think he needs convincing. He wants to stay here. If you have a good bank, call me. It’s not just money. Arsenal can win titles, of course. But that’s what we have to show. We are in a league where Man City, Man United, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea, everybody, fights and you cannot guarantee that to anybody

2017 01 29 Retrieve

[Arsène Wenger talks about Youri Djorkaeff his player when coaching AS Monaco] I bought him because of his goalscoring and how he used his vision on the ball

2017 03 16 Retrieve

[Arsenal forward Theo Walcott in row with Gareth Southgate over England axe. Happy birthday, Theo, you’re dropped] Theo has become more of a complete player, more efficient. He can influence games. He is a focused player and he was not picked for the European Championship. Always in life, you try to get to the next level when things don’t go for you – or you think you did everything right and continue to live like you did before. He had the right response. He said: ‘What do I need to do to get higher up?’ And he did it

2017 03 23 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger admitted last year that Chris Willock wasn’t far from playing in the Arsenal first team but the England youngster has only played 25 minutes of League Cup action this season] Chris is a very gifted player with natural strength and natural talent. He has what you do not find very easily. He can have a go at people, can get past people in one on ones. We forget sometimes that the basis of team sport is to first be strong one against one and Chris has that quality. I believe that he has the needed character when he has his back to the wall to always respond in a very strong way. That’s a very important quality, to be able to play under pressure. If I had to play him then I would have no fear in doing so

2017 03 24 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger believes that the 19-year-old Ainsley Maitland-Niles has both the physical and technical qualities to succeed] Ainsley Maitland-Niles has played a lot on the flanks but I’ve seen qualities in him that tell me he can be useful in the middle and he can also be a defensive specialist. He’s very good in one against ones and quick in his recoveries, very good in duels, and not scared to play either. I’m pleased for him because he’s a boy who has had to be patient, who has a good mentality. I like him very much and I think his game is very positive

2017 04 08 Retrieve

[Arsène Wenger says Theo Walcott’s career is a case study in determined progress] He is a guy who cares and wants to do well. He has a huge level of focus. I looked at his numbers the other day, he has played wide since the start of the season and he has played 20 games [23, including 21 starts] and scored 10 goals in the Premier League

For a wide player that’s quite positive. He has improved his defensive commitment a lot compared to what it was before, he was sometimes a bit less focused on the teamwork. On that front he has improved tremendously. He shows on a daily basis a huge commitment

[Wenger added that Walcot, who is in his 11th year at Arsenal after joining from Southampton as a teenager, is a suitable symbol of his club’s culture] I give a little bit of a priority to the guys who know the Arsenal values, who are here for a long time. The loyalty for me plays a part in representing the club and he has been very loyal because always, when we have renegotiated contracts, he has given a big priority to loyalty

[Wenger said Walcott’s resolve with regard to other issues helps make him an effective leader] He doesn’t compromise with what he thinks is important. When I have meetings with players he speaks his mind. He is a positive guy

[Wenger said he was taken somewhat aback by Walcott’s non-inclusion in the England squad for last month’s matches against Germany and Lithuania] I was surprised [at Walcott’s omission] but for England now there is competition. Going forward, you have a young generation with Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford coming up

Walcott has the quality, if you look at his career, he can respond to disappointment with good focus. He had a very bad injury [a torn cruciate ligament in 2014] and he came back. When you look at his career in 2006 he was in the World Cup and since he has not been. That is basically 11 years later and he has gone through very early high up and he is still there. That means this guy can deal with disappointment. He can go [to the World Cup] next year

[Wenger suggested his player could even go as England captain] If you can captain a club team you can captain the national team, it’s similar. But usually that is left more to defenders, to defensive positions, because they are more focused and they see what is in front of them more than strikers. I don’t think that is his target at the moment

2017 05 31
Arsenal finally announced manager Arsene Wenger had signed a new two-year deal with the club, ending months of speculation which saw protests from fans wanting him to leave

2017 08 12 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger expects a female manager in the English Premier League soon] I’m personally convinced that will happen soon. I’m convinced in ten or 15 years it will not necessarily be a football specialist who is a manager of a club. You will have so many scientists around the team that who will bring out the team to play on Saturday will be more management specialists than football specialists. Because the football decisions will be made by technological analysis

2017 08 31 Retrieve

[In December 2012, Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey, Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain and Carl Jenkinson all signed new long-term contracts at Arsenal with Arsene Wenger keen on building a ‘British core’ at the club] I believe when you have a core of British players, it’s always easier to keep them together. We are delighted that these five young players have all signed new long-term contracts. The plan is to build a team around a strong basis of young players in order to get them to develop their talent at the club

[And asked as recently as April this year if he wanted to preserve his British core, Wenger said] Yes. We still have a group of young players but we have to keep them all. We have Ramsey, Chamberlain, Wilshere, Gibbs. All these players, we have to make decisions and manage to keep them together

2017 09 01 Retrieve

[Wenger said back then, in December 2012 about Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey, Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain and Carl Jenkinson] The plan is to build a team around a strong basis of young players in order to get them to develop their talent at the club

2017 09 13 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger comments on criticisms on Mesut Ozil’s body language] He is a guy who works much harder than people think, but his body language goes against him sometimes. At the end of the day his style is his style and what you measure with Mesut Ozil is the efficiency. His basic quality is retention and the creation of goal chances

2017 12 16 Retrieve

[manager Arsene Wenger when asked to compare his 2003/04 unbeaten side with the current Manchester City side, who broke an English top flight record of 15 consecutive wins in the league] We had no petrol but ideas, they have petrol and ideas, so that makes it even more efficient

2018 02 03 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger says to keep Mesut Ozil with his high salary demand is the cheapest option] First of all, when we let a player go we have to buy somebody of the same calibre. And if you add the transfer needed – the wages [for the new player] will be similar, but on top of that we have to pay a transfer [fee]. So overall, Ozil was for us the cheapest option

[New January signings Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan both signed deals reportedly worth £180,000 a week, which was an Arsenal record until Ozil penned his new deal. But Wenger insisted that he had no problem with paying such high salaries, as long as it is within the club’s means] I never put a limit on that. I just think that at the end of the day, what I never wanted to do was spend 12 when we earn 10. As long as we earn what we can pay, it’s not a problem. I did fight my whole life to pay the players good wages. So I’m not against that. I just am against the fact that you live on credit

[Wenger wasn’t worried that Ozil’s teammates will suddenly start demanding much higher salaries] All our players are well paid. Very well paid. So to feel sorry for them is very [unnecessary]. I’m not sure that it is the most objective assessment

[Wenger called on him to] be the technical leader of the team going forward

[But he wouldn’t go as far as to say he will build the team around Ozil] I never understood completely what that means. Because I think a team goes naturally through its strong points. So you cannot artificially create that

A team has quite a subconscious intelligence and chooses a way in the game that is most efficient. And normally when you say build a team around [a player], I will not decide that. It’s the team on the pitch that decides that. And he is naturally a focal point because they give him naturally the ball

2018 04 21 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger announces that he will leave the club after 22 years as manager] After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season. I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special. I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high. To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support forever

2018 05 12 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger speaks about the transition he oversaw from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium for Arsenal] I believe Highbury had a special spirit. It’s a cathedral, a church. You could smell the soul of every guy that played there. So it was special. It will always be special for me. The Emirates for me was like buying a new house. It took us a while to feel at home there. It’s a fantastic stadium - but there was something special at Highbury that you could never recreate when you build something new

2018 05 19 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger talks about his plans after leading the club for 22 years] At the moment if I want to continue to work, I think I have to move out of the country, because my gut feeling at the moment is that I would feel I would betray my club by staying in England. People might feel that I’ve betrayed what I’ve built here

2018 08 25 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger talks about life after being Arsenal’s manager for 22 years] I decided not to decide. I was intoxicated for such a long time that I promised myself not to make any decisions before September. [It’s going] even better than I thought. When you have been as busy as I have been, you always fear a little emptiness. But I quickly organised myself in this new stage of my life, I do a lot of sport, here I eat with my friends. I talk a lot too, I can sit for hours contemplating the horizon, I read every day, right now a book by Philip Roth called ‘I Married a Communist’

2018 11 24 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger predicts the use of social media to dictate substitutions] I’ve said many times: you could imagine the next chairman who says that the social networks can make a change. That will become more and more entrenched. It will happen. I personally, would not accept it. I’m from the old school in that respect. But we’re going in that direction

2018 12 08 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger speaks after winning the League Managers Association’s lifetime achievement award] Since I don’t compete anymore, I get a trophy every week. How stupid was I not to understand earlier?

2019 08 02 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger at the old post-match Wembley press conference] There’s no doubt that Nicolas Anelka is a huge talent, and that he has the potential to develop further

[the club was simply a stepping stone on the grand European stage for many of their international stars, with Wenger claiming] The Anelka departure showed just how easy it was for a player to have his head turned by advisers

2019 09 07 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger may have more days on the touchline ahead] I must say I always wanted to go to the World Cup [finals] because I felt it is the job of a manager to be where the best football players in the world play football. Hopefully, you will see me, touch wood in Qatar in three years’ time

2019 10 08 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger on Arsenal’s journey] I arrived from Japan on October 1, 1996, because of David Dein and with only one luggage piece. I knew it could be [a] very short [stay]

As much as I pushed the club, we travelled every Sunday with David to look for new training grounds to build a new stadium, to give you a picture, the turnover of the club was about £70million. Two years later, it was £90m and that was divided in three: £30m gates, £30m sponsorship and £30m television. Today, the turnover of Arsenal is about £420m, with £180m from television. That means the television money has been multiplied by six

When we decided to build the stadium, we’d go to £200m, to £400m, and we had become an industry and not a football club anymore, because we spoke in all the board meetings about how much we can pay back. We moved up to £428m. This was the time where we had £90m turnover and we had to pay back £22m per year to pay back the stadium and, overall, that means a completely different state of life for Arsenal

At the same time, in 2007, David Dein left and the banks asked as a guarantee that I signed for five years. I agreed to extend my contract. This was the difficult period - from March until the end of May, I didn’t sleep. We had to be every second year at least in the Champions League because the income was very important. As much as I get credit today for the first 10 years, from 1996 to 2006, the hardest work I did was during that period where we were on the edge

We had to sell our best players and at the same time came Chelsea with unbelievable money, Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City. We were on a level where we could not compete financially. Having said that, I turned down many offers because I felt always that I was in a club who had a touch of class. There was a respect for tradition, there was an audacity to more forward and a feeling of being together

[Arsene Wenger hints at a potential technical role with FIFA] To share what I have learned in the game. Maybe with FIFA, yes. World football has a huge responsibility now and if I can help a little bit, why not?

2019 10 19 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger on the best team he ever faced] Barcelona without a doubt-when they had Xavi, Andres Iniesta, a young Sergio Busquets, Lionel Messi and of course Neymar – they had the best team at the time by far. They had Dani Alves on the right-back, Jordi Alba on the left and Carles Puyol; they had the best team for two or three years. And then there was Bayern Munich after when they had Arjen Robben, Franck Riberty, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Xabi Alonso, Toni Kroos and Philipp Lahm and David Alaba on both flanks – it was even a different team to what they have today. The characteristic of last season when England won the European Cups is that the three teams who dominated European football in the last 15 years were Bayern, Real Madrid and Barcelona, and last year the three teams didn’t have the same level they had before and England took advantage of that very well and that is great and I hope that continues this season again