Long may his reign continue!
Arsene Wenger insists he has no plans to retire despite the Arsenal boss approaching his 60th birthday next month.
The Frenchman is in his 14th season in charge of the Gunners, making him the second longest-serving manager in the Premier League behind Sir Alex Ferguson.
Wenger admitted that he had always thought he would call it a day when he turned 50, but now accepts a life without football would be unthinkable.
The former Monaco manager can understand why Ferguson was talked out of retirement at Manchester United in 2001 when he announced he was leaving the game and it seems the Gunners chief is going to be around for a while yet.
“I can understand that (Ferguson’s decision), I said I would stop at 50,” he said.
“I don’t believe in retiring unless you have to. I have never had a day when I think I could live without football.
“I know one day it will happen but you shouldn’t live every day knowing you are going to die – you live knowing that you want to live.”
Will to win
Wenger went on to point out that other people will let him know when to call it a day, adding: “In our job you need physical strength and to be a bit of an animal to convince people it’s important to win.
“But once that physical strength goes it’s a handicap, although you can compensate to an extent with experience.
“But you need in some way to be an animal and you need physical power. You will know if you are not hungry enough any more but other people will tell you if you are not good enough any more.
“It’s not for a manager to know – it’s for other people to know and to tell him.”
Wenger still classes going the whole season unbeaten in 2003/04 as his lasting legacy in football.
“Without a doubt going the whole season unbeaten is my greatest achievement,” he stated.
“If you win the championship you feel someone else can come in and do better than you.
“It was always my dream to go the whole season unbeaten because there’s not much more anyone can do to beat that.” (Sky Sports)
Can’t really argue with that. I don’t see another team going an entire season unbeaten anytime soon. I can also understand Wenger’s philosophy of not wanting to retire until it becomes impossible to do ones job, especially if that job just happens to be one of the best occupations on the planet!
It’s impossible to comprehend where we would be as a football club if we hadn’t brought in Wenger all those years ago. A lot has been said about what the Frenchman has brought to the club and indeed the Premier League as a whole, but in pure footballing success terms he has a modern success rate as good as any, with one obvious Sir Alex shaped exception, and therefore there seems less need for the former Monaco boss to call it quits just yet.