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Arsène Wenger on the secret to his Arsenal longevity: “I never accepted an invitation that would fall 48 hours before a match.”

Speaking at a charity gala at the Olympia music hall in Paris, Arsène Wenger discussed how he managed to have such a long spell at Arsenal.

“I oversaw 1235 matches as Arsenal manager. My biggest fortune was that my health allowed me not to miss a single one. But I also imposed a certain lifestyle upon myself. I never accepted an invitation that would fall 48 hours before a match, for example, and never after a defeat. Two years in a row, we finished in the top 4 in the English league…”

“You remember the titles, the big victories, the finals won or lost, but the life of a manager is much more complex. You are often a lone and you have to make decisions without certainty. Whilst dealing with a lot of constrains. At Arsenal, with the construction of the Emirates, a project that excited me and allowed me to learn an enormous amount of things, we found ourselves in the hands of the banks. Our wage bill could not exceed 50% of our overall budget and we often had to sell our best players at the end of a season. In any case, I never lost three matches in a row… Because after a defeat – and I lost 18% of my matches with Arsenal – I would force myself to throw myself into the next one and think to absolutely not lose it. In fact, after two defeats in a row, a manager is already in quicksand. After three, he is beginning to drown… Aside from that, some managers stay in a job after a series of 6 or 7 defeats, but that has become quite rare.”


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