‘I regret it’ – Arsene Wenger wished he’d left Arsenal long before his 22-year stint came to an end

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Though his last couple of years at Arsenal petered out and, ultimately, tarnished his legacy at the club, Arsene Wenger’s love affair with the Gunners was remarkable for a number of reasons.

When the Frenchman took over at the club, he revolutionised the way in which players and staff did things, both on and off the pitch.

He was so successful at it too, that it was Arsenal who became the biggest challengers to Man United’s dominance under Sir Alex Ferguson.

In this day and age, a 22-year tenure is virtually unheard of, and Wenger has admitted that he wished he’d left the club earlier than he eventually did.

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“I identified myself completely with the club – that was the mistake I made. My fatal flaw is I love too much where I am…where I was. I regret it. I should have gone somewhere else,” he said on the Arsene Wenger: Invincible documentary, cited by The Telegraph.

“Sometimes I wonder – was something broken after that ‘Invincible’ season?”

“2007 was a decisive point. It was the first time I could feel there were tensions inside the board. I was torn between being loyal to the club and being loyal to David [Dein].

“I still today wonder if I did the right thing because life was never exactly the same after. I thought, ‘I have now to go to the end of this project’.

“I could have gone to the French national team. The English national team twice or three times even. I could have gone twice to Real Madrid. I could have gone to Juventus, Paris St Germain, even Man United.”

It’s easy to look back with hindsight and believe that things could, and probably should have been done differently.

However, Wenger’s legacy in the red half of north London will stand up to scrutiny in the fullness of time.

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