Arsene Wenger has admitted that he used to be a ‘firebomb‘ but, with age, he has learned how to express himself in a more constructive way.

Still prone to explosions on the touchline, the boss is nothing like the man he claimed to be while at Monaco between 1987 and 1994 and has clearly been affected by the time he spent in Japan managing Grampus Eight.

MONTE CARLO, MONACO – MAY 15: INTERNATIONAL 1992, AC MONACO, Monte Carlo; TRAINER Arsene WENGER (Photo by Bongarts/Getty Images)

Bringing home with him zen-like tendencies and a new way of looking at the world, one thing that has not dimished with time or experience is his desire to win and his competitive streak.

“I was an absolute firebomb, I was absolutely mad!” he told Arsenal Player. “You learn to express your ideas better with time, to anticipate problems better that you [used to], so you are not so surprised as when you are young.

“You take a bit more distance with what is happening. At a club like Arsenal you could not exactly behave like I behaved at the start!

“I have learnt to dominate my devils. I am not sure I have mellowed in my resolute attitude, but in the way I express my feelings and beliefs, certainly I have changed.”

It is a viewpoint that is backed up by Jean Petit, Arsene’s assistant when he was with the French side.

“He does not like wrong decisions,” Petit said. “He just does not like losing, but he has calmed down with age.

“At the start of his career in France, when things were not going well he tended to shout and get a bit too angry. But he was always measured.

“When we used to come into the office, we were always looking for things to move football forward. We didn’t do anything crazy. That said, we liked to have a laugh and Arsène is a very nice and fun guy.”

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.