Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Wenger: Successor must make Arsenal their life

Arsene Wenger says his successor must commit completely to Arsenal and work for the club as if his life depends on it. Despite the advice, he insists he will not play a role in picking the Gunners next manager.

The 68-year-old also admitted he’s still not sure whether he’ll take a break from management or dive straight into another opportunity.

Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of his final home game in charge at the Emirates, the 68-year-old was in a surprisingly candid mood.

On his departure…

I feel sad because I love this club and because I love what the club represents and you don’t give 22 years of your life and walk away easy. I have dealt with difficult situations in my life and I will as well, do it again.

On returning to the Emirates in the future…

Of course, why not? First of all, I have to decide what I do in the future and to take a little bit of distance. I don’t know if you’ve worked in a football club but that identity I have had for 22 years it demands a little bit to take a reflection and distance as well.

On whether he’ll need a break…

I don’t know. Maybe. After three weeks I could think come on, don’t be stupid and get back to work. I’m completely open at the moment, I don’t know.

On life without football…

If I don’t work, I’ll watch football every day. That will not change.

On whether he’ll have a say about his successor…

No, I’m not involved in that. It’s not my job. My job was to perform for the club with the team. My job is not to choose my successor. If somebody asks me my opinion I will give it, of course. I think a club works well when everybody does his job.

On the speculation linking Zeljko Buvac to the role…

I don’t know him well. Publicly I think it is better I do not talk about it. It can disadvantage some other candidates and I don’t want to put pressure on people. It is better that they feel completely free to take who they want.

On the credentials his successor will need…

He will just need to make this club the priority of his life and commit completely and totally like he owns the club. There is no other way to manage a club of this stature than to think that my life depends on what is going on here. They must give absolutely everything to do well.

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To build a new team that can compete, the new manager must give all of his life.

The Director

The boss has certainly made Arsenal his life. He gave his full commitment and the club was very lucky to have him. If his successor would only put in half the effort Wenger has put in, it may all end up well.

Too Drunk To Be Offside

With ‘all’ of Wenger’s efforts Arsenal are 6th in the league and frankly way off the pace of the big 5 (lets be honest its not really a big 6 right now). You want the guy who takes over to put in half the effort.

So not long before Arsenal are fighting relegation then.

A Different George

Well, thanks. Sometimes I forget that Arsenal supporters can be just as stupid as those of any other club.


why should arsenal supporters be different from any other supporters, we are all the same


All the same? One word : Tottenham.

(Apologies for the foul language)




Did you become an Arsenal supporter from 2016-17? That’s very short-sighted, and it’s forgetting two decades worth of effort he has put in. This season has been horrible, but let’s not trivialise what he did (and tried to do) for the 20 years before, based on 2 really bad seasons (and we still did win an FA Cup less than 12 months ago)

Too Drunk To Be Offside

Its not about one season at all. The truth is under Wenger Arsenal have slid so far off the pace of the other top teams that its not funny. It didnt happen in one season, it was a continuous slide south. Wenger oversaw that. I know a lot of people will say X no of UCL seasons, but what did the club achieve out of that besides a participation, much like in the Europa League. Just making Rd of 16 is no achievement. Over a decade since challenging for the title, nearly a decade since getting into even the QFs… Read more »


So ten disastrous years? How do you define disaster?


I don’t deny we have massively underachieved in Europe, even in the Invincibles years. But let’s face it, as a club we have won 2 only European trophies, and neither has been a European Cup. It’s quite baffling, given how we’re 3rd only behind Liverpool and Man Utd in league titles. Your initial comment was about our league position(s). People forget how Liverpool have been in the doldrums in the last 25 years in the league, and as for Sp*rs, 2/3 ‘good’ years doesn’t put them above us in the pecking order. I think our soon-to-be-former manager deserves a lot… Read more »


You really need some context bro, teams like villa, Leeds, etc can class their last 10 years as a disaster, ours have been frustrating as we have until very recently been close enough and good enough to compete.


Neither Villa nor Leeds nor any of those other clubs were ever (at least in the modern era) in a position to be one of the top clubs of the world, in terms of financial power, infrastructure, global following, or reputation in the game. Relative to the standard of the top level of clubs in the game (which we have always considered ourselves to be), the last 10 years have truly been an unmitigated disaster. They haven’t been a full-blown existential calamity on the level of a Leeds (and a lesser extent Villa), but we fell farther and from a… Read more »


Forgive me….
“two decades worth of effort he in”?
did he not get paid? he has collected over 100 million in salary
that is adequate reward in my books…..
and did he not buy the 2nd rate players he has today?
22 years not ONE euro trophy?………
even G. Graham won a cup in Europe, and spent less than 22 yrs in doing so…….


Arsenal fans are immuned to success. If not why should fans in their right senses continue to disdain any talk on Wenger’s failures. The way to success is first, Anthony Joshua accepting Wilder’s challenge. Our overt attachment to Wenger portrays that even the fans are bereft of the mentality of success. A classic case of getting what we deserve. I am an employer of labour,I reinforce good employees from time to time. But I don’t praise any one of them overtly. They know that a pay rise depends on success and the way to the door is on failure. I… Read more »

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Fuck off to chelsea Drunk. You’ll fit just fine.


I love how when people put emotion aside and speak the truth they are ridiculed. Wenger is and always will be Arsenal’s best ever manager. He revolutionised not just the team but the culture which surrounds this club. From 98-06 we were a force, whilst we lost the final in 06 we went toe to toe with Barcelona and would have most probably won had it not have been for the refs call. 06 onwards the club sold us a dream, the dream of moving to a new stadium and competing with the best, apart from knocking Milan out in… Read more »


@ Zakgooner

You have nailed it…it’s a sad story in the end, respect where it’s due but Arsenal will remain and Wenger will be remembered as one of the best Arsenal managers in it’s history and rightly so!

Faisal Narrage

Wall of text.

Please use paragraphs, man. It’s daunting even looking at that wall of text.

Matt P

Very fair and balanced assessment


He is Arsenal’s best manager to date because he was allowed 22years. Luiz Enrique won 9 trophies including two LA LIGAS and a CL, and was sacked in 3 years; Zidane, back to back CL, and his job depends on a third one; Benitez, a CL with Liverpool in a few years; Mou., with Porto in less than 3 years. I need not mention Gaudiola. Fans are here eulogizing a man in 22 years without an European trophy, a local champion of a decade and a local failure of another decade. I am beginning to question what really makes Wenger… Read more »


If I had ‘ever’ considered fucking off to Chelsea, its no longer an option now because the man I wanted to fuck off has fucked off. You should have suggested it earlier.

Ooh ahhh Ray Parlour

Have a day off pal!…


Great response, constructive and to the point…pal!!


Why don’t you make a constructive point if you have one in your Arsenal or go have a day off with Wenger.


Yeah, a day off with a brand new coach.


It’s funny that the expectations that people place on this club, and ultimately what led to the criticism that Arsene has faced, is due to the standards that he has set, and the process into a modern football club that he has overseen. “Disastrous” my ass.


Bloody hell mate you’re obviously the angry drunk.

John Bull

When all is said and done , what anyone who has followed English football for the past 22 years has to accept what AW has done for the club : – Distinct Arsenal way of playing -one of the best stadiums – fully paid for – which has been Sold out for 22 years , waiting list for tickets – The only Invincible PL championship winning season so far in history – 49 games undefeated in PL -Some victories and goals which will lead no lmore ever in memory – the record number of FA cups won by 1 manager… Read more »

Arsenala Vista Baby

Merci Wenger!


What hard hearted person downvotes that comment?

Wilshere vs Barca

The same person that downvote that one^


Fat Cunt, John Cunt, Drunk Cunt, ex-Priest Cunt?

Wesley emmanuel

Arseneal wenger forever!!!


All I hope is that whoever replaces Wenger is someone who can build a team that puts Arsenal back where it should be – challenging for titles.


That’s going to require a lot more spending power to keep up with the Manchesters, and I’m not sure we can manage that. The last article I read back in January on the most expensive squads in European football put Arsenal at 9th, 40 million ahead of Spurs, 50 million behind Liverpool, 170 million behind Chelsea, 305 million behind United, and 421 million behind City (which more than doubles our squad value). Money isn’t everything, of course, but it clearly has something to do with who ends up winning the Premier League as only Arsenal and Leicester City have won… Read more »


No one can ever question his commitment or love for the club.
I feel he should have done like Fergie and let a number 2 do more coaching on the training field and keep changing coaches to keep it fresh and take on new ideas. Once performances started to suffer he was left trying to dig his eay out of a whole and the decline was hard to witness.
I wish him well in his next role and would have no issue with him returning to Arsenal in an ambassadorial role in a few years


First class blog today. Memories to live with us forever.
Merci Arsene


Sadly arsene no he shouldn’t. The club is his job. Do you really think klopp for example behaves like he owns Liverpool? No he has a life and does other things. You need down time away and acting like you own the club is partly why our squad is so badly balanced

the only sam is nelson

Klopp – like Mourhino or Comte or any number of managers – will run up and down the touchline jumping around like a kid when their team scores, but they’ll do that no matter who the team is. AW has a deeper connection with the Arsenal than any current manager has with their own club, and that’s what he is talking about; and that’s what we’re really unlikely to replicate with the next manager or the one after that or the one after that. George had it, and that’s one of the reasons why fans who were around when George… Read more »

A Different George

I agree with the substance of what you say, but I think you are unfair to Klopp who, it seems to me, understands and is very much in tune with the history of his club and its supporters. More like Ferguson and Wenger than the other big-time coaches in England and around the world, I think.

Matt P

Yes I think Wenger’s obsession was a part of his problem. I Think anyone in any professional field needs a balanced life to keep perspective

David C

has any of Wenger assistants ever gone on to do anything else/notable? not trying to be rude just curious…

Faisal Narrage

Arsene gave so much to the club and I will forever by grateful for it, however I respectfully disagree with this. I don’t believe it is healthy for both the club or the individual to make Arsenal their identity. From a club perspective, it can often ensure objectivity is loss. Once your personal identity gets tied into the role, you end up feeling responsible of all aspects and also unable to let go. I think these were some of the demise of Wenger; not allowing or freshening his assistants to take over, not being able to objective stand and assess… Read more »

Matt P

Agree – see my comment above


why should he, all managers manage in different ways


Patrick Vieira is my guy. He knows what it means and he will pass it on to the players. Although he likes to play attractive football i know he won’t let other teams bully us. Patrick is my guy. I would love- 1.Head Coach – Paddy Viera 2.First team coach and player development – Dennis Bergkamp 3.Assistant Manager- Maybe Henry(Not completely sure about this one. Temperament issues with TH14. If he can accept working under Viera then great. With Henry he always wants to be in the limelight.) We already have Lehmann as First team and GK coach. Bobby Pires-… Read more »


If that were the case, why would Buvac leave Liverpool to move laterally? If he gets to be head coach or whatever the title is going to be, then he might even come. I would however, like to see Bergkamp on the coaching staff!


Good point. I thought about that. By Buvac i don’t literally mean him but a similar profile, 1. We could offer more salary. 2. He could be the go to man for a young coach like Viera. He won’t exactly be the assistant here. 3. It could be a much more challenging role than the one he had at Liverpool. 4. We could be giving him a bit more freedom to implement his ideas. We definitely need a training ground specialist. Someone who has done the job day in day out in top teams. The point is Wenger did everything… Read more »


It isn’t a retirement home for ex-players.


As some have mentioned here, I believe that as noble as the sentiment is to have a manager who considers Arsenal their life and feel like they own the club, this sentiment is ultimately harmful. The reason this sentiment is harmful is because the emotional and psychological investment required to have that mindset by it’s very nature compromises objectivity, which is the most important trait a manager can ever have. When a manager starts feeling like they own the club, they become more and more invested and interested in making sure their decisions eventually get proved correct, even if (and… Read more »

Yellow Ribbon

His only problem was he loved Arsenal way too much. No Arsene there will never another Arsene Wenger. They will all be come and go. We love you Arsene. We do.??


The incoming manager has a tough task in improving team morale itself. Regardless of the performances so far this season I was hoping that the team would up their game to give Wenger a proper send off. I don’t really need to elaborate on how we have played since then.
If nothing else, the fact that they were authoring the swansong of a colossus like Wenger should have spurred them to a better effort. Who ever is the next manager needs to kick out this complacency and instill some pride in this group.


It’s all a bit sad at the moment isn’t it. Let’s just hope we’re all in a better place in a few months time, including Arsene.


One of my favourite bands are Killing Joke who sang “I want to be in the place of beginnings, not endings”. Feel like we’re somewhere in between those right now.


Viera or Arteta at this point would be a stupid choice. Very risky. They are as yet unknown quantities and need to learn the ropes further first. The big DANGER right now is the powers that be (Gazidis/Sanheli/Mslintat) may want to bring in a manager they can control. This would be further problem for the club. We have already seen a glimpse/warning signs with the conduct during the January transfer window. All business made at expedience but not to the overall balance of the squad or strategic benefit in footballing terms in mind. With the Europa possibly a route back… Read more »

Frank Bascombe

Perhaps you should apply?


I think you are looking past the goal entirely: Arsenal need to bring in a new coach they can work with, not control (as you rightly warn against) or go to war with (to which “autonomy” and “dictate” in your conclusions could well lead). I’m not against Blanc or Low, but I’m also not against Viera or Arteta or Buvacs, the latter of which are very risky, but I think we might benefit from that after 20 years of stability and consistency. What I think Arsene is trying to say above is that the next manager/coach at Arsenal needs to… Read more »


@Futsboller Spot on mate. That is exactly why i think we need Viera and Bergkamp back in the traaining ground. Arsene has built a culture here and we need to continue that with guys like Viera and Bergkamp. IMO bringing someone like Allegri or anyone like him is undoing 22 years of hard work. I don’t want that. I want to continue watching attacking football. We should build an empire. What we need is Viera, Bergkamp and Arsenal DNA. More importantly we need a backroom/training ground specialist who can coach the team in 1. Build up play 2. Pressing/Counter-pressing 3.… Read more »


“Make the club his life”

Thats exactly what the club doesn’t need, another eternal incumbent who builds it all up only to break it down again.


I don’t think we will see another Guy Roux or Fergie or Wenger. BUT the new incoming manager should IMO have enough experience in market even with Mslintat and Sanheli because we need the gaffer to be able to dictate what he needs to rebuild this squad. We don’t need major surgery but we need 3 or 4 key players to come in and of course a different approach with the squad. I would stay away from those managers who think they need to rebuild everything like a ‘young and bold’ Luiz Enrique. I would also stear away from sentimentality… Read more »

George Onyango

Benitez fits the bill!

Gooner Sam

Arsene Wenger has been Arsenals best ever coach. Fact. So respect and appreciation is for me unquestionable if you are an Arsenal fan. However we should also point to the decline in the second half of his tenure with eyes open. For sure there were difficult circumstances but ultimately he didn’t want to or wasn’t able to keep up. The past 5-10 years have been very decisive for the fan base largely because of opposing views on his merits / faults. For me that is the sadest part and the part that reflects so badly on the club and its… Read more »


Totally agree, i’m sick of the in-fighting between fellow Gunners, we’ve become a fucking laughing stock because of the likes of aftv and stupid fucking banners.

I hope we can all now get behind the club and whoever’s the new boss. If we keep anything of Arsene’s legacy, lets show some class. Time we made this stadium a united environment that away teams hate to set foot in.


We’re not a laughing stock because of the likes of aftv and “stupid banners”. If anything, they’re the thing others point at to show that our fanbase actually cares about how we’ve declined and flattered to decieve over the years. You want to know why we’re a laughing stock? It’s because of results like Southampton 4-0 Arsenal. Results like Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal. Results like Bayern Munich 10-2 Arsenal on aggregate. And other failures of the squad itself like crashing out in the CL to Monaco, finishing 5th and 6th in the table (anywhere from 20-30 points off the title winners),… Read more »


No, no no, I want a manager who actually has a life, and can be professional and objective about things. I never want to hear about sacrifice again, or have a manager who thinks he owns the club. Arsene is so wrong. Loving a club, caring, and doing a good job are absolutely not the same as making it your life.


Wenger: “Successor must make Arsenal their life.” No he doesn’t. The successor must be able to do the things that you can’t. Here’s what he needs to be able to do: 1. Coach players to defend properly. Great defending isn’t about great individual players, it’s about team-mates working together as a unit. George Graham knew that, so does Simeone. 2. Manage games. The great managers know how to set up their sides for each game. Maureen would spend days preparing for a specific match. These days, sending out players unprepared is an absolute crime. But that’s what Wenger did. And… Read more »


Perfectly put

Oh the days of the socialist wage structure where Denison earnt similar to rvp! Thanks arsene


I think a football club works well when everyone does their job


Sadly arsene you’ve tried to do everything

Clock-End Mike

Let’s get one thing clear in this debate about the possibilities for the new Arsenal manager: there will almost certainly never be another like Arsène Wenger. Opinions seems to be ranged strongly for and against the appointment of an ex-Arsenal player. I know times have changed; but let’s look at George Graham, arguably the most successful Arsenal manager after Chapman and before Wenger. He was a Scot, played his best years for Arsenal, signed by Billy Wright but mostly under under Bertie Mee (and went to Man Utd when he left the Arsenal, and Utd were relegated!); after a few… Read more »


George Graham also came into the job at a far different time than the new manager will be coming into it now. Arsenal only had the likes of Man U and Liverpool to compete with when it came to being the top side in England (and the Red Scouse were beginning their decline at this stage). There were no oil-barons or Russian oligarchs singlehandedly providing clubs like Chelsea and Man City with financial power more in line with the Real Madrids of the world. Globalization and big TV money had yet to arrive in England at that time. Therefore competition… Read more »


Thing is how much money has the club got to a) buy players b) Pay the new coach. No way are they going to pay him as much as Wenger, as he did everything on the football side. We’ve brought a fitness guru over from Australia, a recruitment guy from Dortmund, Sporting director from Barca plus the consultant from team Sky how much in those 4 appointments? If as reported we only have 50mill for new players that’s 1 Man city full back. Can’t see a big time manager being lured by that.


We can start making some money back by selling players whose quality suggests they shouldn’t be at the club, and selling other players that either don’t fit the squad or are being paid far too much to be here. That would raise money from sales, get people off the wage bill, and give the new manager the freedom to start shaping the squad the way he sees fit. Here’s a list of the players I would definitely sell/decline to retain, with reasons given: Wilshere (too much wages for too little performance, doesn’t fit in the first 11) Ramsey (doesn’t fit… Read more »

Clock-End Mike

So, you propose keeping Özil who’s been here 5 years, Chambers (4 years) and Holding (2 years), Cech (3 years), Mkhitaryan, Lacazette (perhaps) and Aubameyang who’ve not been here a year yet, Maitland-Niles and few other virtually untried youngsters. And you want to fill the empty places with players who won’t want big salaries. You really want to close the book on the last few years, don’t you? A team is more than just a collection of talented individuals. I would suggest this is a recipe for mid-table obscurity, against the forlorn hope that a new team might miraculously gel.… Read more »

Clock-End Mike

Oh, and I forgot Hector Bellerín and Mo Elneny. Sorry to them.


Close the book on the last few years? ABSOLUTELY!!!! The last few years have SUCKED! We have underperformed and a lot of the mainstays of those years are a big reason why! Why insist on persisting with players who have already failed, let alone keep paying them big salaries with virtually no hope they will get better (I’m looking at you, Jack Wilshere!)? Why insist on keeping players who are bad fits with the best players on our squad when we can sell them and get enough money to bring in others who are better fits (yes, I’m talking about… Read more »

Clock-End Mike

I beg to differ. True, Liverpool had been dominating the league around the time of Graham’s appointment, and Man Utd were on the rise; but they were by no means the only clubs with whom Arsenal had to compete, and we had no pretensions to being a “top side”; we were a regular top 10 side. Apart from one 3rd and a couple of 4th places, we hadn’t been challenging for the top for 10 years under Terry Neill or Don Howe, averaging about a 6th-7th place finish, neither a team on the rise nor particularly on the wane, when… Read more »

George Onyango

In one week I will be celebrating the appointment of a new Arsenal Manager! I can’t wait. Wenger will be back in France and all this debate that has been raging for three weeks since he was sacked will end! I can’t wait for that!


Merci Arsene!
Now we need someone who can get cash out of Plonker and add to a team who can challenge every team in the PL.

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