Robert Pires has been speaking to the French media again about Arsene Wenger, a man whom he has always defended.
Pires spoke about what drives Wenger and what his goal is. With recent reporters claiming that Wenger has given up his dream of finally winning a Champions League, Pires puts them right. He also stated that the boss will remain at the club for as long as the chairman wants him and reveals a lot more as well.
It’s via Google translate, so a bit iffy in places.
“He is exceptional,” said Pires in the interview with LCI.
“It’s been twenty years that he is at the club.
“When he landed from Japan, nobody knew him. He put Arsenal in another dimension, that of the best English and European clubs. Because it also twenty years his team plays each season in the Champions League. This too is a very good performance.
“He still has the same reasoning, the same philosophy, the same conception of football.
“The only thing that has changed is its game system. He changed his old 4-4-2 4-5-1.
“It’s difficult to compare generations and eras. Before, many players come to Arsenal because the market was different.
“Now even for a central defender, you have to put 40 million euros.
“This is not the philosophy of Arsene.
“Although, when he had to break the bank for Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla, there was no problem.
“There are some who say he should move on but the results are there.
“Obviously, the fans want him to be champion of England, but his philosophy is accountable.
“The goal No. 1 is to play the Champions League.
“Many big English clubs have not played in recent years.
“Arsenal every season [are there].
“After I talked with him in Lens, where they played their first game of preparation, and he said he really was [after] the title. That is Arsene. This is his ambition.
“He always starts to win. But the season is long, tiring, heavy, there are glitches.
“Anyway, this is what motivates him. Today, this championship is much missed by him.
“[Being an idealist] It’s his trademark!
“He always wants his team playing very good football.
“In my day, this is what he had set. And today, this is what he asks of his players in training.
“I see it with my own eyes.
“It requires good football, and he’s not afraid to throw young players like Bellerin and Ramsey.
“He always prefer to form and grow the players, rather than buying them for 60 or 70 million.
“This is a lover of soccer. He cannot live without football. When players rest, you always find him at the training ground.
“He needs the grass. He cannot stay home.
“I still rubs when I work for the club or when I myself entails, and I can tell you that mentally he is very strong.
“If windscreen of critical journalists, fans of opposing coaches, basically, he does not care.
“He has this ability to lift his head, and know what he wants. Above all, he is tough, and it is also thanks to Arsenal’s President, who gave him a lot of confidence.
“Honestly, I’ve never seen doubt.
“He is sure of himself, of his qualities, of what he learned early, and he believes in his team, his players.
“If he loses a game, he is convinced that victory will soon [come], the group he has, whatever happens, will finish strong in the Championship.
“He is aware of its failures, he is not in denial, he speaks with his staff, the President, but he is trusted.
“When he lasts like that twenty years in a club, it is known to question.
“Warning, he respects what the Qatari have done at PSG. But this is not the direction he wants to take.
“Each club has its desires.
“Simply, Arsenal has a different philosophy.
“Arsene is very familiar with Nasser (Al-Khelaïfi, the PSG President), and I can tell you that Nasser appreciates Arsene (laughs).
“But I do not know if this could lead to PSG.
“What is certain is that as long as he has the confidence of the Arsenal chairman, he will remain.”
Pires is very close to the club and to Wenger. He still trains regularly with the first team so if he’s saying Wenger will stay for as long as the board and chairman want him, then there is very little reason to doubt that unless something exceptional happens.
As you know, Wenger’s contract expires in the summer but the smart money would be on him signing a new deal sometime in the new year.