by Lewis Ambrose
Football managers don’t last very long nowadays, but Arsène Wenger is still going strong after 35 years in the business – how?
The Arsenal manager clearly can’t go on forever, but is still thriving in a world where there is no time for rest nor relaxation but instead is full of constant stress and advancement.
Wenger is 15 months shy of 20 years at Arsenal, a period which has so far amounted to two Premier League titles, six FA Cups, a new training ground, a new stadium, and some of the finest football (and footballers) to ever grace England.
But the manager doesn’t take any of it for granted.
“If you consider the average lifespan of a manager is 12 months, then I was so lucky to have 35 years so far,” Wenger told Arsenal.com.
Working as hard as possible, there’s no time for resting on his laurels.
“I am not naive enough to believe I will be forever on a football pitch! At some stage I will have to do something different.
“But as long as I can, I want to be on the pitch. That’s where I’m happy, that’s where I get my satisfaction, that’s where I feel I can be useful.”
“I started at the age of 31, now I am 65 and I’ve never stopped. Never, not for a day. So I have spent 34 years on the pitches every day. It has been my life and it will be my life as long as I can do it.”
I’m sure there are many roles that Wenger can be useful but for such a proactive man it is clear to see he would rather be on the training pitch each day than anywhere else.
From Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry to Cesc Fabregas, Aaron Ramsey and now Héctor Bellerín, Wenger has build an incredible reputation for unearthing and polishing rough diamonds.
“I love football and I love to try to help the players to be better,” said the Arsenal manager.
“I love as well that players feel they can become a better player at this club. I think that’s an important part of the job.”
The club, as well as the manager, has a fantastic reputation for aiding the development of talent. If you’re good enough Arsène Wenger will give you the guidance and the opportunities to improve upon and showcase your abilities.
It is clear that Wenger’s time at Arsenal is ticking. He can’t stay forever, nor can he manage the team for another 20 years.
What he can do is continue to build our club to become one of the greatest, and for that we are the lucky ones.