Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger turns 70 on October 22.
The Frenchman spent more than two decades with the Gunners and during that time became one of the most engaging characters in the Premier League.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look back at some of Wenger’s memorable quotes.
“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.
“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.
“Who expected Leicester to be champion last season? Nobody. All the big clubs experienced last season a regret and a feeling of guilt but that would take something away from Leicester, who had an exceptional season.
There is guilt because you would not have predicted Leicester win the league, so all the other teams would say: ‘We should have come in front of Leicester.’” – Wenger on feeling guilty as Arsenal finished behind shock champions Leicester in 2016.
“Overall I believe that we played since January in a very difficult environment for different reasons. Certainly my personal situation has contributed to that. But they should not question it, I am professional, as long as I am somewhere I do my job until the last day.” – Wenger admitted the uncertainty over whether he would sign a new deal in 2017 played a part in Arsenal’s poor end to the season.
“You go up by stairs and come down by the lift. That’s what confidence is. That’s what you have to show, that you have the level to be at Arsenal Football Club” – Wenger’s analogy regarding confidence lost quickly and rediscovered slowly.
“Thank you for having me for such a long time, I know that is not easy but above all I am like you – I am an Arsenal fan. That means this is more than just watching football it is a way of life, it is about caring the beautiful game, the values we cherish and something that goes through all of our bodies, through every cell of our body.” – Wenger addressed Arsenal supporters on the pitch following his last home game in charge.
“Herbert Chapman came from here. For me to come here on the last day was a special meaning when you know the history of our club. Chapman smiled at me as he was on the photo just outside the dressing room.” – After his final Arsenal match, a 1-0 win at Huddersfield, Wenger spoke about Chapman, who had managed both clubs successfully.
“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.” – Wenger said earlier in October that another job in England was unlikely.
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