Arsene Wenger will celebrate 20 years in charge of Arsenal on October 1. We select some of the Frenchman’s best quotes.
“Your only interest is the next game, our drug is the next game, the hope for the next game, the desire to win the next one. You go step by step and finally when you look back it’s a long time. I must say for such a long time the club has always supported me and I feel already that I’m privileged in that, because that’s not always usual in our game.” – Wenger on his time in charge of Arsenal, which has now spanned more than 1,000 matches.
“I changed a few habits (of the players), which isn’t easy in a team where the average age is 30 years. At the first match the players were chanting ‘we want our Mars bars’. Then, at half-time I asked my physio Gary Lewin: ‘Nobody is talking, what’s wrong with them?’ and he replied: ‘They are hungry’. I hadn’t given them their chocolate before the game. It was funny.” – Wenger on implementing a new regime after his arrival at Highbury.
“I cannot classify the moments of happiness and of sadness, but every defeat is a scar in your heart that you never forget.” – Wenger on why he remains a bad loser.
“There is no priority other than being at the top level in football. When you look back, you’ll see that Arsenal has been consistently at the top level of European football. You will find we have been consistently in the top three of four in England, some years we won (the league) and some years we didn’t win. Maybe one day people will realise that it’s not so easy to stay at the top, as well as facing financial compulsories that you face at that level.” – Wenger on success being relative.
“Everyone thinks they have the prettiest wife at home.” – Wenger in response to Sir Alex Ferguson’s criticism over the way Arsenal went about winning the double in 2002.
“He’s out of order, disconnected with reality and disrespectful. When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes and not more intelligent.” Wenger’s response to being called a voyeur by Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho in 2005.
Mourinho: “I’ll break Wenger’s face.” Course you will, pal. pic.twitter.com/3dEMakeMXh
— FK² (@fkhanage) September 22, 2016
“This guy should never play again. The answer is ‘he is usually not that type of guy’. It’s like a guy who kills one time in his life – it’s enough, you have a dead person. It is absolutely horrendous. If you watch the tackle again you can’t say to me this guy has played the ball. It’s a joke. Not acceptable. It goes along with the idea that to stop Arsenal you have to kick Arsenal and we knew that thing would happen one day.” – Wenger on the tackle from Birmingham defender Martin Taylor which broke Eduardo’s leg in 2008.
“What is unbelievable is that, I am in a position where people reproach me for making a profit. The people who lose money – nobody says a word. Reproach the people who lose money. I do business by managing in a safe way and a healthy way, and on top of that you reproach me for making money. It looks like we are in a business where the desired quality is to lose money.” – Wenger on the criticism of Arsenal’s careful financial management.
“We do not buy superstars. We make them.” – Wenger on his player development and recruitment policy.
“I am not scared to spend money. If you go out with me one night, you will understand that.” – Wenger on being coy in the transfer market.
“I tried to watch the Tottenham match on television in my hotel yesterday, but I fell asleep.” – Wenger on keeping tabs on their north London rivals.
“Sometimes I see it (a foul by an Arsenal player), but I say that I didn’t see it to protect the players and because I could not find any rational explanation for what they did.” – Wenger on his famed tendency to ‘miss’ certain incidents.
“Just try to give your best and try to be better tomorrow than yesterday.” – Wenger on what advice he would give to his younger self on the first day in the Arsenal job.