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Wenger "What is hard is the feeling that something is finishing"

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@mattspiro Matt Spiro

Arsene Wenger, front page of L'Equipe mag: 'What is hard is the feeling that something is finishing.' Big four-page interview inside #AFC

@mattspiro Matt Spiro

Wenger hints he'll soon quit. Asked by LEquipe if new long term project is starting: “No. For me we're now talking short term, it's obvious”

@DarrenCanalPlus Darren Tulett

Editorial in L'Equipe Mag suggests Wenger could quit #afc in 2012 if Gunners win a trophy, and they see him (wishful?) at #PSG next year!

@mattspiro Matt Spiro

More Wenger: "But whether it's with me or someone else, it changes nothing. My successor needs foundations on which he can be successful"

@mattspiro Matt Spiro

Wenger asked if he'll stay another 15 yrs? 'Non'. Will you be there next season? "We'll look at things at the end of this one"

@benlyt Ben Lyttleton

Worrying quotes for #AFC fans from #Wenger in France today. (see @mattspiro). He's not even committing to staying next season. 'We'll see.'

@benlyt Ben Lyttleton

#Wenger claims to have never broken a contract in his career, yet sounds done in by Nasri/Cesc leaving. 'Hard to take, if they go at 24.'

@mattspiro Matt Spiro

Here's the front page of @lequipe_mag: bit.ly/P1ntH Amazingly frank interview with Arsene Wenger who admits he's nearing end at #AFC

@mattspiro Matt Spiro

Wenger: 'For first time I lost young players, who were reaching maturity. I suffered. It's painful to lose key men u'd invested a lot in'

@mattspiro Matt Spiro

Wenger says bad results in spring: "broke the squad. They could have been extraodinary. I often call it 'the season of the last minute'."

@DarrenCanalPlus Darren Tulett

Wenger: "I have no wish to leave Arsenal. And the difficulties at the start of the season just strengthened my desire to fight." #afc

@benlyt Ben Lyttleton

#Wenger insists he remains 100pc focused on #AFC & shrugs off #PSG links. 'I told owners Kombouare is good coach.'

@DarrenCanalPlus Darren Tulett

Wenger: "My 15 years here have passed at the speed of light. And I remain addicted to the next match." #afc

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Would be heartbroken to see this guy leave.

Fuck all the arsenal fans wanting the prof out.

Fuck Cesc and fuck Nasri too.

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I dont understand people blaming the players who left "prematurely"

Should blame Wenger and your board for not putting the money on the table.

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So he puts all us fans through the "transitional period" bullshit and now that 2 young players have left he has put his own future in doubt.

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or plays mindgames with the board so they fix up their stance because otherwise he might just fuck off

fuck knows what to make of it all really

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Like I said once Wenger turns it around, he'll shit on the Arsenal fans that turned on him and deservedly so.

The day Wenger leaves before Peter Hill-Wood is an epic fail in Arsenal's history.

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"I am completely committed to this club. It is the club of my life. It was a conversation where I said that if you don't do well enough, that is the only way I would consider it [leaving] - if I am below what is expected of the club."

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So here is the FULL interview

There has been much discussion of Arsene Wenger’s interview with L’Equipe last weekend. The manager himself clarified some of the reported comments in his post-game press conference after the 2-1 win over Norwich, but to make sure everything is in context, here is the full transcript of the interview.

Translation very kindly provided by @mattspiro – and because it’s long it’s split into two pages.

L’EQUIPE MAGAZINE, Saturday November 19, 2011

The interview, conducted by Jean-Marc Butterlin, took place in the manager’s office at London Colney on Monday October 31, two days after the Chelsea game. The journalist spent one and a half hours talking to Wenger.

ARSENE WENGER: “In the storm, I’ve been solid and I’ve stayed on course.”

L’Equipe: When we reflect on your 15 years as Arsenal manager, we have the impression that after some glorious seasons, last summer was the worst time of all…

Wenger: Yes, definitely. There are periods when everything is easy and there are moments when suddenly everything becomes difficult. That’s part of the job and it’s an experience any manager can go through, with highs and lows.

L’Equipe: Did it not feel like things were suddenly slipping away from you, especially during the summer, during the transfer window?

Wenger: The hard thing is the feeling that something is ending. You had a project with guys that you took on at the age of 18 and they leave at the age of 23. That’s not what you dream about. What’s more, on top of the players that left, there were injuries. It’s simple: last season, our midfield was built around Wilshere, Nasri, Diaby and Fabregas. Then we find ourselves without Diaby and Wilshere who are injured for a long time, and without Nasri and Fabregas who have gone to Manchester City and Barça.

L’Equipe: Do you know who once said that the success of a season depends 90 percent on the summer’s recruitment?

Wenger: Yes, I said that and I still think it. I know that my recruitment has been criticised, but personally I think I have succeeded beyond my own hopes. I’m happy with Gervinho, Mertesacker, Santos, Park, Benayoun and Arteta. I’ve never signed so many players (so quickly) before, although I didn’t really have a choice.

L’Equipe: From the outside, it looks like a case of patching up…

Wenger: I acknowledge that not everything was planned. Above all, what wasn’t planned was Wilshere’s long injury and Vermaelen having to undergo surgery. Losing 8-2 at Manchester United wasn’t planned either, nor was Gibbs’ injury. When that happens you are obliged to act quickly, to adapt. I bought five players in three days at the end of August, and am happy about it.

L’Equipe: Still, there was a lot of commotion and it seems to be the end of the hopes you placed in a generation of players. Do you not see that as a personal failure?

Wenger: For the first time since I have been here, I lost young players who were reaching maturity. I suffered. Because it is painful to separate with key players who you have invested a lot in, it’s painful when the results are not good enough. We are fighting with clubs that have far superior means to us. We cannot account for the difference in the financial potential of clubs like Manchester City and ourselves.

L’Equipe: You can’t ignore the fact that the results haven’t been there. That might have worn down certain players and contributed to the exodus…

Wenger: Of course that played a part. In this respect, last season broke the squad. They could have been extraordinary. I often call it ‘the season of the last minute’. We lost the League Cup final in the last minute, we lost to Liverpool in the last minute (in fact Arsenal drew in April, Kuyt equalising in 12th minute of added time), we lost the chance of qualifying, with only ten players, against Barcelona with Bendtner’s opportunity. At Tottenham, we were 3-1 up and got pegged back. When that happens your backs are against the wall. When you no longer have anything to get your teeth into, one and a half months is a long time to spend together. We felt like the winds wouldn’t stop blowing against us and yet we were so close to exploding (winning) everything.

L’Equipe: How much responsibility do you take for the collapse?

Wenger: If I acknowledge one mistake, it was wanting to win everything. We played 27 matches between November and January. After that we started to run out of petrol.

L’Equipe: You wanted to win everything because above all you couldn’t afford to win nothing… again?

Wenger: Yes. To try to catch one, we ran after all the hares.

L’Equipe: What about this season?

Wenger: I’ll do the same thing. It’s the only response I have to pressure.

L’Equipe: Does the current team have what it takes to resist, to shoulder the pressure?

Wenger: I don’t know. Paradoxically, our bad start to the season has lowered the pressure. People are saying: ‘Arsenal are going to battle against relegation, they’ll do nothing’. That’s why our victory at Chelsea had such a resounding effect. Nobody believed we were capable of that. People had downplayed our wins so much up until then, it was a clap of thunder in the English sky.

L’Equipe: Was it a positive turning point?

Wenger: We will see where we are situated in December.

L’Equipe: Do you have a clue?

Wenger: None at all. We are coming from a long way back. We’ve had to rebuild at a time when there was a total lack of confidence. That takes time.

L’Equipe: It terms of technique and tactics, we have seen your team struggle like never before. Have you looked to change your footballing principles… become less ambitious?

Wenger: Our style is founded on a form of insouciance when it comes to risk-taking, and this is something that had disappeared. As a result, there was no longer spontaneity in our play and we were in difficulty. So we decided to try to get some ‘small’ wins. Confidence is something you lose quickly and regain slowly. You climb back up the slope step by step. But I never considered renouncing my playing philosophy. On the contrary, I told myself that if I also abandoned the playing habits that this club has been founded on until now, the team would become disorientated. If I tell the players tomorrow ‘hit the ball long towards the forwards’, they will be even more unsettled. I have kept faith in our style, knowing all along that it would be hard work and laborious.

L’Equipe: Did you not sense doubt creeping in to the dressing room, and the dressing room losing its faith?

Wenger: No, and that’s what makes me optimistic, the fact the squad has remained positive, that they haven’t questioned the ideas. During the difficult period, something has maybe been forged; there has been a global evaluation that has taken time. I also needed this squad to give something back to me.

L’Equipe: You have said that in order to leave a mark you need to win trophies…

Wenger: Have we not won trophies? What you also need is to be consistent at the highest level. This club has participated in the Champions League for 14 seasons. Can one really talk about blank years? Between 2005 and 2011, we have played a final, a semi-final and two quarter-finals. But I don’t want to settle for that. I would have liked to win the Champions League and I still dream of doing so. We have always flirted with trophies, and fought for the top places in a fantastic league.

L’Equipe: Have you feared for your job?

Wenger: No, that is something you store somewhere deep down, but you don’t speculate about it. There has been no indication from within the club that would make me think about that.

L’Equipe: You even received an ovation at the last AGM, whereas a year ago you were heavily criticised…

Wenger: People have understood that I am doing what I can and that, in the face of a storm, I have been solid and I’ve stayed on course. They also know that I was working on a long-term project and that I turned down some huge offers in order to accompany it. People are grateful for that. They have opted for unity and shown faith. I have been loyal. They know I am still 100 percent committed to this club.

L’Equipe: But it looks like you are obliged to rebuild once more. Just like at the start…

Wenger: It’s true, a new cycle is starting. When we left Highbury, I set my sights on a long-term project with a young team. It didn’t produce the results I’d hoped for. Yes, we have to rebuild.

L’Equipe: With you? Will you embark on another long spell?

Wenger: No, as far as I am concerned, we are now talking pretty short term, that’s obvious. But whether it is with me or someone else, that changes nothing. The person that comes in after me will need foundations on which he can obtain success.

L’Equipe: Will you still be here in 15 years?

Wenger: No.

L’Equipe: And next season?

Wenger: We’ll look at things at the end of this one. I still have two years to run on my contract.

L’Equipe: Your name has been circulating for a few months in Paris…

Wenger: Let it circulate.

L’Equipe: You are very close to PSG’s Qatari owners. That could be helpful, no?

Wenger: There’s no point in trying to lead me down that path. I told you I am totally implicated in what I am doing. I don’t for a second have a desire to leave Arsenal. And the difficulties we had at the start of the season have only sharpened my desire to fight. When they asked for my opinion, I encouraged the PSG owners to have faith in Antoine Kombouare, who is a very good coach. There you go, just because we are friends doesn’t mean we are going to work together. Sometimes it is even better to avoid it in order to stay friends.

L’Equipe: Why has your marriage with Arsenal worked so well?

Wenger: The meeting came about at the right time. The club needed someone to take on a vast project and I have taken an active role. I like courage and this club is courageous. In 1996, for a club that represented the tradition of English football, going and getting an unknown Frenchman from Japan was a bit rash. So historically, Arsenal have been courageous, innovatory. They try to do things with class and style. That’s why I defend them with so much fierceness. Because of these values. They mean a lot to me and I like to defend them.

L’Equipe: Your personal investment goes way beyond the pitch. Do you consider yourself the architect of modern-day Arsenal?

Wenger: I have had the fortune of working with complete freedom. We have established a style of play, constructed a new training complex, a new stadium. At the end of the day, whoever is the owner or the manager, the club has a viable model. Arsenal do not need to worry about investors running away because we only spend what we earn. It hasn’t been easy to keep our standards up whilst spending 500 million euros on the Emirates Stadium, including 150 million on the pitch alone. Bayern Munich, for example, spent one euro, a symbolic sum, on their pitch at the Allianz Arena. At this moment in time, there’s only 116 million left to reimburse. Arsenal can sleep in peace.

L’Equipe: What would you consider to be your personal stamp after 15 years? Have you participated in the technical evolution of the English game?

Wenger: It would be presumptuous for me to claim that. Sometimes I hear it said. What counts is the mark I leave on the club, the style of play that has been adopted at every level, by all the youth teams. With time, like Ferguson at Manchester United, I have become part of the historic memory of the game. The real luxury in this job is having time.

L’Equipe: Does 15 years feel like a long time?

Wenger: In fact, the time goes by at the speed of light, and all of these years haven’t at all changed the fact that I’m always looking ahead to the next match, hoping it will be a perfect match but knowing it won’t be. 15 years have gone by but I remain addicted to the next match, like a drug.

L’Equipe: Why are you smiling?

Wenger: I was thinking about a 10 year old kid who might have come to watch Arsenal for the first time with his dad in 1996. I was thinking that he’d now be 25, and he will have known only one chap on the bench. That makes me think I’m the manager of an entire generation.

L’Equipe

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What is hard is the feeling that something is finishing

this is actually what i want to say ,perhaps it is fit for this thread ! ^_)

g.gif

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Fully enjoyed this interview

I have said his tactically naive,stubborn in the market,not built for European trophies etc etc

At the end of the day you cannot help but love this guy!

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Thoroughly enjoyed that:

L’Equipe: With you? Will you embark on another long spell?

Wenger: No, as far as I am concerned, we are now talking pretty short term, that’s obvious. But whether it is with me or someone else, that changes nothing. The person that comes in after me will need foundations on which he can obtain success.

Are Arsenal fans now happy?

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