Arsene Wenger admits he is “scared” by the thought that this season could be his last in charge of Arsenal.
Wenger is entering the final year of his current contract with the Gunners and there are question marks about the manager’s future amid supporter unrest.
However, the Frenchman has indicated he will want to work beyond the end of the season, as he feels he may not be able to adjust to life outside of football as well as Sir Alex Ferguson.
“It’s been my life and, honestly, I’m quite scared of the day,” Wenger said. “The longer I wait, the more difficult it will be and the more difficult it will be to lose the addiction.
“After Alex retired and we played them over there [at Manchester United] he sent a message to me to come up and have a drink with him. I asked: ‘Do you miss it?’ He said: ‘Not at all.’ I didn’t understand that. It’s an emptiness in your life, especially when you’ve lived your whole life waiting for the next game and trying to win it.”
One of the biggest criticisms of Wenger in recent years has been his apparent caution in the transfer market, with Arsenal often accused of failing to address obvious problems such as the lack of a world-class goalscorer.
The 66-year-old suggests his reticence dates back to when the club had to cut spending around the time of leaving Highbury, which he describes as the “love of my life”.
“We had to pay back the debt,” he said. “We knew we had limited money and we had to be in the Champions League to have a chance to pay off the debt. That was the most difficult period for me. For a while it was very bad, but today the club are financially safe.”
He added: “I personally believe the only way to be a manager is to spend the club’s money as if it were your own because if you don’t do that you’re susceptible to too many mistakes.
“You make big decisions and I believe you have to act like it’s your own money, like you’re the owner of the club and you can identify completely with the club. Because if you don’t do that I think you cannot go far.”