Arsene Wenger has taken a rare look at his character’s diabolical side by jokingly admitting that he is now relaxing by watching other managers ‘suffer’.
The legendary former Arsenal coach spoke candidly on a wide variety of topics while playing on BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs on Sunday morning.
Wenger, 71, chaired the North London club during a 22-year reign that spanned highs and lows, and decided to step down in 2018.
Arsene Wenger gave an insight into his character’s diabolical side on Desert Island Discs
Despite starting his career on the sidelines at Nancy in 1984, the crafty Frenchman remains heavily invested in the sport, albeit at a distance now.
And in his spare time, Wenger remains fixated on action from around the world, with a particular focus on the management stress his former colleagues will experience.
‘I relax by watching other managers suffer. And think, “It’s your turn my friend,” he explained boldly.
The legendary Arsenal coach has admitted he relaxes by seeing other managers ‘suffer’
“But by watching football too, you know, I love it so much. And it’s easier for me when I look at other games to distance myself.
Why is this player making this decision? What are the biggest mistakes they make? And I enjoy it because football is always unpredictable.
“It’s not like theater – you go to the theater every night – it starts the same and ends the same. Go to a football game every night – it’s always different. ‘
Wenger is the longest-serving and most successful manager in Arsenal’s rich history, leading them to three Premier League titles and seven FA Cup trophies.
Wenger remains the most successful Arsenal coach in history after winning three league titles
During his insightful time on the airwaves over the weekend, he also reflected on his employment with the Emirates in 1996 after a one-season spell with Nagoya Grampus Eight in Japan.
He added: ‘I think the club was kind of crazy to hire someone like me as this was one of the most traditional clubs in England.
And to take a completely unknown guy, I think they were crazy, these guys. But I had the advantage of taking advantage of it. ‘
The 71-year-old’s 22-year reign at Arsenal came to an emotional end in the 2017/18 season
His tenure in North London has sadly been soured in recent years by growing frustration among the fan base at the club’s lack of silverware.
His emotional swan song at the end of the 2017/18 campaign was tough, Wenger admitted, and came after a host of top European clubs tried to lure him away.
“It was difficult because when you are 69 years old, you cannot imagine going anywhere else as a manager,” he said.
Wenger, who now works for FIFA, admitted it was very difficult to leave Arsenal
‘I have turned down all the best clubs in the world to go to the end of my contract, to the end of my mission with this club.
‘So it was difficult because your car that automatically drove to the training center has to stay at home and you with it.
And breaking that link was very, very difficult, but on the other hand, I decided to change completely. And I am very happy with that. ‘
WENGER ON …
His first FA Cup final takes him back to childhood:
‘It was because when I was little we didn’t have a television in my village. The first television we had in our house was when I was 14. So to watch a football game we had to go to the school and watch in black and white.
‘Bring a pound and we can watch a football game … one a year. Can you believe that today? It was the FA Cup final, so I was a little boy of seven, eight or nine years old.
Now imagine this little boy running to Wembley and leading his team to an FA Cup final. So it was an exceptional thing for me. And I can never forget that. ‘
Wenger also reflected on how his first FA Cup final as a coach reminded him of his youth
Importance of the mind of football players:
‘I thought the mental aspect of a young player was very important and I thought I could help them.
‘I wanted to understand better what goes on in a young boy’s brain. And I forced them to say every day, how did you feel today?
‘Physical? How was your concentration? How do you feel we did it tactically? How did you think you did it?
“So even when I meet them today, they still tell me that it helped them a lot in their lives to think about what they were doing and whether I was doing it right or not.”
Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ were a memorable 49-game unbeaten run under Wenger
The infamous 49-game unbeaten run:
‘I thought the perfection of my job would be a year not to lose a game.
‘It was an exceptional experience to play 49 games, imagine a year and a half, without losing a game?
Sometimes I thought, “Why am I getting paid well to do this job, it’s so simple, so much fun?”
“You know, after you lose your first game, you know why you’re getting paid well!”
Bob Marley & The Wailers’ ‘Could You Be Loved’ Is One Of Eight Songs Wenger Picked
Which songs did Wenger choose?
Bob Marley and The Wailers – Can somebody love you
John Lennon – Imagine
Leo Ferre – Avec Le Temps
Elton John – Your song
France Gall – Evidence
Elvis Presley – The miracle of you
Jacques Brel – Ne Me Quitte Pas
Frank Sinatra – My way