The Arsene Wenger era has long since passed at Arsenal, but the Frenchman’s shadow continues to hang over the Emirates Stadium.
After 22 years at the Gunners’ helm, it was arguably the right time for Wenger to step aside, but one of his former players has spoken about his lack of discipline towards certain individuals, perhaps contributing to his eventual downfall.
Cesc Fabregas, in an exclusive interview with Arseblog, suggested that his former manager was scared to do so.
“In general he was very patient,” he said. “He had that with me and many others. […] I think he just didn’t like to kill a player. He played a lot with the mental aspect of the game and he knows, like for example, a player like Thierry Henry or Patrick Vieira they are so strong mentally – he doesn’t need to tell them anything.
“He knows that they know what they have to do, that if they played badly, the next day they will do better. He didn’t need to tell them anything, but in others maybe you know he was maybe a bit scared that if he tells them something as well, maybe they will collapse, they will put their head down.
“He was always a little bit afraid. Maybe in eight years I saw Arsene really angry at half-time at Anfield and a couple of times more.”
For someone who was so well revered at Arsenal, Fabregas’ words will surely hit a nerve.
As captain, Fabregas will have earned the confidence of his manager, but this could well be seen as a betrayal of that trust, despite the fact that they’ve not worked together for many years.
It will be interesting to see what Arsenal fans make of the disclosure – one which shines a light on the behind-the-scenes goings-on as Wenger slowly oversaw a steady decline after initially making such a strong start at Arsenal.