Arsene Wenger has admitted that, during his 20 years as Arsenal manager, he’s become less egotistical and more motivated by earning success for others.
Back when he first started managing, the boss revealed that he wanted success but for himself, whereas now he wants it for the fans and players.
“I think I have a more generous and less egotistical attitude now than I was when I was [younger],” Wenger said to Arsenal Magazine.
“Back then I wanted myself to be THE coach, THE guy who is successful.
“Today of course I still want to be successful, but more for others, more to give the people who love Arsenal what they like, success. I want to help the players achieve the best of what they can in their career.
“At the end of the day we are not responsible for the talent we each have, but we are responsible for what we do with our talent. The respect I have for people is when you look back and say, ‘This guy had nothing more left within him than what he achieved.’
“I would like to think that I am the guy today who helps the players to achieve all that they can achieve – to fulfil their potential. That’s where the real respect comes from – when you feel people have fulfilled their potential.
“When you think people have used 60 or 70 per cent of their talent, even when they are very talented, there is something missing there that makes you think ‘no my friend, you are wrong.’”
Does Wenger really have less of an ego or has his ego just changed, like his desire for success?
Ego has become a dirty word in recent years but the actual definition of it is: “a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.”
To a degree, all football managers need egos – they need to believe in themselves above everyone else. Of course, I’m not suggesting for a second that Wenger becomes Jose Mourinho 2.0, no one wants that. However, if a manager is weak they’re easily influenced.
If Wenger truly didn’t have an ego, he would have walked years ago, back when the going got tough. But he didn’t, he stayed. Now, some may accuse him of being stubborn and he is. Infuriatingly so. But if he was easily bent to the will of fans, the majority of which know very little, and unsure of his decisions, would we have enjoyed half as much success?