“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.”