Arsene Wenger’s AGM speech 2015

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We brought you the full transcript last year, here’s the 2015 version via Guardian Football.

“Nice to see you. I had the luck and the privilege to celebrate on 1 October my 19th year as the head of the club as a manager. I would like to thank you for this confidence and the board as well. We have gone through some fantastic periods, as well some difficult periods, but they were always on my side. And I rate that. If I did not rate that I would not be here any more.

“When I arrived we were 80 people at the club, the share price was £400. Today we are about 550 and the share price is I don’t know how high at the moment [£15,000-£16,000]. But I have none, don’t worry. I never wanted one because I never wanted to be accused to make some decisions to favour the share price to go up in value. And I am quite happy I didn’t.

“But I must say the first years of my career here were quite easy, from 1996 to 2005. It was a period where it all went really easy, smooth and well. We were always dominating, mostly in the league or the FA Cup.

“Then came a second period when we moved into this stadium. It became much more difficult because we face more competition and because we were under restricted finances and the target was to stay at the top of the league and to qualify for Champions League every year to repay our debt back. I must say we did it. Sometimes within a sceptical environment, and most of the time having to fight until the last minute of the last game of the Premiership.

“When you are the supporter or manager of a club you are always told what you don’t do. I understand that, we are in a society that is like that. But looking back I am, of course, proud we won titles and FA Cups, but as well I believe the first quality of a club is to be consistent. If you look back we have 18 consecutive years in the Champions League qualified.

“Only one club in Europe, Real Madrid, has done better with 19. I can understand it is not enough. It shows the quality of our behaviour has paid off at least with consistency of results. We want more and I am the first to agree that it is not enough. If it was easy everyone would have done it. Sometimes it is important to remind people that to remain at the top is difficult. And we do not rate that enough.

“I believe too if you ask me to do it again I would say no, let somebody else do it because I will not take that gamble any more because it was so difficult.

“Since two and a half years we are out of this period, much more at ease financially. Because the weight of Champions League income is not as big any more. Because the broadcasting has gone up and commercial income has gone up and the weight of the income in the Champions League is not as big any more.

“In the last few years we have built a core of people around the team who can help us more. As manager, I get an unbelievable amount of detail and data on every single game on every single day. What was 18 years ago my eye, now I have to select the four or five pieces of information to be efficient. About 20 people working around me every day, who work very hard to get us stronger every year. It demands a lot of energy.

“I believe we move forward, but I must say it is difficult because people are better informed, know more, than 19 years ago. What is fantastic in football is you have 10 people and me as a professional and sometimes the guy who is not a professional can be right.

“The only thing for sure is I make everything possible to make sure I make the right decision for the club. It is not off the cuff. All the advice we get we consider. But we have more information than people who just have an opinion. But the world has changed. We are equipped around our team to say we are really advanced in the way we work and the way we prepare and the way we develop players.

“You want to ask me: “Will we win the championship this year?” I think we are back in contention and we have a good chance. All the numbers confirm we have the potential to be in the fight – the chances made, the number of chances we give away, the number of dangerous situations we create. And as well in 2015 from 1 January, what was for me the turning point in the history of this team, in the calendar year we have taken more points than anybody. That means the trend is right.

“What we do is consistent. Even if we had a bad start to the season we managed to come back and are only two points from the leaders. That means we have recreated consistency. We have to show what we showed against Manchester United. Be capable to win the big games, show that level of urgency in every single game and show the consistency we have shown since the start of 2015.

“Last year we finished third and won the FA Cup. We won it for the second year running and I think we have won it more than anybody else. We want, of course, more. We have the potential to do more and will fight very hard for that.

“We are not scared to spend the money – I know I have that reputation. We have shown in the last three years if the player has the quality, we spend the money.

“Success is about talent and cohesion. Cohesion is always brought from people who are educated at the club. It means a lot when they wear the shirt, they have worn it from when they are young and they know what it means. We do not want to dismiss that. You need people who carry the values of the club through the generations. We are very proud of the players we bought but also I am very proud of players like Francis Coquelin and Héctor Bellerín, who have been educated here. That is important as well. They don’t always get the rewards they deserve because they don’t score goals but they really want to do well for the club. We have to find the right mixture of top, top players from outside and those we develop from the inside. That is why we invest in youth.

“I know we face some adversity sometimes but I am more motivated than ever, more committed than ever. I was a bit more relaxed 19 years ago when you know if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.

“Today I know what it means for people. I know how sad people are when we don’t do well, when we lose a game. The responsibility on my shoulders is much bigger. I am resolute to commit absolutely until the last day of my contract to bring back big success to this club, and leave as well one day in a position where it can do even better when I leave. It is for me very important that I leave the club in the shape that the guy who comes after me can do better.

“Let’s be honest, we face more and more competition, even in England, from other clubs. We have to be stronger in future to fight against this kind of competition. But we will. Thank you again and hopefully see you next year.”

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Ikemondada
Ikemondada
4 years ago

Class Act! I admire his candor on the lean years;a conservative choice on funding that was difficult to endure. Looking forward to more glory with him. In Arsene we trust…

TTT
TTT
4 years ago

nice one

Proff Gooner
Proff Gooner
4 years ago
Reply to  TTT

Nice 19! Sir Wenger, we inside the club know what Le Coq & Bellz has done. Probably those No Heart Lane scum throwing negative stories to throw us off but we know their trophy is to finish above us. Love the fact Wenger is more hungrier then ever with Chelski struggling to get in Europe via Fair Play lol The blessings in the struggle and we are truly blessed. “When” Not “if” we win the Champions League & Premiership, I can’t wait to see how silent the haters will become. Damn, why do I feel someone cut some onions… Forever… Read more »

Nils
Nils
4 years ago
Reply to  Proff Gooner

There are haters sure but also alot of reasonable critical voices. Infact things turned around after Wenger started spending money and became more cynical tactical wise and not just allways go Gung Ho for 90 minutes, which is exactly what the majority of critics have been telling Arsenal and Wenger to do. If anything if Wenger achieve success now he would be proving his critics right. The only advice he is yet to follow is to bring in a warrior or two to the squad who can police the midfield and provide protection from teams who play the bullying card… Read more »

Eric
Eric
4 years ago
Reply to  Nils

Did you read what he said? There was no money to spend for several years after the stadium move, so he is not responding to critics in spending now – he just has greater resources. As for tactics, I think I’ll assume Wenger has more schooling in tactics than armchair pundits advised by watching Match of the Day and reading the Sun. “Bring in a warrior or two” – thank you Bill Shankly.

GoonerInk
GoonerInk
4 years ago
Reply to  Eric

Did you read what he said? Sometimes the armchair pundits can be right, football is football.

Though to be fair wenger and/or bouldy are tactically stubborn

Dan Hunter
Dan Hunter
4 years ago
Reply to  GoonerInk

I think he’s sugar coating a bit. The transfer window thus year was an epic failure. He didn’t address that. If we are talking about transfers he needs to get with the times and understand that you need to be aggressive in the market and not just ask if players are available rather identify players, value them and add 25% 50% on top of that value. You don’t need to be a genius to work that one out. The Martial deal is a case in point. That is my main criticism of his tenure and his main weakness – transfer… Read more »

Halles
Halles
4 years ago

Legend.

ramgooner
ramgooner
4 years ago
Reply to  Halles

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1g2tv7rK97Q

I keep watching this over and over.

goonerestgooner
goonerestgooner
4 years ago
Reply to  ramgooner

“When a player takes the ball off me, I feel like someone has taken my toy away and i just want it back” – sums up Alexis beautifully.

ninjagooner
ninjagooner
4 years ago
Reply to  ramgooner

Wonderful video. Thanks for sharing!

Baxy
Baxy
4 years ago

It will be a sad day when wenger finally leaves. We are so lucky we had him as a manger and what he has done to our football club. Great manager and a great man. #respect

Don
Don
4 years ago

Read it all in his voice. I’m going to miss him a lot when he goes.

Junayd
4 years ago
Reply to  Don

I think he will stay longer than people expect. He has given most of his adult life to the club and to the sport. What next? Breed horses? Talk sh*t about former players? Le Prof has too much class. #InArseneWeTrust

smh
smh
4 years ago
Reply to  Junayd

The only managerial position I can see him take over post-Arsenal is the France National Team. But let’s hope Wenger stays longer. I really want to see him lift one more Premier League title AND our very first Champions League trophy with us! Legend.

Rohit Gupta
4 years ago

Monsieur Wenger, un sincère merci beaucoup. You’re a legend!
CYOG!

Henry Gooner Legend
Henry Gooner Legend
4 years ago

What a heartfelt speech! Sheer Passion from Arsene! 🙂

“Hopefully see you next year?” That sounds really ominous!

Sideshow_bob
Sideshow_bob
4 years ago

Wow that was so honest and heartfelt. Will be very sad the day he leaves the club. Can’t imagine anyone else as our manager. Bloody even his name rhymes with our club haha

Jon
Jon
4 years ago

I think it’s fair enough to say he’s had his ups and downs as our manager and I believe we have probably all been guilty of wanting him out at one point or another, but days like today make you really appreciate him for what he’s given to us. He’s Arsenal through and through. He gives his all for the club he’s our greatest asset. He may be stubborn and we may disagree with him a lot of the time, but at the end of the day he’s bought us so much success down the years. He’s pure class and… Read more »

Munya
Munya
4 years ago
Reply to  Jon

Haha sounds like an abusive lover smh

JB
JB
4 years ago
Reply to  Jon

@Jon one of the best posts ever written on arseblog news.

Anthony
Anthony
4 years ago

Hope he stays longer than the end of his current contract. Legend.

Man Manny
Man Manny
4 years ago

I love this man. Every time I hear him, I just know the club I love is in good hands. I also know he will do everything to make sure the man that suceeds him has a platform to keep the team at the top. Top man.

Gooneron
Gooneron
4 years ago

The man can give a speech…

Henry Gooner Legend
Henry Gooner Legend
4 years ago

Legend Legend Legend!

I’m worried about that last sentence. “Hopefully see you next year?” That sounds ominous!

Vivek
Vivek
4 years ago

In my opinion, his oratory skills are second to none in the footballing world, I could just listen to him all day without getting bored for a second.
What do you guys think he meant when he said ‘turning point in the history of this team’? Yes, we have played well this calendar year, but we also played well in calendar year 2013. Am I missing something?

Fatgooner
Fatgooner
4 years ago

Wenger should have been a politician: what a wonderfully bland, anodyne speech. Why didn’t he get specific? How is going to win the league when he won’t buy the players we need to do it? And why is he so proud about qualifying for the CL for 18 years when he’s only ever got to one final? The plankton, many of whom post on this website, will love this BS, but where’s the proof of the pudding? Is it the pathetic performances that we’ve seen in the CL so far this season? At least he acknowleges that he can’t hide… Read more »

Munya
Munya
4 years ago
Reply to  Fatgooner

Fatgooner He gave specific statistics as to how we have the highest points tally in 2015 and why that means we have shown ourselves to be as consistent as anyone in the league with our current players and we can therefore be expected to challenge for this years premier league title.

Growler
Growler
4 years ago
Reply to  Fatgooner

I do understand the frustration but it is a clever speech. He is basically responding to critics by pointing out that his record agaibst expenditure is exemplary. I’m not quite sure what we can expect him to say about the future in terms of strategy. Do we expect him to outline spending plans? Player aquisitions? To create a hostage for fortune by saying nothing other than the title is good enough? We all want to hear it but put yourself in his shoes and it simply isn’t plausible. You might actually argue he has a point. Everyone is getting excited… Read more »

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
4 years ago
Reply to  Growler

Like your comment BUT to be exact when Arsenal won titles, Chelsea did not have spending power and City was clearly poor.

Rob67
Rob67
4 years ago
Reply to  Fatgooner

True enough ! But you’re swimming against a tide of unhinged sycophancy on here. But credit for standing up otherwise.

Arsene's Apologist
Arsene's Apologist
4 years ago
Reply to  Fatgooner

I think “plankton” a bit much, eh? He’s a brilliant manager, no doubt about it. Flawed, but brilliant. And his flaws are mostly to do with things I’m glad for: financially responsible, unapologetic attacking philosophy, long-term decision making, and commitment to bringing up youth. And he’s tactically very good, if a bit stubborn. You don’t last this long if you don’t know your stuff while everything keeps evolving.

UGooner
UGooner
4 years ago

Good analysis. His flaws have an upside always. I guess it’s all about balance like he says. And consistency. And mental strength of course.

Gutbukket Deffrolla
Gutbukket Deffrolla
4 years ago
Reply to  Fatgooner

Plankton? When opinion turns to [ersonal insult it becomes worthless and undeserving of further attention.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
4 years ago

To be honest, Fatgooner has been far more at the end of name calling that any other contributor on this forum.

Geefive
Geefive
4 years ago
Reply to  Fatgooner

http://www.talkchelsea.net/

There you go, buddy. You can head back home, now. Just click that link. Wouldn’t want to expose you to any more BS, now. You take care, alright? Look both ways before crossing the street. We plankton don’t have eyes so it makes driving somewhat challenging….

greg
greg
4 years ago
Reply to  Fatgooner

You are right. I was reading that imagining him fluttering his eye lashes at me and I started to think yeah your right.

But no. No competitive dm to challenge and improve Francis. Arteta is and never was good enough for this position. Sorry I know loads of you love him. Same with per. Nice guy but we could do so much better

Could go on…..

Love the club not the man

Rectum_Spectrum
Rectum_Spectrum
4 years ago
Reply to  greg

Yeah. He didn’t buy that fucking DM. Because nothing else matters.

Jesus. Take a break bro.

Goonerrific
Goonerrific
4 years ago

When you look at the clubs that have fallen apart during wengers time (Blackburn, Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday, Chelski (hahaha!)). You have to wonder how close we could of been to one of those teams without AW.

I believe wenger will go down as a legend of not just Arsenal, but the game.

He may well be in the autumn of his Arsenal career, but respect this man, I think he’s got at least one more ace up his sleeve….

Prash gooner
Prash gooner
4 years ago

Made me cry !!!! Legend !!! Such a positive person; y did he end it that way “Thank you again and hopefully see you next year.” I started following this club around the year 2000;it will be weird for me to see someone else take over his place @ arsenal .

Chimichanga Monreal (cuz that's way more fun to say)
Chimichanga Monreal (cuz that's way more fun to say)
4 years ago

Yes we get it Fatgooner you don’t like Wenger. yawn.

Biishopp
Biishopp
4 years ago

Well said Sir, even though you could be really frustrating at times, you cannot take it away from Monsieur Wenger, he is a genius. I started supporting the Arsenal when he took over because I come from a country where the french media hype is so strong and everything french is the best but he has proven that it wasn’t just the hype and has made me to develop a genuine love for everything Arsenal. I find it hard to imagine how I had lived all those years without the Arsenal, Thank you Arsene for making me to fall in… Read more »

Rob67
Rob67
4 years ago

In fairness to Wenger – whose greatest fan I am not – he does speak. No word from Kronke just £3 million to add to the same from last year. How much next year ? Because this is now an annual fixture. Last year, it could have been a one off. Now we know otherwise. Keswick was by all accounts a joke of Hill-Wood variety and Gazedis was in uber David Brent mode. But back to Wenger. He boasts of 18 years in the CL. But fails to mention we’ve only come close to winning it twice. But then this… Read more »

Chimichanga Monreal (cuz that's way more fun to say)
Chimichanga Monreal (cuz that's way more fun to say)
4 years ago
Reply to  Rob67

Yes signing Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and two FA Cups in two years is stagnating. All so Stan can make a whopping 3M per year. He’s gonna get rich someday with kinda money. My mistake. ffs.

DarylC
DarylC
4 years ago
Reply to  Rob67

Oh god Rob, really? Do you treat every aspect of your life with this kind of cynicism and negativity? You do realise that following a Football Club is supposed to be fun right?

If having some of the best players in the league in our side, collecting more points than any other PL team in this calendar year, sitting second in the league and in fighting spirit is stagnating, then I’d love to know what Chelsea are right now. Get some perspective man, Jesus fucking Christ.

Rob67
Rob67
4 years ago
Reply to  DarylC

In reply to your question – Chelsea are the EPL Champions and will be until someone other than them is crowned next May. As for the cynicism – well if you’ve been run round the block enough, you tend to get the picture, rather then hanker in anticipation of the next – and 49th – lap. And in Sanchez we’ve certainly got one of the best players in the world and, Agurero apart, the best in the Prem’. But we had the same with Cesc and he wasn’t able to carry the team to the title and without reinforcements, I… Read more »

Andy Mack
Andy Mack
4 years ago
Reply to  Rob67

Our squad may not be the best (it’s possible) but it’s light years better than the days of the two faced Spaniard, and we didn’t do too badly then.

Ahmad
4 years ago

Will be a sad day when he leaves us. Hope he stays longer than his current contract. He still looks very sharp mentally.

Die Hard Gooner
Die Hard Gooner
4 years ago

We still should win the league or push the ones who do till the end if we dont. That is all us fans want.Otherwise this heart warming speech is useless to us come the end of the season. There wont be any reason to justify not spending on upgrades like arteta and flamini. We always talk about progress, after last season surely challenging for the title is the next step. if not ouq progress will be mythical.

PGunner
PGunner
4 years ago

Never once have I wanted Wenger out and I really feel that we have reached a turning point in our recent history. EPL this season CL next. Oh yes!

hashtag
hashtag
4 years ago

So the Mirror took this and went with Arsene hints at quitting http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/arsene-wenger-hints-quitting-arsenal-6641346. I don’t see anything within this to suggest he’s going anywhere soon. Even if they did put quitting in capital letters, I´m not convinced. And what ever you think of the guy, can´t dispute the fact that he loves Arsenal, as much as us if not more so in some cases. Which is why I always hate to see some of the abuse he gets. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but it is possible to want him out without being disrespectful. Then again nothing will ever… Read more »

bazza-wicks
bazza-wicks
4 years ago

Wenger is the daddy………. Arsenal is the family………. the fans are his children he would never diss his family he is like a stick of rock arsenal through and through, he is the most articulate manager in all the english leagues and when i hear people say they support the Arsenal it has to be in good times and bad times its a journey for us all and im glad ive been onboard for 44 years, i hope he proves them all wrong but can never keep everyone happy thats life i guess.

sam
sam
4 years ago

#genttleman

A Xerioz Gunner
A Xerioz Gunner
4 years ago

You have to give it to his parents though, they had the foresight to name him Arsene Wenger which is the Latin Saxon word for the Italic phrase which when roughly translated to English reads as Arsenal’s Wager….. A technique in a game where you are not sure if you would win or not but you are happy all the same.
Long live Arsene Wenger!
Long live Arsenal and fans!!
#ComeOnYouFreakingRoyalGunners.
#OnlyOneRedInBritain

Charlieboy
Charlieboy
4 years ago

Can’t help but love the man

Merson's grin
Merson's grin
4 years ago

‘We know more than those who just have an opinion” Sums it up for me.

Thanis Lim
4 years ago

Looking at how many clubs have fallen from grace in his tenure of 19 years and that includes ManUtd and Chelsea – especially when handicapped with finances and up against those behemoth money clubs – look at how much Liverpool, Sp*rs, Chelsea, ManUtd have spent and had terrible seasons – people who are on his back doesn’t realise how lucky we are. When he leaves, we will have to accept that we might fall out of the top 4 and have to invest a lot more of the bank reserves to try and get back what Arsene has done –… Read more »

Erwandy
Erwandy
4 years ago

Tears on my eyes. Let it be known that I became a Gooner because of Wenger. I still remember the day clearly…when MU pipped Arsenal on the points on the very last day – MU beating Spuds – but not the type of Spuds loss that any Gooner would have wanted. Since then I loved the resolve and substance Arsenal carries under the guide of Wenger. COYG!

Dodgem
Dodgem
4 years ago

Is there an interview where he mentions what the plan was for the move?
I’ve heard him say some things such as his remit for 3 out of 5 years to get CL qualy, youth project etc but can anyone link me an actual chat about it, if such exists?
Tamuchly

rugrat
rugrat
4 years ago

Wenger. Legend.

Lilechikenya
4 years ago

Back here in Nairobi, Kenya. The team Arsenal is loved so as the able Manager Arsène Wenger. In Wenger we trust. 2015/16 champions designate.