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


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

2000 08 28 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger after getting the lowdown on Donetsk where Arsenal will play in the Champions League] Oleg (Luzhny) told me it is a hostile place to go, a long journey, only an average stadium and no really good hotels

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

2002 12 27 Retrieve

[Arsenal struggled against Albion’s formation] We won a big three points, but a difficult three points. I must give a lot of credit to West Brom. Their game plan worked well, they defended deep and didn’t give us any space. Only when we had four forwards and stretched them did we create a few chances. They made it hard for us.

[But, with five minutes remaining, Arsenal again made the most of a little luck. Adam Chambers’s clearance was charged down and the ball broke to Henry, who made no mistake a second time] He reacted well after the miss. If we hadn’t been prepared to dig deep and do everything possible to win, we’d have lost. We won because we had the mental strength to change things

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

2003 12 02 Retrieve

[Vieira back for Arsenal after injury ‘nightmare’] Patrick will play from the start. I am a little bit cautious but he is always very impatient to start and at the moment he looks to be ready. He has worked very hard and physically he looks ready. How long he will last I don’t know, maybe an hour. It is important to have Patrick back, especially as we have lost Ray Parlour, who could be out for two weeks

I will play the kids again - you will get a chance to see some of the youngsters against Wolves. It is only fair that people know that. I don’t want to cheat the fans, so that’s why I’m telling them in advance

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

2006 01 01 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger described a young Brazilian by the name of Denilson when Arsenal took a gamble on the unknown 18-year-old in 2006] He’s a little bit in between Tomas Rosicky and Gilberto

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

2008 06 21 Retrieve

[Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has fuelled rumours linking Turkey star Arda Turan with a move to the Emirates Stadium] Yes, I think that Arda is an extremely good talent, one of the best in the Turkish squad and I think he has the capabilities to perform at the top level.

2009 01 01 Retrieve

[Even Wenger in 2009 was blown away by how well Denilson had adapted to the English game] I am surprised by two things – by how well he has done and how little credit he gets from the media. I don’t think many people have gone down and deeply analysed his game. But he is a player who doesn’t attract too much limelight because he is discreet, doesn’t talk and does his job. That’s what I prefer. He’s a very hungry player and he is 20 years old, plays every game under a lot of pressure and I have never seen him in one training session be a little bit within himself. He always gives you 100 per cent

2009 02 16 Retrieve

[Wenger does not share Bendtner’s confidence. The club have managed just four goals in their last six home league matches and the Frenchman said he has given Bendtner as host of chances to prove himself] Bendtner has had plenty of opportunities this year. if you look at the number of games he has started you will be surprised. He has had lots of opportunities. At the moment it is difficult for everybody to score goals but I am convinced that if we keep working well as a team and playing well as a team that will come back quickly

2009 03 10 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger says Arsenal’s FA Cup and Champions League hopes will have been given a timely creative boost as accelerating winger Theo Walcott and deadly fox-in-the-boxer Eduardo da Silva are both in line to feature in the Gunners’ fifth round cup clash with Burnley] I will see how they [Walcott and Eduardo] look tomorrow and Saturday but they will certainly be in the squad, especially Theo. We have to wait and see how Eduardo reacts and responds to his injury

2009 08 25 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger Welcomes ‘Arsenalisation’ Of Emirates Stadium] I have met so many people who have been going to Arsenal for 50 or 60 years and had their heart and soul at Highbury. We have to give them something back here where they think ‘that is part of what I have experienced my whole life. They want to see the faces of the players they have seen - Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira, Cliff Bastin. That has to still continue here. The desire is there but not only from me, the board want to do it and personally I find it a fantastic idea

2009 09 13 Retrieve

[Van Persie accused Adebayor of executing a ‘mindless and malicious stamp’ on his face but Adebayor denied the stamp was deliberate] I don’t want to focus on that but it was not enjoyable to see. At Arsenal we tried to treat him well. I do not feel we treated him badly. If he has done it [the stamp] then that is very dangerous

2009 11 12 Retrieve

[Thomas Vermaelen Stakes Claim As Buy Of The Year] I loved it. As a centre-back you need to be fully committed. He is now [almost] 24, but at that time he was maybe 21 and wanted to show he could compete.

I don’t know or remember if they shook hands afterwards, but I remember some very committed games at the Ajax tournament. He played against Thierry Henry and kept him quiet. I thought ‘oh’ and remembered the name. I put him in my brain and kept it in there.

I think what gave us a chance to sign him was that, after that, he played a lot at left-back. A lot of people watched him a lot in England, but saw him more at left-back than at centre-back…

[Having signed him, Wenger established him in the centre of Arsenal’s defence] You can question his height, but not his leap. That makes up for it. He is taller than you expect him to be. He’s not small. He has a very strong upper body and has a very good leap. His leap is very sharp and that’s important. If two players go for a ball the one who jumps first will win it.

[His immediate impact led to recognition by the Arsenal fans when he won their August award as Player of the Month. Wenger praised them for their choice] It is a good recognition of his quality and his performances. It is well deserved

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

2010 11 19 Retrieve

[I won’t shake hands! Nasri ‘will snub’ old foe Gallas as defender returns to the Emirates] You can play together without being completely tight. After all, these are professional football players

[Last night, some Arsenal players were trying to talk Nasri out of inflaming the situation with a public snub and Wenger defended Gallas] He can sometimes be excessive but he’s an honest character. I look at how much the guy wants to win and how committed he is. On that front you can never fault Gallas. He has massive experience and will be focused to play well

2011 05 14 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger reveals Pat Rice will stay at Arsenal for one more year] I think Pat Rice will continue for one more year. He has told me. It is important for me because he knows how I work. We have a good understanding. I am happy that he goes on for one more year. The day he stops will be a massive loss for the club. We will see, after one more year maybe he will say one more year again. We will have to prepare

[Arsenal lined up former Charlton boss Phil Parkinson as a potential replacement, should Rice leave, Wenger responded to whether he thought about additions to his backroom staff] Yes, we always need that and I am thinking about it as well

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

I have said throughout the summer that we have been working hard to bring in top quality players to this football club. This has involved many many people across the Club and I have always had the full support of the Club in making decisions on the football side.

Mesut is a top quality footballer who will be a fantastic addition to our talented squad. We are all looking forward to him joining up with us after his international matches with Germany and working with us as an Arsenal player

2013 09 25 Retrieve

[But rather than sulk, Bendtner has reacted well, according to Wenger] He has responded with a good attitude in training and with good, hard work. He had nearly gone somewhere else and in the end he stayed because it didn’t work out and we needed him here. Now he can convince everybody. We are open minded, we believe in his qualities. I personally believe in his qualities. It’s just down to attitude and fighting spirit. When he has that, Nicklas can be an unstoppable striker. He gets his chance. Our job is about that. Take your chance

2013 11 02 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger on Zlatan] Is Zlatan better than Messi & Ronaldo? Currently I’d say he is. At 32 you know how to get the best from your talent

2013 11 09 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger on Ozil vs Zidane] Ozil is a bit better at dribbling than Zidane was. They have a similar form of technical ease and similar humility. Ozil also has a special quality: he always takes the right decision quickly

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 09b 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

2014 03 13 Retrieve

[Midfielder Aaron Ramsey remains unavailable] We have had to defer his comeback to full training a little so he is not available. He is having difficulties in the final stages of his rehab. It looks to be short term

2014 09 13b Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger on meeting Pope] Meeting the Pope was an experience I did not want to miss. He is a great person to meet because he shows humility and is available for everybody. He is a football fan. [Managing Diego Maradona] was very difficult – he comes late, and he wants to play

2014 09 20 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger on Cristiano Ronaldo] My biggest regret? I was so close to signing Cristiano Ronaldo. And not only did I not get him, but he signed for Manchester United. That, of course, still hurts today. And I would have loved to have managed Didier Drogba – for two reasons. One, I missed him when he played at Le Mans in France, not even in the top league. I knew there was a good player there and I missed him. And secondly, because he hurt us so much in big games that all this pain would not have happened

2014 12 10 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger hitting back at his critics] I started to manage a team at the top level in 1983. If I am completely useless tactically, I am a genius, [because] I have hidden it very well. Look, in [each of] the last 15 years, we have qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League. Give me another club who has done that

2015 01 11 Retrieve

[Szczesny was furious, particularly as it is understood that he had arrived for the game expecting to start, and Wenger was weirdly evasive when he was asked to explain the decision, which brought a Premier League debut for David Ospina] Look, I don’t want to talk too much about that because the more I talk, the less I inform you

[On how Szczesny had taken the news, Wenger said] How can you take a decision? You know how you can take a decision

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 02 01 Retrieve

[Arsenal 5-0 Aston Villa] It was positive because we kept a clean sheet. We know we can score goals. We needed to be patient because they tried to stop us going forward. With time going on we had a chance to play through their lines and that made the difference.

You cannot fault anyone’s performance. Mesut [Ozil] did well. It takes a while to get that sharpness back.

We had a rigorous attitude defensively. Even at 4-0, 5-0 up people were willing to work back. We want to play collectively and offensively to the end

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 04 04 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger on himself] I never go out after we lose, I just sit at home miserably. If we have not got a game for a while, and we have lost, there are times when I have not gone out for days. It really hurts. People who live around you suffer with you, so the only thing I can do is try to get out of other people’s way. I try to be like a dog who is sick – I go away into quarantine and come back when I’m cured!

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 07 25 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger has backed Mesut Ozil to enjoy his strongest season as a Arsenal player to date] He missed the whole first part of the season last year and came back to his best level in the second part of the season. Hopefully he can deliver a whole season now. He had a difficult start but slowly he has won over our fans and feeling the reactions in the crowd, he has their support.

We have more cohesion than last year at the same period, everyone has a better focus. Last year was a post-World Cup year and some players came back mentally exhausted, hopefully we can take advantage of that

When you score six goals you don’t have a desperate need (for a striker). We scored four goals in the FA Cup final, we create chances and score goals. We are open-minded, everybody is in the market and many clubs have big, big money. It is not mathematics, there is a logic in the game and that means that everyone is playing for each other, every game is different but I still say that we are open-minded but we are not in desperate need. We did not have (Danny) Welbeck or (Alexis) Sanchez available, they are big players.

Many players scored goals and it is in the continuity of what we did at the end of the season and in pre-season as well. We have shown again that we can score goals, that is what people expect from us

Let’s be cautious on that front. We finished third in the league and won the FA Cup last year, that is a good basis. Our target is to do better, we know we will put all of our effort in but it will be very difficult. We just want to focus on our quality.

Top-level sport is about getting the best out of your potential and to achieve that we need to focus on our own performance and not worry about the others

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 09 23 Retrieve

[Flamini transforms from Arsenal outcast to unlikely derby hero] Mathieu is a fighter and he’s a winner as well. He decided to stay and he’s fought. He’s been frustrated for a long time

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 10 17 Retrieve

[Watford 0-3 Arsenal] It was an important win for us. You could see why Watford have not conceded many goals at home. They are strong and very direct and we could not make a mistake. When we scored the first goal I like the fact we were relentless and continued to attack. The confidence is there and once we were 1-0 up or 2-0 up we continued to play and attack. Physically and mentally the game became more difficult for Watford as well and we took advantage of that

[Relentless is clearly the word of the day for Arsene Wenger] Alexis Sanchez is relentless going forward. He always looks dangerous and he is always dangerous. He is very important for us

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 03 Retrieve

[Arsenal 3-0 Dinamo Zagreb] It was a good night and Bayern did a good job too. We wanted to come out of today with a chance and now we’ve got it. Now it’s down to how well we do against Olympiakos

2015 11 07 Retrieve

[Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger gives his philosophy on football and life ahead of the North London Derby against Tottenham Hotspur] Sport is movement. You can be No 1 in the world in March and No 250 in May. For me, life is movement and can be questioned

2015 11 10 Retrieve

[on David Beckham] What remains in your memory is his genuine commitment and dedication, his natural humility which he always had, that will stay forever. You forget sometimes if he has won this championship or that championship, but you never forget how he behaved, and that is a credit to him

2015 11 20 Retrieve

[on Patrick Vieira] He’s an unbelievable player, because he has everything you would want to have in the middle of the park: tall, but quick feet, good technique but fantastic in the fight, aggressive but calm, and very brave. He didn’t hide from anybody, and the more you gave him, the stronger he became

2015 11 21 Retrieve

[on Patrick Vieira] He was not interested, Patrick, when it was not hard. He wanted the fight, and he wanted to be forced to fight. He goes to Sheffield United on the Tuesday night and Real Madrid on the Wednesday night and plays exactly the same: he is ready to fight to win. What more can you say that explains why he has played so many games [. . .]. He was a tremendous player, Patrick

2015 11 22 Retrieve

[on Patrick Vieira] 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

2015 11 23 Retrieve

[on Patrick Vieira] I respect hugely what he has done. He was a massive success with Arsenal, is a legend here and will always remain so. I feel I have done well for Patrick in his life, so I am rather proud of what we have achieved together. He has done so well for nine years for us, who has given us nine top, top years? A few players before, but of the foreign players I can only remember Patrick [and Bergkamp]

2015 11 24 Retrieve

[on Patrick Vieira] I saw Patrick for the first time for 45 minutes in an end-of-the-season game against AS Monaco. He was 17 years of age, and dominated the midfield. It was his first game for Cannes, and straight away after the game I said this guy will make a great career

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 11 28 Retrieve

[Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hinting that he might be going shopping in the January sales] I love a bargain. Who does not love a bargain? I don’t know many people that don’t like a bargain

2015 11 29 Retrieve

[Norwich City 1-1 Arsenal] In the second-half Norwich had good chances and we were playing against a team that is physically clever, they defended deep to catch us on the counter attack and we were a bit jaded, not as sharp as usual. The quality of the performance was below what we can do offensively

2015 12 05 Retrieve

[Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on Bob Marley] Yes, I love his music and the man that he was. He was not ‘fabricated’. He was real. I love people who do not have conventional paths and who stand out because of their talent

2015 12 21 Retrieve

[on Messi, Suarez, and Neymar] [. . .] the best strikers I’ve seen. The three together are absolutely exceptional - they can create a chance from nothing. [. . .] anyone of the three up front can score an exceptional goal. [. . .] You must in our sport admire art - and they have two or three players who transform normal life into art

2015 12 22 Retrieve

[on Messi, Suarez, and Neymar] It’s incredible camaraderie. I believe that apart from the individual talent the three have, they have a good understand and cohesion. They have a great solidarity.

I have seen that Cristiano Ronaldo said that Messi passed the ball to Suarez at a penalty last week because he wanted him to be the top goal-scorer. When you see someone like Messi, who could score his 300th goal, give the ball to Suarez when he had the opportunity to score goal 300 that means there’s really something in there.

It looks like it is fun for them [MSN] to play together. But honestly, it is fun to play football, don’t forget that. They don’t look like they’re playing under any pressure because they know at the moment it’s easy for them

2015 12 28 Retrieve

[Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth] There was a little hesitancy at the start after our bad result on Saturday but slowly we got into the game and after that we created chances. After a disappointing result, not dropping points once again was most important for us

[On Ozil’s performance] I said many times that he has added something to his game - a desire to be efficient and desire to score goals. He has become a complete sensational football player. I am very, very happy with his performances. He is one of the best in Europe certainly. In his position, he is sensational

2015 12 29 Retrieve

[Wenger admitted Ozil 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

2015 12 30 Retrieve

[on Sir Alex Ferguson] Altogether nobody has done better. It is remarkable to have such a consistent motivation at that level – and deal with the stress and all the other ingredients in the game

2016 01 01 Retrieve

[on Sir Alex Ferguson] When you think that the average life of a manager is one year and seven days, and somebody has done 20, it is a remarkable achievement. I feel we had some heated times – but time will settle things and there is a respect there now

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 16 Retrieve

[Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger pays tribute to musician David Bowie] I must say, the message he gave to my generation was very important because it was after the Second World War and it was basically - be strong enough to be yourself. That is a very strong message and very important for my generation

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 02 04 Retrieve

[On Dennis Bergkamp] Dennis is a player who is admired by all the other players and was the first push of Arsenal into the modern, international era. [. . .] He brought creativity to this group of very strong players and it was a good marriage

2016 02 05 Retrieve

[On Dennis Bergkamp] I was very lucky to find Dennis Bergkamp already in the squad when I arrived at Arsenal. You do not find a player like that everywhere you go, It was a blessing, a gift when I arrived.

I knew of his class before I arrived of course. I remember playing against Inter as manager of Monaco when he was there, and I saw him as a young player at Ajax too, but you only really find out about a player when you work with him every day.

A lot has been said about Dennis over the years; about his class, about his intelligence – his remarkable intelligence – about his vision, basically you can never say enough about the player. But the one thing which is a real example for youngsters is that Dennis Bergkamp, and I have worked with him for ten years don’t forget, until the last minute of his final training session, he did not lose his concentration or dedication for one minute. For me that is more remarkable than anything else. Because the talent he got when he was born, and then developed it, but what I respect more was that every single day of his career, for 20 years, until the last minute, he never made a pass in training without thinking about it, or without putting every part of his brain into it. That’s something that I consider virtually impossible to do, such is the level of dedication needed, but he did it, and that’s what made him not only a super-talented player, but a remarkable player who always had 100 per cent concentration throughout every session. That is a dream for a manager because I have seen many talented players, and some average players, give only 50 per cent concentration in training.

In England you have a phrase that Dennis was always a pleasure to watch. Well let me tell you that behind that pleasure for the viewer, was a great deal of dedication and hard-work from Dennis.

When you have a player like that as a coach, you do not tell him how to play football, you just try to fit him into the team in the way which allows him to express his talent to the maximum potential. He was always a striker, yet not a striker – a midfielder yet not a midfielder, so I always felt that the second striker position was his natural position. He was at ease there, he knew when to drop off, and he could just smell out the game. He had instinct and super intelligence. As well as his talent, he had super, super intelligence.

His role in the team changed over the years. When I first arrived he was a goalscorer, and obsessed by scoring like may forwards are, but slowly he became more obsessed by the team and by how much he can provide. He understood that he could score less, but help the team score more. But he still loved to score goals, and great goals too. I think my favourite would probably be the one he scored against Leicester at Filbert Street, his third in a fantastic hat-trick. It was something exceptional…

You will see today the respect that he had within the game, because I think that every player who played with him would love to be involved today. The players that will be playing in this game think a lot of Dennis, they respect him so much as a player and he was a joy to play with

2016 02 06 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger on Dennis Bergkamp’s goal vs Newcastle] You will not see many goals like that, it was an unbelievable goal. You are blessed to see that when you come to a stadium. It was not only a magnificent goal but a very important one – I enjoyed it a lot

2016 02 07 Retrieve

[Bournemouth 0-2 Arsenal] We had a strong start, with good finishing and we controlled the game. We beat a good side, it was three difficult points but three very important points for us because we had not won for a while.

We lost a bit of our urgency in the second half. We lost the killer instinct to get the third goal and on top of that Bournemouth are physically a strong team

2016 02 08 Retrieve

[On Dennis Bergkamp] He has intelligence and class. Class is, of course, most of the time linked to what you can do with the ball, but the intelligence makes you use the technique in an efficient way. It’s like somebody who has a big vocabulary so he can talk intelligently, and that’s what Dennis is all about. What he does, there’s always a head and always a brain. And his technique allows him to do what he sees

2016 02 13 Retrieve

[on Jose Mourinho] He arrived when Chelsea were on the way up … they had a good side already and he did something more and made them winners. He deserves a lot of credit for that because it is never easy to win and in England it is maybe more difficult. We didn’t get on the best but recently it has become better. That does not hide the fact I respected what he did and the quality of his work

2016 02 17 Retrieve

[on Tony Adams] A professor of defence

2016 03 09 Retrieve

[on Francesco Totti] Totti is a top, top class player. He is typical of the Roman game and I’m sure he will never move outside of Roma. He used to play in behind the strikers and then one day they had no central striker so they played him up front and won game after game. He suddenly became the topscorer in Italy as a central striker. That means this guy has absolutely everything. He has a fantastic protection of the ball, he has a quick turn and then he has a very good pass in the final third of the pitch. He can be deadly with every single pass

2016 03 21 Retrieve

[About Kane deserving a call-up to the England national side] When you have scored the number of goals he has scored, if you don’t put him in there somebody else will give him a passport

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 04 23 Retrieve

[Asked if Walcott could leave, Wenger replied] I don’t know yet. I’m not in transfer mode at the moment but I think he has gone through a bad spell. He has responded very well, because he said: ‘OK, I will work harder and more.’ When he comes on now, you see he is motivated and focused. Let’s see how well he finishes the season

[Wenger admits Walcott, as well as other players not featuring regularly, are frustrated at their lack of game time] Of course. Tonight you have seen the team. You have the emergence of a guy like Iwobi. But the players that did not play [against West Brom]: Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and I forget a few that weren’t even in the squad. All these players will be frustrated, or the guys who go out will be frustrated. Welbeck didn’t play, Campbell didn’t play

[And, despite a 20th consecutive season of Champions League football now looking likely given the win over the Baggies, Wenger knows simply delivering another top-four finish is not acceptable] Look, at the moment, no matter what I say or what I do, it’s fashion to not be good enough

I do not want to add anything. We won our 500th Premier League game and it’s not too bad. It’s never enough anyway, for me as well, and I can accept that. What can I do? You know the modern world is like that and we have to live with it.

2016 05 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger pays tribute to Cruyff] I have a big respect in general for the Dutch school, and Johan Cruyff especially, because let’s not forget he is the product of a school in Holland which was around before him. People like Rinus Michels, who influenced his players too, because this is not an isolated way of thinking. Johan Cruyff had it too - that personality, the character to say ‘yes, I believe in this game, and I’m strong and brave enough to apply it on the pitch.’ That’s what I admired.

2016 08 27 Retrieve

[Watford 1-3 Arsenal] We had a good cushion at half-time. At the moment we are not completely there physically and could see that in the second half. Ozil is not physically there completely but what we want from Ozil is assists and goals and I hope he can get that this season, 10 or 15 goals plus the chances he creates. We have bought two players - Shkodran Mustafi and Perez. They will integrate into the team now and we will help them join the squad. We had to work very hard to get signings done. We have not got any plans for anyone else now

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 08 Retrieve

[Quotes on John Terry] He was not only a great player, he certainly still is, but he was also a great coach on the pitch. I saw him here once at London Colney playing with the Under 21s and the way he coached the team as a player was absolutely marvellous. He was a real leader and he had a great career as well, let’s not forget that. That’s never a coincidence. The guys who last such a long time have something special. He was the symbol of cohesion inside Chelsea’s club because him, [Frank] Lampard, [Didier] Drogba and Cech were the players who carried the club’s values for long periods

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 11 03 Retrieve

[Speaking about Cazorla on Friday] I have been in touch with Santi throughout his rehab, and it has been extremely tough and testing for him. If there is one guy who loves football passionately, loves to be on the pitch and comes in with a smile every day when he is fit, it’s Santi Cazorla, so you know he suffers a lot not to be out there with the ball at his feet.

He is extremely strong and brave, and behind his smile is a strength you would not guess. He is a very strong character, and everyone at Arsenal wishes him well and we hope to have him back soon

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 02 25 Retrieve

[It is unlikely that Ospina will attempt to replicate Higuita’s moment of magic in a game of such magnitude, though manager Arsene Wenger felt compelled to remind him he would not approve of deploying the unusual technique] I wouldn’t really be happy [to see Ospina try it]. It shows that football has changed. These kind of characters have disappeared from the game. With the importance of every single result, there is less room for this kind of improvisation and more individual responsibility on the players.

Of course, everybody wants to play as regularly as they can but in my situation it’s a question of always being fully prepared and we will be for the final. I always love playing at Wembley. It’s the kind of atmosphere you want to experience. City are excellent, no doubt. They have an outstanding group of players who have done things very well through the season. But our focus will be on what we do well and how we can achieve what we want to

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

[on Highbury] Highbury had a special spirit. It’s a cathedral, a church. You could smell the soul of every guy that played there. The Emirates 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.

[Wenger brought up the reservations that he had at the time, together with those of the then vice-chairman, David Dein] I thought we were a bit too ambitious with 60,000 but it worked. Dein had his reservations and Wembley was a possibility because we didn’t find a site for a long time. At some stage, we wanted to come out to the M25.

[Wenger painted a picture of the Emirates move as a necessary but painful aspect of the club’s evolution] We had to do it. There is no club that can turn down people who wanted to attend the game

[The other major issue was the emergence of extremely rich owners at rival clubs] It’s not really happened [Arsenal becoming financially dominant] because other clubs have used outside resources. We had a double handicap. We had to pay back the debt on the stadium and we had to face the competition where clubs have even more resources than they usually have

[Dein left Arsenal in April 2007 and he would eventually be replaced by Ivan Gazidis in January 2009] Ideally, I would have loved to continue working with him

[Wenger believes that Tottenham will be forced to confront similarly harsh realities in the short-to-medium term as they live their own stadium rebuild] The prices for the stadium have doubled but the transfers of players have tripled or quadrupled. Today, a guy like Harry Kane – I don’t know for much they can sell him: £100m? So they might have more supply. But they have to face it. Will Tottenham have to sell players? To Arsenal, maybe

[The Announcement] I know that in the press, nobody likes to get up early so it is to make you suffer a bit, as well. Basically, I’ve never been to the centre without a driver. My way was Totteridge-London Colney.

It’s a bit strange for me but I’m slowly understanding that it finishes. I have 20,000 trees out there [at the training ground] and I saw every one of them when they were small. Now they are massive. I will greet every one of them before I leave and say: ‘Thank you.’ Of course, it’s my life. I don’t know anything else. That’s why it will be difficult

2018 05 14 Retrieve

[After Arsenal had produced a fittingly fluid performance in routing Burnely 5-0, Wenger took centre stage, telling the crowd] I would like to finish in one simple sentence: I will miss you

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 07 31 Retrieve

[Wenger suggests south London bears a similarity to Paris due to the incredible number of footballers who come from one small area] You say to me there are areas where people are more hungry for success than others and I say yes. And we have exactly the same phenomenon in France.

In Paris, 60 per cent of players come from areas where you have more immigrants than other areas, because it is a way to be successful in life. Sport is only based on merit; it is the only social activity where if you are good, you play. No matter where you come from, no matter the name of your father … if you are good, you play. We have to continue to encourage that

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 08 22 Retrieve

[Wenger has admitted in the past that he considers missing out on Ronaldo to be one of his biggest transfer regrets as a coach] The obvious player that comes to mind is Ronaldo. He was here with his mother and we were very close. Then Man United came in and they had Carlos Queiroz at the time, who was their coach. United played against Sporting Lisbon and Ronaldo was outstanding and they signed him. You could imagine at the time what it would have been like to have Thierry Henry and Ronaldo together. That would certainly have changed a little bit the history of my stay here as well

[Wenger added on how the Gunners walked away from discussions] There is always something you could have done differently, but the problem of negotiations is to know when you give in and when you don’t give in. Once we were at 4.5 million pounds, we were still in negotiations… so we were very close. But Man United went to 12 million pounds, which we could not afford at the time

2019 08 23 Retrieve

[Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been accused by Martin Keown of trying too hard to emulate Barcelona, with Unai Emery now charged with the task of restoring a blend of creativity and physicality] The balance between physicality against technical players went too far one way. I think it was done in pursuit of trying to match the excellence of Barcelona, which is the team Wenger wanted to copy most of all. The balance at Arsenal was lost. Unai Emery is trying to get that back but he needs to get a better balance to the group because they forgot how to defend and for fifty per cent of every game, you are going to be without the ball. It is still their Achilles heel, particularly away from home. I am encouraged by the signing of Nicolas Pepe. He is exceptionally quick with very quick feet. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette need service and I’m sure Pepe will provide that as well as weigh in with goals himself. But the squad will need balance

[Keown believes Emery is the right man to take Arsenal forward]

I have watched Emery with great interest. He has been working, urging, cajoling these players to be at the Arsenal level that you would expect. He wants them at boiling point and they lost that in the latter years under Wenger. There is a lot of pressure on him but I think the manager was inheriting a fairly difficult situation. It looked for a while like he had solved those defensive problems away from home but then they fell away at the end of the season and the problem returned. It probably cost them fourth place and the Champions League. That pops them into the Europa League and makes life much more difficult with the calendar and the regular Thursday night football. If I was still a competitor I would be thinking that fourth place is up for grabs. Frank Lampard is a talented manager but he’s a novice and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer isn’t much more experienced at this level. From that point of view, Emery looks a much better bet. But are the players good enough? Can he get them to be more defensively resolute?

2019 09 02 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger believes several PSG stars would have joined Neymar in leaving if the Brazilian had left the club this summer] I think that he is one of the best players in the world and I am happy that he is staying at PSG. Because when you lose one of your two or three best players in the world, the law in our world is that the following year you lose the other. It is very difficult to have players who make a difference, even when you have a lot of money. When you have them, you must keep them. When you want to keep a player, it is better to convince him how important you are to him, rather than to give him zero chance to leave

2019 09 02b Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger has revealed that he will return to football management when the timing is right] I rejected some nice offers because I did not feel ready. Maybe I realised how much I was in my own bubble, alienating myself from the rest of the world when I was managing. Putting a bit of distance between myself and our world made me hesitate to jump back into the fire-pit so quickly. I did it for 35 years without any interruption. So I was able to leave the bubble and open my eyes and that took me time. You will see me in a dugout again, when, I don’t know exactly.

2019 09 04 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger has a vision of himself managing a national team at the 2022 World Cup] I could see myself working for a team. I will have enough time (and) distance with my last job (to give me perspective), and I would not be against that. It will be interesting to see how they develop, but overall I must say I always wanted to go to the World Cup 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

I think that he is one of the best players in the world and I am happy that he is staying at PSG. Because when you lose one of your two or three best players in the world, the law in our world is that the following year you lose the other

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 09 08 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger says Liverpool star Mohamed Salah boasts similarities to Lionel Messi and can become even better if he tones down his obsession with goals] He’s 20 goals away basically, if you want to be as concrete as possible. But he is similar to Messi. He must still find the consistency of Messi. I find him a just as good finisher but Messi is the complete thing - he gives the final ball as well and Salah is a bit obsessed now by finishing himself so that’s a dimension he’ll get certainly when he gets a little bit older. To find the moment when you have to give the ball and when you have to finish. I like him very much, he has huge potential

[Salah is the star of the Reds frontline, Mane and Roberto Firmino have also been consistent performers for Jurgen Klopp’s side with Wenger praising the Brazilian striker in particular for his selfless style of play] You forget the guy that sacrifices himself a little bit is Firmino. Like Luis Suarez did for Messi and Neymar. A guy that works for the team, that works for everybody and gets them to shine. This piece of the jigsaw is very hard to find - a striker that is generous

[Since stepping aside from Arsenal in 2018, Wenger has avoided jumping straight back into management] I needed longer than I thought to take a distance from what I did before. To really let it settle. I took a distance and realised I was living like somebody in a coma for 35 years and who woke up and saw something different in life other than just my club, my game and my work. I watch it still when I wake up in the morning - straight in my mind is football. My main interest is still there

2019 09 09 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger feels he was invaded by the increasing demands of a modern-day manager during his time with Arsenal] My frustration in the end was that I didn’t have enough time to think about football. Maybe because I was in a form of model of management where I had so many things to do but I was slowly, if I think back today, I was invaded between the time I arrived to the end. I was basically invaded by demands that stopped me from concentrating on what is the most important part of my job

[The 69-year-old compared football to basketball when describing the round ball’s obsession with individual physical attributes over general team chemistry] We have gone a little bit the trend of the NBA. That means you look more at the athlete that is in the player, than the player that is in the athlete. Overall, in the next 10-15 years we have to think of what is the next step. You see many players that are top, top athletes now but you think there is a dimension that is a little bit missing - the team thinking and the team attitude in the way they think about the game. Maybe because the pressure on a player individually has become bigger as well and he has to think more about having an individual performance. Sometimes I watch games and think ‘he’s a good player, he’s a good player’ but when they play altogether they don’t look like a team

[Wenger revealed his plans to write an auto-biography] I will, because at some stage I think with such vast experience it’s important to share what I know and what I learned in my life. I’m tempted to do it in French because maybe I’m more comfortable to express my deep feelings. So at the moment I’m working on that

2019 09 11 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger’s assessment of the Red Devils] When you see Man United they are one of the examples where there is a potential there, but they have not found a collective way. Maybe these players are not mature enough to carry the team play of a team like Man United all together. That’s the big question mark now. You feel there is something coming out but it’s not ready. That’s why I say when you watch them play they are not candidates to fight for the championship. Will they emulate what Giggs, Scholes and Beckham did over a number of years? Personally, I’m not convinced

2019 09 12 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger set for FIFA role as Arsenal legend returns to football] I could see myself working for a team. I will have enough time and distance with my last job [to give me perspective], and I would not be against that. I must say I always wanted to go to the World Cup 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

I enjoyed a bit to take a distance [from football]. I had a reluctance to go back into the heat again. I still cannot live today with the fact that I will never be on the bench again. I might go for an intermediate position. What I want for sure is to share what I know, and what I have learnt as much as I can in the game. I would like to experience one more time the intensity of the competition

2019 09 13 Retrieve

[What is a director of football & how does transfer chief role work?] Director of football, I don’t know what it means. Is it someone who stands on the road and directs the players left and right? I never understand what it means, director of football. I’m manager of Arsenal and as long as I am manager I will decide what happens on the technical front. That’s it

2019 10 01 Retrieve

[Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he has received some interesting proposals to return to football] Since leaving Arsenal I have received some interesting proposals some of which I am currently contemplating. However, one invitation that I did not hesitate to accept, and I am extremely honoured to do so, is to receive the 2019 Legends of Football award

[Wenger is thrilled to have the opportunity to support the charity and lifted the lid on his love of music, including The Beatles and Bob Marley] I have always enjoyed music and I am excited to be involved in the work Legends of Football does to support Nordoff Robbins, which is a fantastic charity. Music therapy can change people’s lives, across a broad spectrum of disabilities, and I will help in any way I can. I look forward to celebrating at the Legends of Football event on October 7. I still love The Beatles because it’s simplicity, and it’s a bit like in football, you know. When it’s class it looks simple, and that music looks very simple and that’s maybe why it has lasted so long. I’ve said many times [that I always go back to] Bob Marley. There’s something in his life that is the symbol of what music is about, you know. He loved football. He enjoyed life. When you see those clips of him, playing football, he was more than decent with the ball wasn’t he? He was more than decent with the ball, yes, and I like the combination of football and music

2019 10 07 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger says Paul Pogba’s form at Manchester United has been impacted by struggles for fitness and the fact that he knows the Red Devils are not good enough to challenge for major honours] First of all, I think Paul Pogba since the start of the season has never been completely fit injury-wise. He doesn’t look completely confident physically and he’s the type of player who has a huge physical power. He needs to be perfectly fit physically. After that, when a player wants to leave and you stop him from leaving, you know you go through a process of rebuilding the relationship that the first thing that suffers is the performances. I personally think he behaves as well like he knows that Man United at the moment is not the team to compete for the championship. And, plus the fact that he was stopped from going away, it looks like the two together a little bit tarnish his performances

2019 10 07b Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger believes Unai Emery is helping to highlight just how good a job he did at Arsenal, with top-four finishes now considered to be cause for celebration] Every year people want something more from you. I experienced that at Arsenal. We were 20 consecutive years in the top four but in the end it was not enough anymore. Today if you get into the Champions League people are very happy. That happened to [Mauricio] Pochettino. Once you’re somewhere four or five years, no matter how good a job you have done, you have to show people you can give even more. He’s at that stage

[Wenger is not surprised by the sack talk, or the fact that Tottenham are enduring a wobble] When I played them two or three years ago, they looked like a young, hungry team who had found good strengths, good core of the team with people who were together, growing inside the club. They expressed that hunger and players from outside were vital, like Christian Eriksen. Today, you don’t feel exactly the same chemistry, and a player like Eriksen is a bit sidelined because it looks like he doesn’t want to commit his future to the club. Modern life is down to small margins, and these small margins at the moment are not in their favour. Will they get that back?

2019 10 08 Retrieve

[Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has warned Nicolas Pepe that he will have to fight for his place in the team if his form does not improve] I like the player and I thought it was a good decision [to sign him]. He’s not yet completely adapted and you have to give him some time. He looks a little bit to be playing not with the freedom he did in France at the moment. I see some characteristics of his game, especially off the ball, that don’t happen at the moment. On the other hand, I must say we have good young players who can play on the flanks, [and] that he will have a fight to keep his position

[Wenger is keen to give successor Emery his backing as he knows all too well the demands for stylish but successful football in north London] I’m not here to judge coaches. I am a supporter of Arsenal Football Club, so I just support him. But he can win games and he plays a type of game that I like. A club like Arsenal is a huge responsibility and one of those responsibilities is to play attractive football. After that, I think the most important thing is to support the team and to win games.

[Despite a promising start to the season, Wenger does not think Arsenal are in a position to challenge Liverpool or Manchester City for the title] At the moment you can’t look too much at the position because the points difference is very small. You draw, you’re seventh; you win a game, you’re third. I don’t think [they can challenge for the title] at the moment on what I’ve seen. Liverpool are too far ahead for everybody else. Manchester City looks to have the best potential to fight against Liverpool, but as long as you are not too far away, you can hope

2019 10 08b Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger has revealed he turned down a number of offers to coach in the Premier League because of his bond with Arsenal] I’m an Arsenal man and after that I’m a professional. I can’t stop working. I decided to move out of the Premier League because I am too linked with Arsenal. I had opportunities to work in England but I turned them down. I don’t want to tell you [which clubs] because there are people in charge and it would be unfair to them

[The French coach was keen to back his legacy, despite the troubled end to his tenure, pointing to their sustained success and the financial growth of the club] I know it is normal that people always want more. We won a lot and we built the [Emirates] stadium. It’s difficult to explain today the circumstances in which we built the stadium because the turnovers today have been multiplied by five. When we decided to build the stadium, we had a turnover of £90m and the stadium was £430m. Then the pressure is really there and I think to come out of that period in a very healthy situation was a little bit of a miracle

2019 10 08c 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 09 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger, the former Gunners boss, is another who has defended the performances of Nicolas Pepe in the past] I like the player and I thought it was a good decision [to sign him]. He’s not yet completely adapted and you have to give him some time. He looks a little bit to be playing not with the freedom he did in France at the moment. I see some characteristics of his game, especially off the ball, that don’t happen at the moment

2019 10 09b Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger has stated his belief that Bayern Munich manipulated Serge Gnabry into leaving Arsenal in 2016] We tried to extend his contract for a very long time and I think that Bayern manipulated behind the scenes, that if he went to Bremen he would join Bayern after. He was always a very talented boy who lacked confidence in some stages, but we always thought we had a player who could achieve a lot. He came back from a very bad experience on loan at West Brom where his confidence was destroyed. I tried to rebuild him because I believed in him

[Wenger has counselled the 24-year-old] A top-level career is consistency, if you look at the players that dominate our sport it’s the ones that show huge consistency and that’s what is it at stake. Can he maintain the quality of performances that he showed the other night?

[While the former Arsenal manager was impressed by Bayern’s performance against Spurs, he did not necessarily see it coming] Bayern had just won 3-0 at Paderborn, you wouldn’t expect them to come and put seven goals away at Tottenham. I think it was one of those nights where everything goes for you and everything against Tottenham

2019 10 10 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger says Eden Hazard is the answer for Real Madrid, but he can’t replace Cristiano Ronaldo] He will be the answer but not in replacing Cristiano Ronaldo, that is for sure. He will not score 50 goals a year because that’s now how they play football. They need another goalscorer at Real Madrid because [Karim] Benzema is now 32 and if they had someone younger around him to score the goals, maybe they could do very well. Eden Hazard is an exceptional player to create chances to sometimes finish when he needs to in the big games. He’s not scared of anybody - I don’t think Real have yet to see the real Hazard, he’s not as sharp physically as he can be. That’s why I believe they will discover the real Hazard.

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

2019 11 05 Retrieve

[Bayern-linked Wenger admits to missing the intensity of coaching] I came here to speak about the games and you’ve started very strongly there, putting me under pressure. Coaching was my whole life and now everybody who has coached will tell you the same. You miss the intensity. Some things you miss big and some things you don’t miss. I enjoyed as well things that I don’t miss too much but on the other hand, winning a football game, preparing a team for a game, the satsifaction and shared emotions, it is something that you miss. So of course, yes. I was responsible at 33 years of age and I coached until 69 without interruption at the top level. That is 36 years without stopping, you know. On the other hand, even if I miss it, getting out of that pressure for a year was not too bad for me. People who know me well say I’m more relaxed - it’s true!

2019 11 06 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger says Barcelona rely too heavily on Lionel Messi and are playing like a team in crisis] They’re top of the league, they’re top of their group, and they play like a team in crisis. Their game is too slow. There is no dynamic in the last 30 metres, it’s too individual. Every time they lose the ball, it looks like they will concede a goal on the counterattack because they cannot deal with pace against the opponent… the team lacks dynamic, lacks energy, lacks confidence. Today it looks like they play and they wait for Messi to do something, but the basic strengths of the team play is a bit gone. And you think, when will Messi get the ball to do something? And before, the music, the basic music, was the fantastic team play, making it difficult to catch the ball, and then on top of that came Messi

[Wenger stopped short of completely blaming Valverde for Barca’s current struggles] At the end it’s always the coach who is guilty, he’s not always responsible. There’s a difference between being guilty and responsible, you know? We said Valverde does not make the decision on who comes in. He has to do the best with what he has. So what we speak about raises many questions: who has the final word when you buy a player? Secondly, is this really the player that the team needs?

2019 11 06b Retrieve

[When Arsene Wenger stood on the Emirates turf after his final game in charge and addressed the Arsenal fanbase] I am like you, I am an Arsenal fan. This is more than just watching football, it’s a way of life. It’s caring about the beautiful game, about the values we cherish

2019 11 06c Retrieve

[Speaking about reports linking him with a move to Bavaria, Wenger, who also confirmed he speaks fluent German] I’d never refuse to talk to Bayern Munich, because I know the people who have led the club for 30 years and I was nearly going to Bayern a long, long time ago. That’s all I can say

[When pressed further on whether he would like to work at Bayern] At the moment I haven’t talked to them at all, I don’t know if I will. I just want to do what I like now. I have not decided yet if I will go back on the pitch or not. I’m quite happy what I am doing but I miss the pitch as well, so it’s a difficult decision for me at the moment. I will make that decision in the coming days or in the coming week

[When asked about what impressed him most about Bayern Munich and German football in general] What I admire, and you have to give that to the Germans, is they always try to take responsibility to play. Bayern is always a team who take possession and are not scared to have the ball, take the game to the opponents and dominate the game. Historically they have always done that. They have a history as a club who wants to play positive football

2019 11 06d Retrieve

[When Arsene Wenger stood on the Emirates turf after his final game in charge and addressed the Arsenal fanbase] I am like you, I am an Arsenal fan. This is more than just watching football, it’s a way of life. It’s caring about the beautiful game, about the values we cherish

2019 11 07 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger believes Eden Hazard is ‘too heavy’ and his weight issues are the main reason behind his struggle to get started at Real Madrid] He is not the type of guy to be [over-awed at Madrid] but I don’t know him well enough to assess that. I think it was more down to physical reasons. He became too heavy and what you read in the papers. If you want to make a horse lose a race, you put two kilos on a horse of 500kgs and it’s enough

[His form in the Premier League has deserted the 28-year-old in Spain so far] I feel we have not seen the Hazard we know in England yet. He was not physically fit after he was injured. He is not a player who is usually overawed by anything. But he looks to me that he doesn’t have the same confidence he had at Chelsea

2019 11 07b Retrieve

[Wenger responds to Xhaka fall-out: Everybody has to respect Arsenal’s values] You have to make as a manager these types of decisions. You face the unexpected as a manager and have to make quick decisions. I think Arsenal Football Club is respected all over the world because it’s built on values and everybody has to respect these values and the manager has to get them to be respected. Arsenal for me always had a touch of class and for me, football today in the modern era, has a huge responsibility on the way we behave, on the way we are examples or not and Arsenal is part of the big clubs in the world that has to show that.

[Wenger conceded Xhaka’s actions weren’t ideal but stressed players under such scrutiny are in a difficult position] You have people with the passion, the pressure they’re under, the disappointment they carry around, they sometimes have reactions you don’t want but you have to remind people that the behaviour you want. I think Xhaka is an intention player, contrary to what I heard in recent weeks, and finally he apologised and that’s what you wanted from him

[Wenger was careful to avoid criticising the club’s performances] I’m just a supporter - when they don’t win I’m not happy, when they win I’m very happy

2019 11 07c Retrieve

[​Manchester City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo has questioned ​referee Aleksei Kulbakov’s decision to send him off during the ​1-1 draw with Atalanta at the San Siro on Wednesday night. Arsene Wenger came to the defence of Bravo] The Atalanta player should have received a yellow card [for simulation]. It was not a red card

2019 11 08 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger says he will hold talks with Bayern Munich next week after discussing the head coach role with chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge] It’s nice to let me explain the story because it’s a surprising story. First of all, I don’t have any agent. I am the only one involved in this story. Nobody can talk on my behalf. Secondly, I’ve known Franz Beckenbauer, Rummenigge and Uli Hoeness for 40 years. The success of this club has been built on its exceptional competency, honesty, discretion and simplicity. We always told the truth between all of us when necessary.

What happened? My name came out of nowhere, without having anything to do with this. On Wednesday afternoon, Rummenigge called me. I could not answer at that moment, and by politeness, I called him back. He was in his car going to the game against Olympiacos. We talked for four to five minutes maximum and he told me that they had assigned Flick to be the coach. He will manage the next two games because they will play Borussia Dortmund [on Saturday].

He asked me if I would be interested because they are looking for a coach. I told him I didn’t have any thoughts about it. It needs some time to have a think about. We decided together we would talk next week because I am in Doha until next Sunday night. This is the true story. I wish well to Bayern, who are actually at a turning point, because Hoeness, a key man for this club, is leaving. Rummenigge will leave in one year. It seems the future of the club is uncertain. This club, which has always managed stuff by being very discreet and direct, is today very exposed, with rumours coming from everywhere. For myself, I wish good luck to Bayern, and for me, the situation is clear

2019 11 09 Retrieve

[Wenger said this week that he would not turn down the chance to speak with a club of Bayern’s stature, having spent more than a year out of management since leaving Arsenal at the end of the 2017-18 season] It’s nice to let me explain the story because it’s a surprising story. First of all, I don’t have any agent. I am the only one involved in this story. Nobody can talk on my behalf

Secondly, I’ve known [Franz] Beckenbauer, Rummenigge and [Uli] Hoeness for 40 years. The success of this club has been built on its exceptional competency, honesty, discretion and simplicity. We always told the truth between all of us when necessary. What happened? My name came out of nowhere, without having anything to do with this. On Wednesday afternoon, Rummenigge called me. I could not answer at that moment, and by politeness, I called him back. He was in his car going to the game against Olympiacos

2019 11 11 Retrieve

[Wenger rejects link to Bayern Munich manager role] I’m out of this. First of all, I never was a candidate. I have been approached and I’m not in the running for the job. I’m not a candidate for the job

[Asked if that meant he was done with management] No, not necessarily

[While Wenger won’t be heading to the German giants, the Gunners legend has previously hinted at his desire to get back into management] Coaching was my whole life and now everybody who has coached will tell you the same. You miss the intensity. Some things you miss big and some things you don’t miss. I enjoyed as well things that I don’t miss too much but on the other hand, winning a football game, preparing a team for a game, the satisfaction and shared emotions, it is something that you miss. So of course, yes. I was responsible at 33 years of age and I coached until 69 without interruption at the top level. That is 36 years without stopping, you know. On the other hand, even if I miss it, getting out of that pressure for a year was not too bad for me. People who know me well say I’m more relaxed - it’s true!

2019 11 11b Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger has admitted Arsenal at one point tried to sign Gerard Pique and Lionel Messi to compliment their acquisition of midfielder Cesc Fabregas] We tried, we were not near to signing Messi. But we tried to sign Pique, Fabregas and Messi, of course, we already tried but he was already too big at the time. Don’t forget in 2006 when we played the Champions League final against Barcelona, Messi couldn’t play because he was injured…so that’s 13 years ago and he was already a regular player in the first team. What this guy has done is unbelievable

[While confident he could have handled both superstars and their personalities, he admits it was never a real possibility] That’s real fantasy football. I would have loved to. I had big personalities in my life, very big personalities. If you can give them what they want they are happy

2019 11 13 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger appointed FIFA’s new Chief of Global Football Development] I very much look forward to taking on this extremely important challenge, not only because I have always been interested in analysing football from a broader perspective but also because FIFA’s mission as world football’s governing body is truly global. I believe that the new FIFA we have seen emerging in recent years has the sport itself at the very heart of its objectives and is determined to develop the game in its many different components. I know I can contribute to this objective and will put all my energy into this

2019 11 15 Retrieve

[Hours after Thierry Henry took charge of AS Monaco in October 2018, former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger sent out a warning] Thierry’s very intelligent and has all the qualities to succeed. But after that, you have to have good players, believe in them, have a little luck and, above all, be in a favourable environment

2019 11 18 Retrieve

[Amaury Bischoff joined in July 2008, shortly after leaving Werder Bremen having turned down the offer of a new contract from the Bundesliga outfit] Amaury Bischoff is a young, promising player who we have taken a gamble on because he has been out for a long time. He has had two surgeries on his groin so it is a gamble on his talent

2019 11 19 Retrieve

[Real Madrid and Belgium playmaker Eden Hazard claims to be in good condition despite seeing his weight questioned by Arsene Wenger] I think it was more down to physical reasons. He became too heavy and what you read in the papers. If you want to make a horse lose a race, you put two kilos on a horse of 500kgs and it’s enough

2019 11 20 Retrieve

[Man United 8-2 Arsenal and the deadline day trolley dash, 2011] Of course you feel humiliated when you concede eight goals. It was a terrible day. I try to make the right decisions and the two players we sold [Fabregas and Nasri], I brought them to the club. In 15 years I have brought some good players. You know me, so you should give me some more time to see if I have got it completely wrong

2019 12 03 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger believes referees must make better use of pitch-side reviews if VAR is to become a success] That, for me, is the most important worry. The referee needs to have a monitor to check if he was right or wrong. He will gain in credibility, especially, knowing that the people at VAR have yet the experience to make these kinds of decisions. He has a review to see if he was right or wrong. That is important for his confidence as well. At the moment, you have two big clubs [Manchester United and Liverpool] with no screens. That is a problem that has to be resolved as well in the future

[The Foxes’ Kelechi Iheanacho was originally given offside after curling in what had looked to be a stoppage-time winner, but the decision was overturned by the video referee after a lengthy delay] I think it’s working much better than we think. You want VAR to intervene at the right moment. They are not the ones who should make the decisions but the ones who help the referees make the right decisions

[One option currently under discussion to develop the VAR system would allow referees to communicate directly to supporters and explain their decisions] I would like the decision to be explained on the screen

2019 12 10 Retrieve

[Wenger explains how he felt Arsenal ‘slip away’ during revolutionary era in north London] These days, the size of the clubs sometimes stops them from keeping the culture of performance. When I arrived at Arsenal, we were 80 people. When I left, there were 750, and when there’s 750 people in one organisation, each one thinks about saving themselves rather than improving. I think there’s a degree of reflection for me: how do you keep that desire to perform? Up to about 150 people, I think you can stay human. You know the name of the wife, of the kid of such and such. My regret at Arsenal is to have gone from human size to inhuman, with a larger administrative weight. Everything accelerated. Ten years ago, you’d see a guy who was good, you’d get him in, give him a tracksuit and he’d be a part of the team. That’s long gone. Now, if you want a new physio, you go through 300 applications. That’s how, at Arsenal, bit by bit, I felt the club slip away from me

2019 12 18 Retrieve

[Wenger warns Ozil over Uighur Muslim comments] What he says is about himself and not Arsenal. Mesut Ozil has freedom of speech like everyone else and he uses his notoriety to express his opinions, which are not necessarily shared by everybody. What’s important is that Ozil has an individual responsibility. He doesn’t have to carry the word of Arsenal Football Club. When you make a comment about your individual opinion you accept the consequences of it

2019 12 18b Retrieve

[Wenger gives his verdict on Arteta as Arsenal manager] I am an Arsenal fan and I support the manager in charge. If Arteta is in charge I will support Arteta. Of course, Arsenal is going through a difficult period and I don’t [want to] comment on that too much. I just suffer like every supporter. I believe that Mikel Arteta certainly has a great future. He has learned a lot in his first position as an assistant coach but after that he will have to deal with the fact that he has no experience at the top level. He will have to get surrounded well [by support] and get a good environment at the club

[Wenger also stressed the importance of getting back the culture that proved such a key factor during his successful reign in north London] Most importantly, every club - and Arsenal especially - is built on special values and inside the club people have to take care of that. That is most important. What makes the culture of the club great is first the values of the club and you have to be faithful to that. You have to respect that

2019 12 19 Retrieve

[Wenger highlights Liverpool as he calls for Arsenal to make the ‘right decisions’] When I left the club it was in a very strong financial position and they bought many players in between. They haven’t all worked out, but it’s not a question of time. The change can be very efficient and happen quickly. It’s just about the right decisions and making those and that’s what it’s about in football basically. It’s about good players

[Wenger suggesting that Arsenal should look to emulate the Reds’ model, particularly when it comes to the transfer market] We speak about Liverpool, the success of Liverpool. Of course they have a great manager but you have to say as well that Liverpool in the last three or four years, they bought the right players

2019 12 19b Retrieve

[Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has compared Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah to Lionel Messi and called the Egyptian a complete player] I like his evolution. Because he had touches last night [against Monterrey] of a playmaker. He created chances around the box that are exceptional, [there were shades] of Messi in him last night and I like that a guy who can score so many goals also becomes the guy who gives assists. That is a complete player. That’s what we all admire and what we want from our players

2019 12 21 Retrieve

[Wenger tips Arteta for bright managerial future] He [Arteta] is intelligent, he has passion, he has knowledge, but [Freddie] Ljungberg [does] as well. I believe that Arteta has certainly a great future, he has certainly learned a lot in his first position as an assistant coach and after that as well he will have to deal with the fact that he has no experience at that level and he will have to get surrounded well

[He added that the club needed to be smarter in their transfer dealings] When I left the club was in a very strong financial position and they bought many players in-between, they have not all worked out. I believe that it’s not a question of time. The change can be very efficient very quickly, it’s just about the right decision-making and that’s all that it’s about in football, it’s about good players. We speak about the success of Liverpool, of course they have a great manager, but you have to say as well that in the last three-four years, they bought the right players

2020 01 01 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger says Liverpool ‘on course’ to emulate Arsenal’s Invincibles after developing fearless streak] They were close last year and they are still on course to do it. But I think what Liverpool is expecting at the moment is just to win the Premier League and that is the first target for such a football city. To stay for 30 years without winning the Premier League … nobody would have predicted that. That is their main target and I think they are on a good run and on a good course to achieving that this season because their main opponent is quite far away already

You look at the number of goals they score and the number of goals they concede. They are very good. They play intelligent football, their players make intelligent decisions on the pitch. My experience when you play the whole season unbeaten is that they accumulated the belief that if they just continue to play they will win the game. That is very difficult to get in the team because you need a special run to do that and to get the fear of losing out of the team. It’s something that is very important and they have that at the moment

2020 01 18 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger in 2012 on Podolski who set to join Antalyaspor from Vissel Kobe] He’s certainly one of the best finishers I’ve ever seen. If there’s one you want to see in front of the goal in a shooting position, it’s him

2020 01 20 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger has offered his honest opinion on Arsenal’s move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium] I moved from Highbury, which was similar to Anfield, but there was a soul in the stadium. We built a new stadium but we never found our soul - we left our soul at Highbury. We could never recreate it for security reasons. The distance from the pitch to the stand had to be bigger as we needed ambulances to come in. The inclination of the stands had to be smaller all those things together that we didn’t find to recreate the atmosphere

[Wenger says Liverpool are on the right track] You look at the number of goals they score and the number of goals they concede. They are very good. They play intelligent football, their players make intelligent decisions on the pitch. My experience when you play the whole season unbeaten is that they accumulated the belief that if they just continue to play they will win the game. That is very difficult to get in the team because you need a special run to do that and to get the fear of losing out of the team. It’s something that is very important and they have that at the moment

2020 02 17 Retrieve

[Wenger: If Man City have broken the rules, they must be punished] I was always for control of the financial rules. Let the clubs work with the natural income they have. The rules have been created. I am convinced that at the moment there is an evolution to be made in the way the rules are built up at the moment, but they are what they are and you have to respect them. People who don’t respect them and are caught trying to get around the rules in more or less legal ways have to be punished. If it’s proven that this has been done on purpose then this cannot go unpunished. Sport is about winning by respecting the rules. If there’s no respect for the rules, it’s not real sport, which is what I think is most important

I don’t know the rule exactly well enough to see what kind of punishment has to be made when the rules are not respected. They have not created that. It must be in the rule book. Somebody has not said ‘let’s do that’. No, this is certainly the sanction that is planned if the clubs don’t respect the rules

2020 02 18 Retrieve

[Wenger bites back at Unai Emery’s ‘downward slope’ claim] In 2017 we made 75 points and won the FA Cup so you cannot say that [Arsenal were in decline] and the year before [2016] we finished second in the league. 2018 was my last year but it is very difficult to come out on that. Arsenal is a club that is in a very strong position financially. It has good players, after that when you are a manager you have to stand up for what you do and your results and not look around you. That is the only thing you can do

2020 02 19 Retrieve

[Wenger proposes change to offside law for Euro 2020 wake of VAR controversies] The most difficult [issue] that people have [with VAR] is the offside rule. You have had offsides by a fraction of a centimetre, literally by a nose. It is the time to do this quickly. There is room to change the rule and not say that a part of a player’s nose is offside, so you are offside because you can score with that. Instead, you will be not be offside if any part of the body that can score a goal is in line with the last defender, even if other parts of the attacker’s body are in front. That will sort it out and you will no longer have decisions about millimetres and a fraction of the attacker being in front of the defensive line

2020 02 23 Retrieve

[Wenger admits he doesn’t want Liverpool to match his Arsenal Invincibles] That’s possible. It might happen, yes. I do not necessarily want it, you want always to be the only one that does something special but if I don’t and they do it, I say well done. Records are there to be equalised at least or to be beaten and if they deserve it, you want it. They have been exceptional already because they lost only one game last year, they’ve not lost once this year, so for the remarkable consistency they’ve shown they deserve to be there

2020 02 25 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger says Serge Gnabry has no real weaknesses in his game] This guy has no real limitations. ‘s more about how much does he want to suffer? He has pace, power, technical ability, he is very intelligent but sometimes he looks for the easy way. That was his problem. I sent him to West Brom and it didn’t work out at all. In fairness, I think we had an agreement with him and Bayern stole him away from Wender Bremen. He is a good player. He has individual ability and collective ability

We had an agreement with him. Because he didn’t play at West Brom, I let him go with the under-21s in the summer with the German national team. He did very well, he was fresh, we had prepared him, fast to sign his new contract. Then suddenly he wanted to go to Werder Bremen but it was not Werder Bremen who bought him, it was Bayern Munich. It was six months later, less than a year, he went from Bremen to Bayern but it was a done deal before. He was at the end of his contract and we thought he would stay

2020 03 22 Retrieve

[Wenger remembers Hleb fondly, though, and seems to have little regret over his handling of the attacking midfielder] He was a guy you’d want to make happy. Sometimes it seemed like something had cracked inside him, and I felt like I was responsible for helping him, for supporting his talent. You see, being a manager allows you to influence people’s lives, which is great, you can influence them positively, not negatively. And I felt that he needed warmth and understanding to realise his talent

2020 04 10 Retrieve

[When Arsene Wenger was asked about regrets] Regrets? I’ve had a few and David Dein leaving was one. Ideally, I would have loved to continue working with him

2020 04 14 Retrieve

[Former Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was in the market for Pogba when he left United for Juventus] As a footballer, he has everything. It is difficult to figure out what he doesn’t have. Things happened very quickly. We were interested in him. We tried to get him to come. But he very quickly signed for Juventus. He has the potential to win the Ballon d’Or

2020 05 04 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger thinks it was unrealistic in the first place to expect the new man to get the sort of goals tally Ronaldo used to rack up every season at the Bernabeu] He will be the answer, but not in replacing Ronaldo that is for sure. He will not score 50 goals a year because that’s now how they [Real Madrid] play football. They need another goalscorer […] if they had someone younger around him to score the goals, maybe they could do very well. Hazard is an exceptional player to create chances, and to sometimes finish, which is what he needs to do in big games. I don’t think Real have yet to see the real Hazard

2020 05 06 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger, sagely observed in 2015 that Europe’s football development lacked something instinctual] What we produce now are good technical players because there are nice pitches out there – before you played in the park where you had to kick the ball up front and you had to fight. The strikers are South American today. Europe doesn’t produce strikers anymore

2020 05 08 Retrieve

[Emery was replaced by Mikel Arteta, and Wenger has expressed hope that his former player can help restore the culture that the club has lost in recent seasons] I believe there is a culture in the way to play football at Arsenal that I want to be respected, and I hope Mikel can get that back

2020 05 08b Retrieve

[I hope Arteta can bring back Arsenal’s culture] I worry about the club still a lot and I watch all of the games. I believe there is a culture in the way to play football at Arsenal that I want to be respected, and I hope Mikel can get that back

[Wenger believes Liverpool have already earned the right to be called champions] Jurgen has done extremely well because that club has waited 30 years for this title. And when you think they have such a massive difference [points gap] to the second team, Manchester City, as well – 25 points, it’s absolutely massive. No matter what England will decide, Liverpool are champions in everyone’s head, I think

2020 05 10 Retrieve

[Wenger: Mbappe is heir to Messi and Ronaldo but England’s next generation aren’t far behind] We had never seen players like that, who can absolutely be creative in any tight situation. These players are now getting towards the end [of their career]Ronaldo, Messi – but it’s now about the next generation. The next generation is maybe French. At the moment, the leading player could be Mbappe, of course Neymar, that we know, but England as well. England has a good chance now; they are doing very well at youth level. They have done well with Gareth Southgate at the World Cup. I was hoping that at the European Championship, they could be one of the contenders

2020 05 18 Retrieve

[Wenger concerned about matches behind closed doors] You can’t imagine a whole season without fans. It’s why I think it’s a short-term solution. We can’t be guided too much by financial reasons and take a big gamble. We first have to make sure that it is medically safe

2020 05 21 Retrieve

[Wenger calls for FFP reform to support ‘emerging clubs’ amid Newcastle takeover talk] I am in favour of measures that reinforce checks around club management, over measures that restrict and limit. We should value quality management and encourage it. I am [also] in favour of opening things up to more investment, which FFP does not allow for. The clubs that dominate Europe today are those that were built and made investments during an era where FFP did not exist. FFP prevents emerging clubs who want to invest from doing so. That is not normal

These rules have fixed a hierarchy, the big historical clubs are bigger and bigger and, obviously, they are all fighting for FFP rules to be scrupulously applied to the others so that competitors can’t come through. Controlling club management rigorously, yes, verifying where funds are coming from, yes, but we need to encourage people to invest in football. FFP must become more flexible and facilitate investment. We must control clubs in their way of doing things but not tell them how to do it. If the club believes that it is not taking any risks with its balance by buying a player for €150 million, what is the problem?

2020 05 23 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger has ruled out making a return to Arsenal in any capacity] Would I return to the Emirates Stadium? I always said to myself that I would be leaving Arsenal completely. That’s the decision I made. I managed the club for 1,235 games, I’ve had good and bad times there, but we always tried to defend the club’s values. And I think we managed to do it

Yes, it was a form of satisfaction [to see Liverpool lose]. We always like to be the only ones to achieve something. They (Liverpool) could really go all the way. But it shows that it’s difficult to repeat this feat. Anyway, that day, I had a lot of messages from Arsenal supporters

[Quizzed on whether he could return to the bench at some stage] At the moment, I am dedicating myself to my work at FIFA. FIFA has responsibility for 211 federations and the big problem is being efficient. I’m not saying I’m not missing competition, but I’m trying to be efficient in this area

2020 05 24 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger has warned of the perils of top French clubs being sold to foreign investors] Unfortunately, I think we’re witnessing a reverse phenomenon today. For example, take French clubs. They are gradually falling into hands of people who are not real builders for the future of the club, but rather investors who are seeking to earn money very quickly. And we can see in France today that there are a lot of problems at this level because the clubs are dissatisfied. Supporters feel that the primary goal is not to build a good team but to achieve financial gain

Perhaps we should create a Club Purchasing Ethics Commission to see what the real intentions of the people who buy are clubs are. You can’t squander a country’s footballing culture simply for financial reasons

2020 06 09 Retrieve

[Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has aired his regret at pushing so hard for the introduction of current Financial Fair Play regulations and is not convinced that a move towards MLS-style salary caps would work in Europe] I did fight a lot for Financial Fair Play. What I regret is that when I did fight, teams were allowed to do what they wanted and these teams are in charge now in strong positions in the league. They are, of course, now supportive of financial fair play because it suits them. But they do not want anybody new to come in and be a threat. Maybe we should open the door by being very cautious ethically. To create more flexibility in results, maybe we have to open the door or make sure everyone has the same resources. It is too predictable now. For example, in France, before the championship starts, everybody asks, ‘Who will be second?’

[Wenger believes solutions can be found which will help to level the playing field, but the Frenchman is not convinced that an American model can be followed] Yes, I’m convinced UEFA is conscious of that. Although I am not completely convinced a salary cap works. People speak of salary caps in America but you have, in the same team, someone who makes $5 million and another who makes $50,000. That also doesn’t work

2020 06 12 Retrieve

[Former Arsenal manager Wenger believes Griezmann will improve, but feels Barcelona will add another forward this close season] Barcelona has always bought the greatest players. Personally, I’m not sure that Suarez needs to be replaced. They can add another striker because it’s true that Suarez and [Lionel] Messi are the main contributors and they might need somebody else who can score goals. I still think Griezmann at some stage will start to score goals, he doesn’t look completely adapted, maybe now after confinement he will be refreshed because he’s a good goalscorer as well. But I’m convinced they will buy another striker as well

2020 06 12b Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s chief of global football development, has painted a stark picture for many lower league clubs in England, warning that they face a difficult fight for survival due to the coronavirus pandemic] It is very concerning because we live in a world today which is mainly focused on regrouping the elite and you know well the cases in England. In England, the lower leagues are dying. The Premier League will survive, I don’t worry about the Premier League. You worry more out of the 92 clubs you have 65 clubs that lose money and behind closed doors, if they open up the stadium they lose money to play the game. It is absolutely where football has to rethink, how we can help these clubs to survive. We need an elite but we need a basis that young players have a chance to play and where we have to get these people to survive

[After the liquidation of Bury earlier this season, which means that League One has been played with 23 clubs, Wenger has forecast that many more clubs could potentially go to the wall] I believe so, there are too many clubs in trouble and there is not enough money there to help them enough to survive. Then you get to a stage where a club with some professional players will not be capable to be professional anymore and we will lose plenty of clubs. We calculated that overall football will lose 20% of income, football let’s say can make £45 billion ($57bn) in turnover in the world. The loss will be £10-14 billion that is approximately the amount that football will lose. That means that if you look at the wage structure in most clubs it is between 60-80% of turnover. So that means only the player’s wages can sort that problem out. I would say that it has made the weak clubs weaker and the strong clubs stronger

2020 06 13 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger on Football] Football can show the way to the rest of society how we should behave. We speak a lot about racism now. Football is based on merit only - not on who you are, where you come from and how you look. That’s a good way to teach the world how we should behave. Sport, in general, is a great leader in that way

2020 06 13b Retrieve

[Wenger responds to Arsenal chairman question after being linked with return to Emirates Stadium] Sir Chips is somebody who had been there for 15 years, took over from Peter Hill-Wood, so I think the club have been respectful with the work he’s done there. It would be something special to see Arsene Wenger come onto the board. I don’t think so somehow, I think he’s said recently he doesn’t want to do that, never saw himself as someone who would sit on the board, but they could do a lot worse. I feel that would be almost the perfect answer for [Stan] Kroenke, the young Josh Kroenke, he needs that older person perhaps around, someone with the experience. Other people would think that it would be intimidating for [Mikel] Arteta - I don’t think so. If you’re a successful-type personality, you don’t really mind who else is in the building. You embrace that knowledge that could come in through the door. So I would applaud that if Arsenal Football Club were to bring Arsene Wenger onto the board

[Picking the cream of that crop is a thankless task] Well you had [Dennis] Bergkamp, Thierry Henry … erm, yeah, too many! I don’t know. You know, because it’s always difficult to choose one