If you wanted an intelligent but emotional summary of what football is and what it means to us, who better to ask than Arsene Wenger…?
What has Arsene Wenger been up to since he left Arsenal in 2018?
The short answer is that he’s been keeping busy watching football, working for Fifa and popping up here and there to dispense the sort of learned wisdom he always has done.
But how has he really been filling the hours? Particularly bearing in mind his maxim that he only really felt he were present when on the pitch, either on the training ground or on the touchline.
And when we asked him about that in our big special interview on The Totally Football Show, he essentially summed up why football is so important for us all.
“It’s difficult. Daily life is difficult for everybody: it’s boring, repetitive, and it’s a fight, every day. Football gets you out of your daily boring life, and the match even more so. Life is about intense moments, then after that waiting for other intense moments.”
Quite. So, with that in mind is he done with management entirely? And more specifically, would he go back to Arsenal if they found themselves in trouble at some stage in the coming years?
“Never. I think that would be the worst decision to manage Arsenal again. You have to accept you do as well as you can somewhere, then when it’s over, it’s over.
“I still love Arsenal and still support Arsenal and could help Arsenal in a different way, but never as a manager.
“I don’t rule out [coming back to management] completely because it’s still too painful to say I’d never do it again. I don’t know: now I am on a mission at FIFA for the next year or two, to help the game. Maybe it’s less egoistic…”
If Wenger had to give advice to a new manager, three rules to live by to give a solid grounding to any coaching career, what would he say?
“The first – make sure you have a clear definition of your responsibilities in your contract. To have a clear life in this job is difficult enough.
“Secondly – get a good environment around you.
“Thirdly – try to make the effort to have clarity about what is really important for you, what you want.”
Arsene Wenger’s book ‘My Life In Red And White’ is out now and available to order here.
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