I Can’t Live Without Football – Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has insisted that he has no plans of retiring anytime soon.
The Frenchman has been in charge of the Gunners since 1996, bringing home 12 trophies during his reign. However, he has come under fire recently for failing to win a title since 2005’s FA Cup and his apparent unwillingness to break the bank for experienced top-level players.
The ex-Monaco boss, who turns 60 on October 22, has admitted that life without football is a prospect he’d rather not consider. He empathises with Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who announced in 2001 that he’d throw in the towel when 60 rolled around, only to continue on.
“I can understand that [Ferguson’s decision]; I said I would stop at 50,” said Wenger.
“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.”
The physical demands of managing a Premier League club are great, and Wenger figures others will let him know when he becomes too feeble to keep up.
“In our job you need physical strength and to be a bit of an animal to convince people it’s important to win,” said Wenger.
“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 reflected on his 2003-04 ‘Invincibles’ and suggested that his current side, which features no players from that season, must begin bringing championships to the Emirates.
“Without a doubt, going the whole season unbeaten is my greatest achievement,” said Wenger.
“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.”
Wenger concluded: “It’s a very important year because we feel the team is now more mature and can compete at the top, top level.”