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Arsene Wenger looks back at his time in charge of Arsenal


Arsene Wenger has revealed his thoughts about his initial impressions of the club when he first arrived from Japanese club Grampus Eight 11 years ago.

Speaking exclusively to Arsenal TV Online, Wenger says his first day at the club involved, “Landing from Japan and making a press conference. I saw this press conference again [recently] and my English was terrible. It’s not much better now, but it was really terrible at the time, so at least I’ve improved my English since.

“I had the vision of a very efficient club, a very traditional and stylish club. What has changed? We tried to respect the values when I arrived, but of course we’ve adapted to the modern game.”

He continues, “It’s been much more foreign influx and it’s been more open to the outside, it’s become more international and more sophisticated in the approach to the game.”

Wenger also recalls his surprise in discovering the club’s potential and an episode with a fan abroad which showed him that people even in the most remote places follow Arsenal’s progress...

“The biggest surprise is how big the potential of this club is and I discovered that when we played in the Champions League against AIK Solna when we went to Wembley and sold out against a Swedish team.”

And talking of his encounter with one fan, Le Boss recalled, “I met a couple at an airport, I think it was Munich, who had just come back from a gap year in India where they worked teaching English in a little village. They told me that in that small village, deep in India, half of the village was for Manchester United and half was for Arsenal Football Club.”

Arsene believes that being an employee at Arsenal has helped improve him as a person and as a manager.

“[Arsenal] has changed me totally,” he admits. “I feel that first of all I worked very hard in the last 10 years and I must say I feel much more mature than when I arrived. [The club] has helped me to mature because of the huge responsibilities you have. But it has also strengthened by belief in what I feel is important in the game, because I could check my beliefs and [Arsenal] gave me that kind of freedom, which is very important in the life of a manager.”

It’s great to hear a manager attributing so much of his progress to his football club and his modesty makes a refreshing change from the likes of Jose Moaninho, who likes nothing better than taking away the plaudits from his team to claim personal credit for everything.

What do you think of Arsene’s interview? And how can you see the squad developing under his tutelage during his extended contract? If you have an opinion on Arsenal’s progress under Wenger, then share it here using our comments section below

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Posted by Gordon Masson on September 10, 2007 in News | Permalink

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