Arsenal Gooners
Welcome Guest to Arsenal Gooners. Please register on this site to discuss about current issues related to Arsenal or any other club. We welcome members who support other clubs to join us as well.

Hope you enjoy our site. Smile

ArsenalGooners Staff

Arsene Wenger Interview

Go down

Arsene Wenger Interview Empty Arsene Wenger Interview

Post by enigma on Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:11 pm

The full transcript of the interview with Arsene Wenger conducted by Sportmail's Chief Sports Writer Martin Samuel at Great Ormond Street hospital on August 6, 2009.

He spoke at length to two journalists, the other being Matthew Syed of The Times. Before the tapes were switched on, considering the nature of the surroundings, we were talking politics, which is one of Wenger’s interests. It seemed as good as any place to start...

Arsene Wenger Interview Article-1206377-05EB7698000005DC-11_468x286

It is interesting that we should be talking about politics, what are your politics, what do you believe?

AW: Politically, I am for efficiency. Economically first. Until the 1980s the world was divided into two, people were either communist or capitalist. The communist model does not work economically, we all realised that, but the capitalist model in the modern world also looks to be unsustainable. You cannot ignore individual interests, but I believe the world evolves slowly. The last 30 years have brought a minimum amount of money for everybody in the west, the next step, politically, would be a maximum amount of money earned by everybody.

That would have to be enforced globally, though, because if one country had a maximum wage, a lot of people might leave and go to a country where it did not exist.

Exactly. But if you look at the world and what is happening at the moment, the biggest issue is the need for a world government. There is no other way out. It will happen, in 50 years maybe, but it will happen. Otherwise you just transfer the problem from one country to the next. It is not the case any more that you are isolated as an employee, that if it does not go well in the other country you are unaffected and continue to live well. Everywhere is inter-connected.

That is logical, the inter-dependence requires a unifying authority to make sure the rules are enforced.

Yes, we are all trying to live now as if that will not happen but in 50 years time Europe will be four per cent of the world’s population. Do you really think you can leave England isolated, France isolated? That’s impossible.

Applied to football, though, what you are saying suggests there should be global rules that are consistent. For example, you could have a maximum wage in football.

It does not look like that at the moment at all. But people continue to accept that 50 people in the world own 40 per cent of the wealth. Is that defendable humanly? Can you accept that when two billion people have two dollars to live per day? I don’t believe that will be accepted for much longer.

So how do you square these beliefs which are quite egalitarian, socialist even, with your work in football which is a completely dog-eat-dog profession, which many think epitomises what is wrong with the capitalist system?

I also think we live in a competitive world, and I love competition. People who are competitive should get rewarded. But the money I am talking about is nothing to do with football players. Football players are small earners compared to these people. They are not a world problem. The best football players in the world still earn very little money compared to people who really earn money.

What I mean is that we have seen the first signs in America during the economic crisis of people revolting against the bonuses, and Barrack Obama said it cannot be acceptable to pay such a huge amount of money anymore. It is the first sign. Even in America, a pure capitalistic country, it is not accepted. It is the first time I have heard a president of the United States say something like that. It will take ten, 20 years but there will be common sense. In a competitive world not everybody can follow the pace, you will leave people out. We now accept that we must take care of these people. You cannot let them die in the streets, people will not accept it. And that is right, too.

You are articulating what Blair would call the third way. Competition, an efficient economic system which creates wealth and the people who are very, very rich give up some of that wealth as a safety net for the people at the bottom.

Maybe the wealth will be limited, yes. But you have to reward the people who make the world progress, the guys who invent vaccines, who invent new aeroplanes, because these are people who work day and night, not people who lie in bed waiting for the next day. People who work make the world live better and to reward these people well is normal. Yet they are not the people who are the wealthiest.

So how do you rationalise that philosophy with the money in your sport? Not just player wages, but the cost of club ownership, of transfers?

I accept that what I say is in contradiction with our football world because the money looks as if it has gone higher and higher since I have been in the job. You compare the average wage ten years ago with today and it has gone up. But we live in a competitive world and that is why I say some of what happens now is financial doping. At Arsenal, we live with the money we produce.

Other clubs have artificial income, from owners. They do not live with the money from the game. We have gates, merchandising, sponsorship, television money, but nothing beyond that. What I fight for it to live within the resources we produce and to pay the players according to our real potential, considering the size of the club. That, to me, is normal.

But you still have massive debts.

We have big debts because we have built the stadium.

Yes, but debt is debt, according to Michel Platini [president of UEFA]. He does not differentiate between debt taken on to finance the transfer policy or debt that comes from building a stadium.

Well, that is a mistake. They are completely different things. When the stadium has been paid for the club will be bigger than before, with greater active capital because of it. Platini talks but he does not know that in London to buy the site cost £125m. In France, they get it for one euro.

Because everything is nationally or municipally funded.


So when you look at Chelsea and Manchester City, how do you feel?

I am not envious.

Irritated, though? When people do not make the distinction that a club like yours is working with economic restraints, and say you are not successful?

What is difficult for me is not that clubs have more money. We try to go a different way that, for me, is respectable. Briefly, these are the basics. I thought: ‘We are building a stadium, so I will get young players in early so I do not find myself exposed on the transfer market without the money to compete with the others. I build a team, and we compensate by creating a style of play, by creating a culture at the club because the boy comes in at 16 or 17 and when they go out they have a supplement of soul, of love for the club, because they have been educated together.

The people you meet at college from 16 to 20, often those are the relationships in life that keep going. That, I think, will give us strength that other clubs will not have.’ And, so far, we have flirted with success. Not last year because we were never in the race for the championship, but before and certainly in 2006 when we were in the Champions League final. The team looks to me to be growing and gelling and being close to it, but at the moment they do not get credit for what they produce and like every team who has not won they still doubt whether they can win.

How do you respond, though, to the criticism of many, including some Arsenal fans, that you have such a strong belief in this philosophy that you are now entrenched? You wouldn’t change it even if you could. You could be two players away and you still wouldn’t buy them.

Yes, but once you get into that position you are in a trap. When Cesc Fabregas was 18, 19, I would play him in a 4-4-2 with Patrick Vieira and I saw it did not work. Then I had the decision to make about letting Patrick go, because Gilberto Silva and Vieira worked, Fabregas and Silva worked, but I could not play Fabregas and Vieira. But Fabregas was 19 and if he did not play I knew he would want to go, so we risked destroying everything, all the work we had put into this player. Now we have that same situation with Jack Wilshere.

He is 17 and we cannot ask him to play every game to win the championship, he will play a few games maybe. But next year he will be ready to play all the time, he will want to play all the time and if we have bought a player in his position he will want to go. That is why you either have a policy of buying confirmed players, top, top players of 23 or over, or doing it as we are. (Animatedly.) The team we have now gets there. At 22 or 23 I think a team is mature enough to deliver and it is a massively important year for our club. I am conscious of that. I know people have no patience anymore.

You think this team gets there this year?


And what would you call getting there?

Winning the championship. It’s an audacious statement, I know. But what else can I define as getting there? If I say coming second people will say I am not interested in winning the championship.

Last edited by enigma on Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:15 pm; edited 1 time in total

Win Lose or Tie, I will be a GOONER till the day I Die...

Number of posts : 114
Location : Nottingham, United Kingdom

Warning Level : Full
Favorite Players : Arsenal Team

Back to top Go down

Arsene Wenger Interview Empty Re: Arsene Wenger Interview

Post by enigma on Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:13 pm

Arsene Wenger Interview Article-1206377-05F2C83F000005DC-956_468x286

You seem to think there are dangers in buying players, though, that it upsets the social dynamic of the club; but suppose somebody said you had to do it? Suppose you were going to be sacked if you did not spend £100m this summer: would, in the end, Arsenal be better for it next season?

Do I spend it on one player, like Real Madrid, or a number?

Up to you.

OK, I’m not against that. If you have the money and you find the one player who can make you win and make the difference, no matter how expensive he is you should do it. But there are not many players in the world who will make a real difference.

Is that why you turned down Real Madrid? When they contacted you they must have spelled out what was going to happen. (Wenger nods.) You could have been in charge of this whole project, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka. Why did you not accept?

I want to go to the end of my job here. I built this team, I want to deliver with this team and I feel if I left I would have in some way betrayed my own beliefs. It is as simple as that. It was nothing to do with what Real Madrid has done. It was about Arsenal. I have a project here that I started three or four years ago and I want to reach the end of it. I could not leave this team at this stage of their development.

Would it not mean as much to you, then, to be successful the way Real Madrid hope to be this season, by just spending the biggest money on the best players?

I believe in work, in connections between the players, I think what makes football great is that it is a team sport. You can win in different ways, by being more of a team, or by having better individual players. It is the team ethic that interests me, always. I am not a big fan of tennis, the big tournaments, but I like the Davis Cup because then it becomes a team sport. I like golf when it becomes the Ryder Cup. It is strange, I know.

There seems to be tension there between the man who defines himself by competition, but does not want to win at all costs, because he turned down Real Madrid to stay at Arsenal.

If I went to Real Madrid tomorrow I would spend at all costs, but what I think is more important is to look at what you have at your own club and analyse how you can be successful. Arsenal will be more successful by building a new stadium, but it is not easy to build a new stadium and remain where you are. Look at all the clubs who have built new stadiums and where they are now: Derby County, Leicester City, Coventry City, Southampton. They all went down.

Is it also hard to remain where you are, and to aspire to win, yet retaining a commitment to very attractive football? I argue with a guy at my local who says if you would just compromise and be pragmatic Arsenal might win more.

Yes, but if I asked you who was the best team in the world you would say Brazil. And do they play good football? Yes. Which club won everything last year? Barcelona. Good football. I am not against being pragmatic, because it is pragmatic to make a good pass, not a bad one. If I have the ball, what do I do with it? Could anybody argue that a bad solution like just kicking it away is pragmatic just because, sometimes, it works by accident?

Would you describe football as artistic then? Do you see an aesthetic quality when you watch it, not just functionality and efficiency? Does it move you?

I believe the target of anything in life should be to do it so well that it becomes an art. When you read some books they are fantastic, the writer touches something in you that you know you would not have brought out of yourself. He makes you discover something interesting in your life. If you are living like an animal, what is the point of living? What makes daily life interesting is that we try to transform it to something that is close to art. And football is like that. When I watch Barcelona, it is art.

So how do you react, subjectively, to football? You watch a lot of games on video, do you respond only intellectually?

I discover things I can use, that I can transfer to my players in a game, but other times I enjoy a game as you would enjoy music. I sit there, and sometimes I will focus for only 20 minutes, but in that time I really focus, on every little thing. When the guy has the ball what could he have done, what could the guy next to him have done? Other times I will watch but speak with my wife, like a normal guy whose job is not football. There are moments in the game that really strike me, that I think ‘I can use that, I can develop that with my team’.

You talk of football as art, and it clearly has cultural significance to you, but a great part of French life centres around food and wine, and your father was a restaurateur, yet that is something you have denied yourself all your life. Is it a case of compromising or suffering for your art?

I feel you can practice all week and then destroy the quality of your game because the guys do not eat well or drink too much. That is stupid. You work for six days on the trot and then destroy what you have prepared. You want to have everything on your side that makes you competitive. As a manager, you have to live like a player. The time when you could go out on the booze, have too much to drink, and come in the next morning and not be focussed, telling the players to do this or that, is over. Finished. The players are more demanding.

You are 60 next birthday, though. That is a long time to live like a player. It was always said that the sacrifices sports people make are tolerable because they only last until the age of 35, say. You are going to spend your whole lifetime making these compromises.

Yes, but for every passion there is a big price to pay. I say that to the players. When you are hungry, it is only your stomach that is telling you it is hungry, it is just a part of your body. When you are hungry for success, it is the whole person, the whole life that wants that success. It is not just one part of your body that wants to win on Saturday afternoon, there is something in the structure of your personality that says this is vital to me and it is worth organising my life around this desire. That is the core of your life. I do a lot of things I do not like to do. I would prefer to be able to go out and enjoy my life, but I think that tomorrow I will be mentally dead, I will forget something or I will not be competitive.

Yet with a person who invents a vaccine or an aeroplane, you can see why that is important. I played professional sport [Matthew Syed was formerly Britain’s No 1 table tennis player] and sometimes I would do all the diets, all the training, win the tournament and think: ‘Does it matter?’

That is like post-natal depression. It is the same as the girl who has just had the baby. It is an anti-climax.

Do you get that?

Of course. When you get on that high, I imagine it is like the guy who takes a drug. If you put your body, your nervous system, on a high you have to become low. There is no other way.

Have you ever questioned whether football is important enough to dedicate your entire life to it?

Of course.

And how did you answer that?

I decided that the most important thing in your life is to have a target and to go for it. All the rest is even more stressful. It is worse to have no target. You get up in the morning you enjoy one minute, then the next minute, what do you do then? Somewhere in all of us is the desire to feel we are useful, that we have some qualities and we can demonstrate them.

And your desire to do that would be greater than most.

I am not sure. Your drive could be in a different area. I believe top level sport is a great lesson. Every Saturday there is an exam and, if you fail, everybody will say you are an idiot. I am not saying it is right or wrong, it is just the way it is. When you lose a game, you ask why, and you might decide that the way you prepared the team was not good enough, so you prepare again from next Monday guided by the fact that you do not want to disappoint people again. You become rigorous in your preparations and that is how I became the person I am today. I know I look like a robot.

Would robot be a fair description?

Yes, to the extent your life is oriented to the robotic: but everyone who has targets is like that.

Do you have to be successful to justify that level of commitment then?


So if there was a situation in which you thought you could no longer be competitive as Arsenal manager would that strike at the heart of you?

You would have to answer the question whether you were not good enough anymore, or is the policy you have conducted not good enough and if the answer is yes, then something else has to happen.

But if your happiness is very much bound up with success and failure and you feel life is about having a target and achieving it, would not being able to hit those targets massively affect your self-esteem and identity?

If you want to be successful in life it is because what you do has meaning to you. Writing has meaning to you or you would do nothing. You want to convince people that you have the quality to do it.

So who are you trying to convince as manager of Arsenal?

When you are manager of Arsenal, if you lose a game you drive home and you feel completely sick. Then you think, as well, of all the families at home whose weekend is dead because of it. So you feel that weight, that responsibility, too. Sometimes it is good to ignore it, and to become a bit selfish, though, because if you think about that too much you can become crazy.

Look on the bright side, then: all the families of the team you have lost to will be really happy.

When I was at Nancy as a young coach, the father of Michel Platini was a director of the club. We had a really poor team and we won one game out of every three. One day he said to me: ‘Do you know what I really cannot stand anymore? To see the other bench jumping up and down.’

Is that how you felt about Alan Pardew [the former West Ham United manager who clashed on the touchline with Wenger, after celebrating a West Ham goal at Upton Park]?

Yes, I thought about Platini’s dad after that. One of the things I discovered in Japan was from watching sumo wrestling. At the end you can never tell who has won the fight, and who has lost, because they do not show their emotion because it could embarrass the loser. It is unbelievable. That is why I try to teach my team politeness. It is only here in England that everybody pokes their tongue out when they win.

I think that explains the contradictions people sometimes see in you on the touchline. Everyone thinks of you as being this very cerebral, controlled person, and then the camera cuts to you and you’ve completely lost it.

Of course that happens to me, but at different periods in the year. Sometimes you feel under more stress or there will be a time when you have less resistance to nervousness.

Win Lose or Tie, I will be a GOONER till the day I Die...

Number of posts : 114
Location : Nottingham, United Kingdom

Warning Level : Full
Favorite Players : Arsenal Team

Back to top Go down

Arsene Wenger Interview Empty Re: Arsene Wenger Interview

Post by enigma on Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:27 pm

Arsene Wenger Interview Article-1206363-05F2EE6C000005DC-828_468x470

You cannot be by nature an insecure person. One of the things you have done this summer, selling two of your players, Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure, to Manchester City, who are perceived as serious challengers to your place in the top four, strikes me as the action of a very confident man. Perhaps too much so.

True, but in the end you come to the conclusion, can you stop Manchester City creating a big team? I don’t believe so, because if we do not sell Adebayor they will buy Samuel Eto’o or somebody else because they have the resources, they have so much money. My only question was whether we could afford to sell Adebayor; where he went was less important. To be scared of that would be the problem.

You described yourself as an emotional person when responding to stress. Beyond football, are you emotional, do you watch films and find them moving?

I am not extrovert. I do not like to show my emotions. In my job I learned very early on to dominate my emotions. You can cause a lot of damage if you express your feelings with the team. After a game you can do fantastic damage by going overboard and saying negative things you cannot repair. I learnt the final part of mastering your emotions in Japan. You have people there, a man loses his wife in the morning, he comes to work and does not speak about it. They do not wish to disturb others with their problems.

Not always healthy though, is it?

It is criminal for that person. Whenever there is trauma in the world, psychologists encourage people to talk about it, because it is important it comes out of you. I am sure I pay a price sometimes for holding it in.

How is that manifested?

I don’t know what it does to my health. I know it pays a price on my head, that is for sure.

Are you including the times when you play down an incident or say you haven’t seen something bad involving one of your players, when we all know you have?

Yes, because you are thinking, ‘Why has he done that?’ and you know you cannot explain it. But once you have this reputation for saying you did not see what happened, even when you genuinely did not see it, nobody believes you. But at other times, I saw it, and I said I didn’t see it to protect the player, because I could not find any rational explanation to defend him.

You take on a lot for those players. You are very disciplined, you work very hard, you keep your emotions in check. How would you describe your relationship with the players: is it paternalistic or purely professional?

Comprehensive. Professional. It is also a job where you have to have an optimistic view of human nature or you become paranoid. You always have to think that a guy wants to do well. I have known some very gifted coaches but they could not stand not being in control of what other people said and did. And it is a job where you cannot be suspicious. In every company, you have a boss who when he gets the job suddenly becomes suspicious of everybody. They finish mad. A coach is there to help, so he must be optimistic about human nature, he must think that if he helps in the correct way the players will respond.

Do you think that was the problem with Jose Mourinho [former Chelsea manager], that he was suspicious of everybody’s motives?

I don’t know him well enough, so I cannot judge him, but he was certainly suspicious of me.

And Sir Alex Ferguson [Manchester United manager]?

Now we have a respectful relationship, but that was not always the case. It has become a lot better since we have stopped competing with Manchester United at the top level.

Do you become good friends with any other managers?

No. And it has nothing to with the quality of the person. On the day, it is you or them, so there is always mistrust. You cannot be completely open about the players, for instance. Say you are the manager of Everton and I am playing against you on Saturday. I call you up the week before and we are talking. I cannot say, ‘this player is driving me mad at the moment’, because then you will know before we play that I have a problem with my players. There are managers I respect, and I respect what they do, but you cannot be completely friendly and open up.

Is that why you do not go in for a drink after matches?

Most of the time, yes. What can you say if you have won? And if you have lost all you want to do is get home and prepare for the next game.

What about the people you work with, does there have to be a distance and different sort of barrier with them, too?

There is distance because I am the boss, but there has to be trust or it could not work.

How do you relate to players now? You are 59, a different generation, and they live such different lifestyles. Even when you were a young player at Strasbourg you came to Cambridge and took a three-week English course one summer rather than go on holiday. You were different to your team-mates, more studious, even then. What have you got in common with the dressing-room?

I came to England because even then I could not imagine leading my life only in France. I wanted to lead an international life and I thought I would have to know English. I had a bi-country education: Germany and France. I was French but with an influence from Germany, even in the way I see football, I feel it. I was born just after the war, I was brought up to hate Germany, but that excited my curiosity because when I went over the border I saw that German people were no different, they just wanted to be happy too, and I thought this was completely stupid to hate them. So that is what made me want to live all over the world.

But from an early age you seem to have had a very different world view to the stereotypical footballer.

I went to Hungary on holiday for a month, too, because I wanted to understand how the Communist system worked. I travelled everywhere. I came back home convinced it would never work.

Do you think any player in your dressing-room would be thinking like that now?

The common denominator of successful teams is that the players are intelligent. That does not always mean educated. They can analyse a problem and find a solution. The common denominator in a top level person is that they can objectively assess their performance. You speak to a player after the game and ask him to rate his performance, if he analyses well, you know he is the sort who will drive home thinking, ‘I did this wrong, I did that wrong’. His assessment will be correct and, next time, he will rectify. That player has a chance. The one who has a crap game and says he was fantastic, you worry for him. This is true beyond football.

Considering this constant process of assessment, when do you switch off, when do you find the world away from football – or does it not exist for you? Does football dominate all of the time?

Yes. When you are 30 years in this job you have to be, somewhere, crazy, because you cannot say it has not had a psychological impact. You live it, you think it, it is impossible to escape.

So there is madness in your obsession?


Is that true of anyone who is truly exceptional at sport?

Yes. I worked with Dennis Bergkamp for 10 years and I have not seen a man more obsessed with every little technical thing. He was unbelievable, on and off the field. Thierry Henry the same. You could call Thierry at home, 10 o’clock every night, and he was at home. At 23 years of age. And talk to Thierry about football: you cannot beat him.

Do you ever do that? The 10 o’clock phone call, as a test?

Most of the time, no, because you cannot control people in London - and you have to be optimistic.

Do you ever wish you could be free of this obsession, though? Do you feel it is a hindrance? Does your wife, or your daughter not say, ‘Arsene, I wish you would just chill out’?

Look, Sir Bobby Robson just died. Did you see the last game he watched? Just a charity game, but still he had that spark in his eye when he was at a football game. He could have sat at home, yet he chose to go there. He had two, three days to live and that is where he wanted to be. Yet what would he have done at home, sit there and think about dying, maybe be terrified? The way to get out was to go to his passion.

Win Lose or Tie, I will be a GOONER till the day I Die...

Number of posts : 114
Location : Nottingham, United Kingdom

Warning Level : Full
Favorite Players : Arsenal Team

Back to top Go down

Arsene Wenger Interview Empty Re: Arsene Wenger Interview

Post by enigma on Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:38 pm

Arsene Wenger Interview Article-1206363-05EC4F56000005DC-732_306x423

Do you fear life after football?

Of course.

What will happen to the passions and drives and desires you have if you are no longer at the top of your game as a manager?

I cannot forever be at the top as a manager because you need physical strength, some bestial strength to do this job. You need that to fight and to win. That goes slowly throughout your life but you compensate with experience, you anticipate problems, you understand more, you are more comprehensive with players, but I still think I will be in football, maybe as a chairman or some other job.

You don’t think there is something else you would like to discover?

Art would be interesting for me, I think.

What painters do you like?

At the moment I am more into abstraction.

Do you go to galleries?

I go because I have friend who is president of the art galleries in Nice and when I have time I go there. So I am not into it yet, but it could be of interest.

Have you been to the Tate Modern?

Yes, but before I was here as a manager. Not since.

That’s not the Tate Modern. That’s Tate Britain. Tate Modern is where the main abstract stuff is now, you’d like it. What about films? What films do you like?

I have seen many, mostly from the 1970s, Fellini, Fassbinder, that period. The last one I really liked was The Deer Hunter. It is a classic. In the last ten years I have not seen many movies.

So what do you watch when you get home?

Football. Politics. Debates about society. Then I can switch off when I want, I do not have to follow a series. The political debates around the American elections were fantastic, like in France. For me, it was Arsenal versus Manchester United.

That is something you could be, a political advisor. You could go into politics.

I could have gone into politics, yes. There are parallels. The value of experience is that you can better dominate your nature and, on television, the politician who loses the debate is the one who gets nervous. As soon as you become aggressive on television you have lost. It is a basic rule.

That is probably true in sport as well.

Yes. That is what everybody says about Kevin Keegan at Newcastle United, that he lost the league because he got aggressive with Ferguson. It is not true, they lost the championship because they had no defence, but that is what people think. That night, people got the message. They thought: ‘For f***’s sake, he’s lost the plot.’

Who is the greatest political debater you have seen?

Nicolas Sarkozy [president of France] is good. Obama has a lot of charisma, but not a lot of practice in politics. He is a guy who can change the world but he does not have 20 years of politics behind him, so not to make mistakes. Sarkozy is 54 and you can read speeches he made at 24. That is a massive difference.

Did you stay up all night to watch the American election?

Yes. I have friends in the States, the minute Obama got elected they got text messages thanking them for their help. It was such a well organised campaign.

Earlier on, you drew comparisons with politicians when you talked about dominating your emotions, dominating your fear, dominating your nerves. It seems essential that you do this.

If you think about your education, it is about fear. It is fear of not being successful, of disappointing people, of disappointing yourself. Press conferences are all about fear. ‘What will happen if you lose? What will happen if you do not win? Why do you not buy players?’ It is all guided by fear.

So how do you rise above it, particularly when if things are not going well, you are bound to be asking some of those questions yourself?

That is the problem. When you allow that to infiltrate your brain so deeply on a daily basis you then become guided by this fear without noticing it and you fall below the line, your life drags you down. If you do not make the effort to rise above it you are down there being punched right and left, so much that you do not even notice anymore. Once you are in that state, it becomes very different to say to your team, ‘my friends, I believe you are good’. Life is full of examples of the influence of belief, of mindset. You go out in the morning and see a sign of good luck or bad luck, and that affects your mood for the rest of the day. You walk under a ladder by mistake and start thinking differently.

That is how the placebo effect works, you take a pill that does nothing, but you believe it to be helpful and it works. But who is lifting you up, who do you turn to if you have a problem?

There is always somebody, but I am not talking about real difficulties that exist. I am saying we spend a big part of our life being down there without noticing it, and without reason. That is something that is really important because the time in your life is limited, you do not know how long you will be here and it is stupid to spend that time down there. If you are conscious of it, then it is not difficult to lift yourself up. And being a football manager is a job in which everyone wants to push you down. So self awareness is important.

Does that get to you, the negativity?

I am a normal human being with weaknesses. This job can be like quicksand when you lose and it is hard to always be positive when you are losing games.

To maintain this attitude, then, do you say things publicly sometimes that you find hard to endorse in your mind?

Many times.

I am thinking of a couple of years ago when you said you were going to win the league, when you were six points behind in April and about to play at Manchester United, having already lost 4-0 to them in the FA Cup. We were all thinking, ‘he can’t really believe that’.

I agree, the objective judgement from outside was more realistic then. On the other hand, no great thing has ever been accomplished without somebody’s crazy belief.

Yes, there have been experiments in which irrational optimism has proved a better predictor of outcomes for a person. A certain degree of it can be helpful.

The biggest things in life have been achieved by people who, at the start, we would have judged crazy. And yet if they had not had these crazy ideas the world would have been more stupid.

One final football issue. There seems to have been a change in stance from the board. They seem to have backed away from statements about what a lot of money you have to spend. Did you ask them to do that?

I think they grew to understand that it put me under tremendous pressure, and was not helpful. To be fair, I think they were under pressure when they made those statements, too. We have an economic model that is easily explained. Now we have sold players there is money available to buy.

So you think Arsenal can achieve their aims with the current financial structure, without inviting people like Alisher Usmanov in from outside?

Yes, we have an economic model that is viable as long as we stay at the top. In six or seven years time, it will be very easy financially, but it is not my job to be involved in that. A company works best when everybody does the job he is paid to do.

So you are not pressuring the board to accept outside money?

I agreed on a structure to the club four or five years ago, I believed it could work and we are at the period now when we will see whether I was right or not. That is why this season is so interesting.

Win Lose or Tie, I will be a GOONER till the day I Die...

Number of posts : 114
Location : Nottingham, United Kingdom

Warning Level : Full
Favorite Players : Arsenal Team

Back to top Go down

Arsene Wenger Interview Empty Re: Arsene Wenger Interview

Post by Quiver on Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:11 pm

I think i will read it tomorrow, its too long.

Arsene Wenger Interview Arshavine
Win Lose or Tie, I'll be a Gunner till the day I Die !!!!! Arsene Wenger Interview 29v1nva

Wreck'em Tech Arsene Wenger Interview Qx5v1f

Go GatorsArsene Wenger Interview Xfcgfl

Number of posts : 610
Location : USA

Warning Level : Full
Favorite Players : Arsenal Team

Back to top Go down

Arsene Wenger Interview Empty Re: Arsene Wenger Interview

Post by Sponsored content

Sponsored content

Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum